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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!
4 Steps to Help You Crush 2020

4 Steps to Help You Crush 2020

Welcome to December everyone!  I know December can be a challenging month for some of us and for others it’s the most exciting time of the year.  I wanted to write and share some things that have helped me embrace December and really set myself up for an amazing next year.

As you all know by now I geek out over goals and language and I believe they are two of the most important things to help us move our needle in life.  For me December is a month to take an in-depth look at 2019 and start dreaming of the life I want to put together in 2020.  Here’s how I do just that.

Step One

Take stock of 2019.  This is a time to be honest and gracious with yourself.  What I start by listing what actually happened this year that is significant enough to stick in my brain.  Once I have that list I cross off the good and the bad that were outside of my control.  Once I have a solid list of the things that happened this year that were in my control I learn from them.  I ask myself, how did this affect this year or will it affect the next year.  I journal about those, here’s the hard part, without judgement.  No judging myself, simply write how I feel those decisions affected 2019.

Step Two

I take about 2 hours and I write my perfect day.  If I could live the rest of my days just like this I would be happy.  If you want to try this both Mike Bledsoe and Jessie Elder have great step by step perfect day podcasts I would check out.  This is so important to get clear on what you want your life to look like.  The first time I did this it took about two weeks, now that I’m getting better it takes about 2 hours.  Focus on all the things you DO want in your life.

Step Three

I ask myself when I reflect on 2020 what do I want to see?  If I have a full day to myself I’m going to ask what do I want to see when I reflect on 2025?  Paint the picture in your mind, if it’s not there it won’t come true.  Allow yourself to be as unreasonable AF!  Dream big, write the things that you’ve never allowed yourself to say out loud.  Keys here you can’t use the words, should, could, maybe, or wish.  These have to be solid statements.

Step Four

Last but not least I add a date to these scary things and a because.  For Example: By 2025 I want to donate $5K to charity because I believe in making life less difficult for one another.  Boom there it is a big scary goal.  I’ll put this somewhere I can see it, review it weekly and make steps to achieving this goal.  Be unreasonable and set yourself up to be your best 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

5 Easy Tips to Keep Meal Prep Simple

5 Easy Tips to Keep Meal Prep Simple

When you think about meal prepping does it seem like some daunting, time consuming task that you HAVE to do? It definitely used to be that way for me. I felt like I needed to prep something different for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every single day. That, as you can imagine, led to a lot of money wasted on ingredients and a lot of extra food that sometimes went to waste. I now have a pretty tight budget when it comes to groceries because it can be so easy to go overboard. Developing a simple meal prep routine has really helped me stay on budget each month, eat healthy, and save time during the work week.

Here are my top tips for keeping meal prep simple:

  1. Make a plan for the entire week. Figure out your schedule with work, workouts, and extra curriculars and see where you can most benefit from meals that are already prepped. Hitting up the 6:40 PM class consistently? Definitely meal prep your dinners, so that by the time you get home all you need to do is reheat your food.
  2. Batch cook! Prep things like protein and starches in bulk. Add a bunch of chicken to a sheet pan or crock pot and cook enough servings for the entire week. Same with your starches– sweet potatoes, rice, spaghetti squash, etc. These generally take longer to cook and reheat fairly well, so make them ahead of the week to save time.
  3. Use convenience appliances like a crock pot or instant pot. During your weekend prep you can create entire meals to store in the freezer, then during the week add the meal to your crock pot and let it cook all day. Easy for family dinner nights! Pinterest has A TON of freezer meal ideas.
  4. Plan for meals that you know you will be eating out. Make meals out special! Spend your time and money wisely and choose places that serve quality food. Rather than grabbing fast food on your lunch break or on your way home from the gym (gasp).
  5. Choose a method that work for you. Do enjoy cooking dinner for yourself or your family each night? Great! When you do your weekend prepping make a plan for the week ahead and get all the ingredients you need. You can prepare ingredients like washing and chopping vegetables and thawing out protein. Everything will be ready to go each night when you make dinner. Do you know for a fact that you will not cook during the week? Then follow step 1!

