Monday 150126

For time:
100 Double unders
Power cleans
Ab mat sit ups
100 Double unders

Post score to BTW.



2 Ways To Bulletproof the Freestanding Handstand

Similar to getting the muscle up or the perfect snatch, the infamous freestanding handstand is another “holy grail” of movement in the CrossFit World.

The following is a post by Breaking Muscle. You can check out the entire article here.

The handstand is a symbol of body integration and impressive control. But one of the hardest parts is learning how to do it unsupported, with good technique. In order to improve, focus on basic progressions and the minute details that will add up to big changes.

Two steps that will accelerate your learning process are:

  1. Use the frogstand position to sharpen the strength and control in your fingers.
  2. Build up slowly to a freestanding handstand by kicking up gradually, legs scissored.

 The frogstand is an excellent bodyweight hold to hone your fine motor skills. To perform the frogstand:  

  1. Sink into a deep squat and place your palms on the ground in between your feet, so that your triceps press against the insides of your knees. 
  2. When you push your feet off the ground, learn to use your fingers and wrists to manipulate the pressure and stay in the hold. This rudder-like use of your hands will be key in the freestanding handstand.

To begin the true handstand:

  1. Place your palms on the ground again, arms fully extended.
  2. Instead of haphazardly kicking up, first swing one leg like a pendulum, keeping it straight. You want to fall short rather than overshoot and land on your back. Keep your legs scissored apart – you’re still trying to find balance in this step. 
  3. Aim to progressively get closer and closer to the vertical position, but with your legs still apart. 

When you are fully upright, use your fingertips to keep your balance as you slowly move your legs together. By this point, you will have learned vital skills that will make your hard-earned handstand bulletproof. 


Sunday 150125

Tabata This!

Tabata row
Rest 1 minute
Tabata squat
Rest 1 minute
Tabata pull-up
Rest 1 minute
Tabata push-up
Rest 1 minute
Tabata sit-up

Compare to 130825

Post reps to comments or BTW

Grain-free Gingerbread waffles.

Grain-free Gingerbread waffles.

Recently, I made the BEST kitchen gadget purchase: A $7 Waffle Iron from the second-hand store.  The recipe possibilities are endless with what I can do with this thing!  I am now on a mission to find some delicious and easy breakfast recipes.  Here is one from

Gingerbread Waffles


  • 2 large plantains (green/yellow) about 14oz
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil, liquid
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg


  1. Peel plantains.
  2. Place peeled plantains into a food processor along with eggs, baking soda, and molasses.
  3. Blend.
  4. Next add in spices and coconut oil.
  5. Continue to blend until smooth.
  6. Have waffle maker on and ready to go.
  7. Pour gingerbread waffle batter into waffle maker. And cook according to waffle maker instructions.
  8. *could make as pancakes or even muffins.
  9. Remove from waffle maker and top with a delicious topping of your choosing.



Saturday 150124

In teams of 2 complete the following:
4 Rounds for time of:
25 Deadlifts
25 Shoulder to overhead
25 Ring dips
25 Wall balls
25 meter wheel barrel walk

* One person works while the other rests except on wheel barrow walks.

Post score to BTW.



Free community workout this morning! 

New Foundations program starts on Monday. Class meets M/T/TR for 2 weeks. Register online (click here) or stop by in person.

Have a safe and wonderful weekend everyone!

Friday 150123

Hang Squat Clean 5 – 3 – 1 – 1 – 1

Then every minute on the minute for 10 minutes:
Even minutes, 5 Hang Cleans @ 60% of 3 RM Hang Clean
Odd minutes, 5 Muscle-ups

Post load to comments or BTW


Ben and Mat on dueling rope climbs!

Ben and Mat on dueling rope climbs!

HAVING A NICE RACK and why you may not have one!

Having a poor front rack can be the bi-product of MANY reasons: Tight wrists, tight shoulders, stiff thoracic spine, or general non-ninjaness.  In the following post, we will discuss all of the reasons listed above.  Some of the tips you can do sitting in your chair at work, some should be relegated to Verve.  No matter where you are, if you front rack looks the picture above, do some of them.

CrossFit Invictus posted an article on some simple wrist mobility drills you can do when you see Cleans of Front Squats come up in a WOD:

1) Wrist Rotations. This is very basic. Wrap your fingers together and move your wrists around in every possible direction. Hold any position that feels a little tender/limited for a few seconds. Repeat often throughout the day.

