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Morning Person Vs Night Owl

Morning Person Vs Night Owl

Morning Person Vs Night OwlCoach Omaha & Coach Shoe are basically opposites when it comes to their preference on training schedules, and their feelings on mornings in general.  So the challenge was thrown out for Coach Omaha to attend the lates class of the day, and Coach Shoe to try a morning class.  (Like a real one at 5:30AM, not 10AM which is what she usually considers a morning class).  Here is what they have to say about switching it up.

Morning Class for the Non Morning Person

If it were up to me, I would never have to speak before 10AM.  Or lift before 10AM.  Or really do much of anything, but those 2 things are for some reason the toughest right out of bed for me.  For those reasons the only time I am at the gym before 8 on any given day is to coach classes, and even that takes A LOT of coffee to wake myself enough to do well.  Flux or yoga classes are a little more my speed in the morning, mostly because you hang out on your mat and the talking is minimal (which is good for my still asleep brain).  For these reasons in almost 5 years of owning Icehouse, I have never participated in a morning class.  Here are my thoughts on the morning class.

1. The hardest part is getting enough sleep, and getting to the gym on time.

I usually am at the gym pretty late, and work a bit even after classes wrap up so winding down and getting good sleep was the toughest part of this whole exercise.  I told a few people that I was coming into class, and that was probably the only reason I actually listened to my alarm clock when it went off.  Having that extra accountability helped.  And Omaha had already hit up his evening class and told me ALL ABOUT IT, so I had to hold up my end of the deal.

2. Warming up takes longer

Working out later in the day I get warmed up way quicker, likely because I’ve been up and moving for at least part of the day already.  It was a similar feeling to when I had a desk job and came to workout right after sitting all day, so that is a relative feeling but one that I definitely noticed as my legs never really were fully onboard with the workout until we were in it. (My legs are also not morning people).

3. The Morning Crew is Pretty F’in Rad

Community is what makes CrossFit so great, and I love me a fun crew to do a tough workout with.  Our morning crew is next level, especially at such a ridiculous hour.  My ongoing theory is that Coach Omaha is spring loaded out of bed each morning, which I think is even more true after experiencing him first thing. But our 5:30AM crew is the epitome of what CrossFit is to me.  There are people of all different ages, jobs, experience levels and everyone is crazy supportive of one another (albeit super sassy as well).  They all show up consistently, and do the hard work together, while throwing jokes out, picking each other up and making the new folks feel like they’ve been there all along.  I even got 3 rounds of applause for coming (mostly because no one actually believed I would 😂).

The Verdict on Mornings: 👍

While they will likely not be a regular occurrence with my current schedule of working so late, I will absolutely be back to more of them! Thanks for the awesome way to start my day!

Coach Omaha Tries Out Night Life

For the past 3 years I have spent the majority of my time at Icehouse between the hours of 5 and 10 a.m. This past week however I ventured outside of my comfort zone and into the mysterious world of fitnessing in the evening.

There is something to be said for getting up early, hitting that workout hard and moving on with your day knowing you have already won the best part of it. As many of my morning classes have heard me say, “Way to crush the morning now go own the day!” But perhaps fitness in the evening could be like a fine dessert, the perfect finish to a great meal.
Things that are different in the evening class that I noticed:

1. Interaction between athletes

My norm when taking part in class is to be vocal, talk when I have questions, talk when I am uncomfortable, pretty much just talk my way through class. The morning crew is filled with people similar to me in nature, love listening to ourselves, our opinions, and our motivation of one and other.
The evening class allows for a more mellow experience where nobody is really waiting to talk!!!!!!  I almost couldn’t handle it, and I apologize to the 6:40 class that I visited, I promise I did my best to try and not monopolize that entire hour with my continuous conversation.

