When you first start CrossFit, it is easy to see progress in the gym. Every day you have a new movement, a new chance to set a PR. After a year, or two, or three, it can be much harder to see progress from day to day. Here are a few ways we can measure progress.
How to Measure Progress
For those of us who keep our entire lives on our phones, it only makes sense to keep our workout information there as well. Choose an app, we use Sugarwod, and record everything. The more notes the better, you will thank yourselves for the extra information when you are deciding between going for the same weight you used last time, or if you should jump 5 lbs.
Keep a “Workout Journal”
If you have the handwriting for it a workout journal is a really cool tool to track your progress as well. Pick a nice book, or a legal pad and use a page a day, per workout, or however else you want to organize it. The cool thing about a workout journal is that it is your own. You’ll know exactly where everything is recorded, and it will make sense to you. They also are a neat keepsake when you fill them up.
Go to a Baseline Class
Saturday, 8 am. We recommend you go to this class quarterly. You will get an InBody scan as well as our baseline workout. This will give you objective data. The coach will help you understand your results and how to proceed. Sign up now. Classes are capped at 5, you definatley don’t want to miss this opportunity.
Get an InBody Scan
Schedule an InBody scan with your primary coach, they will help you understand what all the numbers mean. In general, we want to see muscle mass go up, and body fat % go down. Bodyweight doesn’t tell the whole story. Don’t focus too much on that one number because it is often not the best picture of progress.
Progress is NOT Linear
There are so many variables that can make you feel like you are not making progress. Sleep, nutrition, mood, stress, work, kids and even attitude can have a direct effect on your daily workout. What are the odds that on any given day, you are going to come in perfectly prepared for a 1 rep max? If any one of those variables are even slightly off, you may not see all of your hard work in the form of a PR. This is where notes come in handy. So what, you didn’t hit that new weight. Put it in your notes. “Missed, less than 3 hours of sleep” and move on. Progress takes time, and if you don’t measure it in some way. It is easy to say there is none, because you don’t feel it on that day. If you zoom out and look at the big picture you will see that the overall trend is up.
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.
If you have been to one of my classes at some point you know my coffee cup was never very far away. I’ve read the blogs and listened to the podcasts that say “a coach should never be drinking coffee during class.” I thought that was cute, coffee is life…well was life.
It Just Happened
I woke up on a Monday, looked at my partner, and said “I’m done with coffee.” You can imagine the shock, we have a coffee pot, French press and Nespresso in our 5’ x 6’ kitchen. We have a small space and prioritize coffee. I would usually have a coffee with a shot of espresso in the morning and then another coffee or latte in the afternoon. Sunday’s were a day of caffeination, I would drink coffee pretty much all day. It was magical!
A Little Bit Nerdy
Coffee, at roughly 200mg of caffeine for 10 oz, can keep cortisol levels elevated. Cortisol is a hormone that helps our body respond to stress. If your cortisol levels stay elevated, meaning you stay stressed, it can have very negative effects on weight training, body composition and recovery. Long story short high cortisol levels mess with your gainz, no good!
If you’ve been anywhere in the United States you know, it was a Long winter. I was living on coffee. We made some changes at work, I have been doing some really deep emotional work and it was cold, like really cold, I was in a full stress spiral. I went three full months with very little sleep, two colds, two flus and I was a wreck. It was time to control the things I could and that meant no more added stress, coffee had to go. I needed to give myself the best chance I could to sleep, to restore, to let my body and spirit breathe.
Life After Coffee
For the most part, my life has been caffeine free. I will have a matcha or a green tea from time to time and with a drastically reduced caffeine intake I can sleep. I woke up the second morning and told my partner “if this is what sleep is like, I’ll give up coffee forever.” I’m still working hard on the other ways to manage stress and do the work I love. I’m also working with Coach Anna on my nutrition and it’s been a game changer, check her out!! If you find yourself in a stress spiral, check in with yourself, what are the things you need to do to help yourself out?
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.
CrossFit Training is coming to Fargo!! In fact, CrossFit Training is coming to CrossFit Icehouse!!
This is a BIG DEAL; it’s the first time a CrossFit Level 1 Certificate Course has been hosted in the Great State of North Dakota.
It’s an honor and a privilege to be the premier seminar location for CrossFit Training in the state of North Dakota as well as western Minnesota.
So what is the CrossFit Level 1 (CF-L1) Certificate Course?
As designed, the CF-L1 is a 2-day course, incorporating lectures and practical exercises, that serves two purposes. It’s an official introduction into CrossFit fundamentals, and it’s the gateway into CrossFit coaching.
It’s designed for the athlete who wants to learn more about the basics of CrossFit training and human movement. It’s also designed to provide a certificate to allow holders the eligibility to coach CrossFit at a CrossFit affiliate.
My CF-L1 Story
I have a very unique story road to earning my CF-L1. In fact, my very first CrossFit WOD was at my CF-L1 in Excelsior, MN at CrossFit SISU on July 1, 2017.
