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4 Ways to Keep Summer Simple

4 Ways to Keep Summer Simple

The summer can sometimes be a roll of the nutrition dice.

You may have a summer full of travel, outdoor parties, and schedule inconsistencies. These types of summers are memorable but can make it hard to stay on track with nutrition. Or, you may have a summer with a lighter workload, no school commitments, and a lot of extra time to commit to fitness and nutrition.

Regardless of the type of summer you have, there is no reason to stray from your plan for an extended period of time. After all, you do not want to reverse all of the amazing progress you have made so far.

Here are 4 ways to enjoy your summer and events, while still maintaining your progress and building healthy habits.

  1. Continue to track in MyFitnessPal:  People who track are more likely to stay on track. Don’t avoid entering meals if you “went over.” That’s okay! Have your treat and move on, but be aware of where you are.
  2. Eat vegetables first: For every meal, continue to fill up on vegetables first. By doing this, you consume fewer calories in the long run.
  3. Plan ahead for travel meals: If you are traveling, think about meals ahead of time. Pack non-perishable snacks such as RX Bars, turkey jerky, and whey protein. Make sure you always have a quick snack for when you are hungry.
  4. Monitor your alcohol intake: Keep an eye on the amount of sugar in your drinks. Avoid sugary, premixed drinks and stick to clear liquors or wine. This will help cut your sugar and calorie intake.

If your summer means a shift in your routine, use it to your advantage. How can you use this opportunity to build good habits?

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.

Your First Weightlifting Meet – Part 1

Your First Weightlifting Meet – Part 1

How to Prepare for Your First Weightlifting Meet

Probably the most intimidating thing about a weightlifting meet is not knowing what to expect or how they work. So let’s go behind the curtain and clear all of that up!  We will go through the pre-meet details here, and part 2 will cover the day of.

Step 1: Pick a Meet & Register

You will want to find a meet that is at least 6 weeks out so you’ll have plenty of time to prepare & train. I personally prefer to go 12 weeks out so I can complete a full training cycle prior.

In order to register you will need to know a few things.

Determine your weight class

They are in Kilos, so take your weight in pounds & divide it by 2.2 to get your weight in Kilos. I would select the one that you fall into at your mid day weight eating as you usually would. You can cut or mass to hit another weight class but I would not recommend doing that for your first meet.  Use the first meet to get a feel for the flow of these events vs worrying about weigh in.

If the competition day rolls around and you gained or lost weight, you can still declare a new weight class.  You just need to tell the judge at the weigh in prior to stepping on the scale.

Weight Classes

USA Weightlifting Membership Number

You will also need to register as a USAW Member in order to compete, so make sure to do that when you sign up for the meet itself! Here is the link to join: USAW Registration.

Search for a local meet that is at least 6 weeks out and get registered HERE.

Step 2: Train & Prepare!

Pick a Training Program/Cycle: Now that you’ve determined when you will be competing, it is time to get a plan together.  There are some great free programs out there, or we can help you put a plan together based on your goals for the meet.  (More to come on this option in June!)

Learn the Rules: If you’ve never seen a weightlifting meet before, I would highly recommend reading through the rules so you are prepared.  There are a long list of rules, and if you’d like to nerd out you can read them all HERE.

A few basic rules are:

  • You get 3 attempts at the Snatch, then 3 at the Clean & Jerk.
  • The order of lifters goes from lowest attempt and builds up from there.You will need to declare your next lift to the scores table so you can be worked into the lifting order.
    • Once a barbell is loaded weight cannot go down. So you will want to make sure your next attempt is submitted so you don’t miss the weight on the bar you want to attempt. (Have a coach or friend help with this, it makes life much easier).
  • You have 1 minute from the time the bar is loaded and you are called lift.
  • If you are following yourself (for example you missed and want to repeat a weight and no other lifters will be attempting that weight), then you get 2 minutes for that lift.
  • You must catch the barbell with locked out arms for it to count. If you press out it will be a no lift.

Determine your Openers

Your opener should be something you can hit for 2-3 doubles during training. You should be able to hit it 1-2 times in the back (for the snatch, not the clean & jerk) with 100% confidence. Then walk out and crush it for your first attempt.

