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Rediscovering CrossFit

Rediscovering CrossFit

I’m no different than you.  I become impatient, I allow myself to get distracted, I distract myself, I look for the new shiny thing when the shine has worn off the last new shiny thing…

If you’ve fallen off the CrossFit wagon for whatever reason and think it’s too late…keep reading, get back on the wagon, and ride with me!

I started training at Icehouse because it felt different than any place I’ve ever worked out.

At 37 years old, with just over 1 year of training, going to 4 – 5 CrossFit classes a week…

I got in the absolute best shape of my life

  • “Fran” time was under 4:30
  • 5K Run time was just over 26 mins

I had the best body composition of my life

  • 76 lbs muscle mass,
  • 13.7% body fat

Enter…Distraction…

I should be doing more…I should be doing something different, right?…I’m bored…

  • I stopped going to classes and trained on my own most of the time, no friends
  • My workouts were a job, they were checklists to complete, no fun
  • I ate outside of my normal schedule and my normal diet more way often, no nutrition
  • I didn’t do any functional fitness outside of the gym; no play

Honestly, I took for granted the friends, the fun and the play of training in classes and let my nutrition take a dive.

…And how’d that turn out?

About as well as you’d imagine

My fitness regressed

  • Lost 90 seconds on my mile time
  • All of my gymnastics became more difficult (pull-ups, toes to bar…)
  • I felt sluggish, tired, lackadaisical

My body composition regressed as well

  • Lost over 1 lb of muscle
  • Gained 4% body fat

Now What?

Since July I’ve been training 4-5 days a week, attending 3 minimum of CrossFit classes a week at Icehouse, and getting an additional workout in, outside of normal class time if needed.

I’ve also recently added in stretching for 20 minutes 4 nights a week, playing on a  basketball court for 45 minutes 4 days a week and intentionally meal prepping every week.

…And how has that turned out?

I don’t yet have the body comp or fitness data (that’ll come with the “Fall Back to Basics 28-Day Nutrition Challenge” here at Icehouse in September)

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.

Most importantly!

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.

If you’re interested in jumping back into fitness yourself, take some time to schedule a meeting with a coach here at Icehouse and we’ll get you started!

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

 

 

How to Measure Progress

How to Measure Progress

When you first start CrossFit, it is easy to see progress in the gym. Every day you have a new movement, a new chance to set a PR. After a year, or two, or three, it can be much harder to see progress from day to day. Here are a few ways we can measure progress.

How to Measure Progress

Use Sugarwod

For those of us who keep our entire lives on our phones, it only makes sense to keep our workout information there as well. Choose an app, we use Sugarwod, and record everything. The more notes the better, you will thank yourselves for the extra information when you are deciding between going for the same weight you used last time, or if you should jump 5 lbs.

Keep a “Workout Journal”

If you have the handwriting for it a workout journal is a really cool tool to track your progress as well. Pick a nice book, or a legal pad and use a page a day, per workout, or however else you want to organize it. The cool thing about a workout journal is that it is your own. You’ll know exactly where everything is recorded, and it will make sense to you. They also are a neat keepsake when you fill them up.

Go to a Baseline Class

Saturday, 8 am. We recommend you go to this class quarterly. You will get an InBody scan as well as our baseline workout. This will give you objective data. The coach will help you understand your results and how to proceed. Sign up now. Classes are capped at 5, you definatley don’t want to miss this opportunity.

Get an InBody Scan

Schedule an InBody scan with your primary coach, they will help you understand what all the numbers mean. In general, we want to see muscle mass go up, and body fat % go down. Bodyweight doesn’t tell the whole story. Don’t focus too much on that one number because it is often not the best picture of progress.

Progress is NOT Linear

There are so many variables that can make you feel like you are not making progress. Sleep, nutrition, mood, stress, work, kids and even attitude can have a direct effect on your daily workout. What are the odds that on any given day, you are going to come in perfectly prepared for a 1 rep max? If any one of those variables are even slightly off, you may not see all of your hard work in the form of a PR. This is where notes come in handy. So what, you didn’t hit that new weight. Put it in your notes. “Missed, less than 3 hours of sleep” and move on. Progress takes time, and if you don’t measure it in some way. It is easy to say there is none, because you don’t feel it on that day. If you zoom out and look at the big picture you will see that the overall trend is up.

 

Crushing Goals Together #FITFAM

Crushing Goals Together #FITFAM

One of the greatest joys that I have experienced as a result of my own fitness journey, and at times obsession, is the influence it has had on my family as a whole.

