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Zoom Classes No Longer Enough

Morning Chalk Up

April 18

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Good morning and welcome the weekend edition of the Morning Chalk Up. Two more Sanctionals officially canceled bringing the tally to six at this point. And, we’ve most likely all hit a Zoom class in quarantine and for some affiliates, it’s working very well, but is it sustainable long- or even medium-term? Emily Beers has more. Today:

  • The Mid-Atlantic and German Throwdown Sanctioned events are canceled for 2020.
  • How are Zoom classes working out across the affiliate community?
  • Could your gym be categorized as an essential business? It’s a long-shot, but some in Ohio are giving it a try.

Is your affiliate closing permanently? Please let us know.

What did we miss? Hit us up at [email protected].



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“Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change.” – Mary Shelley


Mid-Atlantic, German Sanctionals Cancel Totaling Six

  Mid-Atlantic, German Sanctionals Cancel Totaling Six  

Following quickly on the heels of indefinite postponements by the CrossFit Lowlands Throwdown and the Atlas Games earlier this week, both the Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Challange (MACC) and the German Throwdown (GTD) canceled their Sanctioned events for the 2019-2020 Games season late Friday morning.

One big thing: Sanctionals are bleeding money right now. In the cases of Mid-Atlantic and German Throwdown, thousands had already been paid for fees for facilities, vendors and amenities, a majority of which cannot be recouped. The Atlas Games alone lost upwards of $30,000 after being forced to cancel last minute. Despite the financial hardship, Sanctional directors’ are 1). committed to finding ways to refund money and 2). to chart a path forward for the event to come back next season.

The Sanctionals season is in peril: At this point, six events have canceled (or in the case of the Rogue Invitational, switched format altogether, forfeiting its Games berths), and only ten events remain on the schedule, most of which do not yet have new confirmed dates. Despite CrossFit HQ’s announcement that it intends to hold a live event to crown the Fittest in 2020, there is a very distinct possibility that we have already seen our last Sanctional this season.

MACC makes the tough call: In their Instagram post, MACC organizers wrote that “COVID-19 has severely affected all of us during this unprecedented global health crisis. The Mid-Atlantic CrossFit® Challenge has decided to postpone the Main Event without a future date at this time.”

  • “The safety of our Athletes, Staff and Spectators has and always will be our number one concern, so we will be providing a full refund to all Athletes, Spectators, and Vendors. As difficult as this decision was for us financially, we decided that this is a time to provide for your family and your CrossFit Affiliate. Everyone is affected by this health crisis, and as affiliate owners ourselves we ask that you do what you can to support them during this time.”

More details: A follow-up email will be sent to athletes within the next week and future announcements about the MACC Main Event will be made on Instagram.

  • Refunds: Athletes will receive a 100% refund of their registration fee by the end of the month. Spectators can expect a full refund from TicketMaster within 30 days, while vendors will also be refunded fully within the same time frame.

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Affiliate Owners Agree: Zoom Classes No Longer Enough

  Affiliate Owners Agree: Zoom Classes No Longer Enough  

A little over a month ago, thousands of CrossFit affiliate owners around the world simultaneously embraced a new way of servicing their clients: The Zoom class.

Considering President Donald Trump’s announcement on Tuesday that small gyms will be part of Phase 1 of the re-opening of the American economy—“if they adhere to strict physical distancing”—Zoom classes might become a non-issue for some soon. Though hopeful, it’s still unclear exactly when and which states will proceed to re-open their doors.

However, in countries like Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has repeatedly said Canadians shouldn’t expect businesses to re-open for several weeks.  And in France, President Emmanuel Macron has extended the lockdown until May 11.

So, it’s clear that for many affiliates around the world, the Zoom class trend will likely continue into May and beyond.

What affiliate owners say about Zoom so far: The majority of affiliates owners we spoke with agreed that the Zoom class, while a useful tool, isn’t enough to keep clients interested for very long.

  • Beau Bibb, the owner of Proverb Fitness in Seneca, SC said Zoom classes aren’t a long-term solution.
  • “I think Zoom worked in a pinch and (got us) to fight another day, but if this thing (goes on for) three or six months…it will be time to re-evaluate business long term goals,” Bibb said.

Just one piece of the puzzle: Steven Bowser, the owner of Broward CrossFit in Davie, FL. has lost just 10 percent of his members since closing his doors, and admitted his Zoom classes have been slow.

  • “We offered two morning classes and two evening classes. Mornings were lean, so we dropped down to one class,” he said.

