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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.

Your First Weightlifting Meet – Part 1

Your First Weightlifting Meet – Part 1

How to Prepare for Your First Weightlifting Meet

Probably the most intimidating thing about a weightlifting meet is not knowing what to expect or how they work. So let’s go behind the curtain and clear all of that up!  We will go through the pre-meet details here, and part 2 will cover the day of.

Step 1: Pick a Meet & Register

You will want to find a meet that is at least 6 weeks out so you’ll have plenty of time to prepare & train. I personally prefer to go 12 weeks out so I can complete a full training cycle prior.

In order to register you will need to know a few things.

Determine your weight class

They are in Kilos, so take your weight in pounds & divide it by 2.2 to get your weight in Kilos. I would select the one that you fall into at your mid day weight eating as you usually would. You can cut or mass to hit another weight class but I would not recommend doing that for your first meet.  Use the first meet to get a feel for the flow of these events vs worrying about weigh in.

If the competition day rolls around and you gained or lost weight, you can still declare a new weight class.  You just need to tell the judge at the weigh in prior to stepping on the scale.

Weight Classes

USA Weightlifting Membership Number

You will also need to register as a USAW Member in order to compete, so make sure to do that when you sign up for the meet itself! Here is the link to join: USAW Registration.

Search for a local meet that is at least 6 weeks out and get registered HERE.

Step 2: Train & Prepare!

Pick a Training Program/Cycle: Now that you’ve determined when you will be competing, it is time to get a plan together.  There are some great free programs out there, or we can help you put a plan together based on your goals for the meet.  (More to come on this option in June!)

Learn the Rules: If you’ve never seen a weightlifting meet before, I would highly recommend reading through the rules so you are prepared.  There are a long list of rules, and if you’d like to nerd out you can read them all HERE.

A few basic rules are:

  • You get 3 attempts at the Snatch, then 3 at the Clean & Jerk.
  • The order of lifters goes from lowest attempt and builds up from there.You will need to declare your next lift to the scores table so you can be worked into the lifting order.
    • Once a barbell is loaded weight cannot go down. So you will want to make sure your next attempt is submitted so you don’t miss the weight on the bar you want to attempt. (Have a coach or friend help with this, it makes life much easier).
  • You have 1 minute from the time the bar is loaded and you are called lift.
  • If you are following yourself (for example you missed and want to repeat a weight and no other lifters will be attempting that weight), then you get 2 minutes for that lift.
  • You must catch the barbell with locked out arms for it to count. If you press out it will be a no lift.

Determine your Openers

Your opener should be something you can hit for 2-3 doubles during training. You should be able to hit it 1-2 times in the back (for the snatch, not the clean & jerk) with 100% confidence. Then walk out and crush it for your first attempt.

Second attempt should still be something you’re confident in, and not more than a ~4kg increase from the first on the snatch. For Clean & Jerk not more than ~6kg for the second attempt. The third attempt can be a bit more risky, but something you typically make at least two out of three times in training.

Set Goals: This is your first meet, so set your goals accordingly. My first meet’s goals were

  • Have fun
  • Learn as much about meets as possible
  • Get a Total (AKA hit at least 1 snatch & 1 Clean & Jerk)

While it is possible to hit a personal best lift at your first meet, I would plan to pick an opener you know you can hit. Be a bit more conservative as nerves are a funny thing during that first lift with all eyes on you.


Find some time to get together during an open gym with friends for a mock meet (we are happy to help). Two weeks before a meet is a great time to try out your openers in this format.  Even if it is just lifting with a few friends with the timer running. Ask someone pretending to be the judge that will be in front of the “platform.” Have them simply give you the “down” call, which is what the judge will do at the meet once you have the bar controlled.

Up next: A Guide to the Day of the meet


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!


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

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!



The Morning After 18.5

The Morning After 18.5

Welcome back to The Morning After, the official blog post of Friday Night Lights!

Well folks, we made it! We survived Friday Night Lights. To me, it’s always such a mix of emotions. I’m relieved knowing that I have one less commitment each week. I’m happy I will only be tortured by one
coaches’ programming each week. My liver and sleep schedule are grateful that it is over. I’m elated knowing I have formed so many new friendships. I’m gratified in seeing my progress from last year, and
I’m so sad its over!

In the same breath, FNL always makes me feel an immense sense of pride. Everyone pushes themselves seemingly harder than ever before. There are newcomers. And there are the veterans who help our new friends succeed. When all is said and done, everyone comes together for the simplest of things like tearing down and sticks around for crazy conversations (some regarding lakes and things that you
seriously shouldn’t do in them) and blue light dance parties.

It’s all of this that makes Icehouse great. And while it’ll be one more year until Friday Night Lights, I’m looking forward to the norm (if that’s what you can even call it) with all of you until next year!


Congratulations to the final MVP for the 2018 Friday Night Lights, Garret Stein! He rocked 18.5 stringing together chest to bar pull-ups like a boss and making 100# thrusters look easy. It has been so fun watching you give it your all throughout Friday Night Lights. Congratulations!

Why are you doing The Open?
I’m doing the open because I wanted to get a feel of what the competition scene is like and it’s a great opportunity to meet new people!

What’s your favorite part of CrossFit Icehouse?
My favorite part about CrossFit Icehouse is all the positive energy everywhere and I look forward to coming every day!

What’s your favorite hobby?
My favorite hobby is watching movies. I watch a lot of movies.

What’s a fun fact about yourself?
A fun fact about me is, I have saved every single movie ticket that I’ve seen in theaters.



