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Fitness Outside of the Gym

Fitness Outside of the Gym

It is not about how good you are at exercising.

Even though our members do get quite good at it. There is so much more to Icehouse then just helping you get into the best shape of your life.  Our favorite success stories aren’t around the total number of pounds or inches lost, or how much strength and/or speed is gained.  Those are all awesome & amazing accomplishments, but not what it is about.

Here are 2 of my favorite changes other then just improved fitness we see in our members:

1.Gained confidence

It is not uncommon for someone new to say or think “I can’t do that” when they read the workout.  CrossFit works because it is hard work, but it is absolutely possible.  If it wasn’t it wouldn’t work, and we would not ask you to do something if we didn’t believe you were capable.  We are all capable of so much more then we think!

Slowly we lift a couple more pounds, get a little faster, and/or loose a few pounds.  Before you know it you don’t even bat an eye at the workout because you just know you can do it. You even start trying tougher versions of movements because you’ve been killin’ it.  THAT is amazing!

Even better when a big project/opportunity at work, or a challenge out in the real world shows up you roll up your sleeves and take it on.  Because you are strong.  Because you are capable.  Because you CAN!

2. Saying YES to life

This is my absolute favorite reason to be fit, and why I stick with it.  I never want to have to say no to a fun outing, vacation, or adventure because I am concerned about being fit enough.

When someone shares a post about how they were able to go for a hike with their family on their annual vacation for the first time in years, or go outside and play a game with their nieces or nephews without getting winded THAT is what it’s about.

I understand that at this point you may have back pain, or you may have some knee pain stopping you from getting in shape. We are in pain so we don’t move, and we don’t move because we are in pain, and our bodies are not meant to just sit.  Find someone who can help you with those issues (we have coaches who have experience with all of those issues and can help you build the strength needed to solve them), or check out my recent blog of 5 places to start your fitness journey if you aren’t sure where to begin.

Take care of your body, surround yourself with people who believe in you, and say YES to life!

I Need to Get Healthy!  Where Do I Even Begin?!

I Need to Get Healthy! Where Do I Even Begin?!

I’ve got to do something, but what?!

There are SO MANY conflicting ads, posts, diets, cleanses, wraps, shakes, lollipops (seriously don’t get us started on that one) workouts, out there.  No wonder we don’t know where to start or who to trust.

If it sounds to good to be true, it probably is.

When reading an ad, or considering trying a product or program, first ask yourself “Does this option seem realistic?”

  • “Loose 20 lbs in 1 week!”
  • “Loose inches overnight!”
  • “You won’t feel hungry”

These are tempting because who hasn’t wanted to loose 20lbs in one week ?‍♀️?! However they do not sound realistic.  If they are promising a quick fix, they are likely a hoax.  They may even get you some quick results, but often times the more drastic/quickly these quick fixes work the faster the weight or inches will come back, often with some long term effects making the next time we try it even harder/less effective/more damaging.

If it doesn’t pass a good ol’ fashioned gut check, it’s likely “too go to be true.”

It did not take us 1 month, or even 1 year to get to where we are, so it will take some time to get to where we want to be. And we likely picked up some bad habits along the way.

Habits are hard to break, especially the bad ones. If we want a different result, we have to take different actions.  But trying to overhaul your entire life all at once rarely works.  It’s overwhelming & confusing, so start small.

5 Places to Get Started

There are more parts to being healthy then just working out and eating well (though those are HUGE pieces of the puzzle). Decide what is a realistic area of your life you are willing to make a few changes with TODAY, and focus on that until you have some new, healthier habits in place.

Choose just 1 of the following options to begin. Once you crushed that, THEN pickup another.

  1. Get a Fit Bit (AKA Just Move).  If money is a factor and a gym membership is truly not in the budget, Fit bit has some affordable options.  Buy one, put it on and hit 10,000 steps EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
  2. Drink More Water. I can guarantee just about all of us are not hydrating properly.  We should drink 1/2 of our body weight in oz of water every single day.  There are A TON of benefits with hydrating properly. Bonus points for subbing out 1 sugary drink/caffeinated/alcoholic drink per day for a glass of water.
  3. Go the F*ck To Sleep. We need 7-9 hours per sleep every night.  Even if you already are crushing workouts and your nutrition lack of sleep can wreck havoc on your body & metabolism.  Plan your day around your sleep schedule and make it non negotiable.
  4. Practice Mindfulness (Reduce Stress) This ranges anywhere from meditating or journaling for 5 minutes to finally making an appointment with a Therapist (I have a great one if you need a referral!).  When we make changes in our life, we have to work on our internal dialogue to get our mind & bodies in sync to stay successful long term.
  5. Get a Coach If you are looking at this list and thinking “sure that seems easy, but I’ve tried all those things and quit after a week” you may need a coach.  Why Icehouse works is greatly due to the accountability having a coach provides to our athletes.  Having someone expecting us at the gym, or helping us set the right goals for us and then having the tough conversation when we didn’t show up and ate a whole wheel of cheese and getting us back on track quickly has saved a lot of us from backsliding. Even our coaches have a coach because we too are human, and need someone to hold our feet to the fire occasionally.

