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One Week Left of FNL…What’s Next?

One Week Left of FNL…What’s Next?

We have one week left of Friday Night Lights and if you have been participating along with us this year you should be feeling very proud of yourself.  The CrossFit Open (A.K.A Friday Night Lights) is a very taxing experience, both physically and emotionally!  There’s so much excitement leading up to one workout, there’s also the game of do I go scaled or Rx and dabbling in movements you may not have tried up until then.

So with one week left what happens next?  Well don’t worry Icehouse has some plans on Friday nights coming up this spring to keep you hanging out with your strong peeps and I’ve also put together a list of things to help you use all you’ve learned during Friday Night Lights…

1. Practice These Skills

Friday Night Lights has shown us some lesser programed skills like, bar muscle ups and overhead lunges. These are skills that take a lot of practice to nail down.  Taking time before and after class to practice these movements can make a huge difference for next year.  If there’s a workout that didn’t go your way, ask a coach some drills that will make that better for next time.

2. Local Competitions

Did you get bit by the competition bug?  Check out some of the local competitions and sign up!  There’s Granite Games Qualifiers, Festivus Games and Dakota Games all in our back yard.  Check out the standards, find some teammates and go participate in a CrossFit competition.

3. Dial In Your Nutrition

If you’re anything like me with the craziness of Friday Night Lights my nutrition sometimes takes a back seat, like in the trunk.  Thankfully we have already planned out a nutrition challenge for this reason.  If you’re looking to really dial in your skills and make big leaps in next years FNL then nutrition is the place to start.  Plus we might see spring soon which always makes eating well a bit easier.

4. Use Your Fitness

The weather is getting warmer and it makes it so much easier to use your fitness.  Start looking for things you can do to show off all of your hard work.  The Fargo Marathon is coming up and I know they have a 5K, 10K and a relay option for those of you looking for a new test.  There are also different bike clubs, hiking clubs and dog walking groups you could join in on as you are a fit strong human!

5. Take a Moment to Celebrate

Like for real, celebrate all that you have just accomplished.  There aren’t many people out there who sign up to give everything they have for five Friday’s in a row.  Celebrate all the little wins from signing up to crushing a workout.  What you just did was really awesome!

I hope these tips are helpful.  I know I have had a blast this year watching all of you crush these workouts.  Let’s make this last one the loudest and most fun of them all!

 

10 Components of Fitness

10 Components of Fitness

Continuing on with our exploration into the heart of what CrossFit is, today we’ll chat about the concepts that remain in the forefront of developing our athletes, the 10 Components of Fitness.

“Having a balanced ability across the all 10 components of fitness will ensure that you’ll be both athletic and durable.”

What does that really mean to you and me?  You’ll be able to do whatever you want, whenever you want, without specifically training for it and you’ll remain pain-free.

What are the 10 Components of Fitness?

Cardiovascular/Respiratory Endurance The ability of body systems to gather, process, and deliver oxygen.

    • Think cardio, cardio, cardio….We’re talking about getting your blood to deliver oxygen throughout your body more efficiently.

Stamina – The ability of body systems to process, deliver, store, and utilize energy.

    • Similar to endurance, but not the same.  This is having “gas in the tank” rather than being able to breathe and deliver oxygen throughout your body.

Strength – The ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply force.

    • Straight up ability to pick up heavy weights.

Flexibility – The ability to maximize the range of motion at a given joint.

    • Moving your body the way it was designed to move

Power – The ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply maximum force in minimum time.

    • Emphasizes strength applied in a very short amount of time.

Speed – The ability to minimize the time cycle of a repeated movement.

    • Emphasizes raw turnover, fast as possible running, biking, rowing

Coordination – The ability to combine several distinct movement patterns into a singular distinct movement.

    • Moving your body in a specific pattern.  Think of this as learning the pattern of movement to achieve an olympic lift

Agility – The ability to minimize transition time from one movement pattern to another.

    • Kids do this all the time, think of a 3 year-old bouncing around a playroom.

Balance – The ability to control the placement of the body’s center of gravity in relation to its support base.