  1. Buns and Guns: 800 pts
  2. Swole Patrol: 762 pts
  3. Chalk Dirty to me: 743 pts
  4. Blood, Sweat, and Beer(d)s: 682 pts

Top Individual Standings


  1. Andrew Thill
  2. Garret
  3. Travis W


  1. Leslie
  2. Kayla Jo
  3. Hannah

Special Awards
Best Cheerleader: Cass K
Best Spirit: Elli
Best Sound Effects: Garret S
Best Team Name: Blood, Sweat, and Beer(d)s
Best Rookie Performance:
Epic Fail Award: Nathan L
Best Hugger: Patty
Best Dancer: Yours truly, Shots
Underdog Award: Boonie
Best New Mom Performance: Fellows
Hot Mess Award: Warren
Most Improved: Gunter
Power Couple: Shane and Angel
Chalk Addict: Yiny
Spirit of the Open: Heather S


Shout out to some big PRs this weekend!!
Julie: Butterfly Chest to Bar Pull-Ups
Coach Skeds: First time doing Chest to Bar Pull-Ups in a workout
Meredith: Finished her first Open!
Jorts: Most consecutive no reps in a workout.
Kayla Jo: First open Laura didn’t no rep her c2b


Did you like competing, judging, or even just watching Friday Night Lights? There are lots of
competitions in the area to get involved in. Below are just a few!
Dakota Games Qualifier: April 2-6
Festivus Games at Icehouse: April 21
Dakota Games: June 23 & 24
Granite Games Qualifier: June 13 – July 2
Granite Games: Sept 6-9
Battle of the Boxes: August 11

May your heart be light, and your weights be heavy.

Until next year,

The Morning After 18.5

The Morning After 18.4

Welcome back to The Morning After, the official blog post of Friday Night Lights!

“When was the last time you did something for the first time?” This simple question has been turned into songs, posters, memes, poems, and probably bumper stickers. Humans have a habit of becoming complacent. They get busy, find a routine, and settle into a normal life. As a result, many adults can’t remember when they tried something new.

When was the last time you did something for the first time? Friday, I dressed up as Luigi for the first time, and the Friday before, Marilyn Monroe. Saturday, I did my first ever Romanian Dead Lifts. Two years ago, during the Open, I did a pull-up for the first time. Something I never thought I would have been able to do ever do.

With CrossFit, at Icehouse, with the friends we’ve made, we get incredible opportunities to try something new every day. To step outside of our comfort zones. To be challenged. There’s something special about that. That’s not the norm. Most adults get these changes. We do. Thank you, Icehouse, for giving me an endless amount of opportunities to do something for the first time!


Congratulations to Week 4’s MVP, Betsy! 18.4 was shoulders on shoulders, and Betsy showed it who was boss. She rocked out strict push ups and crushed the workout. It has been so fun watching you grow as an athlete. Congratulations, Betsy! Keep up the hard work. Here are some fun facts about this week’s MVP:

Why are you doing The Open?
I’m doing the open because it scared me. Bad. Like almost hyperventilate bad.

What’s your favorite part of CrossFit Icehouse?
My two favorite parts of Icehouse are the friendships I’ve made and the strength I’ve gained. The support of all the people for each other is amazing. This is how our lives should be. I also love that being yourself is celebrated here. That is the most important.

What’s your favorite hobby?
My favorite hobby… other than CrossFit … is knitting.

What’s a fun fact about yourself?
Fun fact… I am a rule follower.


Team Placings after Week 4

  1. Buns and Guns: 632 pts
  2. Swole Patrol: 592 pts
  3. Chalk Dirty to me: 578 pts
  4. Blood, Sweat, and Beer(d)s: 530 pts

Week 4 Team Spirit Award
Buns and Guns (Aka Luigi’s)

Don’t forget to give yourself a gold star on your team scoreboards for challenge points. Be honest! Some challenges will take some time, so do not claim points you did not earn!


Shout out to some big PRs this weekend!!

Betsy B: 10 hand release strict push-ups in a row
Whitney M: First time doing Sumo DL in workout.
Tianna: First DL over 90#
Anna D: DL PR 133#
Chelsea P: First Open workout finished under time cap
Nathan: DL PR of 135# (Completed 45 of them!)

Let me know your PRs by shooting me a Facebook message or emailing me at nancy@crossfiticehouse.com by 9pm Sunday evening.


What do you have to look forward to during Week 5 of The Open?

Schedule Reminder

  • Thursday: No 6:40 class or 7:45 OLY Class. The workout for Week 5 will be released around 7pm Thursday evening, so swing by and watch the release with us.
  • Friday: No evening classes. Warm ups start at 4:30 and the first heat starts at 5:00pm. We will party until the last heat is finished!

Week 5 Sponsor

Week 5 is brought to you by Stenerson Lumber!!

With locations in Moorhead, Detroit Lakes, and Fergus Falls, they are there for all of your fixer upper projects. Because they are even extra awesome, any Icehousers who buy something from Stenerson (they have some many awesome things for home projects) will get an 18% Rebate if they get Becky or Sarah B their receipt. Just in time for spring!

Week 5 Theme

Icehouse Love! Bust out your best Icehouse swag to finish off the last week of FNL.

Week 5 Challenges

Each challenge is worth one point.

  • Lifestyle: 1 act of self care daily. Take a bubble bath, painting your nails, get a message, look at some trees. Treat yo self.
  • Fitness: Complete 100 burpees this week. Because we didn’t get enough during 18.2….
  • Recovery/Mobility: Spend 5 minutes a day foam rolling or using the lacrosse ball.

For more a more detailed breakdown, check out the Coaches’ Week 5 video:


As always, reach out to your team captains with any questions you have. Here’s to a successful Week 5!