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:
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.
Jake Haile is our resident morning person here at CrossFit Icehouse and we believe him to actually be spring loaded out of bed each morning. When Jake isn’t pursuing his passion of coaching adults of all levels all over Fargo, he spends his time having dance offs with members, playing rec-league basketball and chasing around his 2 beautiful daughters.
What to Bring (I always forget something, so here are my musts)
Weightlifting Shoes (or whatever shoes you usually lift in)
Any training equipment you usually use to lift. Knee sleeves/wraps, belt, tape. You may want to bring some chalk just in case.
A written down plan for your warm-ups (or a coach who is doing this for you, we can help with this!)
Your USA Weightlifting membership card. You’ll need to show this during weigh in (can be printed out or a digital version on your phone works too).
Food, water, supplements and anything else you like to use before a workout.
Layers of clothing to stay warm, and maybe even a pillow if you’d like to lie down and relax after you weigh-in.
You will get notified (usually via email) of what time your session & weigh ins will be, usually 2-3 hours prior to your session. If for some reason you are over or under your originally declared weight class, you just need to tell the official at your weigh in BEFORE you hop on the scale. You will also need to tell them your opening lifts at that time. Remember to divide your planned weight in pounds by 2.2 to get the correct weight in Kilos to submit.
The time between weight in and lifting tends to be the most stressful. Do your best to stay relaxed, stay hydrated eat a light snack or meal (especially if you fasted for weigh in). I like to watch the session happening before me to get a feel for timing and flow of the event, and it’s also a nice distraction and a great way to support your fellow lifters!
Warming Up Overview
Timing warm ups is probably the toughest part of the meet. I would HIGHLY recommend having a coach or a friend help you plan this out and submit your weights to the marshal, even if they are just the runner so you can focus on lifting it will help.
The lifting order with athletes’ openers will be listed either on a TV, or the cards with attempts will be laid out on the marshal’s table. You will want to take a look at that list so you can determine the starting order and where you fall within it. The easiest way to plan is to assume each attempt will take about one minute.
I like to do a warmup before touching the barbell consisting of PVC pass throughs, air squats, inch worms & some yoga flows for shoulders and upper back openers. Then an empty barbell warm up, finally building up to my snatch opener.
At some point during this time, I like to find a focal point, or something to look at during your lifts on the platform. I’ll peek around the corner, look above the judge centered in front of the platform and pick a spot that I’ll look at while I lift. It’s usually a logo, or a wall ball line or even the top edge of the back wall. Something I can focus on that won’t move if someone in the crowd does. (At my first meet I missed a lift because I made weird eye contact with someone in the crowd. Don’t be like me.)
Strategy to Build to Your Opener
The easiest way to explain this is with an example. You NEED to be flexible in your plan as things change with lifts the day of, but having an outline of your planned building sets will help greatly!
Here is an example of how to time your lifts for the snatch:
In this example there are 10 lifters in your session, and you would like to open with 70kg (154lbs).
There are three lifters opening with 50kg, two opening with 60kg, two opening with 65kg, you at 70kg, and two more at 80kg.
The lifters opening with 50kg will likely take all three of their attempts before you open – that’s nine lifts.
The lifters opening with 60kg will likely take at least two attempts before you open – that’s another four lifts.
The lifters opening with 65kg will likely take one attempt before you open – that’s two more.
There’s no need to worry about the guys opening with 90kg, because they’ll open after at least your second attempt.
So given this example, there will be about 15 attempts before your opener (9+4+2=15). And we are assuming 1 min per attempt, so that puts us 15 minutes out from the first lift, so we want to be ready at about that time.
3 lifts out/mins (when there are three lifts before your first attempt) take 68-70kg (last warm-up)*
6 lifts out/mins, take 65kg
9 lifts/mins out take 60kg
12 lifts/mins out take 55kg
15 lifts/mins out, take 50kg
18 lifts/mins out, take 40kg
20 lifts/mins out, warm up with the bar
Since you are the 16th lift of the session, this means you should be done with your general warm-up (rolling out, stretching, etc) and taking the empty bar roughly 5 minutes or a little more before the session starts. Particularly in your first meet, it’s better to be a little bit ahead of the clock than a little bit behind it, so start a few minutes before you really need to and slow down a bit if you get too far ahead.
There is also an introduction that happens just before your session where all of the lifters are introduced. Takes about 3-5 minutes, so plan for that. So if this session began at noon given the lifts shown, I’d start my warm up at 11:40 (non barbell stretching), and pick plan to pick up the barbell at 11:50, then lifting every 3 minutes or so.
After snatching is complete, C&J is up next. Grab a light snack & make sure to hydrate. Meets have a 15 minutes reset between snatch and clean & jerk, so keep an eye on time once the last lifter goes to time your warm ups for the clean & jerk.
You’ll want to do the same math as we did previously to see if you are still 16th to open. It will likely be a similar spot, but since not all athletes have balanced lifts, you may be quite a bit earlier or later in the session so don’t skip the math!
Warm ups for clean & jerk are similar, but with a few tweaks. Let’s say you are opening with 90kg (198lbs):
4 lifts/mins out, take 85kg
8 lifts/mins out, take 80kg
12 lifts/mins out, take 75kg
15 lifts/mins out, take 70kg
18 lifts/mins out, take 60kg
21 lifts/mins, take 45kg
24 lifts/mins, take the empty bar (if you take the bar before clean & jerks)
Biggest difference here is we are lifting every 4 minutes/attempts once it gets heavy or so vs 3 for the snatch. C&J is heavier and more taxing so a bit more rest is helpful between lifts. So if we were 16th again, I’d start with the barbell about 10 minutes prior to the first C&J attempt.
