Friday 180223

Complete as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of:

8 Toes to bar
10 Dumbbell hang clean and jerks, 50#(35#)
14(12) Calorie row

Post rounds and reps to comments, BTWB and CrossFit Games



Rx’d: (Ages 16-54)
Men use 50-lb. dumbbell Women use 35-lb. dumbbell

Scaled: (Ages 16-54)
Men perform hanging knee-raises, use 35-lb. dumbbell Women perform hanging knee-raises, use 20-lb. dumbbell

Teenagers 14-15:

Boys use 35-lb. dumbbell Girls use 20-lb. dumbbell

Scaled Teenagers 14-15:

Boys perform hanging knee-raises, use 20-lb. dumbbell Girls perform hanging knee-raises, use 10-lb. dumbbell

Masters 55+:

Men use 35-lb. dumbbell Women use 20-lb. dumbbell

Scaled Masters 55+:

Men perform sit-ups, use 20-lb. dumbbell Women perform sit-ups, use 10-lb. dumbbell


This workout begins with the athlete standing on the floor under the pull-up bar. After the call of “3, 2, 1… go,” the athlete may jump up and perform toes-to-bars. After 8 reps are complete, the athlete will move to the dumbbell for hang clean and jerks. The athlete must complete 5 clean and jerks on one arm, then 5 on the other arm. He or she will then move to the rower and pull 14 calories (12 for women). The monitor must read 14 calories (12 for women) before the athlete can unstrap and move to the pull-up bar for the next round.

The athlete’s score will be the total number of repetitions completed within the 20-minute time cap. Each calorie completed on the row will be equal to 1 rep.


• Pull-up bar

• Dumbbell of appropriate weight for your division*†

• Rower that counts calories, similar in type and calibration to a Concept2 rower

* If you are using adjustable dumbbells, the largest plates allowed are standard-sized 10-lb. (5 kg) metal change plates (9 inches in diameter). When the dumbbell is at rest, the bottom
of the handle cannot be more than 4 inches o the ground.
Any athlete using an unconventional or unmarked dumbbell
will need to con rm the weight of the dumbbell on a scale and clearly show the height of the handle with a ruler or measuring tape in his or her video submission. Kettlebells, fat bells or other non-traditional dumbbells are not allowed.

† The offcial weight is in pounds. For your convenience, the minimum acceptable weights in kilograms are 22.5 kg (50 lb.), 15 kg (35 lb.), 10 kg (20 lb.) and 5 kg (10 lb.).

For each workout, be sure the athlete has adequate space to safely complete all the movements. Clear the area of all extra equipment, people or other obstructions.

Any athlete who in any way alters the equipment or movements described in this document or shown in the workout video may be disquali ed from the competition.


Prior to starting, film the dumbbell to be used so the weight and plate size can be seen clearly. All video submissions should be uncut and unedited in order to accurately display the performance. A clock or timer, with the running workout time clearly visible, should be in the frame throughout the entire workout. Shoot the video from an angle so all exercises can be clearly seen meeting the movement standards. Videos shot with a sheye lens or similar lens may be rejected due to the visual distortion these lenses cause.

Thursday 180222

For time:
Row 1,000 meters
800 Meter run
60 Deadlifts, 165#(115#)
40 Toes to bar
20 Chest to bar pull-ups

Post times to comments and BTWB

And the 2018 CrossFit Games Open starts right meow. . . .