I hope this helps! Establishing a healthy meal prep, or nutrition in general for that matter, routine takes some trial and error. You cannot know what will work best for you until you try out different things. You can only benefit from being organized!

Consistency Above All

Consistency Above All

Let’s all admit, we really like new things…we love novelty, what’s the newest greatest program, gadget, gear, shoe, piece of equipment, training technique…

As individuals, we display averages…we are the culmination of our habits…we are the average of the 5 people that we spend the most time with…it’s not what we know, it’s what we do consistently…

So what happens if we continue to chase the newest, coolest, shiniest thing we can put our hands on time after time…?

Well…we get…nowhere…

Really?

Think of it this way…you start with a destination.  “I want to drive from Fargo to Grand Forks.” You have a map that you trust will get you to your destination…then…you start deviating from the map…because…your internal voice starts getting loud, chirping about…anything really.  So you start taking exits, and you start making stops, and you can see the road you were on…but this road is brand new and maybe it’s faster but too new for your map to have included it…maybe?

Eventually you get…somewhere….for sure.  Is it where you originally wanted to go, is it where you want to be now?  That’s for you to decide. 

Let me break down this analogy…

You came to Icehouse to look good naked, have energy throughout your day, look good in your clothes, do things that fit people can do…then you talked to a coach and the coach told you to come to Icehouse 3-4 times a week, really get after the workout of that day; drink half of your body weight in ounces of water; eat relatively clean most of the time; sleep 8 hours a night…right?

And you did…for a bit, maybe even for a long while…then what?  

Choose your adventure…

Path #1

You were scrolling Instagram or Facebook and you see all of these people, who you don’t know, pitching these deviations to your plan…new gear, new diet, new training program and your brain somehow convinced you that this map that you had wasn’t the best map to get you to where you want to go, so you start improvising, adding a program here, a program there….

Suddenly you’re training 5-11 sessions a week, and you’ve only got 75% (maybe) of your energy to give to each of your training sessions, you’re tired, you’re under fueled, you’re training at Icehouse like it’s your job (literally) and suddenly the magic has worn a bit…it’s a box to check…sure you see your friends, but you’re super tired and you’re getting your work done to say that you got your work done…

What’s worse is that your stress from training has negatively impacted your performance, and your body composition (remember wanting to look good naked)…you’re not happy, you’re not as strong as you think you should be, and you think you’re not training hard enough so you scroll through more Instagram and pile on more training to combat your overtraining…

What’s the fix?

Talk to a coach, let us help you take a good, honest look at what your goals are, how you’re training, how you’re eating, how you’re recovering, and make sure they’re all supporting your goals

…Too busy for a meeting with a coach?

  • Come to CrossFit or Flux 3-4 times a week, and bring your 100% for that day
  • Get 8 hours of sleep every night
  • Drink half of your body weight in water every day
  • Eat real food, most of the time

Path #2

You were scrolling Instagram or Facebook and you see all of these people, who you don’t know, pitching these deviations to your plan…new gear, new diet, new training program and your brain somehow convinced you that this map that you had wasn’t the best map to get you to where you want to go, so you start improvising…doing more “home workouts”, maybe doing more open gym workouts…?

Suddenly you’re avoiding CrossFit classes because the classes are interfering with the science behind what you’re new program is designed to do…

Then…you’re training by yourself a lot…or not training at all, not on purpose…it just happened…you lost that accountability…and that community…you feel like you made your choice and you can’t come back

What’s the Fix?

Talk to a coach, let us help you take a good, honest look at what your goals are, how you’re training, how you’re eating, how you’re recovering, and make sure they’re all supporting your goals

…Too busy for a meeting with a coach?

