Monday 141013

Front squat

Then, tabata bottom to bottom squats, followed immediately by 400 meter run for time.

Post score to BTW.

IMG 0614 475x712 Monday 141013

Good looking front rack from Clay.

CrossFit: Is It Really For Everyone?

This is a post from – you can find the original article here.

There is a lot of buzz around CrossFit. There are the lovers. There are the haters. Then there are the ones who do not think they could ever do it. I have been asked three times, just this week, “Really? Can anyone do CrossFit or do I need to be in shape to start?” Preconceived notions seem to surround the sport of CrossFit. Those on the outside seem to fall into two camps. They either watch The Games and think that every workout in a box looks like THAT, or they look at the people who walk in and out of a CrossFit box and think they have to look like THAT. Here’s the inside scoop: The Games athletes can only complete workouts like THAT from doing CrossFit, and the people look like THAT by doing CrossFit. You have to do it. The catch is, you have to start somewhere, and very few of us have started CrossFit in the shape we are in now.

When I am asked the question, “Is CrossFit really for everyone?” I generally encourage the asker to come try it out. I wish people who are interested in CrossFit would come to their local box and look around. In any given class that I have trained I have athletes that have scaled the workout up. They have added weight to their bars; they have added in an extra movements; they have made the workout just a bit harder to meet their training needs. I also have athletes who are keeping everything as prescribed. They work their tails off to tackle the WOD as it is written, and do it as quickly as they can… even if that’s not so quickly. I also have athletes who have scaled everything. They have deloaded their bars; they have replaced movements with ones that are more their speed; they have made the workout fit their training needs. There is not ONE way to do a CrossFit WOD. Every movement can be modified to meet the training needs of the specific athlete. For example, I have an athlete who is a regular at one of my classes. He has very limited mobility due to some health issues. While he is not able, at this point, to complete a workout as prescribed, he shows up, does the work to the best of his ability, and has already shown great strength gains in the work he has done.

CrossFit is functional fitness by definition. What this means is that the movements we do in CrossFit are movements you do in your daily life. A deadlift? Simply picking something up off the ground. A squat? Sitting down. A push up? Getting up off the ground. Don’t be scared of weights. You won’t start there. No one does. You will start at a level of fitness that is acceptable for you. Many athletes have limitations. Limitations can be worked with. Don’t confuse limitations with excuses. You don’t want to do CrossFit because you are overweight? That’s an excuse. You don’t want to do CrossFit because you have an old injury? That’s an excuse. You don’t want to do CrossFit because you don’t move well? That’s an excuse. Don’t let your excuses motivate your life. If you want to change your life you have to take the steps to do so. Don’t be scared of work. Is CrossFit really for everyone? Yes, but it starts with you. Don’t make excuses, make changes.


Sunday 141012

6 Rounds for reps:
With a 2 minute running clock:
12 Medicine ball cleans 20#(14#)
6 Handstand push-ups
Then, as many muscle-ups as possible in remaining time
Rest 2 minutes

Post total reps to comments or BTW

anw 475x267 Sunday 141012

Get ready for obstacle course fun!

Next Verve Outing!!

The next Verve get together will be October 25th @ Urban Acrobatics! 

What is Urban Acrobatics?  Urban Acrobatics is a multi functional gym and recreation center for cutting edge fitness and creative movement. Featuring Parkour/FreeRunning, Tumbling, Break-dancing, Yoga, Martial Arts, Aerial acrobatics, Birth Day Parties, and so much more. Our focus is to bring fun, fitness, health, and energy back into your life.

What will we be doing?  We have the gym reserved from 9am to 11am.  We will be coached on different Parkour moves and America Ninja Warrior-style obstacles.

How do you sign up?  You will sign up via MindBody like a normal class.  When you sign up, you will be prompted to pay $5, Verve is covering the rest of the cost.  The class is capped at 25 people, so sign up quick!

Check out this website to check out the gym and what we have in store.


Workout today will be at Commons Park.  Here is map to the park:


Saturday 141011

3 rounds for total reps:
With a 5 minute running clock:
Row 500 meters
Then, complete as many muscle-ups as possible in remaining time

Rest 1 minute between rounds

v 475x356 Saturday 141011

Maddie keeps her rowing class high and tight.

Modified schedule today – there is only one class in the gym at 7 am due to a seminar. Please check MBO and sign up ahead of time!

Today’s schedule:

7 am WOD at Verve.

9:30 Pool Workout

10:30 Pool Workout

The pool workouts are taking place at the Glenarm Rec Center, located at 2800 Glenarm Place, Denver CO 80205.

