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.
Emily is the head Flux Coach, and our resident Icehouse Dottir. When Emily isn’t coaching Flux, she is working on elevating her own fitness & yoga game, sketching some badass tattoos for friends, or getting ink done herself.
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.”
Jordan Halvorson is a coach at Crossfit Icehouse who believes that the scientific principles of strength training and the mindset behind personal growth can be applied to everyone to make their lives better. He is also a barbell addict.
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.
Sara Mozingo is the Co-Owner, head coach, and programing wizard at CrossFit Icehouse. When she’s not developing rep schemes and diving into the nerdery she enjoys hanging out in nature hiking trails or climbing rocks with her side-kick Mr. Mosely.
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:
Chew food thoroughly. Ideally 20-30 chews per bite.
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.
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.
Try not to consume liquids during meals. Small sips of water are okay, but avoid chugging drinks as this can dilute stomach acid.
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.
I’m not the hero that you deserve, but I am the hero that you need right now. I know that many of you are in the middle of a BIG schedule shift. You or your kids are going back to school, they have activities, and you are unsure how to balance their schedule, your schedule, and your fitness. Often times we see people drop their gym time to make room for the other things. It does not have to be that way! Here are 5 ways to keep your health and wellness on track as well as minimize the stress that comes with a schedule change.
5 Ways to Optimize Your Fall Schedule
1. Pack a Lunch
It’s going to be a long day, and scrambling to get everyone fed and where they need to be can throw your nutrition choices out of whack. Prepare your meals ahead of time, and you will save hours each week on just time to cook. It is a whole lot easier to skip the gas station breakfast sandwich when you have an apple and a yogurt ready to go. I spend around 3-4 hours on a Sunday preparing all of my meals for the week. Compare that to 1 hour a day and you are already saving 3-4 hours. You will also save a ton of money. I keep my grocery bill around $50/ week. I also eat nearly the recommended amount for the average man plus an average woman. It does not have to be pretty. Most days I bring a couple pieces of fruit, a bag of carrots, and a ziplock with sugar snap peas with me to work to snack on through the day. This keeps me full between meals and prevents me from eating junk. Save hours and money by packing a lunch!
2. Block Off Your Day
Every single coach at Icehouse practices time blocking. I’m not saying you have to record every minute of your day. Personally mine is very simple. 8-10am Laundry, Breakfast and Clean-up a little. 10-1, training. 1-8, Coach here at Icehouse. 8-10 Supper, Rom-Wod, and maybe some T.V. time. 10-8. Sleep. Doing this lets me know where I HAVE to be and when I have to be there. Start with the non-negotiabes and go from there.
3. Make Time for YOU Non-Negotiable
Here is a little tough love for you all. If coming to the gym is important to you, which we certianly hope it is, make it a priority. Often times we hear that “I just dont have time.” Well…. I call B.S! There are several people here who make it a prioity to work-out. Maybe you have to come to the 5:30 am class. Maybe you need to go to work early, and leave late so that you can come to the noon class. Maybe you even just come in to open gym for 15 minutes because thats all that you have. Make it happen, and just do it. If you are unable to treat yourself like a priority, then there is no way that you are being your best self for your coworkers, spouse, or kids. Take care of yourself so you can take care of others.
4. Embrace the Chaos
I personally loved when my schedule got hectic. Let me tell you why. When things get crazy, you have to do the thing when you have the time, or else you won’t have time. If you have 15 minutes to work on something, you better do it, or else you wont even get started. The same thing applies to your fitness. When your schedule is crazy, you have one shot to make it to the gym. It takes away your option to skip, or go later. No, you go now, or else you don’t go. Consistency is everyting. Coming 3 days a week, every week no matter what, is always better than coming 5 days this week and one day next week.
5. Start NOW
Don’t wait 3 weeks to see how everything goes with your schedule change before you get it under control. Don’t wait until winter. Get it under control now. I mean right now. You already know when your kids need to be to school, you know when you have to work, you know when you have to pick them up. So write it down, see where you have time, and put time for yourself in there. This simple way of looking at your time can work for making anything fit in your life. I understand things pop up, and you have to adjust. Roll with the punches, and make it work. You have the tools. Use them.
Jordan Halvorson is a coach at Crossfit Icehouse who believes that the scientific principles of strength training and the mindset behind personal growth can be applied to everyone to make their lives better. He is also a barbell addict.
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.
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.