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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!
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.

 

Why We NEED Goals

Why We NEED Goals

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.”

 

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.

The Importance of Proper Digestion for an Athlete

The Importance of Proper Digestion for an Athlete

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:

  1. Chew food thoroughly. Ideally 20-30 chews per bite.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Try not to consume liquids during meals. Small sips of water are okay, but avoid chugging drinks as this can dilute stomach acid.
  5. 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.