  • Come to CrossFit or Flux 3-4 times a week, and bring your 100% for that day
  • Get 8 hours of sleep every night
  • Drink half of your body weight in water every day
  • Eat real food, most of the time

Hey!?! That fix looks awfully familiar…

Yep, remember…the title of this blog is “Consistency Above All”…the truth is you can do just about any program out there.  As long as you are sleeping, you are recovering, you are eating clean, and you are training consistently fitness is attainable.  

After 6-12 months of consistency you will hit a wall, then you come and see a coach and we’ll develop a plan together to get over that wall…but you first have to get that 6-12 months of consistency…

…Now is as good a time to get your consistency dialed in with our Icehouse Check-In Challenge going on now until the end of 2019

…Now I understand it’s easy to hear about consistency from a coach, right?  Well if you have any questions about “real world” Icehousers here’s a list of our…

Consistency Champions (10/12 months on our #committed Board)

Angelina Akers; Betsy Bohnenblust; Allie Bondy; Cierra Brinkman; Soni Cariveau; John Dalziel; Elli Feist; Mike Gallagher; Jeremy Grinsteinner; Holly Hagen; Becky Hanson; John Heller; Jordan Larson; KJ Loughead; Tracy Nelson; Racheal Paveglio; Leslie Rumble; Nancy “Shots” Stenger; Alex Vruno; Nick Williams

Honorable Mentions (8/12 Months on our #committed Board)

Sarah Borders; Emma Dunham; Jordan Johnson; Adam Kolling; Emily Monson; Preston Nesemeier; Chad Quamme; Skylar Wehri; Tyler Williams

Consistency Above All…It doesn’t matter what you KNOW…what do you DO consistently?

The Formerly Pregnant Crossfitter: A Reflection

The Formerly Pregnant Crossfitter: A Reflection

CrossFit, at the best of times, has a stigma of being the workout regimen for the insane, balls to the wall, would rather puke than rest individuals. Yes, it can be intense but it’s all a matter of personal choice. But the general population does not see that. Now take a woman who does CrossFit and tell her she’s pregnant.

Pregnancy, back in the day, meant a woman was to stay in bed and do nothing except grow a baby. Slowly through time, women were allowed to walk around and do the bare minimum, but don’t strain yourself, sweetheart. Fast forward through the centuries to today when everyone has a theory, insight, or, best of all, an opinion on how or if a pregnant woman can approach exercise.

What people need to understand, from what I experienced during pregnancy, is that the level of intensity a pregnant woman can work out at is dependent on that woman and her baby. That’s it. One pregnancy is not the same as the next. It never has been and never will be.

I was lucky enough to have an OBGYN who stayed active during her pregnancies and recommended I keep doing what I was doing during mine. Her only advice was to watch my heart rate and listen to my body. She recommended this not only because of her experiences but also because I had been doing CrossFit faithfully for 2 years when I got pregnant. My body was used to the intensity; I had self-awareness built up to know when to go hard or dial it back. The takeaway here is that I could keep doing CrossFit through pregnancy because it was familiar. Pregnancy is NOT a good time to start Crossfit if you’ve not done it before.

The first trimester was a learning experience.

As much as I wanted WODs to be business as usual, it became more apparent that adjustments needed to be made. During the 2019 Open, I did the workouts the best I could but found that my heart rate would get way too high to keep the baby safe. A woman’s heart rate naturally gets higher during pregnancy to accommodate the little alien and all the extra blood in the body. Weights went down slightly on all my lifts. The first three months were all about learning to play the same game but with new rules.

The second trimester is when the belly starts to form. As weird as it sounds, it’s about re-learning how to move through familiar movements. Once my bump started to show up, I had to adjust my position in my squats. All my extra weight was on the front of my body, forcing me to send the rest of my weight further into my heels. Modifications started coming into play. The beauty of CrossFit is that mods can be made without sacrificing intensity. I kept doing box jumps and double unders until they became cumbersome and uncomfortable. Then I did weighted step ups or went on the assault bike instead of using a rope. Running was almost completely replaced with rowing or biking. I always watched my heart rate and made movement choices based on what was best for me and my little girl.

