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Consistency Above All

Consistency Above All

Let’s all admit, we really like new things…we love novelty, what’s the newest greatest program, gadget, gear, shoe, piece of equipment, training technique…

As individuals, we display averages…we are the culmination of our habits…we are the average of the 5 people that we spend the most time with…it’s not what we know, it’s what we do consistently…

So what happens if we continue to chase the newest, coolest, shiniest thing we can put our hands on time after time…?

Well…we get…nowhere…

Really?

Think of it this way…you start with a destination.  “I want to drive from Fargo to Grand Forks.” You have a map that you trust will get you to your destination…then…you start deviating from the map…because…your internal voice starts getting loud, chirping about…anything really.  So you start taking exits, and you start making stops, and you can see the road you were on…but this road is brand new and maybe it’s faster but too new for your map to have included it…maybe?

Eventually you get…somewhere….for sure.  Is it where you originally wanted to go, is it where you want to be now?  That’s for you to decide. 

Let me break down this analogy…

You came to Icehouse to look good naked, have energy throughout your day, look good in your clothes, do things that fit people can do…then you talked to a coach and the coach told you to come to Icehouse 3-4 times a week, really get after the workout of that day; drink half of your body weight in ounces of water; eat relatively clean most of the time; sleep 8 hours a night…right?

And you did…for a bit, maybe even for a long while…then what?  

Choose your adventure…

Path #1

You were scrolling Instagram or Facebook and you see all of these people, who you don’t know, pitching these deviations to your plan…new gear, new diet, new training program and your brain somehow convinced you that this map that you had wasn’t the best map to get you to where you want to go, so you start improvising, adding a program here, a program there….

Suddenly you’re training 5-11 sessions a week, and you’ve only got 75% (maybe) of your energy to give to each of your training sessions, you’re tired, you’re under fueled, you’re training at Icehouse like it’s your job (literally) and suddenly the magic has worn a bit…it’s a box to check…sure you see your friends, but you’re super tired and you’re getting your work done to say that you got your work done…

What’s worse is that your stress from training has negatively impacted your performance, and your body composition (remember wanting to look good naked)…you’re not happy, you’re not as strong as you think you should be, and you think you’re not training hard enough so you scroll through more Instagram and pile on more training to combat your overtraining…

What’s the fix?

Talk to a coach, let us help you take a good, honest look at what your goals are, how you’re training, how you’re eating, how you’re recovering, and make sure they’re all supporting your goals

…Too busy for a meeting with a coach?

  • Come to CrossFit or Flux 3-4 times a week, and bring your 100% for that day
  • Get 8 hours of sleep every night
  • Drink half of your body weight in water every day
  • Eat real food, most of the time

Path #2

You were scrolling Instagram or Facebook and you see all of these people, who you don’t know, pitching these deviations to your plan…new gear, new diet, new training program and your brain somehow convinced you that this map that you had wasn’t the best map to get you to where you want to go, so you start improvising…doing more “home workouts”, maybe doing more open gym workouts…?

Suddenly you’re avoiding CrossFit classes because the classes are interfering with the science behind what you’re new program is designed to do…

Then…you’re training by yourself a lot…or not training at all, not on purpose…it just happened…you lost that accountability…and that community…you feel like you made your choice and you can’t come back

What’s the Fix?

Talk to a coach, let us help you take a good, honest look at what your goals are, how you’re training, how you’re eating, how you’re recovering, and make sure they’re all supporting your goals

…Too busy for a meeting with a coach?

  • Come to CrossFit or Flux 3-4 times a week, and bring your 100% for that day
  • Get 8 hours of sleep every night
  • Drink half of your body weight in water every day
  • Eat real food, most of the time

Hey!?! That fix looks awfully familiar…

Yep, remember…the title of this blog is “Consistency Above All”…the truth is you can do just about any program out there.  As long as you are sleeping, you are recovering, you are eating clean, and you are training consistently fitness is attainable.  

After 6-12 months of consistency you will hit a wall, then you come and see a coach and we’ll develop a plan together to get over that wall…but you first have to get that 6-12 months of consistency…

…Now is as good a time to get your consistency dialed in with our Icehouse Check-In Challenge going on now until the end of 2019

…Now I understand it’s easy to hear about consistency from a coach, right?  Well if you have any questions about “real world” Icehousers here’s a list of our…

Consistency Champions (10/12 months on our #committed Board)

Angelina Akers; Betsy Bohnenblust; Allie Bondy; Cierra Brinkman; Soni Cariveau; John Dalziel; Elli Feist; Mike Gallagher; Jeremy Grinsteinner; Holly Hagen; Becky Hanson; John Heller; Jordan Larson; KJ Loughead; Tracy Nelson; Racheal Paveglio; Leslie Rumble; Nancy “Shots” Stenger; Alex Vruno; Nick Williams

Honorable Mentions (8/12 Months on our #committed Board)

Sarah Borders; Emma Dunham; Jordan Johnson; Adam Kolling; Emily Monson; Preston Nesemeier; Chad Quamme; Skylar Wehri; Tyler Williams

Consistency Above All…It doesn’t matter what you KNOW…what do you DO consistently?

The Formerly Pregnant Crossfitter: A Reflection

The Formerly Pregnant Crossfitter: A Reflection

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.

 

The Open is Coming

The Open is Coming

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.

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.

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.