Tonight at 6pm the first workout of the 2018 CrossFit Open (18.1) will be announced. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Verve will be doing 18.1 as the WOD all day on Friday. We will have regularly scheduled classes up until 4:30pm. 
  • Starting at 4:30pm Friday night we will have heats going ONLY. There will NOT be any WODs on Friday nights for the next 5 weeks. You can come and sign up for your heat time starting at 4:30pm. Heats will be based on the workout. There will be a warm-up area. 
  • If you are signed up for the Open, you will need to be judged. If you need to be judged, it may mean at some point you will have to judge someone, so take the judge’s course!! It gets your team 3 points when you turn in the certificate of completion. (Click here to take the judge’s course)
  • Please leave the top (biggest) portion of your scorecard at Verve on your team’s clipboard. This is so your score can be validated. 
  • You must submit your score by 5pm on Monday. The earlier you submit, the better, should there be any issues with your score. 
  • If you cannot do the workout on Friday, we have two additional times you may do/ re-do the workout:
    • Sunday re-do- Open Gym @ 10am-11am
    • Monday last chance- Open Gym @ 2pm-4pm
    • That’s IT!! If you absolutely cannot make any of these times, then you must schedule a time by emailing I will NOT validate a score does outside of these times. You will have to videotape it and submit it for video approval. 
  • As far as points for your team, we will have one unified theme for each Open workout. If you come to Verve to compete in the Friday Night Lights dressed according to the theme, you can earn an extra point for your team. **This only counts if you do the workout in theme attire @ 4:30pm or later on Friday Night**

Got questions?? You can leave a comment for me, email me, or speak with your team’s captain. 

It’s almost go time. . . . and the theme for 18.1 is. . . show us some Verve love!! Wear your favorite Verve shirt!! Wear it loud and wear it proud. We are kicking off this year with a big gym salute. Don’t got a Verve shirt?? Don’t worry, I’m sure someone on your team has one you can borrow. Sharing is caring. 



Wednesday 180221

Every 3 minutes for 5 sets:
3 Front squats
EMOM x 5 minutes:
7 Thrusters, 95#(65#)
7 Box jump over, 24″(20″)

Post results to comments or BTWB

Brant on his home turf in Texas!


#1 – Where were you born? Houston, TX
#2 – What / Who got you into CrossFit?  A leader in the men’s church group mentioned a faith based crossfit gym he went to. I was new to the area and was looking for community and a competitive workout regimen. The rest is history. 
#3 – If you could program your favorite workout, what would it include?  A combination of hang power cleans or shoulder to overhead with either running or assault bike thrown in. 
#4 – Where do you most hope to visit? I’ve always wanted to go to Australia but hope to visit Canada in the near future.
#5 – What was your first/worst job you ever had?  The first (and maybe the worst?) job I had was my senior year in high school when I worked as a Hollister model. They made me wear skinny jeans… (What???)
#6 – If you could invite 3 people, dead or alive, to a dinner party, who would it be? Why?
  1. My grandpa – He passed away my junior year of college and was a really cool dude. Would love to talk to him again. 
  2. Dale Carnegie – His book “How to Win Friends and Influence People” is easily one of my favorites. Plus I would like to see if he actually put everything he said in to practice. 
  3. Teddy Roosevelt – He would definitely keep things interesting and could probably share some some wild stories. Pretty insightful guy as well. 


Tuesday 180220

3 Rounds for time:
15 Overhead squats, 125#(85#)
15 Bar facing burpees

Post time to BTWB

The brains behind “Team who’s name must not be said.”















Well the CrossFit Open is finally here.  Yesterday’s blog featured the teams that will be competing in the CrossFit Verve Open Team Competition.  If you’re not sure what team you’re on, please take a look at yesterday’s blog.  For those of you that haven’t signed up yet, fear not, you still have time.  Once you are signed up, we will place you on a team for the competition, but please remember to sign up as soon as possible.  

The past few years, we have switched our programming up to follow, but this year we are continuing to follow the programming we’ve been following for the past few months.  

As you know, Friday will be the day we perform the Open workouts.  If you are competing in the Open and plan to do the workout on Friday, then plan accordingly for Thursday’s.  Since we don’t know what the Open workouts are and won’t until Thursday evening, consider using Thursday’s as a day for active recovery or simply moving around.  You can still come in and do the WOD on Thursday, but have a plan how to approach the workouts on Thursday.  Ask your coaches for advice on scaling the workouts with the intent on being as fresh as possible for Friday’s Open test.

Thursday’s are widely used as a rest day or active recovery day for a lot of us, but if you like to workout on Thursday’s plan to scale it back a bit, if you are planning on being as fresh as you can for Friday.  No need to go as hard as possible and wake up feeling less than your best on Friday, if you are approaching the Open with the intent to give Friday’s workout your best.  