Things got frustrating in the third trimester.

Burpees were long gone, most barbell movements were replaced by dumbbells, and my beloved wall balls were downsized from the Rx 14 pounds to 10. Pregnancy is psychological as well as physical, so through all the adjustments that I almost felt insulted by, I reminded myself that this was for a greater good.

My last CrossFit workout was 3 days before I went into labor.

I’m proud to say that I was able to attend Crossfit WODs at least 12 times per month each month of my third trimester. That was possible because we did it the smart way. My coach knows my mindset and knew how to communicate with me when I wanted to crush a WOD but he knew I shouldn’t. He made each workout approachable for a pregnant person without it being too simple, keeping my fragile ego intact. Looking at you, Baby Traps.

Another helpful factor was having an OB that understood my lifestyle and goals.

This, obviously, isn’t something a gym can provide as they are not doctors, but it is important to have a doctor who supports you. If my OB had said no working out during pregnancy, I would have gone insane. Working out during pregnancy is mental as much as physical. It gives you a sense of normalcy when everything else is going upside down.

The last important ingredient is to have a great support system.

Surround yourself with people who know your pregnancy and postpartum fitness goals.  My pregnancy goals were to keep from gaining a ton of preggo weight, (which I ultimately had no control over), and to stay sane through the mind-numbing, endorphins-producing “cult” of CrossFit. My postpartum goals, which will be attacked as soon as my doctor says it’s cool, are to go as hard as my body will let me and allow myself time to get back to where I was as far as performance.

It’s important to note that this is a reflection of only one pregnancy, mine. I had an incredibly easy pregnancy that allowed me to keep moving at the speed I was used to. That’s not the situation for everybody.  Some women are high-risk pregnancies and need to scale earlier or more drastically. And CrossFit allows for that. There are women who become so flexible during pregnancy that lifting the loads they are used to is dangerous. They can maintain the intensity by modifying the movement and CrossFit allows for that.

Moral of this long story:

If you know of a pregnant woman doing CrossFit, support her. She has talked with her doctors and coaches and is doing what she needs to do. She will scale as she needs to, rest as she needs to, and perform her best. Outside opinions are not necessary. In fact, applause to all the pregnant women, past, present, and future, who endured the CrossFit stigma as well as the endless opinions about safe fitness during pregnancy. You were strong before but, damn, you’re titans now.

As for myself, I can’t wait to get back and annihilate some girl WODs. Specifically Karen, Kelly, Cindy, Barbara, Helen, Annie, and Fran. Because after labor, nothing can hurt me now.

 

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!

Top 5 Massage Benefits for Athletes

Top 5 Massage Benefits for Athletes

Reblog from our resident Massage Therapist, Nancy “Shots” Stenger from Rest Day Massage.

Massage and recovery go hand in hand. It doesn’t take a massage therapist to know that stretching sore muscles is going to help them feel better.

Actually, massage is instinctual.

Think of the times you shook out your hands before jumping back up on the pull-up bar or grabbed your quads because they were on fire after rowing. It’s hardwired in us to get blood flow back and to dull the senses in an area of pain, and that’s essentially what massage is.

Ok, if it was really that simple, then I wouldn’t have a job. But the point is, our bodies naturally crave massage to feel better.

As athletes, we are constantly pushing our bodies, and that can take a toll on our muscles. Below are the top 5 ways massage can help you become a better athlete.

1. Accelerates recovery

Massage increases blood flow both locally and system-wide.

That increased blood flow flushes out metabolic waste from the muscles (aka the lactic acid that makes your muscles feel like they are on fire). It also brings in nutrients and oxygen back into the muscles to help them regenerate torn muscle tissue and return back to their normal balance so you can hit the workout just as hard the next day.

