Tuesday 151117

As many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of:
Row 500 Meters
10 Handstand push-ups
10 Burpees over the rower

Post rounds to BTWB

Rope climb race. First to the tops win.

Rope climb race. First to the tops win.

I like Tim Ferris but the man does put himself through some ridiculous situations just to see what will happen.  He once went 5 days in a row without sleeping.  I love sleep and am always looking for ways to improve the quality of my sleep.  Ferris presents some tips to help you hack your sleep.  Click HERE for the full article.

Consume 150-250 calories of low-glycemic index foods in small quantities (low glycemic load) prior to bed.

Morning fatigue and headache isn’t just from sleep debt or poor sleep. Low blood sugar following overnight fasting is often a contributing factor. Just prior to bed, have a small snack such as: a few sticks of celery with almond butter, a mandarin orange and 5-8 almonds, or plain low-fat (not fat-free) yoghurt and an apple. Ever wonder how you can sleep 8-10 hours and feel tired? This is part of the explanation. Make a pre-bed snack part of your nutritional program.

1-2 tablespoons of flaxseed oil (120-240 calories) can be used in combination with the above to further increase cell repair during sleep and thus decrease fatigue. It tastes like a mixture of cat urine and asparagus, so I recommend pinching your nose while consuming it — thanks Seth Roberts, PhD. for this tip — or using capsules.

Eating your meals at set times can be as important as sleeping on a schedule.

People talk a lot about circadian (circa dia = approximately one day) rhythms and establishing a regular sleep schedule, but bedtime timing is just one “zeitgeber” (lit: time giver), or stimulus that synchronizes this biorhythm (like pheromones and menstrual cycle). Eating meals at set times helps regulate melatonin, ghrelin, leptin, and other hormones that affect sleep cycles. Other “zeitgebers” for sleep include melatonin, light, and temperature. Parting suggestion: Get a sleep mask if you have any degree of light in your bedroom.

Use ice baths to provoke sleep.

Japanese have longer lifespans that do most other ethnicities. One theory has been that regular ofuro or hot baths at bedtime increase melatonin release, which extends lifespan. Paradoxically, according to the Stanford professors who taught Bio 50, cold is actually a more effective signaller for sleep onset, but it could have no relation to melatonin production.

I decided to test the effect of combining 10-minute ice baths, timed with a countdown kitchen timer, one hour prior to bed (closer to bed and the adrenergic response of noradrenalin, etc. won’t allow you to sleep) with low-dose melatonin (1.5 – 3 mg) on regulating both sleep regularity and speed to sleep. The icebath is simple: 2-3 bags of ice from a convenience store ($3-6 USD) put into a half-full bath until the ice is about 80% melted. Beginners should start with immersing the lower body only and progress to spending the second five minutes with the upper torso submerged (fold your legs Indian-style at the end of the tub if you don’t have room). I’ll talk about the fat-loss and sperm-count benefits of this in future post.

The result: it’s like getting hit with an elephant tranquilizer. Don’t expect it to be pleasant at first.

There are few more tips to hacking your sleep as well as articles on many other great topics.  Click HERE to check out the full article and have access to many other great topics.  


Monday 151116

5 Rounds not for time
Max reps bodyweight bench press
Max reps strict pull ups
Rest 3 minutes between rounds

Post total reps to BTWB

Greg finishing up his first marathon.

Greg finishing up his first marathon.

We love to give shout outs to our athletes that take their fitness outside of the gym.  For anyone that comes to the 12:30 class you know that we’ve been giving Greg a hard time because he completed his first marathon about 2 months ago and still says he’s still recovering from it, but in all honesty it’s an amazing accomplishment.  I asked Greg to provide some details about his training leading up to the marathon and this is what he sent me:

I’ve included my training regimen in case you were going to make a point of how the programming at Verve prepares you for anything.

Training details:
Only 37 total training miles and all in the month leading up to the marathon (a 10, 12, and 15 mile run). Other than that I had never run more than five miles at a time. All training runs were followed by beer.
Verve 3-5 days a week for the programmed WOD ( I likely skipped all WODs involving double unders, deadlifts, thrusters and wall balls for no other reason than disliking those movements)
Coed softball and beer once a week
Spent a month growing out my mustache and finding the perfect short shorts to dress like Steve Prefontaine which provided many intangible benefits.
Then I drummed up a lot of unnecessary drama in my life leading up to the race so I would have lots to think about while running.

Clearly the last part was true as you can tell by the look on his face, he’s deep in thought.  I’ve never run a marathon but I’ve heard the last 6 miles take a great deal of mental fortitude equal to anything we put ourselves through inside the gym. Congrats to you Greg and let us know when you’re fully recovered.