More successful for Browser has been splitting his members up between himself and his coaches and providing customized, individual programming to each client via the TruCoach app. He hasn’t stopped offering Zoom classes, but says Zoom classes on their own “just weren’t cutting it.”


Could A CrossFit Gym Be Deemed An Essential Service?

  Could A CrossFit Gym Be Deemed An Essential Service?  

The idea has been floated by a group of gyms in Columbus Ohio, who have made an appeal to reopen on the grounds that their business service is “essential.”

Calling themselves the Fitness Soloprenuers of Central Ohio they’ve developed a white paper that spells out what they think are best practices and standards for the fitness industry during this pandemic, and how they could make changes to safely reopen.

Their proposal now sits in the hands of the state government for review.

Why you should care? If successful, this group of gyms could set a precedent for government authorities worldwide to allow gyms and affiliates to reopen under strict guidelines.

Ok, now I’m interested, tell me more. Jim Hofstetter who owns 614 Fitness in Ohio is heading up the charge and drafted this document on April 10.

In short, the group is lobbying for gyms to reopen on the grounds they could operate safely and effectively during the pandemic.

  • “Fitness, health and wellness should be considered an essential service in the fight against this disease (COVID-19). It has been clear that there is an inordinate impact on vulnerable (unhealthy) populations,” the document read.

What’s the catch? The gyms are aware reopening would mean tougher restrictions and are willing to implement “best practices” to get the green light.

It’s important to note, it wouldn’t be out of the question for CrossFit affiliates to implement these protocols to allow them to continue trading during the pandemic.  




At-Home Ankle Mobility Program

Check out this brief video outlining an at-home ankle mobility program from Garrett Johnson Coaching. It’s quick and simple and just a few minutes each day can drastically improve your ankle mobility, helping your squat technique, pistols and Olympic lifts.

  Morning Chalk Up  



The Grocery Store

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  Morning Chalk Up  


Dani Speegle on Make Pods Great Again

On this episode, hosts John Wooley and Niki Brazier are joined by the amazing, two-time CrossFit Games qualifier, Dani Speegle. They cover a bunch of topics including how Dani is handling quarantine, her shoulder issues, and the weirdos who slide into her DMs.

  Morning Chalk Up  


40% Off The Nano 9

Now through April 24, Reebok is having a site-wide sale with deals up to 40% off, including the Nano 9. Shop now and use the code “HOME” to save.

  Morning Chalk Up  


31 Easy Dinner Recipes, for When You Just Don’t Feel Like Cooking

The quarantine life feels a bit like a constant juggling act. Between getting from bed to couch in time for that Zoom call, taking time out to process this eerie new normal, and remembering to restock the coffee — there’s a lot going on. It’s understandable that the novelty of making exponentially more dinners each week could be wearing off by now.  Your best bet for an easy weeknight meal is lurking somewhere in this arsenal of quick, satisfying, healthy, and easy dinner recipes.





End-of-Week Community Roundup

Here are a few cool things we’ve seen across the CrossFit community this week, including some ways that affiliates are helping front-line workers and some appeals for help with different projects.

  • CrossFit Soar buys meals for hospital workers: The owners and members at CrossFit Soar in Hawthorne, NJ teamed up with the meal prep company Portioned to buy 250 meals for hospital workers at Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, NJ this week. Other members of the community are also giving back to hospitals in Livingston and Holmdel.
  • Yakima CrossFit “Stronger Together”: The community at Yakima CrossFit has taken their Zoom classes to the next level by inviting CrossFit athletes and celebrities to participate in the virtual workouts. So far the list of special guests has included: John Wooley, Elijah Muhammad, Becca Voight Miller, Val Voboril, Jamie Hagiya, Bill Grundler and Danielle Brandon. Next up, Annie Sakamoto and then a special Ro vs. Boz faceoff.
  • Help needed — participants in a PhD study: PhD Candidate and CrossFitter, Matthew Petz is conducting a study on mental toughness and how it might impact CrossFit performance. If you are willing to take a few minutes out of your day to complete a survey, competed officially in the 2020 CrossFit Open (registered and submitted at least one score) and were 18 or over during the Open, check it out.
  • Project Purple Guest Coaching: Project Purple, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping find a cure for pancreatic cancer and improve the lives of patients, is offering virtual classes for CrossFit athletes as a way to keep the community active, promote small business and trainers, and support patients battling pancreatic cancer. They are looking for guest coaches willing to host Zoom workouts and participants for the workouts (the workouts are free with an option to donate).
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