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Who Got the Most Instagram Followers from the CrossFit Games?

Morning Chalk Up

August 16   |   POWERED BY

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Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • Who won the Instagram CrossFit Games?
  • So what does it take to put on the CrossFit Games each year?
  • Brent Fikowski talks programming and thoughts on Madison
  • Should coaches be on salary and not commission?
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“Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product.” - Eleanor Roosevelt

  Which CrossFit Games Athlete Won the Instagram Games?  

Which CrossFit Games Athlete Won the Instagram Games?

Like it or not, when it comes to an athlete’s ability to build a brand, pick up sponsors and earn a living, social media matters. And never is there a better opportunity for the CrossFit athlete to see an uptick in followers than during the one week of the year when their sport is on stage in front of the world at the CrossFit Games.

This Year’s Instagram Followers Results:

The top three individual athletes in the who picked up the most followers game were all women, led by Dani Speegle, who picked up 37,805 new followers over the course of the CrossFit Games week. She was followed by silver medalist Mal O’Brien (34,713) and Tia-Clair Toomey with 31,385.

  • The top three men were champion Justin Medeiros (24,625), followed by Ricky Garard (22,205) followed by 10th place finisher Guilherme Malheiros (20,896).
  • When it comes from a percentage of followers perspective, Elisa Fuliano, who now has more than 12,000 followers, came out on top by adding 34.27 percent.

One big thing: When it comes to attracting new followers, apparently it pays to dominate the max lift event, as both Speegle and Malheiros put on a show when they topped the sandbag-to-shoulder event on Saturday night.

  • Further, last season Malheiros picked up the third most followers of any athlete after winning the max snatch event.

Worth Nothing: When we compare the raw numbers to last year, nobody came even close to picking up as many followers as the top six did in 2021.

  • Brandon topped the field last season with adding 77,702 followers, while sixth place Brooke Wells added 38,590. Interestingly, Brandon actually placed higher overall this year than last—fourth this year compared to 11th in 2021—yet added significantly less followers this year (24,209) than in 2021.

Just for fun: The CrossFit Games Instagram account took the top spot over any athlete who competed last week. They picked up 57,009 followers during the week of the Games.

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In case you missed it: Lauren Kalil, the host of The Bottom Line, spoke to athlete super agent Snorri Baron about what it was like to have two of his athletes make it onto the podium.

Doc drop: The HYROX World Championships went off this year in Las Vegas and the documentary about it, which includes Hunter McIntyre and his amazing haircut, is now on YouTube.

Miami heat: The TYR Wodapalooza Online Challenge and Qualifier is ready to rock and you can sign up to be a part of the action. 😎

Talking shop: Some of the content creators for the CrossFit Games, including Morning Chalk Up spoke about what it’s like to produce content at the CrossFit Games.

Local love: Great piece in The Record about Scot Ali Crawford, who finished first in the Female Masters 45-49 age group at the CrossFit Games.

  What it Takes to Put on the CrossFit Games  


What it Takes to Put on the CrossFit Games

For the second year in a row, the CrossFit Games has come and gone in Madison, Wisconsin, and whether you were with us in-person or watched from home, it’s hard to deny the exceptional spectacle that is a five day, multi-division competition — particularly when accompanied by unexpected weather, event twists, live broadcasts, elevated fan experiences, new management and more.

With 27 divisions and a $2.5 million total prize purse up for grabs, what exactly does it take to put on the Games? Well, it’s probably too much to fully encapsulate here, but we’ll give you a peek.

John McLaughlin, a logistical czar of sorts, has been spearheading CrossFit events, and the Games specifically, for the last 15 years. The Florida-based jack of all trades is also a Battalion Fire Chief of 30-years, and even qualified for the CrossFit Games himself as a Masters athlete in 2013 and 2014 (however, he chose to “give the test, not take the test”).

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  What it Takes to Put on the CrossFit Games  

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  Should CrossFit Coaches Get Full-Time Salaries?  

Should CrossFit Coaches Get Full-Time Salaries?

My name is Ed, and I am the founder, CEO, and head coach of my affiliate. In three months I, along with a team of 15 full-time coaches and operations staff, will be celebrating the gym’s 14th anniversary. But this anniversary feels a little different as it will mark the beginning of a new era.

Three months ago, I decided to make a move from commission-based salaries to fixed salaries. Some will say that we’ve “gone corporate”, others will say “it’s about time”.

My story as a gym owner looks similar to many others: I began as a personal trainer, driving my car around the city to my clients, renting personal training studios, and pitching up on open fields to coach group classes. Within the year, I had reached capacity, and decided it was time to hire another coach. After three years, the coaching team had grown to five, and we were starting to make a name for ourselves. Our costs were low, coaches were paid between 50-60% of the clients’ fees, and would receive a healthy sum for leading group classes. The business was great, and I felt unstoppable.

By the fourth year, we were ready for the next step. We were tired of fighting for space and equipment in personal training studios, having to cancel outdoor group classes due to the weather, and losing hours of the day running around the city to our clients. We had enough money in the bank, and with a little help from my family, we opened the doors to our first-ever facility in 2013.

As a business owner, those were some of the hardest years. I quickly realized the business had outgrown my expertise. I didn’t understand (or care for) accounting, I was an ineffective manager, and a poor communicator. I had a never-ending list of job responsibilities, and a to-do list which was impossible to complete. Aside from being inadequately prepared for the task at hand, one of the biggest obstacles holding me back was my monthly salary.

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What Happens Behind the Camera

Photo finishes, cheering crowds, joyful celebrations. Powerful photographs often memorialize our favorite competition memories, but what is it like on the other side of that lens? Affiliate owner and photographer Brandon Kessler tells all.




The Tool That Helped Rich Froning Cement his Legacy

Jordan, Brady, Gretzky...Froning. Rich Froning secured his place in the all-time greats by once again finishing on top of the podium with Mayhem Freedom. AIRWAAV is the only performance tool Froning takes on the competition floor. See how it can help you take your performance to the next level.



Those Tricky Double-Under Crossovers

While all of us watching at home might have underestimated how challenging they were, Double-Under Crossovers require technical skill and speed. Elite SRS put together some helpful tips and tricks to help you master the cross, just like Nick Mathew.



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Cluster Sets to Develop Strength and Capacity

When you look at your programming and see a 5x3 power clean set, will you touch-and-go all of your reps or hit singles? Cluster sets ensure you are maintaining the stimulus of the workout and doing single reps at a time. Sometimes the focus is barbell cycling, but sometimes it is quality reps.


Share Your Crossfit Story


Celebrating a PR, hosting a fundraiser, this, that, or otherwise. Send us a tip.

  • 4-year-old Callie from Two Roads CrossFit in Carlisle, PA is crushing these 20-inch box jumps.
  • Congratulations Ellia Miller from Cobra Command CrossFit in Basehor, KS on the 200 pound/91kg snatch PR in competition.
  • Congratulations Noah Hardwick from Angel Oak CrossFit in Johns Island, SC on pulling 4 reps of 405 pound/184kg deadlifts.
  • Here’s a fun calisthenics challenge video from Leandro Fornito— let’s hope it’s a few decades before we see anything like this show up at the Games.

GoFundMe has been started to financially aid Dave Rempel, Masters 50-54 athlete, in his recovery after suffering a stroke during the 2022 CrossFit Games.

12/9 - 12/10: Space Coast Classic (West Melbourne, FL)
12/9: Wodamania (Singer Island Riviera Beach, FL)
1/27: REPS AHEAD Switch Winterfest (Broomfield, CO)

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