Friday 141010

For time:
150 Wallballs to 10′ target, 20#(14#)

Compare to 140608


IMG 0027 475x316 Friday 141010

Only seriousness allowed in Comp Crew! #impromptudanceparty

Mobility Series Continued!!  GOT KNEE PAIN?

Let me preface this post with a reminder that there are many causes of knee pain.  Depending on the source of the pain, doing any and all of these lower extremity mobility drills may help alleviate the pain.  This mobility post will focus on directly mobilizing the knee joint, but realize that the pain could be caused by upstream or downstream issues.

#1 – First, let me recommend a 3 part video by Kelly Starrett called Solving Knee Problems.  Coach Starrett goes over why we have you squat the way you do and identifiying those upstream and downstream issues I mentioned above.

Watch Solving Knee Pain Part One here
Watch Solving Knee Pain Part Two here
Watch Solving Knee Pain Part Three here

#2 – Banded Torque and Tension of the knee – Wrap a green band low around the pull-up rig and wrap the other end around your ankle twice.  Sit down and scoot you booty away from the rig creating tension on the band.  Now you will use your hands to internally rotate your high-shin area while flexing you quad.  Do this for ~2 minutes each leg. To up the intensity, wrap you entire knee with a VooDoo band and do the same drill!!  BAM!!
Here is a short video showing the drill:

#3 – Banded knee distraction – Wrap a green band knee-height on the pull-up rig.  Step into the band with one leg, making sure it is at the back of your knee.  Step away, facing the rig, creating some tension on the band.  With your feet close together, squat down.  You should feel some light pulling on the front of your knee.  Move the knee around, into the different corners.  Do this for about :90 seconds on each leg.    Then, turn your side to the rig and squat more, allowing the band to pull you knee out.  Here is a video showing the drill:

Shout out in comments if you try any of these, or if you have any great GO-TO knee mobility drills.


– There is a CrossFit Kids seminar at the gym this weekend, so we will be having classes on-site @ 7am on Saturday and Sunday.  Courtney will be coaching swim WODS off-site on Saturday at Glenarm Rec Center at 9:30am and 10:30am.  Sunday we will have park WOD’s at Commons Park @ 9am and 10am.

-Let Nate know if you are participating in the Run the Rocks 5k Run Walk.  The race starts at 9am.  You can still sign-up with our discount code CrossfitRocks14 to receive a $5 discount.

Thursday 141009

Push jerk 2-2-2-2-2

Split jerk 3-3-3-3-3

Post loads to comments and BTWB

IMG 0390 475x316 Thursday 141009

An army of really, really, incredibly fit people.


It’s party time By Courtney “#whatsupwiththat” Shepherd, with some help from my now partner in crime Eric “the shot caller” Clancy

We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for the congratulatory messages yesterday. Clancy and I each have a different story of how we got to Verve as athletes and how we became trainers. However, I don’t think either of us saw it leading to becoming co-owners of Verve. Truth be told, I don’t even think we liked each other very much when we first met, ironical huh? Joking aside, we are incredibly honored to have been asked to take the reigns.

A huge thank you to Matt, Cherie, Joylyn, and Mas for your trust, faith, and support. We are ready to keep your dream alive and thriving. Thank you to the Verve community for your enthusiasm towards this big change, your support is amazing and we are incredibly grateful. We have a mutual goal of keeping Verve on its path of success. We want to continue to see it grow and the community prosper. And we are excited to do it all as a team. I was going to end this with some silly phrase from a movie, possibly with bad words, to really bring home my point, but instead I will simply say. . . . we are excited and we’re glad you are too. 

Thank you,
Courtney and Clancy

Wednesday 141008

As many rounds as possible in 15 minutes:

10 Sumo deadlift high pull, 115# (75#)
15 Pull-ups
20 Anchored abmat sit-ups

Post rounds to comments and BTW.

IMG 0386 475x316 Wednesday 141008

New ownership team of Verve, Courtney & Eric.

We could not be more excited to announce that CrossFit Verve will be under new leadership (ownership). This is by no means a good-bye, simply a bright beginning.

Verve is an amazing place, with an amazing community and amazing coaches. We opened the “doors” (there were no real doors yet) in October 2008, with a simple goal.  To create a fit community that collectively transformed lives through functional fitness, so that each of us could live happier and healthier lives.  That mission has fueled the growth of Verve everyday. For us, never in our wildest dreams did we imagine it would take the form that you see today.  We are humbled and proud of how far it has come; from hauling equipment to Commons Park hoping a few athletes would show up, to finding a tiny location where we needed to cap the membership, to now an abundance of equipment and space, a staff of brilliant trainers and a wide variety of wonderful athletes.  But the future is even brighter. 