    • This is keeping your center of gravity over whatever base of support you have at any given moment (this is why it’s harder to balance on one foot rather than two)

Accuracy – The ability to control movement in a given direction or at a given intensity

    • This is both knowing what to do and having the coordination to do it.

Holy smokes, that’s a lot…How do I get better at ALL of them?

Great question!  Improvement breaks down to a couple different adaptations.  Once is physiological (your body), the other is neurological (the pathways between your brain and your muscles).  We’ll talk about them in the sections below.

Forged through Training

The components below get better because your body adapts without you having to think about any of it.  By adding this new stress to your body, your body adapts, it’s as easy as that. You’ll often recognize these improvements first as you start training.

  • Cardiovascular/Respiratory Endurance

  • Stamina

  • Strength

  • Flexibility

Forged through Practice

The components below get better because you build the connection between your brain and your muscles.  These improve through thoughtful practice. Think about closing your eyes and standing on one leg. You will get better with practice, but it will take a lot of thought in the early stages.  Building a superhighway between your brain and your muscles takes thoughtful practice, and it is often overlooked. I would contend that these components are the most vital for life outside the gym, and living independently as long as possible.

  • Agility

  • Balance

  • Accuracy

Forged through Both Training and Practice

The components below are improved with a mixture of both training and practice.  We’re taking newly gained strength, stamina, endurance or flexibility and coupling it with newly gained accuracy, balance and agility and display speed and power.  For example, you gain leg strength, balance and coordination, you turn into a faster sprinter.

  • Power

  • Speed

What does that all mean to me?

It means there are multiple ways to reflect improvement and celebrate achievement.  It means our training includes a super heavy back squat and also being able to stand on one foot and bounce a ball against a wall.  It means there are multiple times within every hour you train with us to achieve a win for the day, week, month and year.

 

“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.

Make the Most of Your Open

The CrossFit Open is one of the largest fitness competitions, it is also a lot of other things. I would say without a doubt that the most important part of the open has absolutely nothing to do with the leaderboard. Sure, it is really cool to see how you stack up against people in your community, state, country, profession, or any other cool filter you can put on the leaderboard. At the end of the day, does it really matter where your name falls on some fancy spreadsheet?

4 Steps to Guarantee an Awesome Open

  • Participate in weekly challenges
  • Dress Up
  • Don’t worry about the workout
  • CELEBRATE YOUR FITNESS

Participate in the Weekly Challenges

The weekly challenges are not just random tasks for you to complete to earn a point for your team and a star by your name. They are a great way for you to start new healthy habits! Keep drinking enough water, taking your fish oil, and getting enough sleep. Your body will thank you. The plank, squat, and other physical challenges are things that someone does daily to turn a weakness into a strength. Spend your time practicing the things you are less comfortable with. Before you know it you will be comfortable with it! The pay it forward type challenges are great as well. It makes us feel good to help someone out, and it makes us grateful when someone takes time out of their day to help us. You don’t only have to send someone an “atta boy” during that week, do it year round! You never know when someone is having a rough day and you telling them “great job” will give them the motivation to get up tomorrow and do great things. I know it sounds cheesy but it is real! Think about how good you feel doing all of these things. Why wouldn’t you do them all the time?

Dress Up

There is a prize for the coolest costume. It’s almost as big of a deal to win that contest as the “pooping or working out” trophy! Honestly, it is just way more fun to work out as The Rock, or Rocky, or in a sweet tuxedo cutoff than a boring person in a grey shirt and black shorts! You can be black shorts and t-shirt dude or dudette every other day of the week. (Provided you wash them!)

Don’t Stress About the Workout

If you come to Icehouse I can assure you that we prepare you for the open. We don’t know what the workout is, but we do prepare you to handle the work. We won’t trash you on Thursday night. Our programming is designed with the open in mind. You can come every day of the week, and be fine for the workout on Friday. While you are at it come in on Saturday too, the team workouts are designed to help you get moving again.  Be worried about getting your costume ready so you can take down the perennial powerhouses, or how much food you’re going to eat after, NOT the workout. You are fit. You already work out. It’s just another workout… except we all do it together on a Friday night while wearing costumes with beers and food afterward.

