#fitforfall has been a common hashtag for most social media posts from the Icehouse coaches these last couple months…but what’s the meaning behind it and what’s the story…?
Coming from North Dakota I’m used to the “standard” cycle of nutrition and fitness…hibernate in the wintertime (read: skip morning workouts) with all the carbs, holiday goodies, and drinks. Then try to undo 8 months of winter in 3 weeks getting ready for “lake season”…
It never ends well…you’re crabby, you family is walking on eggshells…all for that perfect “beach body” that really only normally lasts until that first picture kicking off lakes season…after that, it’s a deep dive into white claws, mayo based salads and “the perfect summertime desserts”, right?
So Fit for Fall…it was a weight loss challenge right?
Fit for fall, for me, did catalyze with another InBody scan that I wasn’t super happy with, but I set my mind to changing habits and letting the numbers land where they land.
What do you mean…”Not a weight loss challenge…” What’s the point then?
That’s the thing about this Fit for Fall challenge…Coach Anna was determined to educate us and focus on habits and feeling rather than hitting prescribed numbers.
I set my intentions:
Attend at least 2 CrossFit classes per week and all 3 Fall Strength Cycle sessions per week
8 Hours of Sleep
Meal prep all breakfasts and lunches
I prepped my notebook and calendar, and even got ahead on my pen and ink nutrition journaling. I was ready!
So…now that I’m in the last week of the Challenge…how did it go?
In retrospect…pretty well. This was the right challenge for the right time for me…it wasn’t just about getting lean, it wasn’t just about improved physical performance, it wasn’t just about setting recovery habits it was about getting 1% better everyday at the things I was doing everyday…
I’ll give you my “Top 5 Takeaways” from my #fitforfall challenge. Some of them validated what I was already doing and what I already know work, and some of them were new and provided solid evidence that I could exercise a bit more moderation into my normally rigid routine. Enjoy!
Top 5 Takeaways from #fitforfall Challenge
Meal prep breakfast for and lunch for the work week…minimum.
Tell the people in your life what your intentions are and allow them to support you.
Get to bed on time.
Check in with the people in your life during your challenge and let them know what’s working and what you need more support with.
Just taking the risk and setting a goal drive personal improvement, pick something and go for it.
If you’re interested in our Individualized Nutrition Coaching click here to schedule an intro session that works for your schedule.
Goals can be scary. Even more terrifying when we put a deadline on them. Why is that? It’s scary because it takes comitment to make those goals happen, and the truth is no one else can do the work for you to make it happen. When you put your goals out into the universe, you have just taken the first step to making it a reality. In this blog im going to talk about how to set a goal, and then make it a reality. We will be following a common principle called SMART goals, with a few added steps that we here at Icehouse believe really “bring the magic.”
Step 1: Chose a Goal
This can be be anything, literally anything. It just has to be real. For the sake of the blog, I’m going to use something that we often hear. “I want to get in shape, I want to get jacked, I want to get toned, I want to get fit, I want to look good and feel good.” All of these mean the same thing, and are a great goal to have. But lack a few key components that can take them from a good goal, to a great one.
Step 2: Get Specific
When I say get specific, I mean what does that look like. I want to get in shape can mean a lot of things. Being “in shape” is very different for a strongman competitor vs. a competitive CrossFit athlete. For most of us this simply means, gaining muscle, and losing body fat. We have now taken our next step in setting a goal. We have morphed “I want to get fit” into “I want to gain muscle and lose body fat.” Another example might be, taking “I want to be a better basketball player” and morphing it into “I want to be better at shooting, or dribbling, or passing.”
Step 3: Make it Measurable
With the goal of losing body fat and gaining muscle we can measure that by getting on the inbody scanner. We can take progress pictures. You can even take body measurements. Find a data set, and get tracking! We now have a goal, and a way to measure your progress. The stats will not lie, if you are not making progress. you will be able to see it in your tracking.
Step 4: Is it Attainable?
There are certian things that are out of your control. This is not an excuse to not set the bar high for yourself. For example Navy Seal recruits must be between the age of 17 and 28. If you are 29, you will not be allowed into training. Thats out of your control. Thats the type of thing that I am looking at for attainability.