Friday’s night during the Open we won’t have structured classes.  Beginning at 4:30 pm we will run heats.  For those of you new to Friday Night Lights, here’s how it is set up.  We will put heat times on the board.  You sign up for the heat you want to go in and then you are responsible for warming yourself up as there will be not coach led warm up.  We will of course be around to give you guidance and advice if you’re not sure how to warm up.  We will need judges as well, so before or after your heat, plan on sticking around so you can judge someone in a different heat.  Make sure to take the Judges Course as well so you know can earn points for your team and have an idea of movement standards.  We will brief all the workouts and standards so you know exactly what to be aware of.  

This is a really fun time to be at the gym, so if you workout earlier in the day and want to come be a part of Friday nights festivities, plan on coming back and cheering on your fellow Verve members.  Have a few drinks and add to the electric atmosphere!  

Any questions or comments, please post them to the comments section or email

Monday 180219

Every 2 minutes for 7 sets:
2 Power cleans

Then, as many rounds and reps as possible in 7 minutes:
15 Dumbbell snatch, 50#(35#)
30 Double unders

Post loads, rounds and reps to comments and BTWB

Jason pushing his way into the start of this week.

The draft has come and gone! Folks, here are your teams for this year’s Verve Open Team Cup:

Team Panthers (Anna Mattson & Matt Chan)

Adam Rosenbloom
Ben Stratton 
Craig Kalman
Courtney Barry
Elizabeth Schweyen
Eric Clancy 
Jason Kaplan
Jason Rutt
Katie Tollund
Kellie Morante
Leah LaBonte
Lisa Day
Mary Petersen
Nicole Alt 
Trevor Bron

Team Fun, Fun, Fun (Danielle Dangoia & Amelia Dwyer)

Ken Strickler
Paul Whitehead
Ryan Weaver
Kasey Fox
Lisa Lefkowitz
Mike Lamoureux
Lexi Zadak
Diona Gouker
Andy Duckett-Emke
Frank Moore
Brandon Gouker
Garret Mueller
Breton Lujan
Courtney Shepherd
Jayme Eichner
Marty Barkman

Team Kip, Kip Hooray (Maddie Berky & Mike Cain)

John Mallette
Meghan Althoff
Kyle Kohli
Morgan Youngblood
Nate Rader
Steve Weix
Juliann Couture
Wade Godman
Bailey Dillon
James Castanino
Connie Luu
James Cain
Jeff Clegg
Emily Schneiderbauer
Eric Kiker
Meghan Law

Team who’s name must not be said (Paul Buono & Ryan Young)

Kyle Young 
Lindsey Weix
Sarah Sullivan
Matt Duckett-Emke
Mick Lewis 
Mary Claire Friesema
Nicole Hall
Alex Wolfson
Cherie Chan
Jennifer Rutt
Ali Nichols
Danny Fernandez
Joel Swanson
David Lai
Jason Allison
Jordan Afraimi

And now for the winners of some raffle prizes!!

A spot at the CrossFit Specialty Course: Aerobic Capacity = Mary Petersen!!

A refund on their CrossFit Games Open registration = Trevor Bron, Eric Kiker, and Morgan Youngblood!!!

Who is soooo EXCITED to start the Open season?!?!? If you are not yet, let’s get working on it, it starts this Thursday.

Sunday 180218

5 Rounds for calories,
With a 2 minute clock:
10 Toes to bar
10 Hang power clean, 115#(75#)
As many calories on assault bike as possible in remaining time

Rest 2 minutes

Post calories to comments and BTWB

I’ve never seen someone look so happy to be doing double unders. Connie giving us her best #SexyFaceSunday


Saturday 180217

With a partner, each completes:
21-15-9 Reps for time:
Shoulder to overhead, 145#(100#)
Burpee box jump over, 24″(20″)

*Partner 1 completes the workout and then partner 2 goes.

Followed immediately by,

With a partner, complete 3 rounds for time each:
7 Muscle-ups
21 Overhead squats, 100#(70#)
50 Double unders

*Partner 1 completes all 3 rounds, then partner 2 completes 3 rounds.

Post times to BTWB


Easy Chicken Chorizo bake!




