Wednesday 161207

For time:
50 Box jump overs 24″(20″)
50 Med ball cleans 20#(14#)
40 Russian kettlebell swings 53#(35#)
40 Toes to bar
30 Kettlebell snatch 53#(35#)
30 Goblet squats 53#(35#)
20 Walking lunge steps no weight
20 Burpees
10 Strict pull ups
10 Strict handstand push ups
5 Rope climbs 15′
5 Muscle ups

Post time to comments or BTWB

The one and only Alex "I now sign up for classes" Wolfson!!!

The one and only Alex “I now sign up for classes” Wolfson!!!


HOMETOWN:  Columbia, South Carolina

WHAT DO YOU DO WITH YOUR FREE TIME:  I love to do anything in the sun especially when water is involved.  I am happy laying around it with a cooler of alcohol or being active behind a boat or wave.  When there is tons of snow on the ground I love nothing more than going up to the mountains and playing in it anyway possible.  My little puppy is my everything so a lot of my happiness comes from hanging with him at many of the parks, happy hours, and everything else that Colorado has to offer.  Basketball, football, volleyball….. as well

WHAT CHANGES HAVE YOU SEEN PHYSICALLY/MENTALLY SINCE STARTING CROSSFIT:  My body is way more fitter and I have tons more energy to do many of the things I love doing.  I also try to eat healthier and live a healthier lifestyle, sometimes.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE WORKOUT/MOVEMENT IN CROSSFIT: I don’t really know any names of workouts so I will refrain from butchering one.  I like climbing the rope, attempting to get inverted on my hands, and whenever we get to try and max out on the weights.  I am also not mad at a partner workout, maybe it is because of the added motivation or having somebody else to carry me through it depending on the day.

ANY ADVICE TO SOMEONE NEW TO CROSSFIT/VERVE: Well when I first started there was no way else to go but up.  Paul used to tease me and say that I Deadlifted like a Dead cat and now I get compliments like getting better, not good but getting better.  My advice is no need to rush, get comfortable with the movements and if the day comes where you have what it takes to Bro out and crush it safely then stack on those  plates.

FAVORITE QUOTE: “How you expect to run with the wolves come night when you spend all day sparring with the puppies?”  -Omar Little-

Tuesday 161206

8 Rounds:
Row 500m @ 2k pace
Rest 3 minutes

Pre-WOD skill work = Free standing handstand holds

Post splits to BTWB

Kellie brought a friend this past Saturday, on December 17th, you should all bring a friend

Kellie brought a friend this past Saturday, on December 17th, you should all bring a friend

There are a ton of supplements available on the market and many of us use them either pre or post workout.  For those of you that are new to CrossFit or not that familiar with supplements, I thought I’d highlight a few of the more common ones you’ll see in Verve members bags or shakers.  Progenex recently posted a blog with some information about certain supplements and the benefits that have been found in studies conducted.  Check out the full read HERE.


Creatine is a substance naturally produced in your body. It can also be obtained from consuming meat and/or through supplementation. Creatine plays a vital role in providing energy to your cells (particularly your muscles) by fueling the creation of ATP.

Because of the important role creatine plays in fueling the production of ATP, individuals with higher creatine concentrations in their body tend to exhibit greater strength, bursts of speed, greater muscle mass, and increased protein synthesis (muscle building and repair).

Knowing the above, it’s easy to understand why creatine has become one of the most popular sports supplements on the market, as well as the most researched. In fact, studies on creatine have consistently demonstrated its ability to:

Increase muscular strength, power and body mass (Okudan, 2005), (Earnest, 1995), (Volek, 1999)
Reduce muscle fatigue in anaerobic exercise (Hoffman, 2005)
Enhance protein synthesis (Ingwall, 1974)

Google any of the above studies for the findings.


Leucine, isoleucine and valine are branch chain amino acids that are crucial for muscle growth, repair and recovery. But that is not all, leucine, isoleucine and valine are the primary amino acids oxidized during intense exercise
(Blomstrand, 2006). That is why it is extremely helpful to supplement with BCAA’s prior to working out. Supplementing with BCAA’s pre-workout supplies your muscles with high octane fuel during your workout, as well as increases protein synthesis, decreases catabolization (muscle breakdown) and enhances recovery (Candeloro, 1995), (Shimomura, 2004), (Matsumoto, 2007) post-workout. That is why you’ll find BCAA’s in pretty much any decent pre and post-workout product.