2. Size of class

As of late the morning classes have been really packing them in! With that however, makes for a battle space at times, barbells flying everywhere, legs swinging from the rig making the metcon become part obstacle course part work out.
The evening class on the other hand offers beautiful spacious floor space that allows for CrossFitters of any kind or ability to move without restriction from movement to movement. Making the ability to strategize for a metcon with ease.

3. Atmosphere

I feel like we all know what the early morning classes have in store atmosphere wise.  We are there to get things done! Group of alphas ready to kick off the day by slugging our way through an early morning attack.  Taking that feeling and motivation throughout the day and into our other daily tasks.
With the evening class the tasks are done, the meetings have been had, and the deadline from the day is met.  A much more social vibe exists at the class I visited.  Happy to be finishing the day with some well deserved self care.
Lets just be Honest……
I’M NEVER GONNA BE A EVENING WORKOUT KINDA  GUY!!!!!
I sure was tired, and Ill say it maybe a little CRANKY!
But what I will say is that evening group has something that works for them, and to that I tip my cap. At the end of it all we all have to be selfish enough on a daily basis to make the decision to take care of ourselves in order to improve the other parts of our lives for the better.
We all have that in common, we are all trying to improve and be the best version of ourselves that we know how to be.
Keep on keeping on my EVENING PEEPs!  Coach Jake Salutes you!
5 Ways to Weekend Without Sacrificing Fun or Progress

5 Ways to Weekend Without Sacrificing Fun or Progress

We’ve all been there.  It’s Friday afternoon, and you have been absolutely crushing your fitness/nutrition game all week long and are feeling great.  Then the happy hour invite rolls in for drinks after work.  The happy hour turns into a night out.  Which then turns into a skipped workout Saturday morning.  Since you skipped your workout and aren’t feeling great, why not just head to tailgate or watch football with some friends?!  Then Sunday shows up and you are still feeling sluggish, and there is still a lot of football to watch and beers/wings/nachos to be had.  Besides, you’ll get back too in on Monday…

Sound familiar?

This is VERY common. Especially in the midwest when weather turns cold and the only socializing most of us do is at the bar.  This is also something I struggled with FOR YEARS.  Here are my five tips to not completely derail your progress each and every weekend.

1. Get Another Hobby

Yes, I 100% understand that this is a gross oversimplification. However if you only find yourself socializing at the bar then you need to find something else to do.  I know for me that was exactly what my twenties were, heading right to happy hour after work, eating some half priced apps, a few cheap beers.  Rinse and repeat.  For me the hobby that slowed that down was CrossFit.

Did CrossFit alone fix my problem? NOPE!  Did it give me another, healthier place to socialize so I cut down on the drinking and crappy appetizers?  Absolutely.  Slowly I started to swap the crappy food for healthier options and cutting back on the beers because they were making me feel terrible during workouts (and really all the time).  Once I started eating real food, moving, and sleeping I began to realize how much better I could feel. I actually didn’t even realize how bad I felt before making those changes.  So while getting another hobby may not fix anything, it can be the shift in momentum you need to get started on something new!

So, if you’ve seen workouts, activities, sports (hello rec league kickball), craft classes, music lessons or really anything else you think would be fun to try, do it! Even if it isn’t necessarily an active hobby, it could help you reduce the amount of time you spend going out, which could be the shakeup you need to start making other changes too!

2. Plan your weekends

I know having some spontaneity is exciting and fun, and you should still allow for that from time to time, but most often we fall completely off the wagon due to lack of planning.

If you know you have a holiday party on Saturday night, PLAN FOR IT! Make sure you are hydrating and eating well the the day of the party.  Then enjoy yourself, get some sleep, then start the next day with a healthy breakfast and maybe something active to shake off the headache that tends to come from too many sweets or spiked eggnogs.  Avoid the urge to use a social event as an excuse for an entire 48 hour window! Have a good time, then get back at making healthier choices at the very next opportunity!