I’d only been inside one other CrossFit gym before then and while I knew CrossFit Icehouse existed, I had no idea how impactful earning my CF-L1 and meeting Courtney and Sara a little over a week later would be.
My CF-L1 weekend was quite possibly the most professionally run seminar I’ve ever attended. Aside from hitting all of their time hacks, being knowledgeable and personable, the staff was authentic and genuine and the other students were unbelievably welcoming. The first thing that our Flow Master, Nadia, asked is how long everyone had been training with CrossFit. I’d admitted that this seminar was my first run at CrossFit, and I felt like they looked out for me from a movement perspective throughout the weekend.
I learned that CrossFit methodology was real, and that CrossFit HQ invests in the staff that is charged with qualifying trainers. I also learned that not all CrossFit affiliates are designed to create competitors, there are an overwhelming majority who are solely focused on building longevity and quality of life.
I was on fire leaving my CF-L1 weekend. I went from not being a CrossFitter to being one of CrossFit’s biggest fans!! During that weekend, I developed a new sense of purpose and opportunity, that is, to develop into the best coach possible, if, for no other reason, but to provide athletes the same experience I had during my CF-L1 weekend.
Is Attending a CF-L1 for You?
If you’re an athlete looking to dive deep into the nerd-ery; interested in learning more about the basics of what we do here at CrossFit Icehouse, why what we do works, and what CrossFit is really all about. It’s definitely worth considering (by the way, CrossFit Icehouse is hosting a second CF-L1 course June 8–9).
If you’re interested in becoming a coach, and you’re local, get registered!! CrossFit Training is LITERALLY coming to you.
Want to learn more about CrossFit Coaches Development?
If you’re interested in learning more about CrossFit Coaches Development, CrossFit HQ site is a great place to start!! From there, you can look at their training pipeline, as well as specialty courses.
If you’re like to learn more about what is taught specifically at the CrossFit Level 1 Trainer Course, here is a list of great resources.
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.
There are SO MANY conflicting ads, posts, diets, cleanses, wraps, shakes, lollipops (seriously don’t get us started on that one) workouts, out there. No wonder we don’t know where to start or who to trust.
If it sounds to good to be true, it probably is.
When reading an ad, or considering trying a product or program, first ask yourself “Does this option seem realistic?”
“Loose 20 lbs in 1 week!”
“Loose inches overnight!”
“You won’t feel hungry”
These are tempting because who hasn’t wanted to loose 20lbs in one week ?♀️?! However they do not sound realistic. If they are promising a quick fix, they are likely a hoax. They may even get you some quick results, but often times the more drastic/quickly these quick fixes work the faster the weight or inches will come back, often with some long term effects making the next time we try it even harder/less effective/more damaging.
If it doesn’t pass a good ol’ fashioned gut check, it’s likely “too go to be true.”
It did not take us 1 month, or even 1 year to get to where we are, so it will take some time to get to where we want to be. And we likely picked up some bad habits along the way.
Habits are hard to break, especially the bad ones. If we want a different result, we have to take different actions. But trying to overhaul your entire life all at once rarely works. It’s overwhelming & confusing, so start small.
5 Places to Get Started
There are more parts to being healthy then just working out and eating well (though those are HUGE pieces of the puzzle). Decide what is a realistic area of your life you are willing to make a few changes with TODAY, and focus on that until you have some new, healthier habits in place.
Choose just 1 of the following options to begin. Once you crushed that, THEN pickup another.
Get a Fit Bit (AKA Just Move). If money is a factor and a gym membership is truly not in the budget, Fit bit has some affordable options. Buy one, put it on and hit 10,000 steps EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
Drink More Water. I can guarantee just about all of us are not hydrating properly. We should drink 1/2 of our body weight in oz of water every single day. There are A TON of benefits with hydrating properly. Bonus points for subbing out 1 sugary drink/caffeinated/alcoholic drink per day for a glass of water.
Go the F*ck To Sleep. We need 7-9 hours per sleep every night. Even if you already are crushing workouts and your nutrition lack of sleep can wreck havoc on your body & metabolism. Plan your day around your sleep schedule and make it non negotiable.
Practice Mindfulness (Reduce Stress) This ranges anywhere from meditating or journaling for 5 minutes to finally making an appointment with a Therapist (I have a great one if you need a referral!). When we make changes in our life, we have to work on our internal dialogue to get our mind & bodies in sync to stay successful long term.
Get a Coach If you are looking at this list and thinking “sure that seems easy, but I’ve tried all those things and quit after a week” you may need a coach. Why Icehouse works is greatly due to the accountability having a coach provides to our athletes. Having someone expecting us at the gym, or helping us set the right goals for us and then having the tough conversation when we didn’t show up and ate a whole wheel of cheese and getting us back on track quickly has saved a lot of us from backsliding. Even our coaches have a coach because we too are human, and need someone to hold our feet to the fire occasionally.
Still unsure? We offer a Free Intro to get to know you, discuss your goals and recommend the best place to start to ensure you will be successful long term. Chat with a Coach HERE
You do not have to start all of it today, but pick a place to start, THEN GET STARTED! Good Luck!
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.