Beta-alanine is a non-essential amino acid that can increase the level of carnosine in the muscle. As a precursor to carnosine, beta-alanine joins with the amino acid histidine through a peptide bond to form carnosine in the muscle. Muscle carnosine is the major buffering agent, or neutralizer, of hydronium ions that lead to muscle fatigue and failure.

The benefits of beta-alanine have been researched in several different studies with remarkable results. Beta-alanine can:

Increase muscle carnosine for prolonged periods (Baguet, 2009)
Increase muscle buffering capacity (Derave, 2007)
Decrease acidosis (Stout, 2006)
Improve endurance (Van Thienen, 2009)
Delay fatigue (Derave, 2007)
Increase strength (Hill, 2007) (Hoffman, 2006)
Speed recovery from intense exercise (Stout, 2006)

One caveat about Beta-Alanine.  It personally makes me feel tingly if I take too high of a dose so as with any supplement start with a low dose to check your tolerance.  

There are many other supplements covered in the blog post by Progenex so give the full blog a read and feel free to Google the studies mentioned above for the findings.


Monday 161205

Take 15 minutes to build to a heavy power clean + split jerk

Every 2 minutes for 12 Minutes
1 Power clean + 2 Split jerks @ 70% of today’s heaviest

Pre-WOD skill work = Free standing handstand holds

Post loads to comments and BTWB

Congratulations to Fred and Melissa Liskowski on their winning chili, "Chili So Good You'll Forget Your Macros".

Congratulations to Fred and Melissa Liskowski on their winning chili, “Chili So Good You’ll Forget Your Macros”.


A huge thank you to all the fine folks that came to Verve on Saturday to spend an afternoon tasting chili. We had an amazing selection of chilis to sample, with the people’s top choice going to Fred and Melissa Liskowski’s “Chili So Good You’ll Forget Your Macros”. 

Thank you to our other amazing cooks for bringing in your best chili recipes:

Vanessa Anaya – Netflix and Chili
Jason Allison – Edwardo’s Back Home Again Chili
Leslie Smith – Chipotle Chicken Chili
Anna Dolezal – Big Chili Style
Anna Mattson – Burn Your A** Off Awesome Chili
Phoebe Percell – Tailpipe Chili
Brandon Gouker – Grab Her By The Chili
Linda Kiker – Black Bean and Pumpkin Chili

I also want to give a big shout out to Anna Mattson for being such a crafty lady and making one sweet a** trophy for the winner. 

Over the next several weeks we have a ton of stuff coming up on the calendar:

*December 7th (Wednesday)- Josh Haskins from Ascent Protein will be at Verve during the evening classes. He will have his table set up for sampling and question answering. 

*December 17th (Saturday)- Bring Your Friend To Verve Day!!!! We want to invite you to bring a friend to Verve to try a class for free. Have a buddy that is interested in CrossFit? Bring them to one of our 3 classes that day and let them workout along side you. The WOD is easily modifiable/ scalable to meet the needs of everyone. Please be sure to have your friend sign up in MBO so we can continue to have an accurate head count for classes. 

*December 17th (Saturday)- Keith from SFH will be at Verve from 8am-12:30pm with his table of SFH goodies to sample and answer questions. 

*December 24th (Saturday)– We have an abbreviated schedule. There will only be 3 classes that day, each 1  1/2 hours long to help accommodate for The 12 Days Of Christmas WOD. Get on MBO and reserve your spot in class now!

*December 25th (Sunday)– We will have one single class, check it out in MBO.

*December 31st & January 1st (Saturday & Sunday)- We will again have abbreviated schedules, please see MBO for class times.

*January 21st (Saturday)- We will be hosting Mile High Sprints. This is a satellite indoor rowing competition to qualify individuals for the World Indoor Rowing Championship. Anyone can compete in this event, as long as they are over 14 years of age. The event will be a 2,000m row for time. While this event brings out all the local crew teams and rowing specialists, it also brings out anyone interesting in seeing how they fair next to these people. Have an interest in competing, click here to register. This event will take place in the morning, class times will be moved to 4pm and 5pm Saturday evening. 

*January 28th & 29th (Saturday & Sunday)- Verve will be hosting a CrossFit Level 2 Certificate Course. We will have morning classes and be looking into off site swimming WODs. Please stay tuned for more updates. 

*February 11th & 12th (Saturday & Sunday)- Verve will be hosting Matt Chan and his TFW Seminar. This seminar will be gauged towards individuals interested in being more competitive in CrossFit. This seminar will come with discounted rates for Verve members looking to participate. For those not registered for the seminar, we will have morning classes before closing for the rest of the day. Again, stay tuned for more updates. 