Step 4: Set Realistic Expectations
I’m not talking about the goal as a whole. Who am I to tell you that you can’t accomplish something? If you truly belive that you can, then it doesn’t matter what anyone tells you. I’m talking about being realistic about the time, and work that it will take to accomplish your goals. With the goal of gaining muscle and losing bodyfat, it is unrealistic to think you will trade 30 lbs of excess bodyfat for 30 lbs of fresh lean muscle in a month. It just doesn’t work that way. You are not going to see results eating pizza and drinking beer for every meal. Lets say you have 30 lbs of fat to lose. With excellent nutrition and consistent exercise you can expect to loose 1-2 lb a week. That means around 4 months at the quickest and 8 months on the slower side with both nutrition and exercise dialed in. Sure you see some people try a new fad diet and lose 30 lbs in a month. More often than not they gain most of it back in a few more months. Muscle is even harder to gain, that reqires not only a balance of eating enough to grow muscles, but not so much that you gain a bunch of fat with it. Any mis-steps and you add time to your goal. You’re going to have to eat your meal prep sometimes instead of going out to eat, and you are going to have to go to the gym when you don’t feel like it. How bad do you “Want to get in shape?”
Step 5: Give it a Time Domain
Now that we have made the goal specific, measurable, attainable, and have set realistic expectations, we are ready to give it a time frame. Be realistic with your timeframes and do not set yourself up for failure. We know the time that its going to take if we do everything right, but we are human, and we need to have a few things to keep us sane. So knowing its going to take 8 months minimum, lets set the time frame of next year. (It is October now, so I will use next October.) Our goal then becomes, “By next October, I want to loose 30 Lbs of fat, and gain 10 Lbs of muscle.” BOOM we have a vision people! That means we had better get to work. Not tomorrow. TODAY.
Step 6: No more “I want to.”
When you use the words “I want to.” You allow yourself the chance to fail. Quit it. You are better than that and you owe it to yourself to believe in your ability. If you don’t truly believe deep down in your heart that you can do something. Then don’t make it a goal. We have now changed our goal from “I want to get fit.” To “By next October, I WILL lose 30 lbs of fat, and gain 10 lbs of muscle.” That is starting to look like something!
Step 7: Have a Why
If you can not look me in the eye when I ask you why you want to get fit, and tell me with pride your reason behind the goal, then you have not dug deep enough. Everyone has a different why. I will never be able to find your why. You’re gonna have to dig that one up on your own, and it may change over time. Attach your why to your goal and it becomes extremely powerful. “By next October, I will lose 30 lbs of fat, and gain 10 lbs of muscle, because if I don’t, my children will not get to grow up with a parent that could play with them.” Pretty motivating, right?
Step 8: Lay Out Your Plan
A goal without a plan is like trying to take on a house fire with a squirt gun. How are you going to reach your goal. You already know what it’s going to take. So lay it out, and get the help that you need. “By next October, I’m going to loose 30 lbs of fat and gain 30 lbs of muscle. Because if I don’t my children will not get to grow up with a parent that can play with them. I will go to the Icehouse Fit 3x a week because the coaches care about me, and the members help hold me accountable. I am going to get 6 months of nutrition coaching from because that will teach me how to eat healthy and sustainibly for the rest of my life.”
Why We Need Goals
Keep this blog in mind when you fill out your next goals sheet. It is important that you take some time and really fill them out with a great goal so that we can help you. Without knowing your goals, and why you chose them it is extremely difficult for us to motivate you in the way that you need, it is difficult for you to motivate yourself without sharing your goals with someone who understands and truly wants to help. When you turn in your goals to your Primary Coach, be sure to use some of the things you have learned in this blog. You, and your coach need more than “I want to get fit.”
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.
We aren’t what we eat, rather we are what we absorb.
The digestive system is the foundation for all other processes that take place in the body. What we put into our body is what is mainly responsible for our energy, mood, performance, and overall wellness. In today’s age, there is a huge disconnect between what we put into our body and how that can affect our overall health. Poor nutrition, and even further, poor DIGESTION are major contributors to chronic disease.
I believe that proper digestion is the root to optimal health and here’s why: digestion begins in the brain. The brain signals saliva to be produced when we begin to chew food. Our saliva contains different enzymes that begin the breakdown of food. Chewing your food THOROUGHLY is extremely important for proper digestion. Ideally, we should chew each bite around 20-30 times (the average is 4). Chewed food becomes what is called a bolus that is swallowed and moved through the esophagus and down to the stomach.
