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Will Gyms Get Financial Relief?

Morning Chalk Up

February 8   |   POWERED BY


Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • Fraser’s Top Five: 2020 Atalanta.
  • Bipartisan GYMS Act introduced, would offer gyms $30 billion in economic relief.
  • The Open dilemma for affiliate owners.

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“He says the best way out is always through. And I agree to that, or in so far as that I can see no way out but through.” - Robert Frost

  Mat Fraser's Top 5 Moments -- 2020 Atalanta 

Mat Fraser's Top 5 Moments -- 2020 Atalanta

The year 2020 for the CrossFit Games could be described as the season that almost wasn’t, but in the face of turmoil on multiple fronts, organizers and athletes remained steadfast and found a way to push through to the finish.

In a lot of ways it parallels Mat Fraser’s journey at the top of the sport. Many remember the heartbreaking finish of 2015, and the tense, somewhat unexpected drama of 2019, but the uncertainty of the 2020 season as it slowly unraveled in the midst of a pandemic and socio-political strife put another significant hurdle in the path of Fraser as a man chasing history, and to whom many looked to as the face of the sport to be a stabilizing presence in an otherwise tumultuous ecosystem.

In the end, as he had done so many times before, Fraser stood tall and answered the bell.

#1 — 2020 Atalanta

The path to Mat Fraser’s swan song could only be described as “vintage Fraser,” a dominating performance in stage one carried over to the Ranch and Morgan Hill Outdoor Sport Complex in stage two.

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  • Sophie Shaft, who took second place in the US in the 14-15 girls division in the 2019 CrossFit Open, will compete on season 13 of American Ninja Warrior on NBC.
  • USAW x FocusCalm: USA Weightlifting has partnered with FocusCalm, a bluetooth-connected wearable headband that measures brain activity and provides a variety of brain training exercises, games and meditations to help athletes manage stress, facilitate recovery, maximize performance and improve their overall mental wellbeing.
    • USA Weightlifting CEO, Phil Andrews: “Our athlete’s mental training and ability to be mindful is critical to their overall well-being and performance on the platform…We strive to provide the best resources to our membership in this area, and are grateful to partner with FocusCalm to enhance the mental fortitude of our athletes.”
  • Prayers for Jackie: Jacqueline Cordova, a coach at CrossFit Veni Vidi Vici in Henderson, NV was diagnosed unexpectedly with stage four lung cancer earlier this month. The community has created a GoFundMe campaign to help cover medical and related expense for her, her husband and eight-month-old son.
  • GOOD READ: Dr. Alex Hajduczok took on 30 days of Murph (one complete Murph per day) early in the pandemic and tracked his data on a WHOOP strap. Not only did he demonstrate incredible mental toughness, he also lost ten pounds (dropping from 195-185) and his heart rate and strain data illustrated a measurable improvement his cardiovascular health. Read more about it in Men’s Health.
  • AbMat x Barbells for Bullies: AbMat, in partnership with Barbells for Bullies, a nonprofit organization that hosts fitness competitions around the world to help rescue pit bulls and other dogs, has created a custom AbMat available on their website. $5 of every sale goes to benefit the organization.
  • Pop-Up Shop for the Open: FlipSwitch Apparel is offering free online pop-up shops to gyms for the Open. The shops will allow gyms to offer tees/tanks at no cost to them and they get shipped directly to their members, no matter where they are. Gym earns 25% commissions on sales. No other costs or commitments.
  Bipartisan Legislation Introduced to Offer Gyms $30 Billion in Economic Relief 

Bipartisan Legislation Introduced to Offer Gyms $30 Billion in Economic Relief

Today, Congressmen Mike Quigley (D-IL) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) introduced the Gym Mitigation and Survival Act, a bill providing $30 billion in grants from the Small Business Administration specifically for the U.S. fitness industry that has been largely unable to operate during much of 2019. According to a joint press release, 44 percent of jobs in the fitness industry (1.4 million) have been lost.

One big thing: The CrossFit-led Community Gyms Coalition has been lobbying legislators for months for targeted relief for gyms, penning op-eds in local and national newspapers in an attempt to get legislation introduced in the House. Both the Community Gyms Coalition and the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association applauded the legislation.

  • Independent gyms have been largely ignored in economic relief packages except for broadly available programs like PPP.
  • In comparison, the COVID relief package passed in December 2020 included a $15 billion bailout for live venues, independent movie theaters and cultural institutions, but no money for gyms forced to close.

The details: Under the program, gyms would be able to recoup up to 45% of 2019 revenue to replace lost revenue in 2020.

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  The Open Dilemma: Creating a Community Event in a Global Pandemic 


The Open Dilemma: Creating a Community Event in a Global Pandemic

The last time the CrossFit Games Open left hundreds of athletes around the world on the floor and gasping for breath, the year was 2019. Greg Glassman was the CEO of CrossFit and Corona was still just a beer.

If you had told affiliate owners that within the next year and a half Greg Glassman would incite the near demise of CrossFit and that their gym would likely be shut down for months at a time due to a global pandemic, they probably would have written you off as crazy.

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  The Open Dilemma: Creating a Community Event in a Global Pandemic 

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The Sots Press to Improve Your Olympic Lifts

The Sots Press is a difficult movement for many people due to the overhead mobility it requires but can be a great goal to work towards as it can help improve mobility and posture within the positions needed for the clean and jerk. If overhead mobility is a limiting factor for you, practice the mobility drills and stretches in this video from Squat University.




Recovering Like Mat Fraser

When you're the Fittest Man on Earth, recovery is a full-time job. Mat Fraser relies on beam, the highest-quality THC-free CBD products for athletes. Try 10 nights of his favorite dream powder and dream capsules for just $29.



How Kara Saunders Trained Through COVID-19

The combination of balancing life as a new mom and the COVID-19 pandemic could've seriously derailed Kara Saunders training, but she made it work. In this interview with Nick Fowler from Brute Strength, hear how she managed as well as her plans for the 2021 season and thoughts on the new season format.



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Chalk Up Highlights is our section dedicated to celebrating our community’s wins in the gym. Follow @ChalkUpHighlights and submit your highlight to [email protected] to be featured.

12/9 - 12/11: Fall Series Throwdown (Desio, Italy)
12/17: The Midwest Championship (Warrensburg, MO)
1/15 - 1/31: Athens Throwdown Qualifiers (Athens, Greece)
1/21 - 1/22: Modena Challenge: Beginner and Master (Modena, Italy)

See all upcoming events

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