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Morning Chalk Up

January 27   |   POWERED BY


Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • Tornado ravages Texas CrossFit box as GoFundMe set up to help rebuild
  • CrossFit Power Rankings kick off with a preseason outlook
  • How CrossFit is helping break down gender norms in sport
  • Sam Dancer’s workout of the week
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“What do you hang on the walls of your mind?” - Eve Arnold

  CrossFit Southbelt in Pasadena Ravaged by Tornado as GoFundMe Set Up for Relief Aid  

CrossFit Southbelt in Pasadena Ravaged by Tornado as GoFundMe Set Up for Relief Aid

Chris Duke’s gym in Pasadena, Texas is barely recognizable after being hit by a tornado. But the more amazing part is everyone made it out alive.

“I still don’t know how we made it out of that building. Just the grace of God that’s all it can be because I don’t know, I don’t know how we made it out,” said Duke, who’s been a co-owner of CrossFit Southbelt for the last five and a half years.

Duke said the tornado hit them on the afternoon of January 24. He was at the gym along with his wife, a co-owner, and a coach. The gym had just wrapped up a noon class and luckily there weren’t too many people left in the space.

  • “I have a big bay door. I had that open because the humidity was really bad. So I went to shut that because the wind was picking up, the rain was coming into the building. And I had a hard time shutting it. And then once I shut it, I looked back and I had a bay door on the back of my building, and it just blew off the tracks and blew straight up to the ceiling,” says Duke, describing the scenario.
  • “And about that time the bay door I just pulled down, blew out the other way out into the parking lot. And that’s when I told my wife and the other coach I said ‘hey, let’s get into the restroom right now.’”
  •  “I just watched my whole building just fall down to the ground. Luckily the restroom stayed up. I noticed today one of the beams that was on the back of the wall was sitting on top of the restroom that we were hiding in.”

Duke adds there had been a tornado warning alert sent to his phone minutes earlier, but he didn’t know it would be coming right for them.

“We’ve been there nine and a half years. I’ve owned it for the last five and a half and built it into what I wanted it to be. And just watching everything you’ve worked so hard for just come down. It’s really hard,” he added.

Gyms in the area have been “unbelievable,” said Duke. “That’s why I do CrossFit because the people, but the whole community here in Houston has just been unbelievable, every gym has reached out like ‘what can we do to help?.’

CrossFit Greater Heights in Houston, Texas is one of the first affiliates to launch a fundraiser for CrossFit Southbelt. The gym announced it plans to host a “Rebuilding WOD” on Saturday, February 4th and has set up a GoFundMe page for the event.

“We are so grateful nobody was harmed. More importantly, we firmly believe that CFSB will regroup and rebuild stronger and better than before,” said CrossFit Greater Heights, in an Instagram post.

The next step for Duke and the CrossFit Southbelt community will be figuring out a plan to rebuild. The details are still getting worked out but Duke says he anticipates building back in the same space.

“I think just how long we’re going to be out and just trying to take care of all my members, like, what are we gonna do? Where are we gonna go? And that’s my number one concern right now. Just taking care of all of them,” said Duke.

If you would like to help CrossFit Southbelt here is a link to their GoFundMe page.

Open Ready With the Power of Three

Open Ready With the Power of Three

Be ready for anything in the 2023 Open with inov-8’s Power of Three collection: combining the best in workout, running and weightlifting shoes for tackling the most exciting time of the year.

Meet the three:

  1. F-LITE G 300: the ultimate all-rounder, incorporating the world’s strongest material, Graphene, you’ll be able to tackle just about any Open workout in these.
  2. F-LITE FLY G 295: if we see box jumps or shuttle runs, you’ll want to be wearing these to be faster and more explosive.
  3. FASTLIFT POWER G 380: hello1RM lift. Get ready to hit a PR in your new favorite lifters.

Shop now!


Cup of joe?: Tune in to Coffee Break Conversations today, where Morning Chalk Up’s Preslie Hirsch chats with content creator and founder of Bown Media, Carlos Bown. With a wealth of experience shooting for industry-leading brands and top athletes, he’ll share how to invest in content creation, what to look for when hiring a photographer/videographer, when it’s okay to re-share posts from Instagram and more.

HQ update: CrossFit released a list of athletes who tested negative during the 2022 season and it includes Tia-Clair Toomey, Danielle Brandon, Brooke Wells, Mallory O’Brien, Patrick Vellner, Jeffrey Adler, and Jayson Hopper.

