“One way to get the most out of life is to look upon it as an adventure.”- William Feather
Ukrainian Gym Transforms into Shelter for More than 1,000 Refugees
When Russia invaded Ukraine at the end of February, Anton Yumaiev closed his doors like every other gym in his country.
“A few days passed, we did nothing. We were just sitting and thinking about what to do, how to be helpful,” said Yumaiev, the owner of BRONX Fitness Club in Lviv, a city in western Ukraine.
Doing nothing quickly got to him, so Yumaiev met with his coaching team and they decided to turn their gym into a shelter for refugees, a shelter that has since had more than 1,000 people—many from the northeastern city of Kharkiv—take refuge in their gym, some staying for just a night or two and others for multiple weeks.
The Last Six Weeks
Originally, because the gym was closed, Yumaiev opened his entire space to refugees, meaning there was room to sleep 70 people a night on beds his gym community and larger organizations helped collect via donations. Since then, his army of helpers have been organizing, cooking and delivering meals to the shelter each day.
After some time, however, Yumaiev’s gym community started chomping at the bit to start working out again, so he refigured the gym to accommodate both. Today, 35 refugees, including many children, are living in one half of the gym, and he has been running regular group classes in the other half.
“If we don’t have that physical activity, we can become crazy,” Yumaiev said, adding that working out at least provides a brief mental rest.
In recent weeks, more than 100 of Yumaiev’s members have been attending regular classes, and many have also brought relatives from elsewhere in the country currently living with them because of the war.
This “mental rest” is also what led one refugee currently residing at BRONX Fitness Club—a CrossFit coach from Kiev—to begin offering classes twice a week to his fellow refugees.
Life in War and the Future
Being in the western part of his country means Yumaiev generally feels safe; however, just the other day, as he was painting the gym door, he saw three rockets fly above his head, reminding him that he’s living in the middle of a war zone.
“It’s safer here in the west than in the east, but it’s not fully safe,” he said.
Still, he and his wife have never for a moment contemplated leaving their country like 4.3 million other Ukrainians have.
“There were no thoughts to leave the country at all. Not my thoughts or my wife’s. There were no such ideas…We have a community and almost all the community stays here,” he said. “I just want to be helpful for my country, for the people.”
And even though life in recent weeks has been stressful to say the least, Yumaiev remains positive that things will end well for his country.
“Inside me, I feel like it has been war (with Russia) all my life, and this feeling has helped me accept the situation and lead a normal life,” Yumaiev said.
He added: “I think this is the real war for our independence. For the independence of Ukraine. And the war will end, but after that our country will have some kind of renaissance. We will build the new country, with the new society, with the new rules, with the new government, with the new mindset in our heads.”
Donate to BRONX Fitness Club’s refugee shelter here. Yumaiev is adamant any help is useful.
Saxon Panchik's Superfuel for Peak Performance
Did you see the bottle in Saxon Panchik’s hands at the CrossFit Open Workout 22.2 announcement? Everyone’s buzzing about what’s inside.
It contained UCAN, the fuel Panchik relies on to “keep riding a high through the entire workout.”
UCAN is not your typical pre-workout. Its unique time-release profile allows your body to access energy consistently throughout your WOD.
Quarterfinal workouts for teams will be announced today at noon PT. Check CrossFit’s YouTube for the breakdown.
In case you missed it, Lauren Kalil, the host of The Bottom Line, spoke to Travis Mead about crushing 365 Hero WODs, in a row, and his life philosophy:
“Im always hyped up every day, all day.”
The ABLE Games kick off this weekend, an all-inclusive functional fitness competition that celebrates all abilities, from the highly skilled athlete to an individual with special needs. Sam Dancer and Mat Fraser will be involved in the CrossFit portion of the event which goes April 9-10 at the Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, FL. For more info go to their website.
The Keala Foundation just completed “The Walk,” a 19-mile paddle and 34-mile walk to fundraise as a part of their GIVE campaign.
The debate over whether or not you need protein from meat sources continues to rage. The International Society of Sports Nutrition says that people who are performing high-intensity exercise or resistance training should consume up to 1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight every day.
The Biggest Team Stories Across The World This Weekend
The next round of Quarterfinals action kicks off today as the teams take the floor in hopes of securing one of 200 Semifinal spots up for grabs. This will be the first time we get to see teams declare their competition roster, and compete as a unit, which should help solidify the competitive landscape moving forward.
Last season the team Quarterfinals provided some valuable data that in retrospect also helps add value to the shape of the leaderboard this season come Sunday, beyond the obvious qualification spots that will be handed out.
Nearly two-thirds of all teams that were placed in a position to qualify for the Games based on their Quarterfinal result actually went on to qualify through Semifinals, giving credence to some of the early filter elements present in this stage.
Nine out of the top-10 teams at the Games finished Quarterfinals in a qualifying spot with an average overall finish of 4th amongst their respective continents. CrossFit Nordic was the lone exception to this rule.
Coming into this weekend there are a handful of major storylines in each continent that we should get more clarity on, and as scores begin pouring in, be able to start building the season-long story-arc towards the Games in August.
Can AI Help Gym Owners Determine if a Client is Thinking of Leaving?
