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The Open is Coming

The Open is Coming

It’s almost October which means the Open is just around the corner!  What is the Open you ask?  Some of you may know it better as Friday Night Lights, which yes we did in February, it’s a Friday full of competition and setting some new goals for the following year.

A little background…

The CrossFit Open use to be the only pathway to the CrossFit Games.  Everyone doing CrossFit, including the big names Fraser and Toomey could only get to the CrossFit Games through the CrossFit Open.  It’s a time where mere mortals like myself and champions of CrossFit had the same weekend to do the same workout.  Pretty rad really!  All of CrossFit could test their times against the big dawgs!  Anyway, I digress, now we have fun things like Sanctionals (yes that’s a real word) where athletes can qualify to go to the games.  If you are familiar with Granite Games it is a Sanctional to the CrossFit Games.

What’s the Point of the Open Now?

The Open is a chance to test your fitness.  If you haven’t done one before this will set the benchmark for next year.  It’s a great place to reflect on your CrossFit journey and see how far you’ve come and how far you want to go.  The cool part is they repeat at least one workout each year so you’ll have a solid baseline.  They repeat several moments like pull-ups, thrusters, wall balls and of course double unders.  Yeah you’ll see all of those in some form in the Open.  Don’t worry, just like at Icehouse, there’s a scale for Everything so no matter your fitness level this will be a great test!

Where did Friday Night Lights Go?

Don’t worry it’s not gone!  As we went all out in February, we are throwing one big party at the end of this Open season and FNL will return in 2020.  This year each workout will be during Friday classes starting October 11thso we encourage you to coordinate with your buddies and crush a Friday Open workout.  We will be having a big party the final Friday, November 8th so mark your calendar.  We can’t wait to have some fun in a few weeks.

What It Takes To Be A Coach

What It Takes To Be A Coach

I truly believe coaching is an art form.

It’s not solely sets, reps and weight on the bar, there’s a personal connection. Coaching involves being able to connect with each person in every class.  In CrossFit, there are many different people in a class all with different goals and lifestyles. The art of coaching comes in one’s ability to connect with people. Good coaches can get their clients to move well consistently, great coaches can create an absolute level of trust with their athletes.

At Icehouse, we take coaching very seriously. Each week we have a coaches development meeting where we dive into topics like movement, empathy, relationships, and play. We talk about different personality types and how to evoke the best out of each of them. How do you coach an athlete whose goal it is to compete, right next to an athlete whose goal is to move well into their 90’s? These are the things that make a good CrossFit class turn into a great CrossFit class.

How we build a coach.

We have recently graduated 3 interns from our 9-week coaches development class. They learned the art of coaching from some of the best in the business through articles, podcasts videos, and books. We took that knowledge and spent a lot of quality time shadowing coaches and creating mock classes. These new coaches have taken both written and verbal tests, been put in front of several classes breaking down each section of class from warm-ups, skill development and the workout itself. They will still have several coaching reps before they are ready to coach a class fully on their own and they are well on their way.

Our Icehouse coaches spend hundreds of hours perfecting their craft. Once hired as a coach they continue to read books on lifestyle and relationships, listen to podcasts and spend countless hours analyzing movement. We stand by our coaches because they put in the work.  They are dedicated to making your CrossFit class, the best hour of your day. Come join us for a class and see what I’m talking about.

The Origin of CrossFit

The Origin of CrossFit

If you’re like me, or you know a CrossFitter, we eat, breath, and sleep CrossFit.  CrossFit had me hooked from my first workout in 2010 at CrossFit St. Paul.  I had heard about CrossFit from my friends and finally had my chance to try it on a snowy February day.  At most CrossFit gyms we joke about drinking the KoolAid and today we are going to talk about what the heck this CrossFit thing is.

In the Beginning

CrossFit started in Santa Cruz, CA in 2000 by Coach Greg Glassman, soon thereafter the affiliate model was born.  In 2005 there were 13 affiliates donning the CrossFit name, and as of 2013 there are over 13,000 affiliates world wide (1). With numbers like that it seems everyone had the same reaction I did when they walked in to their first workout.  CrossFit growth started from CrossFit.com or as it’s more commonly called “main site”.  Everyday a new workout is posted on the website and there is a section for comments for people to record their scores, and that is how a community was born.

What is CrossFit

CrossFit as defined by Glassman is “constantly varied functional movement done at high intensity” (2).  What does this really mean, let’s take a look…

Constantly Varied; you’re not going to get the same workout in the same week, sometimes even the same a month.  There are 10 core movements in CrossFit and dozens of body weight movements that are rotated through to create different workouts.

Functional Movement; the majority of movements you’ll do in CrossFit are movements you should do in your everyday life, like squats, deadlifts and pressing.  The remaining movements support these 10 core movements. This allows you to do things like, play with your kids, go on a long hike, carry in all the groceries at once, and much more.