Sunday 151115

Hip extension
Overhead walking lunge, 45#(25#)
Ground to overhead, 45#(25#)

Post time to comments or BTWB

WHAAAAT? I have seen sweet potato fries, but never have I seen Butternut Squash fries.  These little guys are perfect since it is fall and squash season is in full swing!  You can see full recipe here

A salty and sweet snack!

A salty and sweet snack!


  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • sea salt to garnish
  1. Preheat the oven to 200c (that’s approx. 400F people). Peel and cut the squash in half lengthways. Scoop out the seeds and then cut each half into fries or wedges.
  2. Toss the fries in oil and then place in a single layer onto a baking tray. Bake for 20-35 minutes (depending on the size of your fries) turning once.
  3. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with sea salt.
  4. Side Note – Sticking them under the broiler for a bit will make them a bit crispier!



Saturday 151114

5 Rounds for max burpees:
With a 3 minute running clock, 100m plate pinch carry, 35#(25#)
With time remaining perform as many burpees to stacked plates as possible
Rest 1 minute

*Score is total number of burpees from all 5 rounds

Post reps to comments and BTWB

Bridget, Anahita, and Erin building their pulling power with strict pull-ups.

Bridget, Anahita, and Erin building their pulling power with strict pull-ups.


There are a lot of activities on the horizon, get your calendars out and start marking ’em up. 

*Verve is closed this weekend to host a Level 1 Seminar. We will have one WOD at 7am on both days, sign up on MBO.

*Saturday November 14th Jake’s is hosting the DeVito Strong Fundraiser and Party, from 5pm-8pm. For more details click here.

*Saturday & Sunday November 21st & 22nd MBS CrossFit is hosting the Turkey Challenge in Broomfield. Verve has 7 teams signed up for the event as well as a handful of individual competitors. Grab your cold weather gear and head up there to cheer our peeps on!! For more details click here.

*Thursday November 26th is Thanksgiving Day. Verve will have an abbreviated schedule on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Be sure to check MBO for class times and get signed up.

*Sunday December 6th Josh Wrede at Til Death Tattoos will be hosting the DeVito Strong Tattoo Fundraiser. Pick from a selection of set designs and get inked for $100 by one of Denver’s best. All proceeds go to the DeVito Strong Fund. For more details click here.

*Saturday December 12th Verve is hosting it’s first competition!! The “It Takes A Team Challenge” is an all day team competition. All 32 teams sold out within 27 hours. We will be posting a sign up sheet soon for volunteers to help with the event. Otherwise head on down to watch, have a few beers, and even get in on some fun spectator challenges. For more details click here.

Friday 151114

Everyday Warrior Workout #2

As many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of:
Row for calories, 21(14) @ 10(8) damper
7 Overhead squat, 115#(75#)
21 Double unders

You can see the full workout description here

*Today’s theme from Shaina is wear NEON!!!

Post reps to comments or BTWB

Stan showing us how NOT to tweak your back with some solid deadlift form!

Stan showing us how NOT to tweak your back with some solid deadlift form!

The past few Fridays have discussed the agining CrossFitter and unique needs that they have.  One resounding need that they, and ALL OF US have, is working on mobility.  Ensuring we can get into the correct positions safely is paramount to a long CrossFit career.  Roop Sihota is one of my favorite GO TO mobility gurus, and he has released MANY awesome videos.  Here is another gem, featuring KStar this time, about lower back pains and tweaks.

Thursday 151112

Take 20 minutes to establish a 1RM thruster

Then, 3 x10 front rack lunge steps (total) @ 60% of today’s 1RM thruster

Post loads to comments and BTWB

Examples of the valgus knee.

Examples of the valgus knee.


What is the valgus knee? By Ryan Pye and Tabata Times

The picture above should explain what “valgus” means. In science-y terms, it is the combination of hip adduction and knee internal rotation. Basically that means your hip turns in and your knee also turns in. This can happen during all sorts of movements but shows up frequently during squats, jumping, and landing (here you see the far right image also shows a valgus position while running). To be clear, we do NOT want to see this position.

What causes valgus collapse?

So now that we know what a valgus collapse looks like, we need to figure out “Why?” it is occurring. This answer can be somewhat more complex and varied, so the options below will only represent the most common reasons it occurs. Additionally, it can be multi-faceted and be a combination of a few of the reasons listed below (or other reasons).