The Open is a Celebration

The CrossFit Open is a celebration, a celebration of fitness. Celebrate how far you have come. Celebrate how hard you have worked. Celebrate your dedication. Celebrate the small victories in a workout. Celebrate the extra pull-up. Celebrate sticking to your plan and not coming out of the gate too hot. Celebrate EVERYTHING especially the achievements of others! We all love Icehouse for the community, show everyone how much you care by cheering for them, even if you don’t know them! Tell them that they are AWESOME, and then introduce yourself, they will be happy to know that they have your support and will give you theirs in return. CHEER loud and proud! CELEBRATE like there’s no tomorrow when you see someone do something awesome!

 

 

What you Need to Know about FNL!!

What you Need to Know about FNL!!

1.) I’m new to Icehouse and I’ve never heard of Friday Night Lights before, should I participate?

Absolutely!  At Icehouse we host Friday Night Lights (The Open) every year because it is a great way for our community to come together and support each other in the spirit of fitness.  We believe that as an affiliate there is something special about joining over 15,000 gyms worldwide and “competing” in the same workout.  As things go at Icehouse, “competing” is a term that we do not use lightly.  We coach our athletes to find the aspects of each workout that will challenge them, but also promote their long term success in training.  In some cases that might mean scaling back on the weight, and in others that might mean stepping on the gas.

2.) What happens if I can’t make all of the Friday Night Lights events?

Not a big deal.  We will post the upcoming week “need to know” video the Sunday before every week.  Can’t make it Friday, that’s okay, you can still do all of the challenges for the week to earn your team Points.  If you are traveling, and you can find a gym, you can complete the workout there for the points.  Let your team captain know you are doing that and send a picture of your score for credit.

3.) Who programs the workouts?  What if I can’t do some of the movements?

CrossFit HQ programs the workouts.  They are meant to be inclusive and challenging at the same time.  As I am sure you have heard, we reserve the right as your coaches to call any and all audibles that we may deem necessary.  Please know that we will do our best to preserve the integrity and intended stimulus of the workout, however we also want you to be safe and successful – walking out feeling accomplished!

4.) What does the regular class schedule look like during Friday Night Lights?

Friday Night Lights will begin on February 22nd and end on March 15th. During that 5 week period we will not be holding regular CrossFit classes on Friday Nights. FNL will start at 4pm and end whenever the last heat finishes up.  This means that we may run past the 8pm hour or finish up early.  Whatever the case may be, we will not be having the 5:30 and 5:30 classes on Friday evening during the 5 week competition.

5.) How will I know my heat time and when I am supposed to workout?

Heat times will be posted on the white board in the Flux Space. It is up to you to come in on Friday Night and sign up for a heat.  The doors will be open at 3:30, first come first serve for heat times.  Please arrive early as you will be responsible for warming yourself up and being ready to go at your heat time!

6.) Will you be coaching a warm-up before each heat?

We will have a posted warm-up in the Flux room.  We will not be running a formal warm-up before each heat.

7.) Is there open gym on Friday Night Lights?

No.  We will use all the space available for Friday Nights.  Please plan accordingly, we will have normal class times on Saturday and Sunday during FNL.

8.) I don’t plan on actively participating in Friday Night Lights, but is there something else I can do to help the gym?

We rely heavily on our members to help us judge workouts so that each person can have the same awesome experience.  We will also never say no to anyone who can stay late and help us clean up after the competition is completed for the night 🙂  Please email sara@crossfiticehouse.com if you would like to help out on the judging or cleaning front.

9.) Will you be running The Open workout during regular class times before Friday Night Lights?

No.  The only time you can hit the Open workout is during FNL.  You would have the option of doing the workout during an open gym time.  If you want to have a judge you should do FNL or you will have to find your own (not a coach) for open gym.

10.) Why do you guys host Friday Night Lights?

Great question.  We host Friday Night Lights because it’s a great way for our community to showcase their support for one another.  There is something special about a room full of people cheering for you as you chip away at a metcon in an effort to see you succeed.  Over the years we have seen that people have accomplished things they did not know they were capable of.