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WHOOP’s Partnership with CrossFit in Question

Morning Chalk Up

May 5   |   POWERED BY

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Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • CrossFit coach Anthony Baca remembered as an extraordinary human
  • Could obstacle course racing debut at the 2028 Summer Olympics in LA?
  • We’ve teamed up with WHOOP for Sleep May-Nia to help you sleep better and win some prizes
  • Who are the most athletic CrossFit athletes?
  • WHOOP and CrossFit’s multiyear deal in turmoil
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“Your own mind is a sacred enclosure into which nothing harmful can enter except by your permission.” - Arnold Bennett

  CrossFit Coach Anthony Baca Dies of Cancer at Age of 34  

CrossFit Coach Anthony Baca Dies of Cancer at Age of 34

On April 28, 34-year-old Anthony Baca, an eight-year coach at Blade Method Fitness in Phoenix, AZ lost his battle with mantle cell lymphoma, a diagnosis he was given in August 2019. He leaves behind a wife and two children—Shawnee, Shelby and Terrance—and a CrossFit community that “loved him with their whole hearts,” said Blade Method owner Chris Treanor.

Baca didn’t go down without a fight. After chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant, he beat cancer, returned to coaching and even competed in the CrossFit Open in 2021. But then, two months ago, while at a child’s birthday party, Baca suffered a seizure and soon discovered he had two brain tumors, as well as cancer in his spine.

Baca’s Impact at Blade

Baca started his CrossFit journey in 2013 and became a consistent member of the community that “everyone loved to have in class,” Treanor said.

After a year-and-a-half of being a member of the gym, Baca began a coaching apprenticeship, and so began a career that changed hundreds of lives, Treanor explained.

“Over the years Anthony grew, developed and honed his coaching skills, becoming a world class coach, the best encourager and hype man you could ask for, while also being a sensitive confidant to lift you up when you were down,” he added.

This ability to lift others up continued even as he battled cancer—”he remained focused on making others feel special,” Treanor said—and the fact that he’s gone is still unimaginable.

“Losing someone with a wife and two young children is hard enough, but when that person was a life changer, someone that had the spirit to motivate and inspire change, it makes it unbearable,” Treanor said.

Through his grief, Treanor will remember his friend as “one of those people you meet and you instantly feel like you’re the most important person he has ever met.”

Honoring Baca

On Wednesday, the Blade Method community got together and did a workout they created in Baca’s honor, a 24-minute AMRAP that included movements Baca both excelled at and loved.


4 ring muscle-ups

28 wall balls (20/14 lb.)

22 power cleans (135/95 lb.)

34 double-unders

GoFundMe link has been set up for Baca’s family.

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CrossFit will be hosting a press conference this morning at 7am PT time. The lineup is stacked: Justin BerghAdrian BozmanMal O’BrienGabriela MigalaGuilherme Malheiros and Justin Medeiros. Oh yeah, and HQ will be making an announcement concerning the location of the 2023 NOBULL CrossFit Games.

PGA Tour player Scott Stallings does CrossFit, no way? Check out our interview with him on the Morning Chalk Up’s YouTube channel where he spoke about training and learning with none other than Rich Froning. “Rich was very warm and welcoming and let me come and ask questions.”

NOBULL’s exclusive CrossFit Affiliate Partner Network offer is now available and owners can receive 20% off (up to $2,000 annually) NOBULL’s entire line of footwear and apparel.

Don’t Sleep On This: May is statistically the worst month for sleep, so we’re competing with Talking Elite Fitness, Buttery Bros, and CrossFit Mayhem in WHOOP’s Sleep May-Nia challenge to see which team can catch the most Z’s. We’re going to bring you sleep tips throughout the month, and as a convincer, the top sleepers on the Morning Chalk Up WHOOP team will win prizes like free WHOOP kits and monthly memberships. 😴

Massage gun maker Therabody has further expanded its wellness ecosystem in acquiring So Sound, an acoustic therapy startup.