Back to basics: Really interesting piece from CrossFit HQ about the evolution of programming for the CrossFit Games.

Respect: Battle Cancer has announced that 103 people post cancer are coming up to completing the Battle Cancer Program.

Athlete update: The one and only Alec Smith is going team with CrossFit Krypton.

Local love: Great shot in The Johnson County Report about CrossFit MTA opening in Benson, North Carolina.

  CrossFit Power Rankings: Top 15 Men and Women Heading into the 2023 NOBULL CrossFit Open  


CrossFit Power Rankings: Top 15 Men and Women Heading into the 2023 NOBULL CrossFit Open

After six long months, it’s almost time for the 2023 season to get started. The CrossFit Open is less than a month away and we’re going to kick things off by giving our top 15 men and women heading into the first stage of the season. Please remember these are overall rankings and not a prediction of placement in the Open.

Continue Reading...
  “CrossFit is all about what I can do versus what I look like”: CrossFit’s Role in Breaking Gender Norms in Sport  

“CrossFit is all about what I can do versus what I look like”: CrossFit’s Role in Breaking Gender Norms in Sport

Growing up doing classical ballet, Sarah Radford, a 25-year-old Bostonian, was drawn to the discipline’s traditional portrayal of feminine strength. Then in 2017, while she was an undergraduate student at Northeastern University working as an intern for Reebok, she began going to a CrossFit gym and has been hooked ever since on a new style of athleticism.

“CrossFit was all about what I could do versus what I looked like, so I thought that was really  cool, especially as a gal who was trying to make herself smaller for so many years to fit a certain body type and ideal in a sport,” said Radford. “CrossFit took that away.”

CrossFit is both a competitive and recreational sport with a devout following and its relative youth compared to more traditional sports such means it has had a chance to rewrite new gender stereotypes. The sport has made a name for itself and its ability to market across all genders, sizes and fitness backgrounds, with an innate ability to adapt to any skill level through scalable workouts.

A 30-year University of Southern California/Purdue study found that the vast majority of television news and ESPN’s SportsCenter focuses on men’s sports, however noted there could be a turning point coming soon.

A 2019 study, “Making Gains: Hypermuscularity and Objectification of Male and Female Olympic  Athletes in Sports Illustrated across 60 years,” also found that there is a significant gender gap in depictions of athletes in the media.

Continue Reading...
  Sam Dancer's Workout of the Week  

Sam Dancer's Workout of the Week

Today’s workout is programmed by five-time CrossFit Games veteran in the Individual, Team, and Masters divisions. Dancer tore his bicep in 2022, but made a comeback on Team Invictus Tiny Dancers at the 2023 TYR Wodapalooza.

Sam Dancer

As Many Rounds As It Takes to Accumulate 100 Sandbag Squats:

  • 3 Min Work / 2 Min Rest
  • 50/35 Cal Assault Bike

Max Sandbag Squats in Remaining Time

  • *Sandbag Held in Front (100/75 lbs)

Scaling options: Adjust the calories so that you can finish under 2:00 fresh and have minimum of 1:00 to squat, if you don’t, this workout may not be possible to complete especially after a few rounds.

There will be a significant fall off and your window to complete your squats will shrink, so the sandbag weight should be something you can do for 1:00 unbroken when fresh.

If you don’t have an air bike, erg or sandbag, do 40 burpees or 2:00 max burpees, whatever comes first and then max air squats in the remaining time until you reach 200 air squats. (However many burpees you get during your first 2:00 max effort, try to keep that number for each round.)

Some advice from Sam: “People always ask me how to get huge legs. Welp, here ya go. Blow ‘em up. This has been a staple workout of mine for nearly 10 years. It won’t be easy, but give it a try.”To inquire about submitting an upcoming workout of the week, shoot us a note.

  WeTime, TYR Team Up to Bring “Box Challenges” to Your Affiliate  

WeTime, TYR Team Up to Bring “Box Challenges” to Your Affiliate

CrossFit athletes are typically always up for a good challenge. WeFitness, the company that created the very popular WeTime app has launched a new one that is not only easy to do, but can win you and your affiliate some cash.

“Box Challenges is designed to give boxes year round opportunities to engage their communities at their locations with challenges that can be done by athletes of all levels,” said WeFitness CEO Pablo Monzon.

WeFitness created GPAs or Geo-targeted Participatory Activations, which “allow us to activate any location in the world and limit participation to people in those locations via the WeTime app,” said Monzon.