  • ¾ Pound of ground chicken chorizo (8P)
  • 4 cups chopped Kale (4CHO)
  • ⅔ sweet potato (2CHO)
  • 2 T. balsamic vinegar (2CHO)
  • ¼ cup water


  • Over medium heat, brown ground chicken chorizo until cooked.
  • While the chicken is cooking, take a large baking dish and add chopped kale, chopped sweet potato, water and balsamic vinegar.
  • Once chorizo is cooked measure out 12 oz and add to dish.
  • Cover baking dish with aluminum foil (this allows the sweet potato to soak in all the yummy juices) and place in oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and let it sit for 10 minutes before removing aluminium foil.  This was super easy and pretty tasty with the chorizo and balsamic vinegar.
  • Add some avocado or a side of nuts to add the necessary fat.

**This made exactly 4 cups.  

**1 cup = 2P, 2CHO, 0F

Friday 180216

Complete as many rounds as possible in 7 minutes:

6 Handstand push-up
25′ Dumbbell front rack walking lunge, 40(25#)
9 Handstand push-up
25′ Dumbbell front rack walking lunge, 40(25#)
12 Handstand push-up

25′ Dumbbell front rack walking lunge, 40(25#)

….continue in this fashion until time expires

*Score is the total number of Handstand Push-ups

Post score to comments or BTWB

Sprint class working together to move some major weight for the workout!


The following article from Equipfoods, has some great points regarding planning, executing, and recovery during the 2018 Open season!  You can see the full article here    


The week or so leading up to… the CrossFit Open (and during the five weeks of the open) should not be where you aim to gain strength, speed or skill. Those adaptions should have come in the previous 8-10 months. 

Your body can only handle so much stress for adaptation. If you are worrying about improving now, you are not going to have enough reserves to perform at maximum potential. Trust in the process and that the training you’ve done is going to get you where you want to be. 

This also means that this is not the best time to be focusing on mass gain or getting lean. Muscle gain, fat loss and performance are three different goals and such, should be targeted differently.

If your number one priority is muscle gain or fat loss, no problem, attack that and still do the Open, just know that performance may not be at peak levels when it is not prioritized.


Every workout is essentially a mini soft tissue injury. Your tissue breaks down and your body has to heal and rebuild that tissue. How does it do that? It uses the raw material you give it: food and supplements. 

Garbage in, garbage out, as the saying goes. Use the best materials to rebuild the best you.

Whole food sources are the best and first source you should look towards for recovery of tissues. High quality meats, vegetables and starches should be a staple in your nutrition. Add in bone broth and fermented foods for even more support and supplements to fill the gaps. 


16.2 make you feel like you can’t walk? Believe it or not, moving is probably going to be the best medicine. 

Tissue breakdown and intense workouts create metabolites that make your body feel pretty awful. To clear those waste products out of your tissues, your aim should be getting maximal amount of blood flow to as many tissues as possible. 

Running may sound like a nice way to get some blood flow, but your muscles don’t contract and relax much due to the relative lack of range of motion you go through when you run. Focus on large, full joint movements, without the intention of improving at those movements. 

This is a key point: Your goal with active recovery is not to cause an adaptation in the tissues, but to get oxygen and blood to as many tissues as possible. Work up a little sweat, move your joints and tissues and get out. 

Example: a circuit of ring rows, ring pushups, and squat cleans. Nice and light. Go through the movements one by one and don’t worry about time or weight. You should be leaving tons of reps in the tank and feeling nice and fresh after this work. 


So many of my athletes have had plans to dominate in the Open and then go out and tear their hands on the first workout. Since they haven’t healed, they re-tear on the second workout. And the third… 

Having ripped up hands does you no good in CrossFit. Other than thinking you look awesome by posting Instagram photos of your ripped and bloody hands with #crossfitproblems there are no benefits to ripped hands. 

Invest in callous remover. They are cheap and will save you weeks of anguish. 

This is a five week competition. If you have ripped hands half the time, expect half the performance. 


This is easier said than done, but have a game plan to attack each workout. Using mental energy comes at a cost of physical performance throughout a workout.

Break sets and reps up into manageable chunks that you estimate before the workout starts. 

