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Andrea Nisler Talks Semifinals Qualification, 6 Weeks Postpartum


Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • Andrea Nisler — Games vet and two-time Games champ in the team division on Mayhem Freedom — talks about qualifying for Semifinals only six weeks postpartum.

  • Few movements inspire more heated discussions than butterfly pull-ups. Today, Justin Adams explains why we butterfly.

  • And, was there a true test of strength in the 2024 Quarterfinals?


“Coming to the gym and working out is my happy place. I have a history of depression and anxiety, so knowing that as well as knowing where I find happiness, I just really dove back into working out…It's helped me so much throughout the last month and a half.” - Andrea Nisler on her postpartum training


Credit: Ava Kitzi

Interview: Andrea Nisler Talks About Qualifying for Semifinals 6 Weeks After Giving Birth

Andrea Nisler, twice a member of the Fittest Team on Earth (2021 and 2022), did most of the 2024 CrossFit Open while pregnant. 

  • She went on to qualify for Quarterfinals and performed the workouts just six weeks after giving birth, stirring a small social media frenzy around the topic of women and fitness postpartum. 

Remind me: Individual Quarterfinals took place earlier this month, and athletes were given four workouts to perform in two separate submission windows. It’s important to note that video submissions are currently under review, and the leaderboard is subject to change until all details are finalized. 

Nisler, once one of Rich Froning’s teammates, recently gave birth to a baby girl and documented her workouts throughout her pregnancy. It was clear from her social media posts that she continued to train until she gave birth. 

  • “I did the third Open workout four days after giving birth. I didn't go hard. I’d been doing chest-to-bars throughout my entire pregnancy, so those felt really good,” Nisler told Morning Chalk Up in an interview. 

Nisler added that once she got through the Open, she ramped up the intensity after seeking medical approval and seeing a pelvic floor specialist. She notes that her pregnancy and birth were smooth and not complicated, whereas some women have it much harder and need a longer recovery time.


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2024 CrossFit Games Quarterfinals Leaderboards (unofficial, as of 1 p.m. PT, April 28, 2024)

  • North America East
    1. Jeffrey Adler (19) | Alexis Raptis (22)
    2. Roman Khrennikov (29) | Emma Lawson (24)
    3. Austin Hatfield (40) | Danielle Brandon (44)
    4. Jayson Hopper (41) | Erica Folo (56)
    5. Dallin Pepper (53) | Haley Adams (68)

  • North America West
    1. Justin Medeiros (35) | Alex Gazan (22)
    2. Brandon Luckett (42) | Abigail Domit (29)
    3. Samuel Kwant (44) | Emily Rolfe (32)
    4. Cole Greashaber (49) | Arielle Loewen (36)
    5. Zachery Buntin (50) | Rebecca Fuselier (67)

  • Europe
    1. Jonne Koski (24) | Gabriela Migala (21)
    2. Victor Hoffer (47) | Laura Horvath (38)
    3. Bjorgvin Karl Gudmundsson (56) | Manon Angonese (52)
    4. Moritz Fiebig (74) | Emma Tall (55)
    5. Aniol Ekai (81) | Emma McQuaid (57)

  • Oceania
    1. Ricky Garard (11) | Madeline Sturt (12)
    2. Jay Crouch (11) | Grace Walton (18)
    3. Bayley Martin (24) | Katelyn Van Zyl (20)
    4. Ben Fowler (40) | Daisy McDonald (46)
    5. Zac Thomas (62) | Erika Palasty (553)

  • Asia 
    1. Ivan Kukartsev (21) | Seher Kaya (12)
    2. Morteza Sedaghat (44) | Seungyeon Choi (20)
    3. Mevlut Agir (67) | Dawon Jung (21)
    4. Seungjong Kim (76) | Evie Hollis (24)
    5. Ilyas Kuliev (78) | Anastasiya Dodonova (27)

  • South America
    1. Agustin Richelme (22) | Victoria Campos (28)
    2. Joao Pedro Barcelos (28) | Emily Andrade (54)
    3. Bruno Marins (30) | Gabriella Luque (76)
    4. Guilherme Malheiros (55) | Luiza Marques (85)
    5. Juan Ignacio Sforzini (84) | Lillian Nagao (94)

  • Africa
    1. Kaelan Henry (10) | Christina Livaditakis (14)
    2. Ruan Duvenage (17) | Gemma Rader (17)
    3. Callum Deeble (34) | Dina Swift (27)
    4. Darren Zurnamer (38) | Gilmari Reyneke (37)
    5. Michael Van Tonder (40) | Reegan Finkel (48)

  • Reminder: The top 40 men and women will qualify for Semifinals in each region. For full age-group leaderboards, refer to the CrossFit Games site.

  • See Morning Chalk Up's full Quarterfinals coverage and learn all the details about qualifying for the next stage of the 2024 CrossFit Games season.

🧑‍⚖️👩‍⚖️ Association of Fitness Judges Statement: The Association of Fitness Judges released a statement in the aftermath of the Individual Quarterfinal Workout 1 score adjustments. Many of the athletes who were heavily penalized had utilized judges from the organization.