2) Planche Push Up Position. Get into a plank position (elbows fully extended at the top of the push up). Turn your hands inward so your fingertips are pointing toward your toes. Keeping a rigid torso, shift your body forward so you have an angle from your shoulders to wrists. Hold this position for 20-30 seconds (or as long as you can bear) and repeat. If this is too intense, drop down to your knees and complete.

3) Front Squat Rack Position. If this position is bothering you as you front squat, chances are you need to get your wrists working through the range of motion required for a front squat. It is not your wrists holding the bar in place, it is your shoulders but . . . you need good wrist mobility to get that heavy bar sitting correctly on top of your shoulders. Load a bar on a desired rack setting. Set up in a rack position, with your elbows pointing as far forward as possible and weight sitting on your shoulders. Pick up the bar and rotate your elbows forward, then re rack the bar. Repeat this process until you see a change in your rack position.

4) Static Holds. Pull your wrist back into extension and/or flexion and hold for at least 20-30 seconds.

5) Wrist Walks. I just discovered this drill and love it. Place your palms on a wall, with your arms straight and fingers pointing to the ceiling. Keeping contact with the wall, walk your hands down the wall. Go as far down as possible without letting your palms come off the wall. Once you reach the point where you can’t walk your hands down any farther, turn your hands around so your fingers are now pointing to the floor. Walk your wrists back up the wall as far upward as possible. Repeat as desired.

6) Check Your Keyboard. Get your wrists in a neutral position when typing! Check out Invictus extraordinaire Cynthia Lumley’s article on a standing work desk.

You can find the full post here.

Here is a video from Verve member and all around awesome PT Dan Pope.  Dan will address tight thoracic, shoulders, triceps, and wrists.  There are some oldie but goodies, and some stretches that may blow your mind!


-GOOD LUCK TO all of the Verve athletes competing this weekend in FrostFit @ CrossFit SoCo!!  Here is the schedule of events and heat times for all of the teams!!  If you are down south, go and show some Verve love, or send them some love in the comments below.

Thursday 150122

As many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of:
10 Burpees
1 Rope climb
40 Double unders

Post rounds to comments and BTWB

Mike Cain and James Bautsch are accountabilibuddies during Verve's "Change your habits, change your life" Challenge. Have you checked in with your buddy lately?

Mike Cain and James Bautsch are accountabilibuddies during Verve’s “Change your habits, change your life” Challenge. Have you checked in with your buddy lately?


Here’s a little story I got to tell. . . . about Mechanics, Consistency, and Intensity. By Courtney “drops mad beats” Shepherd

Well folks, the last time I wrote a blog addressing Mechanics/ Consistency/ Intensity (MCI) I started off by saying it wasn’t my first MCI blog and it wouldn’t be my last. I’m here to keep my promise, while also saying, this still will not be my last. Most of the blogs I bring to your attention are spawn from experiences had inside Verve, be it my own follies as a coach or an athlete or from shared moments with some of you. Enter today’s blog and the actual story I really have for you. We recently snatched in class, working up to a 1RM power snatch followed by some lighter accessory work. During the heavier portion of the work I watched an athlete struggle with the movement as weight was added to their bar. The snatch is the MOST TECHNICALLY DEMANDING lift, so I do not look down on anyone who has issue with this lift. . . . I’m 5 years into CrossFit and I have issue with this lift. I do commend any and all who show up at Verve on a heavy snatch day and put in the effort to become more comfortable with this movement. However, back to my story, this individual and I spoke, several times, about their inefficiencies with the lift. I gave coaching cues and feedback to help mend these inefficiencies. This individual listened, but continued to add more weight to their bar. At some point in the class, this person approached me and told me they were stuck, they could not seem to move this weight anymore, something must be wrong. This person was quite accurate, something was wrong, their technique. They had reached the end range of the weight they could move using their inefficient technique. “No, that’s not it. I just lifted the weight before it and I only added 10#. How could 10# make that much of a difference?” ALL athletes reach a plateau in their lifts, most of these plateaus are due to inefficiencies in technique. That is why those who specialize in Olympic lifting continue working tirelessly on their technique in the Olympic lifts. Their training never ends. The difference is where their plateau is compared to that of a 4 WOD/ week CrossFitter who may only really see the snatch once/ week at best.