High Intensity; this one is relative which is the coolest part of CrossFit in my opinion.  It doesn’t matter who is in a class, you can have a grandmother of three, a 21 year old guy and 45 year old desk jockey in the same class.  They will all leave that class feeling the same way, the movements will have been adapted to their level but the intensity would be the same.  Each person giving their best on that given day.

Why Does CrossFit Work

If you ask most people who do CrossFit why it works they’ll tell you it’s the community.  For some it’s having a friend in class to chat with and have fun with during the workout.  For others as Glassman says “it’s agony coupled with laughter” (3), it’s that push of competition combined with hanging out with your friends that keeps people coming back.  The methodology of movement coupled with intensity are what drive body composition and get people feeling better.  Fitness works when people stay consistent.  CrossFit generates that through quality coaching, meeting new people and finding out how strong you really are.

Sources:

  1. The Business of CrossFit: An Update on the New Market Research. www.rallyfit.com. Retrieved 07.29.2018
  2. Understanding CrossFit. CrossFit Level One Handbook. www.crossfit.com/seminar. Retrieved 07.29.2018
  3. Greg Glassman – Defining CrossFit. www.crossfit.com/journal. Retrieved 07.29.2018

 

 

Top 3 Reasons You Should Be Using SugarWOD

Top 3 Reasons You Should Be Using SugarWOD

If there is one simple way to take your training from good to great it would be tracking your workouts.

There seems to be a direct correlation between those who track their workouts and nutrition with those who gain the best results.  To break it down further, here are the top three reasons you should be tracking your workouts…

1. Accountability

We all need it.  That little push or nudge to keep us on track.  Your training log is there for you.  If you miss a day tracking it’s like missing a day of working out.  Use your training log to not only record your weights and scores but also put some notes in there about how the day was.  Are you low on sleep?  Did you boss make the day not awesome?  Did you forget your shorts and had to wear pants (my best day ever)? Make these notes so you can see where your training is on or off track.

2. Feedback

A training journal can be a great reminder of how awesome you are and how far you have come.  Remember when we left SugarWOD and have now come back?  My old results are in there, my deadlift is up almost 40#’s!!  That was awesome to see!

Once a week look through your training, are you making the progress you want?  If not maybe it’s time to schedule a meeting with your coach so you can make a plan.  Your coach can see where things might be off and help you make those corrections.

3. Fist Bumps!

A few weeks ago I was in a 4:30 class with Zac.  This kid is half my age (yep that’s scary to say) and an endurance monster. For whatever reason I decided I wasn’t going to let him beat me…oddly enough he knew.  Went head to head on a crazy long AMRAP with man makers, sit-ups and a run for him bike for me, it was AWESOME!  We tied which was even more fun.  After we logged our scores I could go into SugarWOD and give him a virtual high five, just like the one I gave him in class.  I noticed the next morning I had lots of encouragement from other peeps too, no better way to start my next training day.  Helping lift up your fellow Icehousers is one of the best reasons we’re here right?

Track your scores, give some fist bumps and let yourself see the progress you have made.

I Gave Up Coffee…Here’s Why

I Gave Up Coffee…Here’s Why

If you have been to one of my classes at some point you know my coffee cup was never very far away.  I’ve read the blogs and listened to the podcasts that say “a coach should never be drinking coffee during class.”  I thought that was cute, coffee is life…well was life.

It Just Happened

I woke up on a Monday, looked at my partner, and said “I’m done with coffee.”  You can imagine the shock, we have a coffee pot, French press and Nespresso in our 5’ x 6’ kitchen.  We have a small space and prioritize coffee.  I would usually have a coffee with a shot of espresso in the morning and then another coffee or latte in the afternoon.  Sunday’s were a day of caffeination, I would drink coffee pretty much all day.  It was magical!

A Little Bit Nerdy

Coffee, at roughly 200mg of caffeine for 10 oz, can keep cortisol levels elevated.  Cortisol is a hormone that helps our body respond to stress. If your cortisol levels stay elevated, meaning you stay stressed, it can have very negative effects on weight training, body composition and recovery.  Long story short high cortisol levels mess with your gainz, no good!

Saying Goodbye

If you’ve been anywhere in the United States you know, it was a Long winter.  I was living on coffee.  We made some changes at work, I have been doing some really deep emotional work and it was cold, like really cold, I was in a full stress spiral.  I went three full months with very little sleep, two colds, two flus and I was a wreck.  It was time to control the things I could and that meant no more added stress, coffee had to go.  I needed to give myself the best chance I could to sleep, to restore, to let my body and spirit breathe.

Life After Coffee

For the most part, my life has been caffeine free.  I will have a matcha or a green tea from time to time and with a drastically reduced caffeine intake I can sleep.  I woke up the second morning and told my partner “if this is what sleep is like, I’ll give up coffee forever.”  I’m still working hard on the other ways to manage stress and do the work I love.  I’m also working with Coach Anna on my nutrition and it’s been a game changer, check her out!!  If you find yourself in a stress spiral, check in with yourself, what are the things you need to do to help yourself out?