 

3. Build a Rest Day into Your Weekend

We need rest days every 3-4 for days to help us recover properly, so why not plan for one of them to fall on the weekend?  You can either plan a full rest day, or even better find something fun to do with friends and make it an active rest day! Maybe it’s a walk with your dog through a local park, going sledding with your kids, try an escape room or throwing axes.  There are lots of new places popping up that don’t require a drink to socialize! Another great rest day activity is meal prep!  Use one of those days to prep some healthy meals so you are setting yourself up for the week (or weekend) as best you can!  Having a plan for meals reduces the chances of hitting the drive through once hanger strikes.

4. Host a healthy dinner party or potluck!

There are lots of delicious and nutritious foods out there, and it is easiest to take control of the meal yourself so why not share with friends!  If you have been working on your health, odds are your friends know.  Why not invite them over for a healthy meal to thank them for their support.  And you can even show them that being healthy doesn’t mean you have to just take supplements and eat cardboard.  You can also host a healthy potluck, have everyone make extra and divide up the leftovers.  It’s basically meal prep done for you with more variety!

5. Give Yourself Some Grace

If you do stay out later and have a few more beers (or pizzas) then you had planned on, that is ok.  It happens to all of us, we are human and some nights are just too damn fun! Do you want to repeat that again the next day cause “screw it I’ll start again Monday!”? Of course not, but there is no need to beat yourself up over the past.  Often times the guilt we feel over “failing” ourselves with a bad nutritional choice can be enough for us to throw in the towel.  But why?! You have been working SO hard, and doing so many other AMAZING things, don’t let an extra slice of pizza stop all of that! I like to think of a healthy meal after a not so healthy night out as a way to get to feeling better faster.  I know if I eat all the leftover pizza I will be feeling crappy again tomorrow, so why go through it again and loose more time?  I want to feel better

Holiday Hoopla is Coming!

Holiday Hoopla is Coming!

Yes I know we haven’t even hit Halloween, but I wanted to take a break from costume planning & trick or treating to remind everyone that Holiday Hoopla is just 6 weeks away!  Hoopla has a bit of a funky format, so here is what you need to know to participate!

What is Hoopla?

Hoopla is a great way to get a taste of how a competition is run for those who like to or are interested in trying one, but with some flexibility for those who may not be quite ready to jump into a full blown comp.

The Format is similar to a regular class, but with a bit of a competition element.  We post the workouts ahead of time, you can choose your route of Fitness/Performance/Sport as you would in class, then perform the workouts!  We do 3 workouts over the cour

se of the event, all usually less then 10 minutes long.  The structure and timing is competition format, the choose your own adventure workouts is class format make this a great way to either just get a great workout, or try something new all for a good cause!

Afterwards we have refreshments, a holiday movie playing, and we wrap the gifts for our family to get into the holiday spirit.

Is there a good cause being supported?

ABSOLUTELY! Holiday Hoopla is an in-house throw down to raise money for the Adopt A Family program through our local YWCA.  We use 100% of the proceeds to buy Christmas presents for 1-2 families in need in the FM Area.  Often times these holiday lists include necessities like clothes, socks, jackets, winter hats, gift cards for basics like groceries & gas etc, but we of course throw in some toys for each kid to make it a special holiday.

Will there be prizes?

YES!  We will have prizes for the top 3 finishers AND prizes for the top 3 costumes!  This is a great way to get in on an awesome prize pack even if you are newer to fitness, just come and CRUSH the holiday costume category!  We have seen some crazy creative costumes, costume changes from event to event, and some awesome group ideas too!  Again all for an awesome cause!

How to I sign up?

You will need to register by Nov 15th in order to get your Hoopla Shirt! Registration is just $50, and again all proceeds will go toward our adopted family!

Here is the link to sign up: REGISTER HERE

Thank you so much for your support for us, and for our community during the Holidays! This is one of our favorite ways to give back, and we are so excited to see all of your awesome Holiday Costumes!

