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What It Takes To Be A Coach

What It Takes To Be A Coach

I truly believe coaching is an art form.

It’s not solely sets, reps and weight on the bar, there’s a personal connection. Coaching involves being able to connect with each person in every class.  In CrossFit, there are many different people in a class all with different goals and lifestyles. The art of coaching comes in one’s ability to connect with people. Good coaches can get their clients to move well consistently, great coaches can create an absolute level of trust with their athletes.

At Icehouse, we take coaching very seriously. Each week we have a coaches development meeting where we dive into topics like movement, empathy, relationships, and play. We talk about different personality types and how to evoke the best out of each of them. How do you coach an athlete whose goal it is to compete, right next to an athlete whose goal is to move well into their 90’s? These are the things that make a good CrossFit class turn into a great CrossFit class.

How we build a coach.

We have recently graduated 3 interns from our 9-week coaches development class. They learned the art of coaching from some of the best in the business through articles, podcasts videos, and books. We took that knowledge and spent a lot of quality time shadowing coaches and creating mock classes. These new coaches have taken both written and verbal tests, been put in front of several classes breaking down each section of class from warm-ups, skill development and the workout itself. They will still have several coaching reps before they are ready to coach a class fully on their own and they are well on their way.

Our Icehouse coaches spend hundreds of hours perfecting their craft. Once hired as a coach they continue to read books on lifestyle and relationships, listen to podcasts and spend countless hours analyzing movement. We stand by our coaches because they put in the work.  They are dedicated to making your CrossFit class, the best hour of your day. Come join us for a class and see what I’m talking about.

Rediscovering CrossFit

Rediscovering CrossFit

I’m no different than you.  I become impatient, I allow myself to get distracted, I distract myself, I look for the new shiny thing when the shine has worn off the last new shiny thing…

If you’ve fallen off the CrossFit wagon for whatever reason and think it’s too late…keep reading, get back on the wagon, and ride with me!

I started training at Icehouse because it felt different than any place I’ve ever worked out.

At 37 years old, with just over 1 year of training, going to 4 – 5 CrossFit classes a week…

I got in the absolute best shape of my life

  • “Fran” time was under 4:30
  • 5K Run time was just over 26 mins

I had the best body composition of my life

  • 76 lbs muscle mass,
  • 13.7% body fat

Enter…Distraction…

I should be doing more…I should be doing something different, right?…I’m bored…

  • I stopped going to classes and trained on my own most of the time, no friends
  • My workouts were a job, they were checklists to complete, no fun
  • I ate outside of my normal schedule and my normal diet more way often, no nutrition
  • I didn’t do any functional fitness outside of the gym; no play

Honestly, I took for granted the friends, the fun and the play of training in classes and let my nutrition take a dive.

…And how’d that turn out?

About as well as you’d imagine

My fitness regressed

  • Lost 90 seconds on my mile time
  • All of my gymnastics became more difficult (pull-ups, toes to bar…)
  • I felt sluggish, tired, lackadaisical

My body composition regressed as well

  • Lost over 1 lb of muscle
  • Gained 4% body fat

Now What?

Since July I’ve been training 4-5 days a week, attending 3 minimum of CrossFit classes a week at Icehouse, and getting an additional workout in, outside of normal class time if needed.

I’ve also recently added in stretching for 20 minutes 4 nights a week, playing on a  basketball court for 45 minutes 4 days a week and intentionally meal prepping every week.

…And how has that turned out?

I don’t yet have the body comp or fitness data (that’ll come with the “Fall Back to Basics 28-Day Nutrition Challenge” here at Icehouse in September)

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.

Most importantly!

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.

If you’re interested in jumping back into fitness yourself, take some time to schedule a meeting with a coach here at Icehouse and we’ll get you started!

CrossFit Icehouse → Icehouse Fit

CrossFit Icehouse → Icehouse Fit

As you may have seen, we recently started shifting the name of our gym from CrossFit Icehouse over to Icehouse Fit.

“Why?”

We love Icehouse! We love the name, it truly feels like us! But as we have grown, we have added so many other programs to our gym such as Nutrition Coaching, Flux (Yoga + HIIT) classes, personal training, and our 6-week Challenge program to name a few.

We feel calling ourselves “CrossFit Icehouse” limits our ability to reach people. The word “CrossFit” holds quite a bit of weight in itself and tends to be intimidating. Have you ever heard, or even yourself said “CrossFit? I can’t do that!” We hear it almost daily! Even I have to admit that I also thought that was the case before I started as well.