Second attempt should still be something you’re confident in, and not more than a ~4kg increase from the first on the snatch. For Clean & Jerk not more than ~6kg for the second attempt. The third attempt can be a bit more risky, but something you typically make at least two out of three times in training.

Set Goals: This is your first meet, so set your goals accordingly. My first meet’s goals were

  • Have fun
  • Learn as much about meets as possible
  • Get a Total (AKA hit at least 1 snatch & 1 Clean & Jerk)

While it is possible to hit a personal best lift at your first meet, I would plan to pick an opener you know you can hit. Be a bit more conservative as nerves are a funny thing during that first lift with all eyes on you.

Practice!

Find some time to get together during an open gym with friends for a mock meet (we are happy to help). Two weeks before a meet is a great time to try out your openers in this format.  Even if it is just lifting with a few friends with the timer running. Ask someone pretending to be the judge that will be in front of the “platform.” Have them simply give you the “down” call, which is what the judge will do at the meet once you have the bar controlled.

Up next: A Guide to the Day of the meet

 

Introducing Icehouse Movement!

Introducing Icehouse Movement!

What is Icehouse Movement?

Icehouse Movement is a program that determines the cause behind painful movement and corrects the problem so that you can move without pain. Think of it this way. There is a road between you and your goal, but it is currently blocked by pain, injury, and imbalances. Icehouse movement finds a way to remove those road blocks so that you have a clear road to chase down those goals!

Who?

Icehouse movement is a personal program, meaning that it is specific to you and your needs. However, it requires someone who is consistent and willing to do the work. 15 minutes, 3 days a week, before or after class. Ideal candidates are on the committed to their fitness, if you don’t come to the gym at least three days a week, it’s difficult to do extra work those three days.

How doses it work?

Step 1: Choose a Program

We have two options, a virtual membership ($120/ Month), and an in person membership ($180/ Month). Virtual memberships include, initial movement screen, strength balance test, bi-weekly programming, and unlimited virtual check-ins. In person memberships include, monthly movement screen, quarterly strength balance test, bi-weekly programming, and unlimited virtual as well as in person check-ins.

Step 2: Movement Screen

The movement screen is an evaluation that we use to determine the “low hanging fruit.” This screen allows me to see if there is any obvious issues, such as lack of ankle mobility, making it difficult to squat to depth. In the event that there are no big neon signs saying FIX ME the movement screen will tell me where to look. It takes about 15 minutes, and is a great tool for your own understanding of your body.

Step 4: Strength Balance Test

The strength balance test is similar to the movement screen, but much more in depth. This test assesses the force production between the front and back of your body as well as your left to right strength balance. This test takes around an hour to complete and is extremely valuable to any athlete looking to get the most out of their training.

Step 5: Complete the Programming

You will recieve an email on Sunday evening containing two weeks worth of programming. This program is not a replacement for CrossFit classes. It is designed to compliment the programming here at Icehouse, or at your gym. It will take about 15 minutes three days a week. All you need to do is follow the program and provide feedback! I use that feedback to make sure the programming is on point and get results.

Step 6: Repeat

Every two weeks you will recieve programming to direct you toward your goals. All you need to do is do the work. We have had several clients experience positive results within the first two weeks. Lasting physical change takes time, most clients are pain free within 3 months. This program will give you every opportunity to achieve your goals. Let me remove the road blocks, so that you have a clear path to the finish line.

I’m really excited for this program, and I am already seeing great results from my clients.  If you are interested in Icehouse Movement, set up a consultation with me, Coach Traps, at the front desk.

 

5 Steps to Become a Better Runner

Running season is here in Fargo! Here are 5 tips to help you get back into running after a long winter.

5 Steps to Become a Better Runner

1) Start Slow

I know you are anxious to get back into running, but be sure to have a plan that fits your current ability level. When someone decides to train for a marathon, they don’t start out by running 26.2 miles on the first day. Select a distance that you can comfortably cover, and slowly bring that volume up. For someone just learning about running or getting back into running I recommend starting out with a 20 minute walk a few days a week. For a beginner, a sample program would look something like 20 minutes, run 1 minute, walk 90 seconds. For an intermediate it may look like 2 miles 3 days a week. For advanced runners there are several different variations and programs to get the volume you need. After you get more comfortable with your baseline you can start to add volume by adding in an extra day of running each week, or adding miles to one of the days. Be sure to stay with this new volume for a few weeks to allow your body to adjust, that way you will be able to recover in time for your next run.

