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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.

W.H.O.O.P.I.E Goal Setting

W.H.O.O.P.I.E Goal Setting

I was going through my lists of podcast the other day and came across one that really hit home. Ben Bergeron in “Chasing Excellence” was talking about an awesome way to set goals called WHOOPIE.  Since we have been talking a lot about goals this January I thought I would share this one as well.

Wishing and Hoping

The W and the H stand for wishing and hoping.  Science shows that when you wish for things and hope for things your brain gets excited. Sharing your wishes and hopes brings the brain to a whole other level of excited.  So when you hanging out with all your friends next week and you tell them “I’m going to deadlift twice my body weight this year,” you usually leave that party pretty pumped.  The down side, most people stop there, don’t be most people!

**Studies also show that writing down your goal gives you a Much higher chance of crushing that goal, so go ahead write it down, I’ll wait.

Outcome

So now that you’ve got that written down, let’s move on the O.  The first O is Outcome, basically looking at the big picture and what your results or “end goal” will be.  This part is really exciting too.  For example if your end goal is to lose weight it’s fun to think about how awesome you’ll be looking during lake season or how much stronger you’ll be in the gym. A lot of people make it to this step too as it’s still pretty exciting.

Obstacles 

The next O stands for Obstacles.  It’s important to take into account what type of obstacles will get in your way as your on the road to crushing your goals.  I know for me, in the past, setting nutrition goals and a crazy week could derail the whole thing.  I didn’t have a plan for when Sunday meal prep didn’t happen. I would find myself eating out more, grabbing less than optimal food and saying well guess that goals done. However, now with a goal of eating 80-20 I know I can afford a few meals eating out and still make the rest of the week awesome.  I can move Sunday meal prep to Wednesday night and still have make enough healthy food to keep me on track.

Not planning for obstacles is where most people get tripped up and their path to crushing their goals is cut short, it’s gone, done, finished.  Don’t be that person!

Planning & Processing 

The P has duel meaning in Planning and Processing.  Having a plan can make all the difference in the world.  For my nutrition goal it was to meal prep breakfast and lunch on Sunday’s, if that failed use Wednesday nights as a sub.  Setting a plan for your “how to” but also plan for those obstacles. You make it here you’re doing awesome and about to crush your goals.

“I am the type of person that” 

The I is a statement piece in WHOOPIE that stands for “I am the type of person that,” this is a clutch part of the process.

I am the type of person who…
meal preps on Sunday
goes to the gym even at -11
wakes up early to journal and meditate

It can be anything relevant to you goal and becomes part of who you are.  It’s something people expect from you.  When I go home I always plan at least one or two visits to the local CrossFit gym, my family expects it from me, it’s who I am.

Execute

The final letter E stands for Execute.  You have an awesome plan, you have thought through your obstacles and set your intentions it’s time to put your plan into action.  Make it happen!  Reach our Goal!!

Routine is not the Enemy

Routine is not the Enemy

Routine is not the Enemy

Although it can feel like we are stuck in a rut sometimes, having a routine (or lack of routine) can have a big impact on our lives. If you know me, you know that I have a set of things that I need to accomplish in a day, otherwise you could call me “Mr. Grouchy Grouch!” Getting enough sleep, eating enough, getting my workouts in, and several other non- gym related tasks are certainly on that list. Having a routine helps me get those things done each day.

Make a plan!

The key to any good lifestyle change is to have a plan. When I say make a plan I don’t mean, “I plan to get my ‘poop in a group.’” That doesn’t help you at all. I really mean make a plan. One with a clearly defined goal, and the steps you will take to get there. It can also be extremely helpful to visualize what your life will look like when you accomplish it. This helps you remember why you set the goal in the first place and will hold you accountable to putting that plan into action. Once you have the plan, all you have to do is put it into action. If you would like to start getting up at a certain time each day you could just set an alarm and hope for the best. In the long run you will be much more successful if you set yourself up to BE SUCCESSFUL. If you want to add to your routine getting up earlier, it really starts with going to bed earlier.  Removing barriers to success leads to… You guessed it. Success. Take your plan and go back as far as you need, remove all the barriers, and then you’ll be left with a clear path to success.

Success is a Habit

Once you learn to remove the barriers for success, you become successful all the time. It becomes a habit, and habits become routine. By waking up on time you remove a barrier for the next thing you need to do in your day. This is a domino effect. It keeps going forever. You wake up on time. Then you have breakfast on time. If you have breakfast on time you have plenty of time to get to work. If you get to work on time you get done with work on time. If you finish work on time you get to the gym on time. Most importantly of all if you get to the gym on time you don’t have to play catch-up by warming up with extra burpees. (Burpees are a great full body warm-up by the way!) It is easy to see how this cycle can keep going on and on! This is what the saying “success leads to more success.” Games athletes don’t keep going back to the games because they made it there once, they go year after year because they routinely do the things needed to get them there.

What should be in my routine?

The simple answer is whatever you need to do to be successful. That also includes all the steps to achieving those little successes. All of us need to drink enough water, so it is natural to add that to our list. We make it routine by constantly doing the things that allow us to drink enough water, and then by drinking enough water, I accomplish this task by filling up my water bottle between every class and then drinking it in class. It can really be that simple.

Routine is NOT the enemy!

I’m not saying that you need to regiment your entire life so that you only do the same things in the same order each day. Or that you should eat the same meals each week. All I’m saying is that a little bit of structure can make your day a whole lot easier. People who have consistently good nutrition habits either have the time to cook several healthy meals each day, or they take the time to cook them once or twice a week and then add it into their routine to grab a container before they leave in the morning. Those little steps that are a part of your daily routine can make a huge difference in helping you accomplish any goal, big or small!