Your Coffee is ready.

Toomey and Vellner Dominate Rogue Invitational

Morning Chalk Up

June 15

Born Primitive

Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up. After a three-month hiatus, live competition among elite fitness athletes returned over the weekend with the Rogue Invitational. And, the COVID-19 lockdown was stressful for everyone, but for some, their gym communities helped them cope and even saved their marriages. Today:

  • The Rogue Invitational wrapped up yesterday with some familiar faces atop the podium.
  • How some gyms saved marriages during the COVID-19 lockdown.
  • O2 Recovery is celebrating Juneteenth with an important fundraiser.

If your gym has chosen to disaffiliate, please let us know.

And, hit us up with your story tips, quotes and PRs at [email protected].



+ Send us a Quote

“I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.” – Maya Angelou


Toomey and Vellner Win Rogue Invitational in Dominating Fashion

  Toomey and Vellner Win Rogue Invitational in Dominating Fashion  

The Rogue Invitational was able to throw a competition this weekend unlike any we have seen and they were able to pull it off with minimal difficulties. The first competition in over three months saw two of the sport’s top stars crowned as champions, as Tia-Clair Toomey defended her title and Patrick Vellner ran away with the men’s title.

The men’s division:

The second and final day of competition kicked off with a test of strength in the form of a clean and jerk lift-off. But before all 18 men could start they had to compete in a tie-breaker that consisted of seven clean and jerks at 255lbs with a one-minute time cap. That tie-breaker would come into play as Chandler Smith won the event with a personal best lift of 360lbs. The active-duty Army Captain and member of the US Army Warrior Fitness Team actually tied Lukas Högberg but finished the tie-breaker quicker to win the event on the Army’s 245th Birthday. For Högberg it also was a PR and a welcomed top finish after struggling during day one of the competition. Björgvin Karl Guđmundsson tied four other athletes with a lift of 350lbs but had the fastest time in the tiebreaker to claim third in the event.

Guđmundsson, who came into the day in sixth place, improved on his third-place finish in event four with a win in the fifth event. The 2019 CrossFit Games podium finisher crushed the chipper finishing exactly a minute (13:55.28) ahead of Vellner (14:55.28) for the victory. For Vellner it was his fourth top-two finish and all but secured the Rogue Invitational championship. Saxon Panchik placed third finishing the chipper with a time of 14:59.64.

The final men’s event of the competition ended how it started, with a Colten Mertens victory. The Rogue Invitational Online Qualifier champion went full-send and was the only men’s athlete to finish the event under three minutes. 2019 Games runner-up Noah Ohlsen had his best finish of the competition, winning his heat and placing second with a time of 3:30.53. Vellner placed third with a time of 3:36.53.


Get Your $100 #stayformay Gift Voucher

Born Primitive
Get Your $100 #stayformay Gift Voucher

We want to thank every gym member in America who kept their membership through the month of May. We realize COVID-19 posed challenges to all of you, but our gym owners were among the most affected.

As a way of showing support to these small businesses, Born Primitive along with O2, Puori, and Bear KompleX are proud to reward their active members with a combined $100 gift voucher.

Ask your gym owner for your code, and if you’re not sure if your gym participated, visit to find out.



My Gym Saved my Marriage During Lockdown

  My Gym Saved my Marriage During Lockdown  

Divorce rates since the coronavirus pandemic lockdown began have soared around the world, according to The Telegraph.

Between March 23 and the middle of May, Co-op Legal services experienced 42 percent more divorce inquiries, while “I want a divorce” was searched for online 154 percent more than normal, the article reported.

Not so in our community: The support members received from their gyms, the laughs they shared on Zoom calls, and the sweat sessions themselves, helped them not just tolerate their loved ones, but even bring them closer together.

Darryl Sjerven’s story is a familiar one:

  • “The first couple weeks when it was spring break, being at home with my family was pretty novel, and kind of fun, like a really long snow day,” said 55-year-old Sjerven.
  • “But that ended. And time passed. My kids are 14 and 17. They are still home. My wife is a teacher. She’s at home. I can’t go out. I am chafing at the bit. School goes back in, sort of, and now I have my wife teaching four zoom classes a day from the dining room table, my daughter on Zoom in the den, my son doing homework at the kitchen counter. I’m trying to pass through my house without being caught on screen or on mic like Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible dodging laser alarms. And me, the guy who (usually) works from home, can’t work from home anymore. Total recipe for disaster.”

Enter his gym community: “Four mornings a week, I got up at 6 am, had a coffee and went downstairs by myself and joined my gym mates in a Zoom workout. Physically, it helped. Emotionally, it helped. Mentally, it helped. Every morning, I would go down with a furrowed brow, unable to make eye contact with my wife, and I would see my gym members. And we would laugh and sympathize and connect. And then we would work out,” said Sjerven, a client at Madlab School of Fitness in Vancouver, B.C.


O2 Recovery Supports Know Your Rights Camp in Juneteenth Fundraiser


Following weeks of unrest and protests across the nation and in response to the recent turmoil within the CrossFit community, O2, a recovery drink brand sold at gyms throughout the United States has pledged to donate thousands of dollars in celebration of Juneteenth and in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

One big thing: O2 Recovery has stepped up significantly over the past several months to support the fitness and gym-owner communities. With partner brands it launched the “Community Coalition” and “#StayforMay” campaigns to help gym-owners weather the COVID-19 lockdown storm, and now it is making a firm stand in support of the African American community.