****As you look through this calendar it becomes clear that Verve will have several weekends with an abnormal schedule. We understand that this can cause some frustration for you as members who rely on our weekend hours for your regular training. You, Verve members, our in fact our top priority. We think about you every time we make a decision to host a seminar or special event that effects our schedule. We want to serve you the members and we believe we do so when we open our doors to these additional activities. It is because we host a Level 2 course that we will be able to send one of Verve’s trainers to the course. This course helps develop a trainer’s skills. This course will help us continue to bring you high quality training. We have had several members express interest in being more competitive, we feel the TFW seminar will meet the needs of those people. We simply want to continue to bring you opportunities to grow as athletes and opportunities that help us build our community. We will continue to provide as many class options as possible, both at Verve and off site. We will even be looking into adding some open gym time in the evenings following some of these events. So mark your calendars now, stay tuned for updates, and please feel free to email me if you have any questions/ concerns. 

Thank you,

Sunday 161204

4 Rounds for time:
100′ Right arm kettlebell farmers carry, 53#(35#)
100′ Left arm kettlebell farmers carry, 53#(35#)
10 Right arm kettlebell snatch, 53#(35#)
10 Left arm kettlebell snatch, 53#(35#)
200′ Zercher carry with kettlebell, 53#(35#)

Post times to comments and BTWB

The ladies hitting up some arts and crafts while Brandon supervises.

The ladies hitting up some arts and crafts while Brandon supervises.


Saturday 161203

As many rounds as possilbe in 15 minutes of:

15 Wall balls 20#(14#)
50 Walking lunge steps with medball 20#(14#)
10 Deadlifts 135#(95#)

Pre WOD skill work = Muscle up work from the week

Post rounds and reps to comments and BTWB

Paleo Crockpot Chili

Paleo Crockpot Chili


In honor of Verve’s first annual Chili Cook Off going down today, why not introduce a chili recipe. This recipe comes to us courtesy of  “Trina’s Paleo Newbie: Clean Cooking Made Deliciously Simple”. Click here for additional info and more amazing paleo recipes.

Paleo Crockpot Chili


2 lbs. of ground beef or turkey
1 onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 red and 1 green bell pepper, both diced
1 cup of carrots, finely diced
1 cup of celery, diced
1 jalapeno, minced
(1) 28-ounce can of crushed or stewed tomatoes
(1) 14-ounce can of diced tomatoes
(1) 15-ounce can of tomato sauce
3 Tbsp. of chili powder
1 Tbsp. of oregano
1 Tbsp. of basil
2 tsp. of cumin
1 tsp. of salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. of cayenne
Garnish (optional but highly recommended!)
About 4 strips of cooked bacon, crumbled
1 or 2 avocados, diced


  1. Sauté onions and garlic together in a large saucepan over medium heat
  2. Add in ground beef (or turkey) to the saucepan and cook just until browned. Drain excess fat
  3. Transfer the cooked onions, garlic and meat to your crockpot/slow-cooker
  4. Add all the above vegetables and spices (except garnish ingredients) to the crockpot
  5. Give the pot a good stir
  6. Set crockpot to LOW, cover, and slow cook for about 6 hours
  7. Spoon into individual bowls. Garnish with crumbled bacon and avocado slices
  8. Serve hot and enjoy!


Adjust jalepeño, cayenne and chili powder to suit your own personal taste. As written, the recipe is moderately spicy in my opinion. You might want to glance through this post’s comment section for more helpful advice from other paleo cooks.

Yield: 8-10 Servings

**Chili Cook Off starts at 1pm and goes to 3pm today.**

Friday 161202

For max efforts
Run 800 Meters
At the 8:00 minute mark
In 5 minutes as many reps as possible of
Burpee box jump overs 24″(20″)
At the 16:00 minute mark
Run 800 Meters

Pre WOD skill work = muscle up transition into
Kipping dip

Post results to comments or BTWB


There are so many different mobility/flexibility/activation videos and guru’s out there; some of them work and some of them don’t.  I am going to now dedicate Friday’s to mobility!  The videos and articles will be from many different sources and my goal is you find things that work for you and that you can incorporate into your daily repertoire.

How to Prep Your Hips for Squatting | Ep. 92 | Movement Fix Monday by Dr. Ryan DeBell

This week I want to share with you a way I got about prepping my hips for squatting.

This is a 4-part sequence consisting of: rolling out, stretching internal/external hip rotation, prepping the adductors, and then locking it in.

I’d do the sequence as shown in the video for 5-8 minutes depending on feel. After that I would do some ramp up or warm up sets with the barbell before going in to working sets.

