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Movement Basics for Becoming the Ultimate Human

We hear a lot about what it takes to be an athlete, but what about a solid, should we say ultimate, human. Today we dive into the movement basics that you need to be on the road to becoming the ultimate human.  We define ultimate human as someone who can live well into their 90’s.  If you haven’t read the first article in the series “Do These 7 Things First” check it out and come back to this one.

Crawl, Stand, Walk, then Run

As any toddler will tell you, you have to crawl before you can stand, stand before you can walk, and walk before you can run.  That’s true for being an ultimate human as well.  The first step is being able to crawl. If there were a fire in your home, could you crawl under the smoke to get out.  Second on the list is can you stand, and not just to flex in the mirror?  Can you stand on one foot for :30 seconds? Go ahead, give it a try, I’ll wait.  If that was easy, close your eyes.  Same rules apply to touching the floor, can you do it?  Can you do it standing on one leg? You pick things up all day long it’s an important skill to have.

Squat and Stand Up

To keep yourself from assisted living you need to be able to squat, at minimum to 90 degrees.  Don’t think it’s that important, can you get to the toilet, yeah it’s that important.  Lose the ability to perform a basic squat and you’re going to need someone to help you with daily living. Along those same lines, can you get up off the floor?  What if you fall, can you get yourself back up?  If you’re reading this and think this is WAY too basic, can you get off the floor with no hands? These are important skills that involve balance, flexibility and coordination.

Lift Your Arms and Step All The Way Up

The last two on the list of basic human abilities are to lift your arms, fully above your head, without pain and be able to step on a 20” box.  The majority of kitchens are designed with upper cabinets or shelves, if you can’t lift your arms up, getting that jar from the middle shelf is going to become really challenging.  The more pain you’re in the less likely you are to do that motion and the less flexible you become over time.  The 20” box step is the average height of 2 stair steps.  If you can do 2 you can do one, this insures you’re not having to hit up your realtor and only look at ranch style homes.  It also makes navigating the world much easier.

To recap the basics, Stand, Crawl, Walk, Squat, Touch the Floor, Get Up Off the Floor, Reach Up Overhead and Step to a 20” Box.  If any of these things cause you pain, that’s where your journey starts.  Fixing the issue so you can do these things and many more pain free. This will set you up with a great foundation.

Control What?

Control What?

If you’re like me I’m sure you’ve heard “control what you can control” a thousand times and rolled your eyes a bit and moved on. “What does that even mean when everything around me is out of my control,” is usually my next thought. My partner, Ashley, and I had this exact conversation today, which prompted this blog post. The stress level hit the roof, but not for reasons you might be thinking.

Flash Back 3 Months

A little back story, in January Ashely  became a full time artist. She left the safety of an everyday paycheck and chased her dream of working for herself. It was a few months after that it was becoming clear that I would be the sole owner of Icehouse. We were so excited, and then this crazy world wide thing happened, you might have heard of it, COVID-19. It was 2 days after I signed the paperwork to be the sole owner, that we shut the doors for an unknown amount of time. At this time, Ashely was making most of her money from in person workshops, things got really real.

The Social Distancing

We took a moment to celebrate and a day to panic.We sat down and made a plan of how can we stay as safe as possible. What are the things, that we as a family, are okay with and not okay with. After that day of panic and planning, I took a morning in my office at home with a cup of coffee and started writing. My perspective shifted. We have a plan that feels good, we have an opportunity to focus on careers we love doing, and we can still create and help people.

Feel All the Feelings

Ashley painted three really awesome paintings during this time and that lead to several painting orders. This should be a really exciting time, but it wasn’t.  With all the negative, and feelings of grief and fear, it can be really challenging to allow yourself to feel joy. As we talked more about this, we made the decision that we could feel happy. We can “control what we can control.” These are things like making paintings, busting our ass to create an Icehouse experience, innovating new ways to do business in a virtual world, working out and eating right, and the way we communicate with each other. We can shelter in place and still create, still be of service (one of our personal core values) and still allow ourselves to feel all of the feelings, which include joy and excitement.

If you are struggling with the feeling of being out of control, I challenge you to write down the things, in your world, that you can control. What are some ways you are feeling grateful? How can you continue to do the things you love? If you need help with this please reach out, these are the types of things my staff and I love to do. We love to help.

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?

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.

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.

Practice!

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