Coach Shoe’s Guide to Your First Weightlifting Meet – Part 2

Coach Shoe’s Guide to Your First Weightlifting Meet – Part 2

Meet Day

What to Bring (I always forget something, so here are my musts)

  1. Weightlifting Shoes (or whatever shoes you usually lift in)
  2. Singlet
  3. Any training equipment you usually use to lift. Knee sleeves/wraps, belt, tape. You may want to bring some chalk just in case.
  4. A written down plan for your warm-ups (or a coach who is doing this for you, we can help with this!)
  5. Your USA Weightlifting membership card. You’ll need to show this during weigh in (can be printed out or a digital version on your phone works too).
  6. Food, water, supplements and anything else you like to use before a workout.
  7. Layers of clothing to stay warm, and maybe even a pillow if you’d like to lie down and relax after you weigh-in.Weightlifting

Weigh In

You will get notified (usually via email) of what time your session & weigh ins will be, usually 2-3 hours prior to your session.  If for some reason you are over or under your originally declared weight class, you just need to tell the official at your weigh in BEFORE you hop on the scale. You will also need to tell them your opening lifts at that time. Remember to divide your planned weight in pounds by 2.2 to get the correct weight in Kilos to submit.

The time between weight in and lifting tends to be the most stressful.  Do your best to stay relaxed, stay hydrated eat a light snack or meal (especially if you fasted for weigh in). I like to watch the session happening before me to get a feel for timing and flow of the event, and it’s also a nice distraction and a great way to support your fellow lifters!

Warming Up Overview

Timing warm ups is probably the toughest part of the meet.  I would HIGHLY recommend having a coach or a friend help you plan this out and submit your weights to the marshal, even if they are just the runner so you can focus on lifting it will help.

The lifting order with athletes’ openers will be listed either on a TV, or the cards with attempts will be laid out on the marshal’s table.  You will want to take a look at that list so you can determine the starting order and where you fall within it.  The easiest way to plan is to assume each attempt will take about one minute.

I like to do a warmup before touching the barbell consisting of PVC pass throughs, air squats, inch worms & some yoga flows for shoulders and upper back openers.  Then an empty barbell warm up, finally building up to my snatch opener.

At some point during this time, I like to find a focal point, or something to look at during your lifts on the platform.  I’ll peek around the corner, look above the judge centered in front of the platform and pick a spot that I’ll look at while I lift.  It’s usually a logo, or a wall ball line or even the top edge of the back wall.  Something I can focus on that won’t move if someone in the crowd does.  (At my first meet I missed a lift because I made weird eye contact with someone in the crowd.  Don’t be like me.)

Strategy to Build to Your Opener

The easiest way to explain this is with an example.  You NEED to be flexible in your plan as things change with lifts the day of, but having an outline of your planned building sets will help greatly!

Here is an example of how to time your lifts for the snatch:

In this example there are 10 lifters in your session, and you would like to open with 70kg (154lbs).

There are three lifters opening with 50kg, two opening with 60kg, two opening with 65kg, you at 70kg, and two more at 80kg.

  • The lifters opening with 50kg will likely take all three of their attempts before you open – that’s nine lifts.
  • The lifters opening with 60kg will likely take at least two attempts before you open – that’s another four lifts.
  • The lifters opening with 65kg will likely take one attempt before you open – that’s two more.
  • There’s no need to worry about the guys opening with 90kg, because they’ll open after at least your second attempt.

So given this example, there will be about 15 attempts before your opener (9+4+2=15). And we are assuming 1 min per attempt, so that puts us 15 minutes out from the first lift, so we want to be ready at about that time.