Several years ago, Matt and Cherie decided to take their  jobs with CrossFit Inc. to full-time status, making it an employment priority.  We were looking for the life balance we advocated to our athletes. During that time we handed the reigns over to our partners Joylyn and Mas.  Our professional staff has continued to grow and continues to do a brilliant job as Verve has grown exponentially.  We’ve loved the opportunity to connect with each of you in our athlete and affiliate community near and far.   This community has held our hearts, it has changed our lives, ignited a passion for us and continues to be one of the best parts of our day.  

It became clear within this year that Verve was going to need some changes, including a new space. It was with heavy hearts that we all began planning for that change.  Be it for different reasons, we all know we would not be able to dedicate the time that Verve needs and deserves for it’s next big evolution.  We are excited to support Verve in a different capacity moving forward. 

We did not need to look very far to find the right people for Verve’s continued future.  It was within our own walls, two of the people who take such good care of each of you everyday.  Please join us in welcoming Courtney Shepherd and Eric Clancy as CrossFit Verve’s new owners.  We are unbelievably proud and grateful for everything they have done for us in the past and everything they are going to do in Verve’s future. 

Much Love – Joylyn, Mas, Matt and Cherie

Tuesday 140107

For time:
Run 1600 meters
150 Double unders
50 Burpees
Run 800 meters
100 Doubke unders
35 Burpees
Run 400 meters
50 Double unders
20 Burpees

Post time to BTWB.

IMG 0373 475x316 Tuesday 140107

Great turnout for this pasts weekend memorial WOD. Just another reason we all love this place!

We use our daily posts to provide you with information about  topics we feel are relevant to our members, whether it’s nutrition, mobility, upcoming events and so on.  I want to use this post to ask you the members what you like best about CrossFit and more importantly what you love about CrossFit Verve.  I’ll give you a few of my favorite things, but this is about you so let’s hear it. Post your thoughts in the comments.

My favorite part of Verve is you the community.  Some days I come in and I’m not having the best day, but after a few minutes of talking with the members I begin to cheer up.  Maddie calls me grumpy, but a few good talks with you guys changes all that!  Seeing you guys excel or hearing about you recent gym accomplishments is something I know all the trainers really enjoy.

Scaling workouts or coming up with modifications is another of my favorite parts of my job.  I may joke and give you a hard time, but one of my favorite things is being put on the spot and coming up with ways to help people figure out how they are going to get through a workout when dealing with an injury.  I love hearing how good the modifications are after the workout or even hearing that the modification may have been too easy.  It’s a learning experience for me and helps me help future members.  Keep giving me and all the trainers all your feedback so we know what works and what doesn’t.

Seeing new members become part of the Verve community.  When we start a new class of foundations, you can see the people in the foundations classes watching in awe what our members in the classes are capable of.  This can be pretty intimidating as many of us know. When people leave foundations and begin participating in WODs and Skilz classes it’s always great to see our current members so welcoming to the new members.  It’s such a good feeling to walk in to a place and be met with friendly faces full of encouragement.  I put a new member with a group of experienced members last week during our shoulder press, push press, push jerk workout and it was great to see the interaction and encouragement coming from our veterans. This goes a long way so keep it up.  

The up for anything attitude.  A lot of times I’ll work out during open gym and I love when we get together and just brainstorm a workout.  We have no idea how it’s going to feel, but we are always up for trying it out.  If you can make an open gym, I highly recommend grabbing a few people and finding out what everyone is going to do and just getting involved.  The unknown can lead to some great workouts and bonding with your fellow members.  

Those are a few of my favorite things about CrossFit and Verve.  Now it’s your turn.  What are some of your favorite parts of CrossFit and Verve.  Post away in the comments.  

Monday 141006

Back squat

Then, 2×20 unbroken dimmel deadlift @ 60% of 5RM back squat

Post score to BTW.

eod 130 group 475x475 Monday 141006

Big thanks to everyone who came out Saturday in support of the EOD 130 Foundation! Great job everyone!

The First Year of CrossFit

While everyone first year doing CrossFit may be a little different, there are still some common things we hear – things like having more energy, achieving a better body composition and having more confidence in life.

It’s awesome to continually PR your Fran time, or reach a new strength milestone, but what I really love hearing about as a coach is how fitness has changed your life.