The details: O2 will donate 100% of its profits on Juneteenth (June 19) to the Know Your Rights Camp with the goal of raising awareness about Juneteenth, a day that celebrates the end to slavery in America.

  • This initiative comes on the heels of O2 facilitating a $10,000 donation to Steve’s Club, a nationwide organization that offers free group fitness classes to economically disadvantaged children, many of whom come from communities of color where social inequality runs rampant.
  • FNX Fitness has partnered with O2 and will also donate 100% of its profits to the Know Your Rights Camp on Juneteenth as well.
  • Know Your Rights Camp’s “mission is to advance the liberation and well-being of Black and Brown communities through education, self-empowerment, mass-mobilization and the creation of new systems that elevate the next generation of change leaders.

From O2 Founder and CEO: “Within the four walls of a gym, people share the common bond of fitness, sweating together without regard for differences in race, gender, or sexual orientation. Yet beyond those four walls, the Black community faces systematic racism and inequality.”

  • “This is an opportunity to extend the mindset we practice in the gym to help address these issues on a broader scale. O2 stands with the Black community, which is why we’re making this pledge and offering an opportunity for our community to take action,” Colina continued.
  • Games athlete and gym-owner, Elijah Muhammad: “I’ve been a part of the CrossFit community for 10 years and never faced racism inside the gym, just some discomfort being a black athlete in a predominantly caucasian sport. However, as a black man in America, I’ve encountered racism far too often. This is an opportunity for people to learn, to take action, and to help bridge the gap between the world inside our gyms and out.”



The Buttery Bros Kick Off a Two-Week Road Trip across the US

Marston Sawyers and Heber Cannon are hitting the road to document how the community is reacting to the tumultuous few weeks and the shake-up at CrossFit HQ.

  Morning Chalk Up  


Your First Muscle Up

Dreaming of life above the rings? Give Brent Fikowski’s 6-week ring muscle-up program a try. It only takes 30 minutes, 3 days a week and by the end, you will be up and over the rings.

  Morning Chalk Up  


Armen Hammer Explain why the 2020 CrossFit Games are Unlikely

In this brief video, Armen Hammer lays out a very concise and thoughtful analysis of why there may be too many roadblocks to carrying out a successful CrossFit Games event this summer.

  Morning Chalk Up  



The Digital Workforce

If you want a side hustle that affords you the freedom to work when and wherever you want while making a huge difference in people’s lives, take the WAG Nutrition Coach Certification. This is the last time they will be offering their current price before a significant price increase.

  Morning Chalk Up  


Sesame Garlic Grilled Sweet Potato Fries with Yogurt Curry Dip

Check out this delicious and easy recipe for grilled sweet potato fries with a hint of garlic and sesame flavor. These healthy fries come together in just 20 minutes for the perfect summertime appetizer or side dish. Serve with an irresistible yogurt curry dip!



Congratulations to W. Hammond., who was the first to correctly answer which man and woman won the inaugural 2019 Rogue Invitational.  The correct answer was Tia-Clair Toomey and Mathew Fraser.

  • Today’s Question: Who is the only athlete to stand on all three Games’ Podiums (Individual, Team, Age Group)?

Submit your answer.



  • Tia-Clair Toomey clean and jerks 270 pounds at the Rogue Invitational.
  • David Bradley does 3 touch-and-go snatches at 215 pounds and 2 at 225 pounds.
  • Sandy Michel gets her first legless rope climb.
  • Chandler Smith clean and jerks 360 pounds for a PR.
  • Kelsey Kiel deadlifts 375 pounds and bench presses 215 pounds for a couple of PRs.
  • Hunter McIntyre bench presses 315 pounds for a lifetime PR.
  • Mariah Thompson hits a 820 pound CrossFit Total at CrossFit Hydrogen which includes a 337.5 pound back squat PR!


Community Round-Up

Here are a few of the fundraisers and memorial WODs we have our eyes on today:

  • Girls Gone Rx Unity Campaign: Girls Gone Rx is currently offering a “Unity” design shirt and 100% of the proceeds from all sales will be donated to Buy from a Black Woman, a charity that supports businesses owned by black women by providing them tools and resources to succeed.
  • CrossFit Crowned Fundraiser WOD: The Maumee, OH affiliate, CrossFit Crowned will be holding a WOD to raise funds for gym owner Matt Williams who was recently diagnosed with stage four cancer. The fundraiser, “Ice” will take place on June 20 beginning at 8 am. The cost to participate is $40 and members, friends and family are all welcome. 
  • Mark Landry Memorial WOD: CrossFit Games athlete and Resilience Fitness member, Mark Landry passed away on June 9, 2020. Landry competed in the 2018 Games in the 60+ age group division and inspiringly got his first ring muscle-ups at the event. Landry loved the CrossFit community and welcomed all new members with a warm smile. On Tuesday the Resilience community will complete a memorial WOD in his honor and are asking athletes to join them and use the hashtag #Landry612 for social media posts. The workout is: 14 Rounds for Time — 6 Thrusters (95/65; 75/55), 12 Abmat Sit-Ups, 2 Ring Muscle-Ups (non-rig version: 6 Burpees over the Bar, 12 Abmat Sit-Ups, 2 Bear Complexes (135/95; 95/65).  
How did you like today’s newsletter?
Your Coffee is ready.