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.
I was going through my lists of podcast the other day and came across one that really hit home. Ben Bergeron in “Chasing Excellence” was talking about an awesome way to set goals called WHOOPIE. Since we have been talking a lot about goals this January I thought I would share this one as well.
Wishing and Hoping
The W and the H stand for wishing and hoping. Science shows that when you wish for things and hope for things your brain gets excited. Sharing your wishes and hopes brings the brain to a whole other level of excited. So when you hanging out with all your friends next week and you tell them “I’m going to deadlift twice my body weight this year,” you usually leave that party pretty pumped. The down side, most people stop there, don’t be most people!
**Studies also show that writing down your goal gives you a Much higher chance of crushing that goal, so go ahead write it down, I’ll wait.
So now that you’ve got that written down, let’s move on the O. The first O is Outcome, basically looking at the big picture and what your results or “end goal” will be. This part is really exciting too. For example if your end goal is to lose weight it’s fun to think about how awesome you’ll be looking during lake season or how much stronger you’ll be in the gym. A lot of people make it to this step too as it’s still pretty exciting.
The next O stands for Obstacles. It’s important to take into account what type of obstacles will get in your way as your on the road to crushing your goals. I know for me, in the past, setting nutrition goals and a crazy week could derail the whole thing. I didn’t have a plan for when Sunday meal prep didn’t happen. I would find myself eating out more, grabbing less than optimal food and saying well guess that goals done. However, now with a goal of eating 80-20 I know I can afford a few meals eating out and still make the rest of the week awesome. I can move Sunday meal prep to Wednesday night and still have make enough healthy food to keep me on track.
Not planning for obstacles is where most people get tripped up and their path to crushing their goals is cut short, it’s gone, done, finished. Don’t be that person!
Planning & Processing
The P has duel meaning in Planning and Processing. Having a plan can make all the difference in the world. For my nutrition goal it was to meal prep breakfast and lunch on Sunday’s, if that failed use Wednesday nights as a sub. Setting a plan for your “how to” but also plan for those obstacles. You make it here you’re doing awesome and about to crush your goals.
“I am the type of person that”
The I is a statement piece in WHOOPIE that stands for “I am the type of person that,” this is a clutch part of the process.
I am the type of person who…
meal preps on Sunday
goes to the gym even at -11
wakes up early to journal and meditate
It can be anything relevant to you goal and becomes part of who you are. It’s something people expect from you. When I go home I always plan at least one or two visits to the local CrossFit gym, my family expects it from me, it’s who I am.
The final letter E stands for Execute. You have an awesome plan, you have thought through your obstacles and set your intentions it’s time to put your plan into action. Make it happen! Reach our Goal!!
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.
I started off 2018 with a lot of opportunities and a vision. On December 31, 2017, I officially separated from full-time military service with no clear landing zone. I had a vision, though, and an opportunity and that I held tight to. My intention for 2018 was to become a CrossFit coach, and I feel confident that I achieved that intention.
Becoming a coach, truly becoming a coach and not just filling a title as a coach, is at the center of everything that I did in 2018.
I came into 2018 with a lot of certificates from both schooling and a few organizations. Because of these certificates, I could title myself a coach but where the rubber meets the road, schooling does not a coach make. Don’t get me wrong, personal and professional development is always valuable and at times certification is a required first step down that path.
I also came in with an unrelenting desire to foster the culture and community that I’d discovered at Icehouse. I’d walked through the doors about 6 months earlier and had experienced that personal transformation that having teammates again had created in me. I definitely experienced this at Icehouse through spending time with a diverse cross-section of people who all want the best for themselves, and the best for the athletes that they spend time with.
So with education and enthusiasm, my first tactical step was to develop the tools to be a serviceable coach on the floor. CrossFit HQ breaks coaching down into seven aspects: teaching, seeing, correcting, group management, presence, attitude, and demonstration. I spent hours upon hours in the early part of 2018 practicing each of these aspects. Practice, practice, practice; by myself, one-on-one, then being on the floor shadowing and finally leading.
Every day since I coached my first class I’ve done my best to do better. The tactical part of CrossFit coach development; seeing movement, correcting, demonstrating, and teaching never stops. Repetitions make the tasks easier and feel more like second nature, but make no mistake there are opportunities during every class for me to do just a little better.
The middle part of 2018 my focus surprisingly shifted inward. When teaching, demonstrating, correcting, and seeing movement became more natural, the next step turned out to be bringing my depths as a person to my everyday. It was easy to navigate most of my adult life without ever having examined who I was as a person. I made a lot of small-talk, checked a lot of boxes, and kept a very clear line between my professional life and my personal life.