2) Warm Up & Cool Down

It’s easy to just jum right into a run and think “I’ll just warm up as I go.” Thats not the best plan, you wouldn’t load up the bar with your 1 Rep Max squat without any warm up, and you shouldnt do that for running either. A good warm up for running that wont add much time to your workout is 5 minutes of stretching, followed by 5 minutes of walking leading into a light jog and eventually into your running pace. A proper warm up is critical to preventing injuries. Cooling down can be just as important to your injury prevention as your warm up. A proper cool down gradually brings your body back to its pre-exercise state. A good cool down can be as simple as a 10 minute walk at the end of your run followed by 5 minutes of stretching. The extra time is well spent on a proper warm up and cool down.

3) Explore the Area Parks

There are several parks in Fargo that offer great running opportunities. Believe me, a run is much more enjoyable when the scenery consists of more than your neighborhood block or city buildings. Check out an interactive map of Fargo Parks. My personal favorite is any of the trails along the Red River, as long as they are not under water of course!

4) Be Consistent

It is extremely unlikely to set out and be an all star runner on your very first day. Determine what days you can work running into your schedule. Make a plan and stick to it! No mater where you are on your running journey, a dedicated plan that you are consistent with will get you where you want to be. If your goal is to run a marathon or a 5k or even just to get outside you have to commit. Be sure to warm up and cool down each and every time you run. If the weather stops your run try your best to fit it in another day. A good way to make sure you stay consistent is by telling your self what you DO want to do instead of what you don’t want to do. Instead of “I don’t want to go for a run today because it’s raining.” Tell yourself “I feel like doing extra recovery today so that I can run more on Saturday.”

5) Find a Running Partner

Finding someone to run with can be great fun. You can hold eachother accountable and challenge one another to push toward your goals. There are several members around our gym who would be willing to help you find a running buddy. Another great resource is Beyond Running, not only can they help you get all of the apparel and shoes you may need, they are extremely knowledgable and will point you in the right direction when it comes to finding running groups as well as some advanced tecniques to improve even more.

 

If you found this blog helpful, leave us a comment with your running plan!
“Performing the common uncommonly well.”

“Performing the common uncommonly well.”

We all want to progress and be better at the goals we have set for ourselves and achieve a higher level of fitness, and we all want it right now. Truthfully there is nothing wrong with that. In fact your desire to improve can be a great motivator on your journey towards a greater level of health and fitness, not just in the gym but outside as well.

The purpose of this conversation however is to address the process we take to achieve that next level. Be forewarned this is an honest conversation that expects you to check yourself and be realistic about your answers.

How many times have you been at the gym working your way through another awful set of wall balls and that one didn’t quite hit the line at the high enough spot, or maybe that squat on the last one was not quite below parallel? You might count it as a rep anyways and keep on going. I mean really who is it going to hurt? Nobody saw it, and nobody really cares if you did 24 out of 25 full, true, wall balls.

The truth is YOU SHOULD CARE! Not because it matters what everyone else thinks about your wall balls, but rather how you feel about completing the work in its entirety. At the end of the day, the person you are hurting is you.

There is an article written by CrossFits founder, Mr. Greg Glassman, that talks specifically about this and more-so it talks about the process it takes to gain meaningful success in the gym and how that can be achieved through true virtuosity.

It sounds like a buzz word or something cool for the coaches to say (to let you know that they know all the things and stuff) but practicing virtuosity by “performing the common uncommonly well” will not only serve to help you achieve those goals faster in the gym, but also in life.

It all starts with the foundations of movement. Air squat before we overhead squat, and must learn to overhead squat before we learn to snatch. Don’t take this as a shot at your ego or that you are doing anything wrong. Take this as an opportunity to get best at the basics and to make the more complex movements beneficial; not only for your safety but also for your overall fitness.