So again, back to my story, I expressed some of these sentiments to the athlete. The athlete continued to not fully agree with me, so I had them snatch in front of me. If I’m going to argue about the problem here, then I should probably see it. This athlete was trying to muscle snatch heavy weight. There was no comfort level with pulling themselves underneath the bar. It would not have mattered if they only added 2 1/2 pounds from their last lift, they had maxed out their abilities unless they started getting under the bar. This is absolutely something I wanted this person to now work on, I wanted them to spend some time taking some of my cues and putting them to use to build the skill of snatching. Before I finish this story let me stress that I did not want this skill to be built at their current or previous weight. Please, please tell me you get that is not a good idea or even a reasonable one. Mechanics is not refined with maximal loads, our body will not suddenly understand how to correctly perform a movement under heavy loads that it has never practiced or refined under light ones.

Enter the accessory work, power snatching at 50-60% of the 1RM recently attained. This my friends, is the perfect time to work on some technique. After urging the class to abandon their heavy loads in exchange for their lighter ones, I returned to the athlete to find 85# on the bar, their load for the accessory work. This was a problem because 85# happened to be 75% of the 1RM this athlete just got. When I pointed this out to the athlete my hope was they would simply say “oops, my math bad”, instead I got, “Seriously? I can lift this.” I am a passionate person, especially about CrossFit. I’m passionate about making the people that come into Verve happy, healthy, functional, strong people. I’m passionate about progress free of injury, which is why my answer to this athlete was “No you can’t lift it. You’ve just proven to me that this is a difficult movement for you. You have not earned the right to put that weight on your bar.” Harsh? Perhaps. One of my jobs is to keep everyone in this gym safe. Lifting heavy weight with improper mechanics is the exact definition of unsafe. Henceforthy me allowing this current lifting situation to happen would be me not doing my job. Aside from the part related to my job, I guess my question is why? Why do we find ourselves wanting to push to do/ achieve something to the point we would risk injury to say we lifted more? Where is the urgency? Or is it that we don’t see that this situation has the potential for injury? In the words of Dr. Kelly Starrett,

“Our bodies will put up with our silly movement and lifestyle choices because they have a freakish amount of functional tolerance built in. We shouldn’t however, make the classic error of confusing this miraculous genetic inheritance with a tacit rationalization for eating, sleeping, or moving however we please.”

CrossFit is defined as “constantly varied, functional movements performed at high intensity”. CrossFit’s mantra however is Mechanics, consistency, intensity. . . in that order. Before intensity we want to see that movements are performed mechanically sound consistently. This is why we drill movements with PVC, and after PVC comes light weight. As we are able to consistently maintain good form we can begin to add more weight or add complexity to movements, thus increasing our intensity. Trying to do this in reverse, putting intensity before consistent mechanics, has consequences. Those consequences include at their worst injuries, and at the least excessive soreness that causes us to have to take a rest day rather than return to the gym, or taking 20 minutes to do a 10 minute WOD thus compounding the loss of intensity.

I have been told several times by athletes, while demoing a movement, that I make it look easy. I’ve been doing CrossFit consistently for 5 years. I started off scaling WODs, I disregarded weight for form, I listened to cues/ corrections, I worked on weaknesses to make them strengths, I focused on my own performance rather than that of others. I can look back over the 5 years and see progress. I can see myself going from banded pull-ups to unbroken sets of 12 kipping pull-ups. I can see the technique of my spit jerk improve to the point that it allows me to lift the heaviest weight over head. I can see my improvement across the board. . . . can you? I’ve had people come to me and say they have been a member for years, they feel like by now they should see an improvement in their cardio/ respiratory endurance. I agree with them, we should see that, but I know why we don’t. Because the concern for an “RX” by their name trumps lightening the load, cutting some reps, and moving faster, getting a greater intensity from the WOD in order to build that endurance. The same goes for lifting heavy weight. Spending time lifting lighter weight with better form builds the adaptation to later lift more weight. Constantly lifting heavy weight with bad form will never lead to lifting more weight better. Practice does not make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect.

As you progress through your CrossFit career and you push yourself with new challenges, ask yourself “do I have the mechanics, do I have them consistently?” If the answer is yes then increase the weight, increase the reps, increase the rounds, and move at a level of intensity that matches your abilities. Then, and only then, will you be stronger then yesterday.

 *The body fat truck is returning in February for our re-tests, you can start getting signed up now. It’s available to those who are doing it for the first time too!!

Click here for Wednesday February 11th (All day)

Click here for Thursday February 12th (AM only)

Wednesday 150121

Every 5 minutes for 25 minutes
Row 500 Meters
10 Thrusters @ 60% of 1 RM
10 Chest to Bar Pull Ups

Score is time per round.

Post to BTWB.