  • Mobility issues, specifically a lack of ankle mobility/ROM
  • Weak glutes (Gluteus Maximus, Gluteus Minimus, Gluteus Medius) & hip external rotators (Piriformis, Gemellus Superior, Obturator Internus, Gemellus Inferior, Obturator Externus, Quadratus Femoris)
  • Poor quad and/or hamstring function
  • Q-Angle (for ladies) – Can’t really fix that one…

Insufficient ankle mobility/range of motion (ROM)

Science-y stuff first. The three main muscles that could lead to “tight ankles” are the soleus, gastrocnemius, and anterior tibialis. The soleus and gastroc comprise your “calf” and connect your knee to your ankle (via the Achilles tendon) and the anterior tibialis (remember, anterior means “in front”) is the muscle in your “shin.”

If any of those muscles lack sufficient ROM, you will compensate for it — usually by pronating your feet — which will compensate for the lack of ROM by internally rotating your hip and forcing you into a valgus knee position. Your knee needs to be able to track past your foot — making an acute angle at the knee. While I have seen different numbers, you definitely need to be able to get your knee past your toes to have appropriate ROM (5 inches is a good number). 

Weak glutes and/or hip external rotators

Your glutes are comprised of your Gluteus Maximus, Gluteus Minimus, and Gluteus Medius. These muscles help you do almost every lower body athletic movement (to varying degrees). Your glutes help with hip extension, hip external rotation, and hip abduction, among other things. If your glutes are not very strong, you tend to compensate. This might mean your adductors kick in to help during a squat and, because of that, your knees shoot in.

Your glutes provide assistance with hip hinge movements and stability with other movements. While deadlifts, squats, and lunges all help with glute strength, lesser-used movements like hip thrusts, glute bridges, clamshells, and bird dogs are all awesome (maybe better?) exercises to strengthen your glutes.

We need your glutes to — at minimum — help keep your hip externally rotated so you don’t go valgus. Additionally, the glutes provide stability.

Your hip also uses a bunch of other muscles to rotate your hip externally (must be important if all these muscles do it!): Piriformis, Gemellus Superior, Obturator Internus, Gemellus Inferior, Obturator Externus, Quadratus Femoris (and for the record, I didn’t know every one of those off the top of my head…thanks, Google!). While these muscles have other functions as well, they work as a unit to externally rotate your hip. So how do we strengthen these puppies? My soccer girls definitely know the answer to this: BANDS! Banded walking (Monster Walks), banded lateral steps/shuffles, squats with band around knees, and clamshells are all great options. Of course bands aren’t the only way to strengthen these muscles, but they are an efficient way to do so (and require no fancy equipment).

We tend to train (in a weight room setting) what we can see. This often leads to an imbalance between our anterior and posterior (front and back) halves, which can further increase injury risk. Don’t be that guy (or gal); train your glutes!

Insufficient hamstring and quad function

There are three muscles that make up your hams: Semitendinosus, Semimembranosus, Biceps Femoris. Without going too deep into the weeds, let’s just say your hammies help stabilize your knee during many athletic movements. On the flip side (literally), your quad is comprised of four muscles: Vastus Lateralis, Vastus Intermedius, Vastus Medialis, Rectus Femoris. Intuitively it probably makes more sense that your quads are used to stabilize your knees, so that’s not a tough sell.

So about now you are expecting a list of things to do to strengthen both of these muscle groups (and that would be helpful), but it is a little more complex than that. Many times field sport athletes (and CrossFitters) have overdeveloped quads relative to their hamstrings. Depending on whom you ask, there is a specific ratio or threshold you want to have between your quad and hammies. While talking about what is the correct ratio is beyond the scope of a blog post like this, I do want to get across the point that many of us need to increase our hamstring strength in relationship to our quads. Yes, we want both stronger, but we tend to neglect the hammies, either due to the demands of the sport or sheer vanity (you can see your quads but not your hamstrings). 

So get to strengthening that posterior chain (back, hammies, glutes). It will help keep your knees out where they should be (not caving in) and will help decrease the risk of an ACL injury. Oh yes, and it will also make you a better athlete.

While the debate will forever rage on about the “knees out” cue many coaches use and the exact optimal position of the knee when squatting, jumping, landing, and running, I hope this post gave you some insight on why you hear coaches arguing about it all the time. Proper knee position is an indicator that your body is operating properly and balanced. So next time you squat (or jump), have someone check out your knees. You might just find something you can improve on!

**This article contains both photos and videos of the tests, stretches, and exercises mentioned. Click here for full article with additional links/ resources. 