Still unsure?  We offer a Free Intro to get to know you, discuss your goals and recommend the best place to start to ensure you will be successful long term.  Chat with a Coach HERE

You do not have to start all of it today, but pick a place to start, THEN GET STARTED!  Good Luck!

More info on Icehouse

Vitamin D And CBD, These Are a Few of My Favorite Things.

Vitamin D And CBD, These Are a Few of My Favorite Things.

Supplementing (Especially During Fargo Winters)

It’s no secret that Fargo winters are cold and dreary, hell we even had to close for the first time ever due to cold temps last week! But that being said, there are plenty of things that you can do to help get through these long winter months if going out in the cold really isn’t your thing (clearly this is a Coach Shoe blog).

We often talk about supplements as being a “supplement to” and not a “replacement” especially when we talk about protein and some other items from our retail store.  If you can get it from food, that is always the preferred approach, but sometimes supplementing what we eat, or what we lack from our environment can be extremely helpful.  Two of my favorite supplements are Vitamin D (especially during these cold, dark winter months) and CBD Oil.

Vitamin D – Liquid Sunshine

Vitamin D is a very frequently recommended supplement for folks who live in our part of the world.  The long nights and short days, partnered with the cold temps that keep us inside make getting naturally occurring rays of sunshine nearly impossible for most of the year.  The main way our bodies get Vitamin D is by exposure to ultraviolet B rays (aka sunlight).  You may also get some Vitamin D from foods such as fatty fish (like tuna, mackerel, & salmon) and egg yolks, but still sun exposure is the most natural source. Therefore to get our full requirement supplementation may be necessary. Some symptoms of a Vitamin D deficiency include:

  • Getting Sick or Infected Often
  • Fatigue and Tiredness
  • Bone and Back Pain
  • Depression. (Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD))
  • Impaired Wound Healing
  • Bone Loss
  • Hair Loss
  • Muscle Pain

Supplements & Light Therapy Boxes

Now that you know what can happen if you are deficient in vitamin, now you may be wandering how you bridge the gap considering it’s dangerous at these temperatures to expose your skin to the sun, and the list of foods containing Vitamin D is oddly low. There are 2 easy ways to help: Supplements & Light Therapy Lamps. Light Therapy Box Sunlight Jr

SFH Fish Oil Supplements we stock at the gym.  We have a liquid form available (fast digesting) and a pill for those not into the shot of fish oil!  You can also get some Vitamin D drops if Fish Oil isn’t your jam (Ask Coach Anna about those!)

While Light therapy may not necessarily supplement you with Vitamin D (unless you buy a lamp that puts out UV Rays, which can be problematic for other skin damage reasons) it is thought to affect brain chemicals linked to mood and sleep and SAD symptoms. Using a light therapy box may also help with other types of depression, sleep disorders and other conditions. Light Therapy boxes (like my Sunbox Jr.) mimic natural light, and used early in the day in 20-30 minute increments while reading or eating breakfast can help elevate mood significantly, or at least that has been my experience.

CBD Oil

CBD Oil is another great supplement year round.  There are a TON of different products floating around, many of which are not well managed or controlled which has added to the confusion around what CBD Oil is or isn’t.  I’ll discuss CBD Oil using the product we recommend at Icehouse & I use daily: Charlotte’s Web(CW) Isolate.  The main reason I use it is to help with my anxiety and sleep, it’s been an absolute game changer to help me sleep.  It also reduced inflammation & soreness which is just an added bonus for me!

If you are new to the conversation, you may have the impression CBD oil is Marijuana or “Pot”  it is not, it is derived from Hemp. They have a great blog on their website that breaks down the differences between CW, Hemp Seed Oil & Marijuana (which CW CBD Oil IS NOT) if you want to learn even more HERE, but I’ll keep it to the cliff notes for brevity.

Here is where the confusion comes in: Hemp and marijuana are both cannabis and contain phytocannabinoids.