The 4-part sequence is:

  • Roll out the glutes and quads for 15-20 seconds each (lightly)
  • Hip internal/external rotation stretching (5-10 reps each leg each way)
  • 5 lateral lunges (or cossack squats) each direction
  • 5 slow and controlled goblet squats with a 3 second hold at the bottom in your best squat stance


  • Our 1st Annual Chili Cook Off is taking place Saturday! Even if you don’t cook chili, stop in and judge our creations from 1p – 3p.
  • There will be a Sprint class on Saturday at 9am!!!



Thursday 161201

For time:
Double unders
Strict handstand push ups

Post times to comments and BTWB

Mick and Nicole on their dueling assault bikes.

Mick and Nicole on their dueling assault bikes.


Speaking of duels. . . 

Who’s ready for Verve’s first EVER chili cook off this Saturday?!?!

This Saturday, after open gym from 1pm-3pm, Verve will have several members bring in their home cooked chili for your tasting pleasure. Following the tasting votes will be cast for the best chili in the house, and a winner will be crowned. . . or rather aproned. 

Here are the rules of the cook off-

For the cooks:
1) Chili must be made in advance and brought to Verve by 12:45pm for set up. Please have a crock pot full. (croskpots and/ or heaters can be plugged in at Verve)
2) Chili needs to have a name (one that does not give away it’s maker), hotness level (mild, mediun, hot), and any allergy concerns listed in an email to by Thursday 12/1, 7pm.
3) Chili maker’s identidy needs to be withheld during tasting.
4) We will have some fixins for the chili, however, if there is something specific that goes with yours, please bring it and have it set up next to your chili.

For the tasters:
1) We will provide small tasting cups to sample all. After sampling is complete, tasters may enjoy a bowl of their favorite.
2) You will be provided a card as you enter, this is to cast a single vote for your favorite chili. *One vote per person*
3) Cooks may also be tasters.

*If you would like to be a cook and have not yet emailed me, please do so STAT! (

To help wash down that delicious chili, we will have water and beer. 

To help keep the kids busy while you are boozing and snacking, we will have tables set up with arts and crafts.

So be sure to get to Verve at 1pm, hang out, mingle, talk about macros and if chili fits them, if you are a morning person talk with an evening WODer and vice versa. Enjoy a few hours away from home, judging other people’s cooking. 

Wednesday 161130

5 Rounds on a 3:00 clock

Round 1
15 Toes to bar
12 Cleans 135#(95#)
Round 2
15 Toes to bar
10 Cleans 155#(105#)
Round 3
15 Toes to bar
8 Cleans 185#(125#)
Round 4
15 Toes to bar
6 Cleans 205#(135#)
Round 5
15 Toes to bar
4 Cleans 225#(155#)

Rest remainder of 3 minutes

Post Results to BTWB.

Brandon and his wonderful family.

Brandon and his wonderful family.

This week on our Athlete Highlight we are featuring Brandon Gouker, one of our most faithful afternoon class attendees – please read up about your fellow exerciser!

Aurora, CO


Commercial Real Estate Broker

What do you like to do in your free time?
Spend time outdoors with my wife and our kids. Cook, golf, bike and snowboard.

How long have you been a member at CrossFit Verve?
A little over a year.

What is your background in sports and fitness?
Played football and wrestled in high school, wrestled for two years at a Junior College in Iowa.

What changes have you seen in your body, health and fitness since starting CrossFit?
Overall I just feel much healthier and more energetic. I’ve lost 25 lbs. (with the help of The Paul Buono nutrition program) and am stronger than I’ve been in years.

Has CrossFit influenced your life outside of the gym? If so, how?
Definitely. I find myself trying to make better “lifestyle” choices so that I can perform up to my full potential in the gym.

What’s your favorite benchmark workout?
I had to look this up and I’m glad I did because I was going to say Murph. Isabel looks fun. That being said, I really like workouts with a run or row component that are super long and vomit inducing.

Any advise for someone just starting?
Be patient, be consistent, push yourself but work within your constraints, don’t worry about how much weight everyone else has on the bar. Just do you, scale appropriately and eventually you’ll be where you want to be. Oh, and take guidance and suggestions from the coaches, they know more about this shit than you do.

Tuesday 161129

15 Minutes to build to a 1 rep max bench press


5 Rounds with 1 minute of rest between
5 Bench press @ 50% of 1 rep max
30 Double unders/60 Single unders

*1 Burpee penalty for each break in jump rope portion

Pre WOD skill work = Ring Muscle Up transitions

Post weights to BTWB

It pains me to post photos of those shirts, but they just keep winning. Good thing it's only November.