  • From the statement: “This Quarterfinals, the AFJ was brought in to help a number of Training Camps and Individual athletes with their workouts. We had their trust, their faith, and their confidence.”

  • “The CrossFit Video Review Team was looking for very exacting standards that we didn’t manage to produce every time. Since the first wave of penalties have gone out, we have been in communication with the various athletes and training camps that have been affected to advise and consult with how to move forward.”

Pat Vellner’s IQF Workout 1: After receiving a major penalty for his Individual Quarterfinals Workout 1 video, Second Fittest Man on Earth, Pat Vellner posted his full video to YouTube. Vellner’s original score was 252 reps, but after CrossFit’s penalty for not extending his knees and hips on top of the box step-ups, his score was adjusted to 202 reps. Check out the video now.

Madrid Championship X 2: There will be two editions of the Madrid Championship in 2024. First, the MAD Fitness Festival will take place June 28-30 at the Quijote Arena in Ciudad Real, Spain, then the Mad Fittest Cup on November 22-24 at the Centro Deportivo Municipal Gallur, Madrid, Spain.

👑🏆 TYR Wodapalooza’s LatAm Cup is Expanding: In 2024, the Second Annual TYR WZA LatAm Cup will include 10 events in 10 countries, culminating in the final championship at WZA Miami in January 2025.

🎟️ 🎟️ CrossFit Asia Semifinal: The Far East Throwdown, the 2024 CrossFit Asia Semifinal, will take place May 17-19 at the BEXCO Exhibition and Convention Center in Busan, South Korea. Tickets are available now!

✍️📋 Rogue Invitational 2024 Volunteer Applications: In case you missed the announcement, the Rogue Invitational is going international in 2024, and you can be there, behind the scenes, for all the action in Aberdeen, Scotland. Get more information and apply now. 

ICYMI: We interviewed fan favorite, Rebecca Fuselier, on her current goals for 2024 and “Building Big Becca.”


Credit: Jonathan Ortega

Is Butterfly Better?: Breaking Down CrossFit’s Most Controversial Movement

I get more hate when I post a butterfly pull-up video than all of my other videos combined.

I get it. 

For those who don’t understand the “why,” it is a movement that looks a little bit silly and seems like we are cheating the goal of the exercise. 

To all the “experts,” trust me. No one doing butterfly pull-ups thinks they are doing STRICT pull-ups.

It is a different movement for a specific purpose.

Let’s talk about why we butterfly.


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Credit: @shaunahartrickphotography / Instagram

Was Quarterfinals Missing a Pure Strength Test?

Since Quarterfinals started in 2021, there has always been at least one workout that could be considered a strength test.

In 2021, it was the four-rep max front squat. In 2022, it was The Other Total – a one-rep max clean, bench press, and overhead squat. And last season, the strength test was the third workout, which included burpee box jumpovers and 15 clean-and-jerks at 275 pounds for men and 185 pounds for women.

And once again, when the workouts were announced this year, it looked like one of them was all about strength: Workout 4.

Remind me: In Individual Quarterfinals Workout 4, athletes had a 10-minute running clock to do three rounds of 10 clean and jerks with increasing weight, followed by one minute of rest, then with the remaining time, an AMRAP at a fourth, heavier bar.. 

  • The weights started light but increased each round. And then the final bar, for the athletes who made it there, was max reps at 245 pounds for the men and 165 pounds for the women.

On paper, at least, Workout 4 looked like a test of strength.

But as Quarterfinals have wrapped up and we examine the leaderboard – namely some of the athletes who put up big scores – it’s less clear whether Workout 4 was actually about strength.

How it played out: The top men’s score belonged to last year’s CrossFit Games champion Jeff Adler, with 66 reps, while the best women’s score belonged to Olivia Kerstetter with 72 reps, and Dani Speegle was second.

OK, so all three of the above athletes typically excel at strength workouts, as does Amanda Barnhart, who put up the third-highest score worldwide on the women’s side. So yes, being strong certainly helped on Workout 4. 

That said, many athletes who aren’t typically known as strength athletes also fared impressively.

Case in point: CrossFit Games athletes Emily Rolfe, Rebecca Fuselier and Haley Adams all have historically struggled on strength events. Yet all three held their own on Quarterfinals Workout 4, placing 86th, 147th and 49th respectively.


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

  • 💪Great job to the kids of Core City CrossFit in Detroit, MI, on their strict pull-up practice.

  • Nice work to the athletes at Verdant CrossFit in Boise, ID, on the innovative jumping techniques.

  • 🛞The kids at Sawed Off CrossFit in College Station, TX, are getting after the odd objects in class — heck yeah!

  • Roy from CrossFit 1298 Falkirk in the UK is showing off some new bar muscle-up skills — maybe a new Semifinals test?

  • 🙌Congratulations to HaleiJo Fuller-Arroyo on this impressive box jump.