Mobility with the little ones...never too early to start.

Mobility with the little ones…never too early to start.

We all get sore from training.  It’s an unpleasant result from the type of training we put our bodies through.  High intensity workouts are going to lead to soreness.  You’re all familiar with DOMS, delayed onset muscle soreness.  It’s that soreness that we feel 2 – 3 days after a really intense workout.  You know the feeling where you try to move your legs and they just don’t to or if they do move it’s the most excruciating pain you’ve ever felt.  So how do we alleviate this pain?  There are many tricks but if you have one that works for you stick with it and in fact, share it with the group so we can give it a try as well.

Here are a few tips from the Poliquin Group to help your reduce DOMS, more can  be found by clicking HERE and reading the article;  Nine Amazing Ways to Reduce Post – Workout Muscle Soreness.

Caffeine has been shown to have great results in recovery from DOMS.  Caffeine blocks central nervous receptors related to pain.  In a recent study, participants were given caffeine before doing a muscle damaging workout.  Another group was given a placebo.  The caffeine group reported much less soreness on day 2 and 3 after training, and soreness was completely gone by the end of day 3.  Research suggests that a pill may produce better results than a drink, but whatever your consumption choice, caffeine may help you feel less sore.

Eating or drinking antioxidant rich foods such as tart cherries or blueberry juice can reduce muscle damage and pain after training.  The fruits help flush out the waste products that are produced during hard training sessions.  Once you get rid of all the bad toxins and product created during an intense workout, your body can start the repairing process.  Avoid combining antioxidant rich foods with milk though.  The protein in milk can inhibit the work done by the antioxidants.

There are many additional tips to help you speed up the recovery process.  Click the above link and find a few that work for you and give them a try.  Be sure and let us know if you had success with any of them so we can share it with others that may have the same soreness you do.  


Tuesday 150120

Power Snatch
5 Rounds of
3 Hang Muscle Snatch
2 Hang Power Snatch
Use 70% of 1 RM Power Snatch
Rest 2 minutes between efforts

Post weight to BTWB.

Best to be careful when doing a  burpee over someone!

Best to be careful when doing a burpee over someone!

With the new year in full swing many of us are still doing great on our goals or are on our way to changing some habits with the help of our friends.  One of the common goals I heard from people was that they wanted to make sure and drink more water.  I love Nuun tablets for this, because as much as I love water, Nuun tablets make water taste so much better.  They also provide excellent electrolytes to help your body absorb better so you’re not running to the bathroom every 10 minutes.

In case you were unaware of the benefits of drinking water, I came across an article online that listed a few maybe not so well know benefits to drinking water.  Did you know that water is the second most popular beverage in the US?  The problem is that soda is number 1.

Here are a few of the benefits to consuming water.  Click HERE to read the entire article, 12 Unexpected Reasons to Drink More Water This New Year.

Fluid balance. Roughly 60 percent of the body is made of water and drinking enough water helps fluid balance which in turn helps transport nutrients, digest food, and regulate temperature.

Clearer skin.  Water helps to flush out toxins that can cause the skin to inflame and can results in clogged pores and acne. Water can flush out those toxins and help reduce the risk of breakouts.

Hangover help. When you are hungover you are very dehydrated.  Consume water to help with the headache and help get you back to normal.

Pain prevention.  Your joints can feel achy and your muscles can cramp if you are dehydrated so in order to prevent these, consume water to help keep pain away.


Monday 150119

For time:

KB Swings
Box Jumps
Wall Balls

Post score to BTW.

Turkish get ups. Is Erin paying attention?

Turkish get ups. Is Erin paying attention?

The following is a post by William Imbo of Box Life Magazine with 5 tips for faster recovery which means better results. You can check out the entire article by clicking here.

Don’t Skip the Cool Down & Stretch
The recovery process should begin before you leave the box. During an intense training effort, metabolic waste products are lodged in your body all the way down to the individual muscle cells. The fluid that surrounds them—as well as the capillaries, veins, and lungs—needs to be flushed out before you rest. As soon as you finish exercising and pick yourself up off the floor, your first thought should be to keep moving at a gentle pace. Doing so will allow your heart rate to come back to its resting level.

Drink Plenty of Water
As humans, we need water to survive (our bodies are roughly 60% water), and we need to drink enough of it throughout the day to avoid dehydration. In one hour of exercise the body can lose more than a quart of water, depending on exercise intensity and air temperature. So it’s important to make sure you replenish your stores as soon as you can. Getting enough water into our system helps to improve our recovery time, as it helps to bring the electrolyte balance in our body back to normal.