What follows are a a couple of my favorite points from an article titled “10 Things I’ve Picked Up In My First Year of CrossFit” written by Hilary Wiebe. You can read the entire article by clicking here

  • A new crowd of people to hang out with. It’s hard to do Crossfit without meeting some great people. There’s something about the shared suffering of pushing through a workout together that creates a bond. Over the past few months, time spent at the gym has spilled over into camping, dinners and nights out. And I’m finding it’s harder to get in and out of the gym quickly because I spend so much time catching up with everyone.
  • Five extra pounds. You heard that right. Despite the fact that I’ve received several compliments on how I look since starting Crossfit, I actually weigh slightly more than I did when I started (hello lean muscle). But that number doesn’t bother me like it once would have. I’m healthier now than I was in my “skinny” days, and I actually like the look of my body with a little muscle on it.
  • Coaches that know me, care about me, and want to see me succeed. I love it when my coach knows I can go harder, and pushes me to a heavier weight or higher standard. Or, on the flip side, when I’m encouraged to go lighter to keep form. I’ve put in the time to keep showing up, working hard, and asking for help, and been rewarded with coaches that are willing to invest their time in helping me achieve my goals.
  • The vision to set goals, dream big and work hard. Speaking of goals…The longer I stuck around Crossfit, the harder I worked. With all the time I was spending there, I wanted something to work for. So I talked to one of my coaches, set some goals and developed a plan to work towards them. And when I’d met most of them, we sat down to re-evaluate and plan again. Nothing is more satisfying than having a goal to work for, putting in the hard work and knowing that you made it happen. And I’ve found that goal-setting and drive has transferred outside the gym too.
  • A whole new perspective on myself. I have told myself for my whole life that I wasn’t an athlete, that I would always be the worst or the slowest. In short, letting “I can’t” define me way more than it should have. Over the past year, I have been constantly surprising myself with how many times I can. I wrapped up my first year of Crossfit by participating in my first ever team competition. I couldn’t believe how much fun I had, and my team didn’t do too badly either. Pretty good for a non-athlete, right?

You can read the entire article by clicking here

Sunday 141005

For Time:
Overhead Squats 115#(75#)
Toes to bar

Post time to comments or BTW

Pizza Sunday 141005


Flatizza Sunday 141005

The crust!

PIZZA!! Zoned!!

We all love pizza.  If you don’t, I am coming by to take away your American Flag!!  Here is a great recipe from for a 3 block zone pizza that is easy to make and actually tastes like pizza!  YES, you get to eat the whole thing for 3 blocks.


  • 1 Flat Out Tortilla
  • Low carb pizza sauce or make your own.  Surprisingly, Walmart’s Great Value sauce only has 3 grams of carbs & no added sugars!!  This is what I use.
  • 1/3 C. Mozzarella Cheese (1P)
  • Toppings of your choice:
  • Pepperoni & Canadian Bacon (enough to bring you up to 1P)
  • Veggies (mushrooms, green peppers, artichoke hearts, roma tomatoes, spinach, etc!!  up to 2 blocks of Carbs!!)
  • Olives for your Fats!


  1. Using a Flat cookie sheet or pizza stone, assemble your pizza to your hearts content!!
  2. Spread sauce over tortilla, leaving about 1/4″ from the edge of the tortilla.
  3. Then add your meats and veggies.
  4. Top with mozzarella cheese and bake.
  5. Baking OPTIONS:  Bake at 450 for approximately 15-20 minutes in the oven or bbq grill. 
  6. Remove and slice!  Enjoy!

Saturday 141004

“EOD 130 Memorial WOD”

As a two person team complete:

65 Front squats, 135# (95#)
65 Kettlebell swings, 32kg (24kg)
16 Lateral partner over burpees
65 Hang power cleans, 135# (95#)
65 Push press single kettlebell, 24kg (16kg)
16 Lateral partner over burpees
65 Chest to bar pull-ups
65 Box jumps, 30″ (24″)
16 Lateral partner over burpees
65 Push-ups
65 “Pendlay” barbell rows, 135# (95#)
16 Lateral partner over burpees

Post time to comments and BTW.

Only 2 WODs today as we are allowing extra time (1.5 hours) per each class with all the movements and to make sure everyone is warmed up properly and ready to work hard.  Free Community WOD (different than above) at 8AM.

Bring a partner with you or get paired up at the gym. Classes are free, please bring family and friends, we will scale and modify the workout accordingly. Instead of paying a drop in fee we simply ask that you donate. We will have computers on hand to donate or you can register in advance, make sure you choose Verve as the location you are doing the workout at. If you register in advance and donate $50 it will include a t-shirt. Proceeds benefit the EOD Warrior Foundation, you can click here to read up and donate.  Do the work and put yourself out there for those that are no longer here to do it for you.

Upcoming  Events:

  • Next Foundations Program begins Monday, October 6 at 7PM.  Email us at to get signed up or with questions.
  • Interested in the Verve Competition Crew classes to attack your weaknesses and get ready for some local comps or the 2015 Open?  Email with questions or to sign up.  Next mesocycle begins Monday, October 6.
  • Crossover Symmetry Clinic with Colby on Wednesday, October 8 at 5PM.  Sign up on MBO.
  • Next Free Community WOD is Saturday, October 18 at 8AM.