WHEN DIGESTION IS OPTIMAL, adequate stomach acid is secreted in addition to pancreatic enzymes that further break down the bolus into a substance called chyme. Chyme is extremely acidic as it moves from the stomach into the small intestine. Once in the small intestine, the acidity of the chyme becomes more neutral thanks to additional enzymes that are secreted, as well as bile from the gallbladder. These are to further breakdown proteins and fats. MOST NUTRIENT ABSORPTION OCCURS IN THE SMALL INTESTINE. What is left from the chyme is passed through the large intestine where any remaining usable nutrients and water are absorbed before being excreted from the body.
This is why a properly functioning digestive system is essential to optimal health and performance. Every single thing we eat goes through this process. We can eat the healthiest diet, but if we are not digesting properly then we are not absorbing all of the nutrients our body needs.
As an athlete, we need a proper balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrates because we expend a lot of excess energy during workouts. In addition, we may also need to consume more calories to adequately replenish our glycogen stores, repair damaged muscles, nourish the body and maintain general health. The digestive tract of an athlete is put under more stress than that an individual who does not regularly train. This is why it is incredibly important that as an athlete, we have a strong digestive system to break down food properly for optimal absorption of its nutrients within the body.
Tips to improve digestion:
Chew food thoroughly. Ideally 20-30 chews per bite.
Eat in a relaxed state. Sit down to eat your meals without any distractions as this will let the body solely focus on the process of digestion.
Drink warm lemon water before meals. This is very soothing to the digestive tract in preparation for eating and the acidity of the lemon may help with stomach acid production.
Try not to consume liquids during meals. Small sips of water are okay, but avoid chugging drinks as this can dilute stomach acid.
Eat a properly prepared, nutrient-dense, whole food diet. In addition to the macro-nutrients, whole foods provide many micro-nutrients such as vitamins and minerals.
Eating seasonally is a great way to mix up your meals with fresh, in-season produce. Seasonal produce is purchased and consumed shortly after it has been harvested, and therefore when it is most nutritious. Even better, seasonal produce that is produced/purchased locally does not require long transport times and has moved from farm to table in a shorter amount of time.
Choosing local produce also has it’s own benefits:
Beneficial to our local environment.
Supports our local economy.
We are able to get to know our local farmers and growers who can tell us how their products are grown and raised.
Produce that is in season right now (early September) in North Dakota:
If you haven’t been to the Red River Farmer’s Market on Saturdays from 10 AM – 2 PM, I would highly recommend checking it out! Get to know the growers and support the local community. Plus, the produce there ROCKS!
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.
I’m not the hero that you deserve, but I am the hero that you need right now. I know that many of you are in the middle of a BIG schedule shift. You or your kids are going back to school, they have activities, and you are unsure how to balance their schedule, your schedule, and your fitness. Often times we see people drop their gym time to make room for the other things. It does not have to be that way! Here are 5 ways to keep your health and wellness on track as well as minimize the stress that comes with a schedule change.
5 Ways to Optimize Your Fall Schedule
1. Pack a Lunch
It’s going to be a long day, and scrambling to get everyone fed and where they need to be can throw your nutrition choices out of whack. Prepare your meals ahead of time, and you will save hours each week on just time to cook. It is a whole lot easier to skip the gas station breakfast sandwich when you have an apple and a yogurt ready to go. I spend around 3-4 hours on a Sunday preparing all of my meals for the week. Compare that to 1 hour a day and you are already saving 3-4 hours. You will also save a ton of money. I keep my grocery bill around $50/ week. I also eat nearly the recommended amount for the average man plus an average woman. It does not have to be pretty. Most days I bring a couple pieces of fruit, a bag of carrots, and a ziplock with sugar snap peas with me to work to snack on through the day. This keeps me full between meals and prevents me from eating junk. Save hours and money by packing a lunch!
2. Block Off Your Day
Every single coach at Icehouse practices time blocking. I’m not saying you have to record every minute of your day. Personally mine is very simple. 8-10am Laundry, Breakfast and Clean-up a little. 10-1, training. 1-8, Coach here at Icehouse. 8-10 Supper, Rom-Wod, and maybe some T.V. time. 10-8. Sleep. Doing this lets me know where I HAVE to be and when I have to be there. Start with the non-negotiabes and go from there.
3. Make Time for YOU Non-Negotiable
Here is a little tough love for you all. If coming to the gym is important to you, which we certianly hope it is, make it a priority. Often times we hear that “I just dont have time.” Well…. I call B.S! There are several people here who make it a prioity to work-out. Maybe you have to come to the 5:30 am class. Maybe you need to go to work early, and leave late so that you can come to the noon class. Maybe you even just come in to open gym for 15 minutes because thats all that you have. Make it happen, and just do it. If you are unable to treat yourself like a priority, then there is no way that you are being your best self for your coworkers, spouse, or kids. Take care of yourself so you can take care of others.