Drink a Post-Workout Protein Shake
Specifically, take your whey protein. Now, there’s nothing wrong with waiting till you get home to make a meal that’s hopefully packed full of protein, but I highly advise you to invest in a whey protein supplement, and here’s why: Whey protein is considered to be a “fast-acting” protein because the body can digest it and absorb the nutrients it contains quickly. When you ingest whey, the amino acids from the protein will go through their metabolic functions—one of which is protein synthesis (where cells generate new proteins).

Eat Carbs Too!
It’s useful to get carbs into your system following a workout as they replenish your glycogen stores. Glycogen is the chemical form of carbohydrates that is stored in the muscles. As you train, your body utilizes glycogen as its main fuel source. Glycogen is needed in order to generate ATP—adenosine tri phosphate—which transports chemical energy and is crucial for muscle contractions. It also helps to increase muscle cell volume and muscle fiber fullness. As such, don’t assume that there’s nothing to be gained from munching on a sweet potato, some brown rice or a banana (more on these below) post-WOD.

Get Potassium & Sodium Into Your System
Potassium is a vitally important mineral in our body, helping our heart, kidneys and other organs to function properly. It also helps our muscles regularly contract and relax, seeing as most of the potassium ions in the body are located in the muscle cells. On top of that, potassium is useful for ensuring the growth of muscle tissue, as well as facilitating the correct utilization of the energy that’s released during metabolism, which contributes to muscular strength. 

Sunday 150118

Five rounds for time:
10 Dumbbell deadlifts
10 Dumbbell hang cleans
10 Dumbbell push presses
10 Dumbbell squats

Post time to comments of BTW

Roasted Red Pepper and Avocado soup!! ZONE friendly.

Roasted Red Pepper and Avocado soup!! ZONE friendly.

Roasted Red Pepper and Avocado Soup with Sausages

This recipe was taken from PaleOMG but slightly altered and ZONED out by the fabulous Coach Robyn!  Thanks Robyn!


  • 2-19oz jars roasted red peppers, finely chopped or throw in food processor to chop finely
  • 3 cups yellow onion, diced pretty small
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup canned coconut milk
  • 2-3 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1-2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • avocado, diced (to garnish)
  • chopped cilantro (to garnish)
  • 5 cooked sausage of choice (I used the roasted red pepper chicken sausages from Costco)


  1. Place a saucepan over medium heat, add a little broth, garlic and onion. Cook up onions until they are translucent, watch this you may have to add a little more broth if the onions start sticking to the pan before they are finished cooking.
  2. Then add in your roasted red peppers with the rest of the broth and coconut milk along with your smoked paprika, paprika, red pepper flakes, oregano, and salt and pepper. Let simmer for 8-10 minutes.
  3. While soup is simmering, grill or fry up sausages, let cool a couple minutes, then slice up your sausages (I like to slice them lengthwise and then in half moon shapes).
  4. Add sausages to soup, simmer couple minutes. Add lime juice.
  5. Once everything has simmered, scoop out your avocado and add to the saucepan along with your lime juice. Then use an immersion blender to mix until soup is smooth and creamy. If you don’t have an immersion blender, add it to your food processor, like I did. I did it in two batches so my kitchen wouldn’t become messier than it already is. – I skipped this step.
  6. Top soup with diced avocado and chopped cilantro so divine.??


Recipe totals 16P, 12CHO, 16F

⅔ cup = 1P 3/4CHO 1F

2 cups = 3P 2 ¼ CHO 3F

Saturday 150117

10 Rounds:
Every 3 minutes on the 3 minutes
Row 150m sprint

Post score to BTW.

Back squats are fun with a friend.

Back squats are fun with a friend.


-Saturday, January 17th - There will only be 1 WOD at Verve @ 7am.  There will be off-site SWIM WOD’s at 9:30am and 10:30am with Coach Robyn.  Here are the details: (please note that you must be able to swim 25m unassisted)

Glenarm Rec Center

2800 Glenarm Place, Denver, CO 80205

-Sunday, January 18th – There will only be 1 WOD at Verve @ 7am.  There will be an off-site outing to Urban Acrobatics at 12:00pm with Coach Anna.  Please show up a little early to complete a waiver so we can maximize our fun time!  Here are the details (please note you MUST sign up on MindBody to be able to participate in this outing):

Urban Acrobatics

720 W 84th ave Thornton, CO 80221