That being said, having a game plan is ideal, but also always think of a backup and a backup to your backup. Things don’t always go as planned and being able to rely on a game plan will take the pressure and nerves off and let you focus on performing the best you can. 

Not only is a strategy for the workout important, but your strategy for warming up the tissues and nervous system in preparation of the movement important as well. You shouldn’t be fatigued by doing a bunch of pull ups warming up before a clean workout, for example. 


There are times when to push to the limits of your capacity, and there are times to look towards the next step.

If the best professional sports players went out and absolutely crushed themselves in the first quarter, good luck on winning the entire game. You have five shots to aggregate a score, be smart and look ahead as the weeks go on.  

When in a competition, it is tough to turn off the gear of wanting to win, I get that. However, if you are yanking with your life on a deadlift and know you’re not in good form on ..a workout.. and blow out your back, well then you aren’t going to be able to do 16.3, 16.4, or 16.5. 

This is a five week marathon, not a 5 minute sprint. 


Chances are you’re not going to win every workout and PR every time you attempt a lift. Chances are you’re not going to Regionals, the Games or even placing top three in your gym. And that’s fine. 

Don’t get down on yourself if you don’t perform the way you imagined. You don’t need to compare yourself to others to measure your success.

Celebrate being better than you were last year. Did you get your first muscle up? First pull up? That’s awesome!  

Many people can’t do what you set out to do and accomplished since you started training for the CrossFit Open. Look at where you started and where you are now. 

Not to mention, CrossFit is supposed to be fun. So don’t get bummed if you didn’t hit a PR. There is always 2017 and a whole year to work on weaknesses. If you had nothing to improve, would training even be fun?

Tomorrow is the draft party and the teams for this year’s Verve Open Team Cup will be decided. PLEASE make sure you are registered for the Open by 12PM ON SATURDAY!!!. This is when we will print the list from the Games site. If you are not on the list, you will not be able to get drafted to a team. You can register for the Open by clicking here. Please pick CrossFit Verve as your TEAM and your AFFILIATE.
At 12pm Saturday, after the list is printed out, beyond being eligible for the draft, I will also be placing everyone’s name in a hat to raffle off several prizes:
– We will be raffling off a spot to CrossFit’s Specialty Course: Aerobic Capacity, being hosted by Verve on Saturday March 24th. This course is held by Chris Hinshaw and is a full one day course. To learn more about it you can click here. *You must be available on that Saturday for the full day.  For those of you following at home, that is a value of $349!!!
– I will pull 3 additional names from the hat, these people will win a refund on their CrossFit Games Registration fee, $20. 

So go get registered NOW!!!



Thursday 180215

5 Rounds for time of:
40(32) Calorie row
100′ Sled push or sled pull
400 Meter run

Post times to comments and BTWB

#tbt to some Friday Night Lights action during last year’s Open.


The 2018 CrossFit Games Open AND the 2018 Verve Open Team Cup. . . let’s do this!

This Saturday is the kick off party to start the CrossFit Games Open at Verve. Saturday we have our draft party from 1pm-3pm. Here are some details about the draft:

  • If you are signed up for the Open, you are eligible to be drafted to one of four teams at Verve. 
  • The captains and co-captains of these four teams will be participating in the draft, picking people to be on their teams. They will be picking from the Games site registration list printed out the morning of. . . so get signed up now.
  • As the draft rounds continue, the number of picks will increase. Meaning that in the final rounds, captains and co-captains will be picking 3-5 people at a time, so absolutely no one single person will be picked last. 
  • While the draft is happening, enjoy food, drinks, and cornhole. . . and some fun smack talk.

But seriously, first you MUST be signed up for the 2018 CrossFit Games Open. The cost to register for the Open is $20, you can click here to register.

  • So to be very clear, if you are not registered for the Open, you CANNOT be drafted to a team. Which means no fun. 
  • When you register please select CrossFit Verve as your affiliate AND as your team.

If your profile does not immediately reflect this information, do not worry as I am currently in communication with CrossFit to get it figured out. As far as the Open goes, we are all Team Verve. If you already registered but did not fill in the above mentioned information, you can simply go back and edit/ update your profile. 