  • 3 lifts out/mins (when there are three lifts before your first attempt) take 68-70kg (last warm-up)*
  • 6 lifts out/mins, take 65kg
  • 9 lifts/mins out take 60kg
  • 12 lifts/mins out take 55kg
  • 15 lifts/mins out, take 50kg
  • 18 lifts/mins out, take 40kg
  • 20 lifts/mins out, warm up with the bar

Since you are the 16th lift of the session, this means you should be done with your general warm-up (rolling out, stretching, etc) and taking the empty bar roughly 5 minutes or a little more before the session starts. Particularly in your first meet, it’s better to be a little bit ahead of the clock than a little bit behind it, so start a few minutes before you really need to and slow down a bit if you get too far ahead.

There is also an introduction that happens just before your session where all of the lifters are introduced.  Takes about 3-5 minutes, so plan for that.  So if this session began at noon given the lifts shown, I’d start my warm up at 11:40 (non barbell stretching), and pick plan to pick up the barbell at 11:50, then lifting every 3 minutes or so.

After snatching is complete, C&J is up next.  Grab a light snack & make sure to hydrate. Meets have a 15 minutes reset between snatch and clean & jerk, so keep an eye on time once the last lifter goes to time your warm ups for the clean & jerk.

You’ll want to do the same math as we did previously to see if you are still 16th to open.  It will likely be a similar spot, but since not all athletes have balanced lifts, you may be quite a bit earlier or later in the session so don’t skip the math!

Warm ups for clean & jerk are similar, but with a few tweaks.  Let’s say you are opening with 90kg (198lbs):

  • 4 lifts/mins out, take 85kg
  • 8 lifts/mins out, take 80kg
  • 12 lifts/mins out, take 75kg
  • 15 lifts/mins out, take 70kg
  • 18 lifts/mins out, take 60kg
  • 21 lifts/mins, take 45kg
  • 24 lifts/mins, take the empty bar (if you take the bar before clean & jerks)

Biggest difference here is we are lifting every 4 minutes/attempts once it gets heavy or so vs 3 for the snatch.  C&J is heavier and more taxing so a bit more rest is helpful between lifts. So if we were 16th again, I’d start with the barbell about 10 minutes prior to the first C&J attempt.

*Some people like to hit their opener in the back before their first attempt. I aim to hit about 5-10 lbs shy of it for my last warm up to save what I can for the bigger lifts/attempts, and its consistent with how I build to heavy lifts in training.  This comes down to personal preference.

Go Time – On the Platform

RELAX. You have put in the work. You had a solid warm up plan, you are ready.

The announcer will call the next lifter, as well as who is on deck.  This is when I stand up and prepare to walk on once they call my name.

The most important thing to remember once your name is called: YOU HAVE TIME! DO NOT RUSH. With 30 seconds remaining on your clock, a buzzer will sound, to let you know where you’re at.

As soon as my name is called I walk to the chalk bucket, and take a deep breath while I chalk up. Upon approaching the bar, find the focal point which you located earlier. Once you’re set on it, don’t take your eyes off of it unless you absolutely have to. Forgot to pick one earlier?  No biggie, simply walk to the center of the platform, take & break & look past the crowd. Find it, then your approach the bar.

DO NOT rush your set-up. Approach, setup, & lift just like you do every time in training. This is probably where I see the most new lifters miss their attempts – they get too excited and hurry through their set-up.

Once you stand up with the lift, WAIT for the down signal! This may be a referee saying “down!” or a buzzer going off. I have even added holding the bar overhead for an extra second to my training to prepare and get used to this. This is probably the most frustrating way to miss a lift in competition, so HOLD THAT BAR!

When the first attempt is done, smile & take a deep breath, the toughest lift of the meet is done. Head straight to the marshals table (or have your coach do it) and declare your next attempt. You should officially declare it within 30 seconds, otherwise you will not be allowed to make any changes. Once you’ve declared, just relax until your next attempt.

Try and pick your attempts so that you don’t have too long a rest between lifts (reference Part 1 on how to pick you attempts before hand). Stay relaxed and follow the same process for every lift.  And most importantly, HAVE FUN!