WeFitness has teamed up with fitness brand TYR to provide a monetary prize to winners. Monzon says the winners of the first two challenges have received a combined $4,340. Unlike other challenges the Box Challenges is not a competition of the best or fittest. Instead, winners are selected at random and rewarded based on their effort and cost of registration is free.

  • “In the ideal world, box owners will see this as an opportunity to do something with their communities and engage them,” said Monzon.
  • “We’re not looking for the best person, we’re not looking for the fittest person. I think it’s very close to what we’re telling everybody when they go to the classes that it’s you against you and it’s just dependent on your effort here.”
  • “I think this has the potential to have as much participation as the Open on a weekly basis or every two weeks. It has little barrier to entry, or absolutely no barrier to entry, it doesn’t take time. It doesn’t take money.”

It’s important to note athletes will only be able to record challenges at the 11,000 plus geo-targeted boxes around the world and must be recorded using the challenge custom timer and submitted via the WeTime app. Monzon says he hopes to run the box challenges indefinitely.

The challenges are anywhere between 1 to 3 minutes and are your typical CrossFit movements. The winners with a free WeTime account get 1 USD per valid repetition and winners with an active Premium WeTime account get up to 30 USD per valid repetition (videos need to be recorded with a Premium account).

In addition, the affiliate where the athlete competed and recorded the challenge receives the same prize as the winner and every month, the box with the highest participation receives 500 USD in TYR products.

The challenges thus far have been: max double unders in one minute, max wall-balls in 3 minutes, max calorie row in 1 minute, and max lateral burpees over the bar in 1 minute.



Sausages, Sweet Potato Shallot Hash Browns and Eggs

The breakfast of champions. Make this delicious dish for the ones you love most (hello, Valentine’s Day is coming up).




The 2023 Open Guide

Need help planning your Open? We’ve refreshed last year’s guide for 2023. Get tips and tricks for drumming up excitement; ideas to increase registration; event-planning checklists and scorching hot tips; emails, text messages, and social posts to build your community.



How to Cue Athletes, Taught By the Experts

Get a glimpse into the CrossFit Level 2 course with this video of their expert staff talking through how to effectively cue your athletes.



Free Wings for LIFE

Yes, this is for real. When you sign up for Butcher Box as a new subscriber, you will get free chicken wings included in every box FOR LIFE. That’s a lot of chicken wings. Take advantage of this offer while it lasts!



Dumbbell Overhead Squat Mobility Drills

The DB overhead squat is a killer if your mobility isn’t on point. Try these drills so when you see them pop up in the metcon you don’t want to take a rest day.

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Get Fit EGV | CrossFit Elk Grove Village | Part Time L1 CrossFit Coach - Array

District H Strength & Fitness | Full-Time Trainer/Coach - Array

Quantum Fitness | Group Fitness Coach/Nutritionist - Array

CrossFit TYL | CrossFit TYL for sale (profitable and turn key) - Array

CrossFit 925 | 925 Coach and Personal Trainer - Array

CrossFit CE | Part Time Coach - Array

Move. Lift. Live. | Performance and Group Fitness Coach - Array

CrossFit Dartmouth | CrossFit Coach - Array

OP CrossFit | CrossFit Coach and Personal Trainer - Array

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

  • 🤯 John Grey and Grace Montgomery from M4G CrossFit in Indianapolis, IN complete 15 wall walks for time in :56 and 1:02, respectively.
  • Congratulations to Sierra Powell from Pilchuck CrossFit in Arlington, WA on the 215 pound/97.5kg squat clean PR.
  • Weightlifter Tiffany Craven from Westford, MA stood up a 304-pound/138kg back squat for the first time in over two years.
  • Harley Burke from Chalmette, LA makes this 601 pound/273kg front squat look too easy.
  • The Fittest Woman on Earth is pregnant and loving it: “this has been the best time of my life,” says Tia-Clair Toomey-Orr.
  • 🎉 Congratulations to the dozens of CrossFit Invictus members across the United States that hit new clean PRs this week.
12/2: Babes & Beasts WINTER GAMES 2023 (Port St. Lucie, FL)
12/2 - 12/3: Reindeer Rumble (Ocala, FL)
12/2: Battle at Bion (Tucson, AZ)
12/9 - 12/10: Space Coast Classic (West Melbourne, FL)
12/9: Wodamania (Singer Island Riviera Beach, FL)

See all upcoming events

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