Now that you are registered and as of Saturday you are on a team at Verve, how can one earn points for their team during the Open?

  • Every member of the team that performs the Open workout with a judge and submits a score for validation, earns 1 point. 
    • If you are not signed up for the Open, do not have your work out judged, and/ or miss the deadline to submit your score for validation, then you do not earn a point.
    • You will not earn extra points for repeating the workout, 1 point per person per week.
  • If you take and pass the judge’s course, you will earn 2 points for your team.
    • You must submit a copy of the certificate after passing the course.
    • Even if you took and passed the judge’s course last year, you need to retake it this year. The test is new every year. 
    • Click here to take the judge’s course.
  • If your you are one of the top 3 men or top 3 women scores in both the RX and scaled divisions, you will earn your team 3 points. 
    • It does not matter if you are 1st, 2nd, or 3rd, each person still gets 3 points. 
  • If you are the male or female athlete of the week, you will earn 5 points for your team. 
    • Athlete of the week is chosen by trainers and is based on more than performance. It can be based on effort, sportsmanship, overcoming a challenge, etc. 
  • Each week one team captain will pick a theme, i.e. “your favorite Verve t-shirt”. If you show up for Friday Night Lights and perform the workout wearing your favorite Verve t-shirt, you will earn 1 point for your team. 
    • Your adherence to the theme must be visible/ obvious. If you can’t figure out what I mean by visible/ obvious, and you attempt to point out a single polka dot of color on their left sock. . . . no. Just no. 
    • This is only good for the Friday Night Lights workout, it will not count for any other time the workout is performed. 

So teammates, with the exception of taking the judge’s course (as that is only a one time point related deal), you can potentially earn 10 points for your team EACH WEEK!!

So make sure to get signed up for the Open. Make sure you list Verve as your affiliate and team. And get this done before This Saturday the 17th so you can be drafted to a team!!

What do you get out of this? Besides just good fun team camaraderie for the next 5 weeks? The winning team will get a bar tab locally to celebrate the end of the Open and they will win the Chanly Cup. The what? Oh, just you wait to hear about this AMAZING trophy that’s making it’s inaugural debut this year. 

More details will come in Monday’s post, especially with days and times to perform the workouts and some fun prizes that will be popping up throughout the next 5 weeks. Get EXCITED!!!!


Wednesday 180214

Every 3 minutes x 7 sets:
2 Squat cleans


Back Squat 1 Set x max reps at heaviest Squat Clean weight

Post results to comments or BTWB

Well, it doesn’t get much cuter than this!!


#1 – Where were you born? Denver, CO … one of the few natives 🙂
#2 – What / Who got you into CrossFit? My husband started doing CrossFit and I got so annoyed when he would come home and tell me about the workouts. After about a month of listening to him brag about how hard it was, I decided I had to check it out. I have not looked back since. (That’s usually how it always begins:))
#3 – If you could program your favorite workout, what would it include? I typically like running, rope climbs and anything that involves gymnastics moves. Basically anything that does not have to do with the barbell and really heavy weight. 
#4 – Where do you most hope to visit? Probably Japan, I mean skiing, hello kitty and fresh sushi. Does it get better then that?
#5 – What was your first/worst job you ever had? One time I got promoted to head of valet at a members only country club in Vail. Everyone drove really expensive cars and I can’t even drive my own car. To this day I am not sure how it happened, but needless to say I had to talk my boss into giving me a different job. Thankfully he let me do merchandising in the club house, where I got to talk about balls and shafts all day. I was way more in my element. 
#6 – If you could invite 3 people, dead or alive, to a dinner party, who would it be? Why? Spice Girls and Britney Spears circa 1997 (that counts as one person), Clay Mathews (not a Packers fan, but HELLO) and Mother Theresa.  Hopefully there are some dirty martinis at this party or it could get awkward.  (Pure Awesomeness!!)
-CrossFit Open skills session w/ Matt Chan – Saturday, February 17th from 9am – 12pm. Sign up in MindBody
-CrossFit Open Draft Party – Same Saturday!! 1p – 3p!