It pains me to post photos of those shirts, but they just keep winning. Good thing it’s only November.


You’ve probably noticed that there has been an addition to our programming lately.  We’ve been adding in more skill work before workouts.  The goal is to give us extra time with higher skill movements that we see often in workouts, but sometimes don’t have quite as much time to review given everything else that’s programmed in a WOD.

This week we will be focusing on Ring Muscle Ups.  We are going to use a few days this week to go over drills that will help us break down the muscle up and provide drills that will focus on building our muscle up in pieces.  Yesterday we worked on getting comfortable swinging on the high rings and then using momentum to pull up in a good hollow position.  Each time we focus on a new drill it will build on the what we did previously.

Today we will be working on the transition of the muscle up.  The point at which the pull turns into the fast sit up that puts us in the bottom of the dip.  We have programmed drills for all skill levels, from beginner to advanced.  The goal is to have everyone focus on a drill that will make them better at muscle ups or work towards getting their first muscle up.  

The days we program skill work won’t interfere with the actual workout.  An example would be a day that we have a bunch of pull up bar work, toes to bar, pull ups, etc., we won’t do skill work on the muscle up because we’ll have enough pulling in the workout and we don’t want the skill work to be taxing and make the workout more difficult.  

Take the drills slowly and stay within your comfort level.  We are trying to reinforce good body position and mechanics so that when we do get muscle ups or increase the number we can do, we can repeat them.  It’s great to get that first muscle up, but really we want to be able to do the higher skill movements consistently, even if it’s just one each time we attempt one.  

Hopefully these 5 – 15 minute skill sessions help us develop competency in the higher skill movements so that when they pop up in workouts, we’ll have a good knowledge and skill base to know what we really need to work on or at least feel more comfortable knowing we worked on proper mechanics that will lead us to being better at those more advanced movements.  

We’ll continue to post the skill on the WOD blog so you have an idea what we’ll be working on that day and can use what you worked on the previous session.  

Monday 161128

With a 20 minute clock:
Row as many meters as possible,

On the 2 minute get off the rower and perform
5 Dumbbell thrusters 40#(25#)

Pre WOD Skill Work = Ring Muscle Up Swings

Post Results to BTWB.

All smiles for these boys at the Turkey Challenge.

All smiles for these boys at the Turkey Challenge.

The ability to adapt and make positive gains in your fitness is entirely congruent with your ability to recover from stressors. When we introduce the stress of working out, the body goes into a state of excitement to accommodate the stress. Systems in the body compensate and need time to return to normality and homeostasis. Allowing proper time to recover and applying the right amount of stress is an art that, when optimized, can give you the greatest return on the work you put in the gym.

Hormonal levels are essential for providing good results in the gym. We can manipulate them with the right levels of stress in exercise. For instance, after a heavy weight-training session, there will be a drastic drop in growth hormone and testosterone. The degree of the drop is equivalent to the load and intensity of the session. Likewise, there will be a huge rebound of these levels hours later, followed by a leveling off before the next session … hopefully. But, if not enough time to recover hormonal levels between sessions is allowed, athletes can end up in a constantly depleted state of anabolic (muscle-building) hormones, leading to such disorders as adrenal fatigue and overtraining. Here are some tips to maximize recovery:

  1. Keep sessions short and intense Try to limit sessions to 45 minutes of hard work. Train hard and train fast. After 45 minutes the central nervous system is fried. Any high weight or skillful lifting movements will be greatly diminished. Also keeping sessions short and intense provide a large hormonal response.
  2. Restore your fuelMake sure to feed the machine. Strength athletes should try to get roughly 1 gram of protein for every pound of bodyweight to maintain and build lean muscle mass. Your muscles are composed of almost 70 percent H2O. WATER IS THE GREATEST ANABOLIC!!Being dehydrated is catabolic. Make sure to always drink water before and after training sessions. Glycogen stores fuel metabolic activities like most CrossFit conditioning workouts and long strength-training sessions. Consume good fats and clean carbohydrates to fuel these activities.
  3. Sleep is where you grow! Get enough sleep. That means eight to 10 hours straight. Sleep is when the body truly heals and recovers. Extra points for an afternoon one-hour power nap! Use supplements like melatonin to get deep restorative sleep.

So those are the major ones. Literally eat, sleep and train! If you can nail down the big stuff, you should have everything starting to move in the right direction, and you can refine the details from there.