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Which Training Camp Performed Best at The CrossFit Games?

Morning Chalk Up

August 11   |   POWERED BY


Happy Wednesday Morning Chalk Up readers! 

In today’s edition:

  • Determining a profitable rate when increasing membership fees.
  • A bright future for European men.
  • How each training camp performed at the CrossFit Games.
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“If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.” - Fred DeVito

  Raising Your Rates Part 1: Determining a Profitable Rate 


Raising Your Rates Part 1: Determining a Profitable Rate

It’s no secret recent months have been hard on affiliate owners. In many cases, the financial burden was too much to bear with debt averaging $75,000 and a result, widespread gym closures. In other cases, financial stress caused gyms to raise their rates.

  • Chris Thorndike, the chief executive officer of Factory Forged—a business coaching company that works with CrossFit gyms all over the world—has helped 50 gyms raise their rates since the start of the pandemic.
  • Further, in a survey of 66 gym owners, 36 said they have raised their rates in the last six to 12 months, while another 15 said they intend to roll out a rate increase in the upcoming weeks.

Not a Pandemic Problem

Though raising rates now might seem like a knee-jerk reaction to the pandemic, gym business coaches say that member rates at most small gyms needed to be higher, even long before the pandemic.

  • Thorndike said 99 percent of the clients he works with are “not priced appropriately to profit and promote their business.”
  • Similarly, John Briggs, a tax accountant with Incite Tax in Sandy, UT said one of the problems he has historically seen is CrossFit gyms blindly charging their clients somewhere in the neighborhood of $150 a month without actually looking at their specific business situation.
  • Why? Simply because that’s what other CrossFit gyms are charging. And in most cases, this just isn’t enough for the business to be successful, explained Briggs, who works with more than 400 gyms, 85 percent of them being CrossFit affiliates. “There are tons of gym owners underpricing because they have never stopped to think about what they should be charging,” he said.
  • Finally, Sean Pastuch, the owner of the Active Life Rx—a business mentorship company with close to 100 CrossFit affiliates in their network—said he often sees owners set prices based on what they think clients will be willing to pay, instead of the “amount they need to be at” for long term business success. This is a problem, he explained.
  • Pastuch’s advice: Even raising rates by five dollars can cause conflict, so you “might as well go all in and get rates to where they need to be for the business to continue to grow and improve.”
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  • Catching up with Shadburne and Pearce: Kari Pearce and Bethany Shadburne join Morning Chalk Up’s Justin LoFranco to share their COVID experience at the 2021 CrossFit Games after they both tested positive and were unable to compete. The two also share an update on how they’re feeling overall.
    • Shadburne: “The only reason I am even close to being super fit is because of Kari and what she’s done for me this year. I actually was going to dedicate this whole year to her so I’m just super appreciative for what she’s done…I’m still super happy about how this year turned out even though it wasn’t the results that we wanted with the CrossFit Games.”
  • Leaving Nashville: Alec Smith, his boyfriend Riley and their dog Barley have bought a house and are “moving back home closer to the fam.” An exact location has yet to be revealed.
  • Get well soon: Another Games athlete is getting fixed. Jamie Simmonds has been trying to rehab a dislocated shoulder all season but finally decided to have surgery.
    • Simmonds: “Here’s to the 2nd half of 2021 being full of more mini wins…and character building.”
  • “Who the hell is this girl?” This isn’t CrossFit news, but it sure is impressive. Notre Dame graduate Molly Seidel wins the bronze medal in the Tokyo Olympic Marathon. The shocking part, this was only her third marathon that Seidel has ever run.
    • “I wanted it as hard as possible,” Seidel said when referring to the race day conditions. “I wanted it hot and windy, knowing a lot of these women run fast in conditions that are very good. I think I thrive off a little bit of adversity. The course in Atlanta (at the Olympic Trials) was a tough, hilly course. When the going gets tough, that’s my strong suit…My goal today was just to go in and for people to think, ‘Who the hell is this girl?'”


  • Registration is now live for the German Throwdown Classic. A list of general skills and weight requirements have been posted for each division. Be on the lookout for more specific details in the coming days.
  Bright Future For European Men in Competitive CrossFit 


Bright Future For European Men in Competitive CrossFit

Since 2015, 11 of the 21 female athletes to stand on the podium at the CrossFit Games have come from Europe. Since 2010, there has been at least one European woman on the podium every season.

Contrast that with the men:

Since 2015, only three of the 21 male athletes on the podium have been from Europe (Bjorgvin Karl Gumdundsson twice, and Lukas Hogberg once). Prior to that, the only other European male on the podium was Finland’s Mikko Salo who won the Games in 2009.

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  How Training Camps Performed at the 2021 NOBULL CrossFit Games 

How Training Camps Performed at the 2021 NOBULL CrossFit Games

We discussed the success of athletes who elected not to participate in “the training camp” life but how did the other athletes in the field who decided to train with fellow competitors fare at the 2021 NOBULL CrossFit Games? We crunched some of the numbers and here is what we found.

By the numbers: We only tracked camps that had more than one athlete represented at the Games.

  • Additionally, if an athlete had to withdraw due to COVID-19 (Underdogs Athletics athletes Kari Pearce and Bethany Shadburne) or simply didn’t show up due to travel issues (Brute Strength’s Roman Khrennikov and Mayhem’s Stas Solodov) those scores were not factored into the averages.
  • However, if an athlete received points and a placing before having to withdraw (PRVN’s Brooke Wells) that placing was factored in.
  • Camps must have had more than one athlete in their division to receive an average (The Training Plan had just one female competing, Annie Thorisdottir).
  • Over half of the individual athletes (42) competing at the Games was part of a training camp.
  • Mayhem Athletics had the most individual athletes represented with ten and also had the most men (6) and women (4) that qualified for the Games.
  • The Training Plan had the overall highest average finish at 8.3 thanks to Thorisdottir’s third place finish and Guðmundsson’s 4th place.
  • The Training Plan had the highest average finish for the men again due to Guðmundsson’s 4th place added with Haapalainen’s 18th for an average of 11th.
  • On the women’s side CompTrain had the highest average finish at 9.5 with Barnhart’s 9th and Davidsdottir’s 10th place finish.

The bottom line: There isn’t any real data to quantify which training camps are more successful than the other or to determine if the current trend of athletes gathering together to train is effective or not. There’s simply not enough historical data to determine that right now but we do know that the training camps aren’t going anywhere in the foreseeable future.



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