Reasons families that workout together CRUSH together:

  • When your family takes part in fitness the understanding of the importance of it in our lives becomes clear to everyone.
  • Setting a positive example for the people we love the most, is one of the best ways to motivate and encourage them.
  • Our children are like sponges, they always want to do what mom and dad are doing, especially the little ones.
  • Nutrition becomes much easier around the house when everyone is on board.
  • It’s motivating to have your kiddos want to be fit, and think its fun!  Because it is fun, even if we forget that sometimes.

In a lot of ways, we have to think about how our own selfishness can actually be a positive thing in the lives of the people that we love. I agree that taking time away from your children to work on your own health feels crappy sometimes. But the amount of quality that you are able to inject into your own life overflows into the lives of those that are closest to you. When that starts to happen people take notice.

All of a sudden your energy levels are higher, and climbing up the slide the wrong direction isn’t as hard to do, even if it is for the hundredth time. Your patience for that teenager who for some reasons finds it to be the end of the world that you would ask that they unload the dishwasher is a little better. The foods you eat and give to your family provide well-rounded nutrients that they need to feel good about themselves and be fit too.

Before you know it you’re a family of active, motivated, happy, and fit people!

The best part is that now those healthy habits have lead to a family that spends more time together. Whether it is at the gym or on the bike trail, your family is fit and the love and pride you have in each other’s accomplishments become a topic of regular conversation at that dinner table.

No one is perfect, and being tired is very much so going to be a thing still. But when you start to prioritize taking care of your self and your family does the same, it’s a good tired. The kind of tired that leads to a good night’s sleep and another day of crushing goals and achieving dreams!

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.

Movement with TRAPS: A coach’s perspective

Movement with TRAPS: A coach’s perspective

Its been a long day and the competition has been fierce. 5 works outs in, they have tested you in every conceivable way. The final work out is announced, its the last and final opportunity to lay it all on the line, give it your all, and walk away feeling proud of the efforts you’ve put forth. Sometimes the body has a different idea.

It was in this final workout that my shoulder decided it would have no more and slipped out and under the ring on that last muscle up. The damage I did while not devastating was done. Thus began my road to recovery, filled with:
1. doubt
2. anger
3. fear
4. MOST IMPORTANTLY GROWTH! (both physically and mentally)

When I first approached Coach Jordan regarding my injury I had spent the previous 3 months:

Month #1: pretending that there was nothing wrong and that I could grit my way through the pain.
Month #2: attempting every bit of PT, Chiropractic, Massage, and yoga that I could think of without result.
Month #3: taking More IBUPROFEN then one’s liver is meant to handle, Got a MRI and offered Cortisol Shots on numerous occasions

It was at the discussion of my MRI results that it became clear I had 2 choices. Continue to do the same things expecting different results. Humble myself and ask for help.

I am happy to say I choose the latter. Thank God I did!

Coach Jordan took me through his process of assessment, planning, support, evaluation, and revaluation like a true pro.

If this is sounding like it was so easy to get going with a new plan, dedicate myself to it and truly believe that the results would follow. If you are reading this blog that way, truly I am sorry because it was not that easy, and I am glad it was not.

There were plenty of moments where me and Coach had to sit down and talk about the value of trying things a new way, not allowing my ego and pride take over and dismiss the progress I was making no matter how slow it felt to me. Let me not forget that heated conversation regarding the approach we take towards the goals we want to achieve.

“Change the approach you take to your training, to one of belief in the process, and change the outcome for the positive” Coach Jordan.

Not only did we change the way we approached my training which affected the way I felt about the outcomes for the better. We also put and emphasis on the abilities I still possessed at the highest level. As a Result I saw improvements far beyond making my shoulder better and more stable.

1. increase in core strength
2. my engine saw a dramatic improvement
3. my squat numbers and the health of my knees improved
4. I accepted and acknowledged that my ability to perform in the gym does not define me as a human being!

Its hard to trust someone else with your success, and even more so your health. As people we want to think that we have the answers and that we are in control. But an outside perspective, one that has altruistic intentions and at its core wants to support you and see you be happy, is worth taking a chance on.

I truly regret nothing, not the all out effort I put forth in that competition leading me down this path, not the up hill battle I have spent the last 6 months trudging, and certainly not the idea to ask for help.

Coach Jordan AKA TRAPS AKA BABY TRAPS AKA BABY FACE COACH AKA my colleague, my Friend, and a man I trust and respect fully lead me on the path to sustainable recovery. He did it in ways that challenged me and helped me to grow in ways that I didn’t even know that I needed to.

I truly am grateful for him and for the expertise in movement he brought into my life.

If this blog spoke to you at all and your in pain, it does not have to be that way, ask for help.