4. Embrace the Chaos
I personally loved when my schedule got hectic. Let me tell you why. When things get crazy, you have to do the thing when you have the time, or else you won’t have time. If you have 15 minutes to work on something, you better do it, or else you wont even get started. The same thing applies to your fitness. When your schedule is crazy, you have one shot to make it to the gym. It takes away your option to skip, or go later. No, you go now, or else you don’t go. Consistency is everyting. Coming 3 days a week, every week no matter what, is always better than coming 5 days this week and one day next week.
5. Start NOW
Don’t wait 3 weeks to see how everything goes with your schedule change before you get it under control. Don’t wait until winter. Get it under control now. I mean right now. You already know when your kids need to be to school, you know when you have to work, you know when you have to pick them up. So write it down, see where you have time, and put time for yourself in there. This simple way of looking at your time can work for making anything fit in your life. I understand things pop up, and you have to adjust. Roll with the punches, and make it work. You have the tools. Use them.
But I’ll tell you what I do know for sure right now
I feel sore! Don’t get me wrong, the first few weeks pretty consistently, and a day or two a week even now, I feel super sore. There’s a difference to it thought, there’s a familiarity. It’s very similar to when I first started training at Icehouse. I feel my body growing stronger in places that had been neglected over the winter. It’s a good thing.
I feel energized throughout the day! I took out dairy and gluten once again. If you haven’t tried eliminating those 2 items from your diet, I encourage you to try, for 3 weeks and see if you feel a difference.
I feel connected! Workouts aren’t a job, they are an hour that I get to spend with people I really, really like, being goofy and getting sweaty all at the same time.
I sleep better, stretching before bedtime is a great way to start slowing down your mind and body before bed.
I’m a better version of myself! I’m stronger now because I know that I can fall down, pick myself up and get back into habits that support the person that I want to be. It’s never too late!!
For More Info
If you’re interested in our “Fall into Basics 28-Day Nutrition Challenge” check out our Facebook Event and get all the details.
As you may have seen, we recently started shifting the name of our gym from CrossFit Icehouse over to Icehouse Fit.
We love Icehouse! We love the name, it truly feels like us! But as we have grown, we have added so many other programs to our gym such as Nutrition Coaching, Flux (Yoga + HIIT) classes, personal training, and our 6-week Challenge program to name a few.
We feel calling ourselves “CrossFit Icehouse” limits our ability to reach people. The word “CrossFit” holds quite a bit of weight in itself and tends to be intimidating. Have you ever heard, or even yourself said “CrossFit? I can’t do that!” We hear it almost daily! Even I have to admit that I also thought that was the case before I started as well.
Our tagline has always been “Building Everyday Athletes.” Our goal is to empower our clients to be better humans. We do not focus on what most people think of as CrossFit, which is competition (or what you may have seen on ESPN). We focus on the everyday person just trying to get a little healthier, feel a little better, or just keep up with their kids and/or grandkids. Icehouse’s goal is to support each of our athletes to help them feel stronger and achieve things they believe to be impossible at first.
There are so many avenues to take to start feeling better, so we have added options. Not ready to start an exercise program? Great! You can meet with our nutrition coach to get the information and support you need to make healthier choices and work towards your goals in the kitchen. Have previous injuries that you are concerned about flaring up with a new program? We have options catered to you to help you strengthen those areas to be able to start a new program, run that race, or climb that mountain! Do a lot of yoga but want to improve your strength & conditioning? Flux is a perfect fit for you! The point is fitness, health & wellness is NOT one size fits all, and neither are we.
So much more happens at Icehouse than just fitness, and we felt it important to evolve to allow that to happen, as well as open up the door to folks who may have previously been hung up on the “CrossFit” name.
Do you still offer CrossFit?
Yes! CrossFit Icehouse is still alive and well within Icehouse Fit, it is just no longer our lead brand. We even have multiple tiers or levels in every class so we can easily modify based on each person’s experience level to help them get the most out of every class. And WE TAKE CARE OF THAT FOR YOU! You do not need to come in and guess, we have highly experienced coaches whose job is to help make your class the best hour of your day! Because we believe fitness should be fun!
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.
The Business of CrossFit: An Update on the New Market Research. www.rallyfit.com. Retrieved 07.29.2018
Understanding CrossFit. CrossFit Level One Handbook. www.crossfit.com/seminar. Retrieved 07.29.2018