*Some people like to hit their opener in the back before their first attempt. I aim to hit about 5-10 lbs shy of it for my last warm up to save what I can for the bigger lifts/attempts, and its consistent with how I build to heavy lifts in training. This comes down to personal preference.
Go Time – On the Platform
RELAX. You have put in the work. You had a solid warm up plan, you are ready.
The announcer will call the next lifter, as well as who is on deck. This is when I stand up and prepare to walk on once they call my name.
The most important thing to remember once your name is called: YOU HAVE TIME! DO NOT RUSH. With 30 seconds remaining on your clock, a buzzer will sound, to let you know where you’re at.
As soon as my name is called I walk to the chalk bucket, and take a deep breath while I chalk up. Upon approaching the bar, find the focal point which you located earlier. Once you’re set on it, don’t take your eyes off of it unless you absolutely have to. Forgot to pick one earlier? No biggie, simply walk to the center of the platform, take & break & look past the crowd. Find it, then your approach the bar.
DO NOT rush your set-up. Approach, setup, & lift just like you do every time in training. This is probably where I see the most new lifters miss their attempts – they get too excited and hurry through their set-up.
Once you stand up with the lift, WAIT for the down signal! This may be a referee saying “down!” or a buzzer going off. I have even added holding the bar overhead for an extra second to my training to prepare and get used to this. This is probably the most frustrating way to miss a lift in competition, so HOLD THAT BAR!
When the first attempt is done, smile & take a deep breath, the toughest lift of the meet is done. Head straight to the marshals table (or have your coach do it) and declare your next attempt. You should officially declare it within 30 seconds, otherwise you will not be allowed to make any changes. Once you’ve declared, just relax until your next attempt.
Try and pick your attempts so that you don’t have too long a rest between lifts (reference Part 1 on how to pick you attempts before hand). Stay relaxed and follow the same process for every lift. And most importantly, HAVE FUN!
If you happen to be competing in the Star of the North on June 15th and want some awesome action shots, make sure to sign up with with Samantha Chin at https://www.samanthachinphotography.com/ for an amazing photo package (like the photos in the blog)!
Courtney Shoemaker is a Co-Owner of CrossFit Icehouse and Flux, and in charge of the behind the scenes juggling to keep the Icehouse ship sailing smoothly. She is passionate about fitness and identifies as a CrossFitter, Weightlifter, Yogi, Skydiver & overall Shenaniganer.
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!
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.
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.
In the dynamic, multi-joint movements that are practiced in every Flux class there is a foundational movement that must be mastered before any more complex movement should be attempted. These foundational movements build strength, stability, and ensure that our range of motion is safely being utilized. What’s funny peculiar, not funny haha, is that these movements are so foundational that some of the best examples are kids.
No joke. Ask a toddler to pick something up off the floor. They don’t bend forward and strain their lower backs and over-extend their hamstrings like we adults do. They squat. With nigh-perfect form! Their knees are wide, their chests are up, and they go diaper to dirt with their heels down. As adults stuck at desks or in cars for most of our lives, we have lost a lot of the flexibility in our hips and ankles, and strength in our backs to perform a healthy, strong squat. It takes those of us who have forgotten how to move a long time before we get that back.
Squats are used in almost everything. Imagine Bubba Gump and his shrimp; that’s how many movements use a squat. Air squats, front squats, overhead squats, back squats, squat cleans, squat snatches, box jumps, med-ball cleans, wall-balls, thrusters, and so on. And that’s just in the gym! Squats are fundamental in everyday life, the most obvious and basic being using the bathroom.
A strong healthy squat has several key points of performance. Starting from the ground up, the heels must remain on the floor. If a person has tight Achilles’ tendons or stiff hips, knees, or ankles, the squat might not reach depth which means the hips might not descend below the knees. And that’s ok! The more the ankles are working, the more flexibility will be built in the Achilles so that the squat can sit lower.
The knees must follow the path of the toes. The toes are pointed slightly out instead of straight forward. In order to save undue strain on the knees, they must follow the path of the toes. This means the knees are wide at the same time finding an even distribution of weight through the foot. For a depth squat, the hip crease gets below the knee crease. This activates the big muscle groups of the thighs, your quads and adductors, as well as the glutes.
As you work on flexibility in the lower half of the body, you will also be working on strengthening the core and back. The chest is meant to be as upright as possible in the squat. This means bracing the abdominals to support the torso, and in order to balance the body the erectors of the spine are activated. There’s a lot going on, but once the air squat is mastered the body is ready for any variation of the squat.
Squats are great not only for making one’s butt look good, they also build strength, stamina, cardio endurance, flexibility, and a host of other skills that make a person a better athlete. Can’t make it to the gym one day? Crunched for time? Want a leg day but don’t have weights around? Rock out 100 squats. Your heart rate rise, you’ll sweat, and you will certainly feel it in your legs.
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.
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!
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.
I’ve compiled a list of my Top 4 mobility movements that I do weekly. I have been working for months to develop a deeper squat. After spending almost 20 years in the military walking around in nothing but combat boots I have developed some pretty tight ankles. I also like to spend some quality time making sure my hips and glutes are flexible enough for squatting. Check out my favorite mobility movements below. (more…)
Sarah Skedsvold is a coach at CrossFit Icehouse. She’s committed to turning workouts into play and bolstering CrossFit Icehouse’s charge to “Build Everyday Athletes”. In her spare time she is in a constant search the absolutely perfect personal planner and calendar.