Added bonus: The increased blood flow also helps the body circulate lymph, which is a fluid that helps destroy pathogens in the body. This allows you to fight off sickness quicker or helps you avoid it altogether.

2. Reduces the risk of injury

Dysfunction causes injury. Let me repeat that, DYSFUNCTION CAUSES INJURY.

When our bodies are 100% balanced, nothing short of a catastrophic event would cause tears, sprains, or strains. Unfortunately, no human is free from dysfunction. So what do I mean by that?

3. Restores mobility and flexibility

Duh. Seems like a no brainer. Stretching muscles promotes mobility and flexibility, but with the help of a licensed massage therapist, you can make sure you are hitting the stretches that your body REALLY needs and make sure that you are doing them properly.

4. Increases body awareness

Remember when you first started CrossFit and you were sore in areas that you never knew were possible? It’s like that with massage as well.

During a massage, you become more aware of muscle groups. Tight muscles are loosened up, and your body becomes aware of aches, pains, or even injuries that it just wasn’t concerned about at the time.

A massage is also an opportunity for a professional to look at and feel your muscle tissue. Between my BA in Biology and my certificate in Massage Therapy, I’ve studied anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, and pathology. I’ve been trained on how the human body is supposed to work as well as seeing when something isn’t quite right.

It was actually on a massage table when I learned about my hamstring imbalance. My right hamstring is much more developed than my left, and my massage therapist pointed it out to me.

I notice it all the time now! My right heel pops up first when I squat, my right leg tightens up faster on runs, and I put my weight on my right foot when I’m standing still. I notice it ALL THE TIME!

Remember what I said before, dysfunction causes injury, so I’ve incorporated more exercises to strengthen my left hamstring muscles. I’m started to feel more balanced, my lifts seem smoother, and I’ve potentially lessened my chance for injury. Boom!

5. Promotes healthy tissue growth

Like I said before, massage increases blood flow to the area which starts the repair process. But repairing muscle, and repairing muscle correctly aren’t the same thing.

Massage helps lay down tissue in the correct muscle fiber direction. This helps ensure that the muscle is moving how it was designed to. It also helps break up scar tissue and fascial restrictions that inhibit proper muscle movement.

Halloween Candy and You

Halloween Candy and You

Halloween is just the beginning of all of the treats that accompany the holiday season. It’s so easy to grab a handful of candy when it’s sitting in excess around the house. Here is a fun game to play with your kids to get rid of all the extra Halloween candy. It’ll benefit you AND them!

Ghouls, Goblins, and Monsters all sweep the streets on the last night of October. You prep your kiddos to be scary, cute, fun and cool for a chance to stay up late and get candy! Halloween is the one night you get to be someone (or something) else, walk alongside people in your community, subject yourself to a haunted house or two, and take candy from neighbors.

While there are so many positive sides to trick or treating, there is one major negative side. The CANDY!  In all its glory and yumminess, candy is not an ideal part of a well-balanced diet! It can cause hyperactivity, weight gain, obesity, diabetes, and so much more. So how can you alleviate the burden of such a monumental part of Halloween?

Introduce the Switch Witch!

The Switch Witch is a fun and exciting way to get rid of all the excess candy. After a fun night of Trick-Or-Treating, have your kids choose the top 5-10 pieces of candy that they want to keep and then put the rest outside of their bedroom door when they go to sleep.Why would they do that you ask? Here’s more on the Switch Witch:

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Not sure what to do with all of the excess Halloween candy? We are donating to Operation Gratitude this year. It is an organization that sends donated Halloween candy to our troops overseas. We will be collecting excess candy for donation through Monday, November 4th to send out on Wednesday the 6th! Drop your candy off at Icehouse and we will take care of the rest. 🙂

 

Coach Skeds’ “Fit for Fall” Recap

Coach Skeds’ “Fit for Fall” Recap

#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?

…Not really…

What?!?

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.