  Obstacle Course Racing Could Debut at 2028 Summer Olympics in LA  


Obstacle Course Racing Could Debut at 2028 Summer Olympics in LA

The Union Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne (UIPM) has announced they are considering dropping the equestrian portion of the modern pentathlon and replace that event with a form of the global phenomenon known as Obstacle Course Racing (OCR) for the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics.

The details: Modern pentathlon has been an Olympic sport since 1912 and features five events: fencing, swimming, equestrian show jumping, pistol shooting and cross-country running. It’s the event of equestrian show jumping that caused animal rights activists to call for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the UIPM to remove the event due to animal abuse and cruelty.

That led the UIPM to start considering OCR as a replacement and currently they are testing two variations of obstacle course races with the goal to have OCR included in pentathlon after the UIPM 2022 Pentathlon World Cup Final in Ankara, Turkey in June.

Continue Reading...
  Obstacle Course Racing Could Debut at 2028 Summer Olympics in LA  

VIDEO: Who Are The Most Athletic CrossFitters?

Watch Now...
  WHOOP No Longer Listed as Sponsor or Partner of the CrossFit Games, “Box Fitness” Replaces CrossFit  

WHOOP No Longer Listed as Sponsor or Partner of the CrossFit Games, “Box Fitness” Replaces CrossFit

WHOOP users can no longer select CrossFit Training, a trademarked term, as a strain activity on the fitness tracker’s list of 85 activities (the list ranges from things like running and elliptical to parkour, circus arts and gaming).

Going forward, CrossFit athletes will have to select “Box Fitness.”

One big thing: In addition to the activity list change on the WHOOP app, WHOOP is no longer listed among the partners and sponsors of the CrossFit Games.

  • Currently the partners listed on the CrossFit Games website include: Airrosti, CrossFit Training, NOBULL, ROGUE, Thorne and Trifecta.
  • The sponsors include: O2, Monster Hydro, and GOWOD.

Remind me: WHOOP became the “Official Wearable of CrossFit” on March 4, 2021. In a press release, the deal was described as a “multiyear partnership.”

  • “WHOOP and CrossFit today announced a multiyear partnership naming WHOOP the Official Wearable of CrossFit,” the release read. “The partnership will help CrossFit athletes at all levels benefit from WHOOP data around training, sleep, and recovery. CrossFit also plans to share data from the world’s fittest athletes via integrations into its broadcast programming and other digital and on-site channels.”
  • Will Ahmed, WHOOP founder and CEO said “CrossFit athletes were some of the earliest WHOOP adopters and have continued to be an integral part of our growing global membership.”
  • Among the CrossFit athletes sponsored by WHOOP are Katrin Davidsdottir, Noah Ohlsen, Brooke Wells and Rich Froning.
  • Ahmed continued, “WHOOP is the ideal partner for CrossFit training as it provides the information that athletes and fitness enthusiasts alike need to understand their bodies, prioritize recovery, and ultimately optimize performance. We are incredibly excited to become an official partner of CrossFit and bring our communities even closer together.”

The details so far: The director of public relations and communications at WHOOP, Alex Jacobs, in an email to the Morning Chalk Up stated that users received an in-app update on April 29 making the change from CrossFit to “Box Fitness.”

  • Jacobs provided the following explanation for the change, which is also available on the WHOOP website: “There are many gyms and boxes that offer exercises similar to CrossFit gyms, and we updated the activity to Box Fitness to create a more encompassing category to track these activities alongside Functional Fitness.”
  • “Members will continue to have access to all of their previously tracked CrossFit Training activities and data under the new label Box Fitness,” the explanation continued. “We will continue to support the CrossFit community and our members engaging in similar activities, allowing all athletes to benefit from WHOOP data around training, sleep and recovery.”

Andrew Weinstein, director of public policy and communications at CrossFit, in response to a request from the Morning Chalk Up, commented: “CrossFit and WHOOP are currently working to resolve the status of our relationship, but we have no further comment at this time.”

The Morning Chalk Up has reached out to WHOOP for a comment on the status of its partnership with CrossFit and has not received a comment as of the time of publication.