In order to be effective, in order to tap into the art of coaching, I needed to become real. This profession isn’t one where I am able to clock in and clock out. This profession is based on real, authentic human connection. I had to become real, and I couldn’t do that by reading a book or listening to a podcast. I had to do work. It has taken a village to help me with this aspect of coaching development, and I am very fortunate to have a number of people help me work on this every day. They ask questions and allow me the space to process and uncover my answers. Just like seeing, teaching, demonstrating and correcting, becoming real gets easier with repetitions and time, and each day provides me with an opportunity to improve.
I spent the last part of 2018 trying to put the tasks of the previous months together into a complete package, call it building a toolbox. I learned skills in the early part of the year, I learned about myself in the middle part of the year and by the end of it I started working on using the right tool for the right circumstance:
sometimes athletes need a kick in the butt and sometimes they need a hug
sometimes they need a shout of encouragement from across the room and sometimes they need a quiet whisper of encouragement from right next to the barbell;
sometimes they need to put five more pounds on the bar, sometimes making it to class is enough for the win.
2018 was a year of development for me and I couldn’t have done it without the people in my daily life. They inspire me, they challenge me, they support me, and most importantly, they love me unconditionally.
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.
Our daily lives start and finish with a task of some kind and the fact that we all have those tasks, regardless of what the specifics of them are, is something we all have in common. Each of us wakes up every day with tasks that we have to do, places to go, jobs to show up for, children to raise, and family to interact with. But then there are those other things that we know we should do, but seem impossible because of the other tasks: eat healthier food, exercise more often, read a book, spend more quality time with your loved ones (emphasis on quality), volunteer time to a good cause, write in a journal, and meal-prep healthier food. The list of tasks can go on and on and be filled with endless possibilities that we have been told will be beneficial, but may be impossible to plug into your daily life.
I started 2018 thinking that if I could just shove all the extras into my life then I too could live as a happier and healthier version of myself, but the truth is the more things I shoved into my life the more stressed out and less healthy I became.
Fortunately, my moment of clarity came. You know that moment that can sometimes build up for days, weeks, maybe even months or years. For me, it was the stress of trying to be the healthiest version of myself where it finally all came crashing down. I was so focused on trying to shove it all in, I was never truly enjoying or ever gaining anything from doing those beneficial things anyways. I was tired, stressed out, and treating the people that I cared about the most very poorly. The latter of which being something that ultimately made me the saddest.
What I came to realize was that reaching all of my goals (being a better coach and expert in my craft, being a better athlete, having better skills in gymnastics and weightlifting, having a stronger mindset and sharing it with others) did not have anything to do with my overall happiness and health. In fact, the more I tried to focus on them the more stressed out I got.
I was so fixated on doing something or being somewhere in order to achieve those goals that I completely missed the value the journey holds in getting there. Somewhere along the line, I decided to have a mindset of growth rather than being so fixed on an end result that could only be achieved through fixed and forced action. When I started to take the time to enjoy those extra tasks that were once forced into my life, I began to see the real benefit of them and honestly stopped resenting the fact that I “had” to do them.
My life had become about the process, focusing on the moment and how great it felt to grow. Whether that growth came from learning something new when I read a book, practicing gymnastics or weightlifting, or working towards any of the myriads of goals I’ve set for myself.
What has happened for me is that now those forced in activities are just a part of who I am. I get up every day before the sun and read my book, eat a healthy paleo balanced diet, work on my mobility every evening, and read to my kids every night. There a lot of things that I do on a daily basis that make my life happier and healthier. The difference now is that I enjoy them and they are a part of me.
Embracing the Moment Through Pie
Imagine you are at Village Inn (or your favorite pie-serving diner) and that you just ordered a pumpkin pie. Your goal is to eat that entire pumpkin pie, so you start shoving the pie down. All the while thinking about that entire pumpkin pie: what is the next piece going to taste like, are you even going to enjoy another piece of pumpkin pie, or will there be enough pie for you if you don’t hurry up and finish this piece of the pie. Before you know it, the first piece is gone and you don’t remember what it tasted like, if you even enjoyed it, or if you really want pumpkin pie anymore.
Embracing the moment means not knowing what kind of pie you really want in the end. Maybe to begin with pumpkin was what you thought you needed, but at the end of the day you end up with being happiest with key lime.
Please friends, enjoy your pie and the end results will come, one piece at a time.
Coach Jake’s 2019 Goals
Spend 20 minutes a day reading
Mobility work 3x per week
Meal prep 2x per month
Work on Olympic Lifting specific work 4x per month
Learn about property management
Work on our family’s life investment plan
Learn about property management
Attend USA weightlifting level 1 course
Achieve level 2 CrossFit certificate
Attend leadership conference
Read to my youngest daughter every day
Spend 15-20 minutes with my oldest daughter daily
Hug and kiss my wife daily
30 min a week no devices spent together with wife
Date night once a month
Spend time weekly working on sales tactic
Invest In the growth of a veteran-specific service
Invest in the growth of Rock Steady Boxing programs in the community
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.