Phyto means “plant.” Humans and all mammals produce what are known as endocannabinoids. Endomeans “within.” These compounds are key players in normal immune and central nervous system function. Hemp’s phytocannabinoids work with our Endocannabinoid System (ECS), a vast receptor system that helps support homeostasis and health.

Some helpful facts to differentiate between CBD & THC:

  • Marijuana has > 0.3% THC (the only phytocannabinoid that gets you “high”)
    • **AKA NOT CBD OIL**
  • Hemp has < 0.3% THC and is NOT psychoactive
    • **CW Isolate tests to ensure less then 13 parts per million
  • Marijuana is most often associated with THC and hemp extract (like CW) is often associated with CBD, a health & wellness phytocannabinoid.
  • Charlotte’s Web proprietary, non-GMO hemp genetics contain a unique combination of phytocannbinoids; it’s more than just CBD. CW also includes naturally occurring terpenes, flavonoids, and other valuable hemp compounds that work synergistically to heighten positive effects, sometimes referred to as the “Entourage Effect,” making it more complete than single-compound CBD alternatives.

Ok that all sounds great but what does that mean?!?

Basically the phytocannabinoids in CBD fill in the gap in our ECS to help our system do it’s job to it’s full potential, without the psychoactive affect, or “high” associated with marijuana/THC.  The effects you feel when you take CBD Oil generally aren’t drastic, I’ve heard it described as “rounding out the edges” which I think is a great description of how my anxiety levels are when I take it.  As far as inflammation, when injury occurs, stress is high, or when our muscles are sore white blood cells flood the area which causes inflammation.  CBD oil basically gives those white blood cells a break to reduce the inflammation. (This of course is a huge over simplification, but it’s the quickest/easiest way to break it down without turning this blog into a book, check out the blog tagged earlier to learn more).

We like CW because it is manufactured in an FDA-certified facility with 3rd party-verified Good Manufacturing Practices to make sure that quality is high and THC levels remain below the 13 parts per million CW Isolate promises.

I could go on for days about CW/CBD Oil, Vitamin D & Light Therapy but hopefully this has given you enough to answer some questions and further encourage your own research!  I encourage you to ask questions and start supplementing if the weather has been dragging you down lately! Stay Warm Folks!

GOALS!  Where to start when setting your 2019 Goals

GOALS! Where to start when setting your 2019 Goals

We are already 1 week into 2019!  The new year is usually a time to reflect (which we did last week, feel free to take a peek for some coach’s deep thoughts!) and adjust.  That usually means setting some goals.

I am going to go through the first few steps of setting goals, that often surprising get overlooked.  The steps for setting and crushing goals is very similar to completing a college paper, or high school paper, or whatever assignment you may have been given in years past.  Just bear with me on this.

Step 1: WRITE IT DOWN!

For our example today, how would you start with your assignment?  You would outline it!  Or at least do a rough draft.  Or maybe just sit down, pound some red bull and go wild on the keyboard.  In all scenarios you are WRITING IT DOWN!  You would never go into your class on the due date and say “well I thought about the paper” and then not hand anything in.  Or maybe you would…but you’d get a 0 which no one wants. If you wrote something down, worst case you at least had an outline or a rough draft to prove you at least started said paper.

If you don’t write it down, you can’t get a grade.  If you don’t write it down, you can’t create a plan to meet your goal. Period.

Step 2: GET REAL: Is what you wrote for YOU, or because you felt obligated to write it.

Now for the college paper, yes you were probably delegated a topic you may not be crazy about, but is there a way to spin it to use your own lense and perspective to make it more interesting? Maybe, maybe not but it’s worth the thought!

But we aren’t talking about assignments here. The reason we are setting goals should be because we WANT to get better FOR OURSELVES.  The goals we set should be ones we set because WE WANT TO, not because our mother in law, or old friend made some comment about our weight, or whatever other personal thing that has nothing to do with them when we went home to visit over the holidays.  If your goal is to loose weight because you want to feel better, or fit into a smaller size, or be able to run faster, or keep up with your kids, or whatever YOUR reason then hell yeah that’s a great goal! If you feel great, other then when so and so said something mean or passive aggressive, then skip that one. You won’t be excited about it because you are only doing it out of obligation to fit into someone else’s vision for you.  Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Once you have a list of 3-5 goals you actually want to work on you can move on to step 3.

Step 3: MAKE IT SPECIFIC

Goals that are super vague make creating a plan to accomplish said goals really really difficult if not impossible.  Here are a few common ones I see:

  • I want to lose weight – Cool! Do you want to loose body fat or just weight overall?  How much?  By When?
  • I want to PR my (Insert lift/workout here):  Hell yeah let’s get strong! How much would you like to increase by?  When do you want to hit that goal?
  • I want to work on my mental health! Two thumbs up for selfcare!  What does this actually mean for you? Do you want to start therapy?  How often? Meditation/Journaling?  When can you start, how often will you do those things?
  • Read more.  AWESOME!  How many books do you want to read this year?