If you happen to be competing in the Star of the North on June 15th and want some awesome action shots, make sure to sign up with with Samantha Chin at https://www.samanthachinphotography.com/ for an amazing photo package (like the photos in the blog)!

Your First Weightlifting Meet – Part 1

Your First Weightlifting Meet – Part 1

How to Prepare for Your First Weightlifting Meet

Probably the most intimidating thing about a weightlifting meet is not knowing what to expect or how they work. So let’s go behind the curtain and clear all of that up!  We will go through the pre-meet details here, and part 2 will cover the day of.

Step 1: Pick a Meet & Register

You will want to find a meet that is at least 6 weeks out so you’ll have plenty of time to prepare & train. I personally prefer to go 12 weeks out so I can complete a full training cycle prior.

In order to register you will need to know a few things.

Determine your weight class

They are in Kilos, so take your weight in pounds & divide it by 2.2 to get your weight in Kilos. I would select the one that you fall into at your mid day weight eating as you usually would. You can cut or mass to hit another weight class but I would not recommend doing that for your first meet.  Use the first meet to get a feel for the flow of these events vs worrying about weigh in.

If the competition day rolls around and you gained or lost weight, you can still declare a new weight class.  You just need to tell the judge at the weigh in prior to stepping on the scale.

Weight Classes

USA Weightlifting Membership Number

You will also need to register as a USAW Member in order to compete, so make sure to do that when you sign up for the meet itself! Here is the link to join: USAW Registration.

Search for a local meet that is at least 6 weeks out and get registered HERE.

Step 2: Train & Prepare!

Pick a Training Program/Cycle: Now that you’ve determined when you will be competing, it is time to get a plan together.  There are some great free programs out there, or we can help you put a plan together based on your goals for the meet.  (More to come on this option in June!)

Learn the Rules: If you’ve never seen a weightlifting meet before, I would highly recommend reading through the rules so you are prepared.  There are a long list of rules, and if you’d like to nerd out you can read them all HERE.

A few basic rules are:

  • You get 3 attempts at the Snatch, then 3 at the Clean & Jerk.
  • The order of lifters goes from lowest attempt and builds up from there.You will need to declare your next lift to the scores table so you can be worked into the lifting order.
    • Once a barbell is loaded weight cannot go down. So you will want to make sure your next attempt is submitted so you don’t miss the weight on the bar you want to attempt. (Have a coach or friend help with this, it makes life much easier).
  • You have 1 minute from the time the bar is loaded and you are called lift.
  • If you are following yourself (for example you missed and want to repeat a weight and no other lifters will be attempting that weight), then you get 2 minutes for that lift.
  • You must catch the barbell with locked out arms for it to count. If you press out it will be a no lift.

Determine your Openers

Your opener should be something you can hit for 2-3 doubles during training. You should be able to hit it 1-2 times in the back (for the snatch, not the clean & jerk) with 100% confidence. Then walk out and crush it for your first attempt.

Second attempt should still be something you’re confident in, and not more than a ~4kg increase from the first on the snatch. For Clean & Jerk not more than ~6kg for the second attempt. The third attempt can be a bit more risky, but something you typically make at least two out of three times in training.

Set Goals: This is your first meet, so set your goals accordingly. My first meet’s goals were

  • Have fun
  • Learn as much about meets as possible
  • Get a Total (AKA hit at least 1 snatch & 1 Clean & Jerk)

While it is possible to hit a personal best lift at your first meet, I would plan to pick an opener you know you can hit. Be a bit more conservative as nerves are a funny thing during that first lift with all eyes on you.

Practice!

Find some time to get together during an open gym with friends for a mock meet (we are happy to help). Two weeks before a meet is a great time to try out your openers in this format.  Even if it is just lifting with a few friends with the timer running. Ask someone pretending to be the judge that will be in front of the “platform.” Have them simply give you the “down” call, which is what the judge will do at the meet once you have the bar controlled.

Up next: A Guide to the Day of the meet