Why this matters: If WHOOP and CrossFit part ways, the fitness wearable company will become the newest in a growing list of sponsors who have made that choice, including LIFEAID (maker of FITAID), ROMWOD, RAM Trucks, and WIT Fitness. With Semifinals starting in 23 days and CrossFit Games in 92, it is not the time for uncertain relationships with partners and sponsors.

For WHOOP, it remains to be seen how significant its relationship with CrossFit is to the continued growth of its global brand. It has partnered with the PGA Tour, and sponsors globally famous athletes like Lebron James, Kevin Durant, Patrick Mahomes, and Rory McIlroy among many others.



Four Advanced Deadbug Variations

Deadbugs emphasize minimizing trunk movement while your arms and legs move, creating a killer core and ab workout while teaching your body to stabilize better. Here are four more advanced variations you can throw into a warm up or accessory work.




Three Cases Of FITAID Energy Plus a Cooler

Riddle us this, "what do you do when you can't choose which flavor to try?" Win FITAID's giveaway and try them all is our answer. Head over to the FITAID Instagram below and tag five friends for a chance to win three cases of their new FITAID Energy drink, as well as an awesome LIFEAID cooler.



Foam Rolling Like a Jackass

Does foam rolling do anything? Here’s the truth about the effectiveness of foam rolling for mobility and injury prevention, when to roll out for best results, and the top foam rolling techniques you should be prioritizing for warm-ups and recovery.



A WHOOP 4.0 For $0

The WHOOP 4.0 is smaller, smarter, and designed with new biometric tracking to provide real-time feedback on your Sleep, Training, Recovery, and Health. Sign up this month for $0 and you'll not only get an extra month's membership and WHOOP 4.0 for free, but you have a chance to win some awesome WHOOP prizes as well.



Your Sleep Cycles

Did you know, that the average healthy adult will experience up to five sleep cycles per night? And within those cycles, there are four distinct sleep stages? That's a whole lot of sleep. Learn all about these stages, how they affect your sleep, and how to sleep more soundly below.


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

  • 🎉 Happy 5 year anniversary to The Adroit Collective in Norfolk, VA!
  • Congratulations to StrengthWorks athlete Jenn Galemmo from Kentucky on the 363 pounds/165kg back squat PR.
  • Brent Fikowski shares his wall ball glow-up from his first CrossFit competition in 2013 to now.
  • Pat Vellner completed this 21-15-9 Complex in 3:17. During the 2014 Games, Rich Froning took first in the same workout with a time of 4:16.
  • Congratulations to the kids of CrossFit Unbounded from Miami, FL who competed in their first weightlifting meet last month.
  • Congratulations Jacob Tozier from LumberYard Gym in Concord, NC on the 250 pound/113kg snatch PR.
10/6 - 10/8: Marbella Championship (Marbella, Spain)
10/7: Battle of Branded One at Redstone CrossFit (Littleton, CO)
10/13 - 10/15: Midwest Championship (Rochester, MN)
10/13 - 10/15: Midwest Championship (Rochester, MN)
10/14 - 10/15: 059 Classic (Modena, Italy)
10/14: Strength and Speed (Feasterville, PA)
10/14 - 10/15: The Vanguard (Lakeland, FL)
10/20 - 10/21: AAYMCA CrossFit Throwdown (Anderson, SC)
10/20 - 10/21: AAYMCA CrossFit Throwdown (Anderson, SC)
10/21: Festivus Games – Pairs (Savannah, GA)
10/27 - 10/29: Oslo Throwdown (Oslo, Norway)
10/29 - 11/19: CHLKDUP BOX LEAGUE – NASH (Nashville, TN)
10/29 - 11/19: CHLKDUP BOX LEAGUE – BHAM (Birmingham, AL)
11/4 - 11/5: Costa Barcelona Fitness Challenge (Vilanova i la Geltrú, Barcelona, Spain)
11/4 - 11/5: Hold Fast Competition Individual (Gerenzano, Italy)
11/11: War of the Masters (Elkton, MD)

See all upcoming events

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