We basically want these goals to be SMART Goals, which means Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, & Time Bound.  So once you’ve made them specific/measurable like our examples above make sure they are actually relevant to you (which we talked about in step 2) and well as having a deal line/or a timeline so you have an idea of when you’d like to accomplish them by.

This is basically they first draft of your paper that you’ll write based on your Step 1 Outline in the College Paper Scenario.

Step 4: MAKE A PLAN

From here you have a goal that is specific.  AKA the final draft of your college paper.

The next step is break it down into smaller steps.  Maybe loosing 20 lbs is your goal, let’s say we want to loose 1 lb per week.  To start maybe we will do meal prep and cut back on eating out to 1 time per week.  Maybe you will hire a nutrition coach to help you with this plan (shameless plug: have we mentioned our coach Anna@crossfiticehouse.com is legit?! Hit her up!)

Want to PR a lift?  Maybe you will go to OLY classes 1x/week.  Want to PR a workout? You could go from doing 3 workouts a week to 4 for the first month, then maybe up it to 5 the next month.  You could stay 5 minutes after class to work on a skill keeping you from getting better at that workout.  I commonly prescribe a 5 minute buy our of double unders, handstand holds, pull up progressions and other movements to just chip away at these goals in 5 minute increments.

Maybe to read 1 book per month.  First step may be to simply buy book 1. Step 2 schedule yourself 20 mins a day to read said book.  Then begin a list of the next 3 books that are on deck and have book 2 on it’s way in time for February.

When you make this plan, schedule the time you plan to work on these things into your calendar during your weekly time blocking, and make those times non negotiable like you would a meeting for work, or happy hour with a friend. (Peep Coach Mo’s Time Blocking Blog for more on that HERE.

Give it a try!  What goals did you end up with for 2019?!

2018 – Coach Shoe’s Year in Review

2018 – Coach Shoe’s Year in Review

I went into 2018 (#yearofthegainz) with some big fitness goals, mainly just getting back into a consistent routine and to spend more time working on my weightlifting, as well as some lofty business goals (hello Flux launch). Some goals were met, many were not.

The Fitness Goals:

I had some lofty numbers I wanted to hit on my snatch & clean&jerk. I spent 4 days a week lifting to support that goal, along with 1-3 Flux or CrossFit workouts. While I feel stronger and more consistent in those lifts, and in my yoga practice as well as more proficient in a lot of movements, the reality is I increased both lifts by just 5 lbs each.

While it isn’t the large improvement I wanted, a TON of technique work has been done, lots of groundwork has been laid to start climbing up the ladder this year. And in the grand scheme of things, 5 lbs at this stage of the game still feels pretty damn good and my lifts are wayyyyyyy more solid.

We can get very caught up in numbers, and I have heard many folks say “I only PR’d by 5, or 10 lbs.” THAT IS HUGE! As we grow as athletes and continually challenge ourselves those jumps will get smaller and more incremental, but that does not take away how special they are. A PR is always something to be proud of! It means you are better then you were yesterday, and that is all we are really trying to do is get a little bit better, every day.

The Other Goals:

2018 was a great year, but it was probably my most challenging yet. There were no big moves, changes, or shakeups. That probably seems like a positive, and it is. But for me, the lack of movement can feel a bit suffocating. I am someone who has moved every 4 years (if not sooner) or has made some big change or done something to distract myself or keep myself busy. 2018 didn’t have any of those things… so it was a lot of learning how to survive in stability.

With no big moves or changes, “to dos” are not as clearly laid out, so as a business owner it became more challenging to create and lead down an undefined path. There were endless possibilities…but holy crap there were endless possibilities! WHERE DO WE EVEN START?! As the gym grew, and our staff grew there was more and more that needed to be done both on & off the floor, but also still the need to create plans to move forward and to take the gym where we wanted to go, but while still trying to maintain the Icehouse feel we all love so much. No one starts a gym to hang out at their computer doing payroll & marketing, so adjusting and adapting to a new role has been a huge challenge…and an ego check. The amount of personal growth that came from that discomfort is invaluable, even if it was (and still really is) a big struggle.

2019 will be a continuance of that journey of trying to add as much value as we possibly can for each and every one of you, while still keeping true to who we are and always trying to get just a little better, every day. Thank you all for allowing us to do what we do, and for growing with us as we too are still figuring it out <3