Client retention in the fitness industry has always been a point of contention for gym owners, personal trainers and gym goers themselves. Gyms want deliverables in terms of monthly subscriptions, meaning offering longer term memberships is the onus. However consumers are as frantic as ever, switching workout goals and methods at the drop of a hat, and personal trainers are often rotating through clients on a monthly basis.
PushPress, the gym management software company with more than 2,000 gyms on its client roster, is looking to use artificial intelligence (AI) to help gym owners possibly pinpoint when gyms may be about to lose a client.
The first step in the rolling plan is the Churn Model that looks at 159 data points of interaction between the customer and gym with the goal of determining if a client is moving toward quitting the gym.
The goal is for Pressly to identify which members are across the “threshold” and highlight them for the gym owner. At that point, the owner can either personally contact each member or decide to have Pressly offer a free FITAID or something else to get them back in the gym.A personal touch: Pressly will provide a list of names of clients that could possibly leave the gym, but the gym owner will make the decision on which one to contact about the potential change. They will have the knowledge that two clients may just be absent for random reasons while another two may have dealt with the loss of a loved one.
“Just imagine if instead of you having to figure that out, at least the starting point is, here’s four people to talk to today,” said PushPress founder Dan Uyemura. “And you can either choose to [talk to them], you can choose not to do it, or you can choose to let Pressley do it for you.”
“This person I know just lost a family [member] or a dog. So I’m going to get a card signed by all the members and hand-deliver that to them. I want to take care of that one.”
The full version of Pressly will not be immediately available. Uyemura compared designing software to building a house and using a brand-new technology. The early versions will be more rudimentary, but PushPress will continue to refine them and add more features for clients.
Hitting those milestones: Another goal for Pressly will be assistance on social media. Gym owners currently have to remember to post on Instagram, Facebook, and other platforms whenever members hit important anniversary dates or celebrate a birthday. This takes time, and there is a scenario where the owner simply forgets due to many other obligations.
Are CrossFit’s Semifinals Payouts Trending in the Right Direction?
In case you missed it, the CrossFit Games recently updated the 2022 Competition Rulebook to include the payout schedule for Semifinals. The list can be found in rule 4.14.
One big thing: The payouts remain exactly the same as the 2021 season. And for that matter, the same as 2018 Regionals (for individuals).
The details: Depending on the continent, semifinal competitions will pay out the top three or five finishers on both the individual and team sides.
In North American and European events:
Individuals: First place – $5000, second place – $4000, third place – $3000, fourth place – $2000 and fifth place – $1000.
Teams: First place – $5000, second place – $4000, third place – $3000, fourth place – $2000 and fifth place – $1000.
In Oceania, Asia, South America, and Africa events:
Individuals: First place – $5000, second place – $4000, third place – $3000.
Teams: First place – $5000, second place – $4000, third place – $3000.
All cash prizes are paid in US dollars.
Remind me: The Semifinals payout announcement last season sparked a discussion about the professionalization of the sport.
The total Semifinals prize purse is $400,000 across 10 semifinals, broken down to $40,000 alloted to each event.
During the final Sanctionals season (disrupted by COVID), Rogue, the Dubai CrossFit Championship and Loud & Live events, put up $2,178,860 across seven events.
My Take: We Need More Transparency in Rulebook Releases, Here's How
On March 31, 2022, the CrossFit Games staff posted an update to the official 2022 season rulebook, adding in much-awaited details for semifinal payouts. While we received a heads up about the update because we asked to be informed when the information was released, no public notification or announcement was made that the rulebook was updated, and herein lies the problem.
One big thing: Last week’s update wasn’t the first this season, nor was it the first that wasn’t announced. This is potentially the 4th version of the 2022 rulebook in what’s becoming an increasingly commonplace practice of rolling mid-season rulebook updates and even more concerning is that few are aware if and when the rulebook is updated, and what’s changed.
In 2021, there were an estimated eight to twelve editions according to Brent Fikowski, a leader for the Professional Fitness Athlete’s Association (PFAA).
This season, the first version was released December 28, 2021 and published with a V10 printed in the lower left corner. The edition that was just updated, is V13, which could be the fourth edition.
Morning Chalk Up has reviewed V10, V12 and V13 and verified that there are changes. We were unable to track down V11 in order to verify that this is the fourth edition this season.
Rich Froning, Luke Parker, and Ben Davidson tested themselves against the Krypton Games workouts. Check out how the team approached and strategized in the workouts, how they performed, and learn how you can get involved.
Beam’s Dream Powder is packed with zzz-promoting ingredients, like nano CBD, reishi, magnesium, l-theanine, and melatonin. Swirls of cinnamon mix with creamy chocolate for the guilt-free hot cocoa of your dreams – it has only 5 calories and no added sugar. Get ready to sleep like a champ.
If you want to push your CrossFit performance to the next level, then we're sorry, but you're going to need to add in some accessory work to mobilize those muscles and joints. Here are five top drills to add into your recovery to keep the needle moving.
The search for high-quality meat ends here. Amazing taste. Humanely raised. Delivered to your door. And as a Morning Chalk Up reader, sign up today and you'll get two pounds of free 100% grass-fed, grass-finished ground beef in every order for the life of your membership.
Invictus Boston is looking for volunteers to judge, move equipment, and provide overall event help for their Invictus Boston Invitational on June 18-19, 2022. Those interested can fill out the Volunteer Form.
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