Our tagline has always been “Building Everyday Athletes.” Our goal is to empower our clients to be better humans. We do not focus on what most people think of as CrossFit, which is competition (or what you may have seen on ESPN). We focus on the everyday person just trying to get a little healthier, feel a little better, or just keep up with their kids and/or grandkids. Icehouse’s goal is to support each of our athletes to help them feel stronger and achieve things they believe to be impossible at first.

There are so many avenues to take to start feeling better, so we have added options. Not ready to start an exercise program? Great! You can meet with our nutrition coach to get the information and support you need to make healthier choices and work towards your goals in the kitchen. Have previous injuries that you are concerned about flaring up with a new program? We have options catered to you to help you strengthen those areas to be able to start a new program, run that race, or climb that mountain! Do a lot of yoga but want to improve your strength & conditioning? Flux is a perfect fit for you! The point is fitness, health & wellness is NOT one size fits all, and neither are we.

So much more happens at Icehouse than just fitness, and we felt it important to evolve to allow that to happen, as well as open up the door to folks who may have previously been hung up on the “CrossFit” name.

Do you still offer CrossFit?

Yes! CrossFit Icehouse is still alive and well within Icehouse Fit, it is just no longer our lead brand. We even have multiple tiers or levels in every class so we can easily modify based on each person’s experience level to help them get the most out of every class. And WE TAKE CARE OF THAT FOR YOU! You do not need to come in and guess, we have highly experienced coaches whose job is to help make your class the best hour of your day! Because we believe fitness should be fun!

The Origin of CrossFit

The Origin of CrossFit

If you’re like me, or you know a CrossFitter, we eat, breath, and sleep CrossFit.  CrossFit had me hooked from my first workout in 2010 at CrossFit St. Paul.  I had heard about CrossFit from my friends and finally had my chance to try it on a snowy February day.  At most CrossFit gyms we joke about drinking the KoolAid and today we are going to talk about what the heck this CrossFit thing is.

In the Beginning

CrossFit started in Santa Cruz, CA in 2000 by Coach Greg Glassman, soon thereafter the affiliate model was born.  In 2005 there were 13 affiliates donning the CrossFit name, and as of 2013 there are over 13,000 affiliates world wide (1). With numbers like that it seems everyone had the same reaction I did when they walked in to their first workout.  CrossFit growth started from CrossFit.com or as it’s more commonly called “main site”.  Everyday a new workout is posted on the website and there is a section for comments for people to record their scores, and that is how a community was born.

What is CrossFit

CrossFit as defined by Glassman is “constantly varied functional movement done at high intensity” (2).  What does this really mean, let’s take a look…

Constantly Varied; you’re not going to get the same workout in the same week, sometimes even the same a month.  There are 10 core movements in CrossFit and dozens of body weight movements that are rotated through to create different workouts.

Functional Movement; the majority of movements you’ll do in CrossFit are movements you should do in your everyday life, like squats, deadlifts and pressing.  The remaining movements support these 10 core movements. This allows you to do things like, play with your kids, go on a long hike, carry in all the groceries at once, and much more.

High Intensity; this one is relative which is the coolest part of CrossFit in my opinion.  It doesn’t matter who is in a class, you can have a grandmother of three, a 21 year old guy and 45 year old desk jockey in the same class.  They will all leave that class feeling the same way, the movements will have been adapted to their level but the intensity would be the same.  Each person giving their best on that given day.

Why Does CrossFit Work

If you ask most people who do CrossFit why it works they’ll tell you it’s the community.  For some it’s having a friend in class to chat with and have fun with during the workout.  For others as Glassman says “it’s agony coupled with laughter” (3), it’s that push of competition combined with hanging out with your friends that keeps people coming back.  The methodology of movement coupled with intensity are what drive body composition and get people feeling better.  Fitness works when people stay consistent.  CrossFit generates that through quality coaching, meeting new people and finding out how strong you really are.

Sources:

  1. The Business of CrossFit: An Update on the New Market Research. www.rallyfit.com. Retrieved 07.29.2018
  2. Understanding CrossFit. CrossFit Level One Handbook. www.crossfit.com/seminar. Retrieved 07.29.2018
  3. Greg Glassman – Defining CrossFit. www.crossfit.com/journal. Retrieved 07.29.2018

 

 

How to Measure Progress

How to Measure Progress

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

Use Sugarwod

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.