Wednesday 151111

2 Rounds for time:
400m run
20 GHD sit-ups
400m run
30 Toes to bar

Post times to comments and BTWB

How many East coasters does it take to fix CrossFit equipment? VerveThank you to Clancy and Paul for keeping our equipment in working order. #CheckOutThoseTools #ThinkAboutIt #WeKid #ButReally

How many East coasters does it take to fix CrossFit equipment? Thank you to Clancy and Paul for keeping Verve’s equipment in working order. #CheckOutThoseTools #ThinkAboutIt #WeKid #ButReally


8 Reasons Why You Aren’t Getting Stronger By William Imbo of BoxLife Magazine

I hear it at Verve often, “I just need to get stronger”. Getting stronger seems like it would clearly be the answer to solving our of our weaknesses. And to some extent it is. If we follow a squat program, it will help me move weight better in workouts involving any variation of a squat. Yes and no. Isolating specific training programs can sometimes be the reason we don’t get stronger. We can begin to fall into the trap of working on something we like and avoiding the things we don’t. These and several other reasons are brought to light in an article in BoxLife Magazine, that may help us understand, that even through all our hard work, why we still aren’t getting stronger, why the PRs have stopped, and why we seem to simply stall out. (Click here for full article)
Your mechanics are broken

There are many ways in which your movement patterns and technique can break down: bad posture, poor form, improper weight selection, bad coaching (though I hope that’s not the case) are all possibilities. At first, you may be able to literally ‘muscle’ through a movement and build some initial strength, but there’s no way you’re ever going to be able to move as much weight overhead when you consistently hyperextend your lower back instead of tightening your core and keeping a neutral spine (just one example). This can also lead to other musculoskeletal issues and a high risk of injury, which means that you’d actually be regressing in your overall strength, not growing it. The fix sounds straightforward but requires consistent work. First and foremost, check your ego and lower the weight on the bar so that you can perform the movement efficiently—surprisingly enough, learning how to move the barbell properly will allow you to put more weight on it over time. Spend time working on your mobility and enlist the help of your coach as frequently as possible so that the proper mechanics of the lift are engrained in your mind. Once these foundations are locked in, you can start to progressively add more weight, eventually blowing past your previous PR. The perfect example of this is the clean. A lot of athletes struggle with getting under the bar (due to poor flexibility, technique or fear—or all of them), so they power clean it instead. Unfortunately, there’s going to come a time where they simply can’t power up the weight that’s on the bar. It’s at this point they’ll have wished they learned how to perform the clean as it was intended, so they’ll have to go back to the drawing board while the athlete who took their time to learn the particulars of the lift surpasses them.

You’re only doing what’s fun, not what you need

Every athlete has a favorite lift, and they’ll never miss a class when it’s programmed into the day’s WOD. But by that same logic, everyone also has a lift that they despise and/or they’re weak at, and avoid it like the plague. Well you can’t avoid the truth. Being good in one or two lifts is only going to take your strength so far. Your split jerk is nothing without your push press, it’s going to be difficult to get out of a heavy clean if your front squat is weak, and so on and so forth. These lifts are more closely linked than you may think, and each builds strength in different areas of your musculature that you’ll need in order to break through a plateau. Of course, no one enjoys performing a movement they suck at, but that’s why practice, mobility, technique and accessory lifts are so important.

You’re not performing accessory lifts

There is an infinite myriad of accessory lifts that you could work into your training to not only help improve your big lifts (squats, jerks, etc.), but also beef up your smaller synergists—your helper muscles—resulting in bigger strength gains overall. For example, the GHD raise is an excellent way to increase muscle mass and strength in the back and the posterior chain, which will come in handy for any exercise that requires squatting and/or jumping. So if you’re still struggling with increasing your strength, consider spending more time working on your accessory lifts.

You’re not giving yourself time to recover

When you perform resistance training, your muscles undergo microscopic trauma—the fibers of the muscles tear as you move weight. When you stop working out, the fibers begin to repair themselves and the body adds more tissue to the muscle so that the risk of repeat damage is reduced. This is how your muscles grow and become stronger, but is also why progressive overload is essential to continued improvement, as the body adapts and becomes more resistant to stress. However, for all this to work effectively you need to allow time for the body to repair itself. This is where things like proper nutrition, sleep, mobility and active recovery (to ease the effects of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) which is a side effect of muscle fiber damage) come into play. These are vital elements of your recovery—and therefore your strength development—that can’t be overlooked. If you want to get stronger, put your body in the best position to be able to.

You’re not focusing enough on your mobility

We already know how important good mechanics are to being able to move weight efficiently—the better you can move your body around the bar (or with the bar), the more weight you’ll be able to lift. The problem is people forget that our flexibility and mechanics are intrinsically linked. The overhead squat requires good mobility in the shoulders, wrists, hips and ankles. If your lacking in any one of these areas, you’ll have a ceiling as to how much weight you can lift—if you can perform the movement in the first place. So then, it is imperative—IMPERATIVE—that you dedicate time to increasing your mobility and learning how to move your body effectively EVERY DAY.

You aren’t placing an emphasis on strength

CrossFit is all about being skilled across multiple areas of fitness (speed, coordination, flexibility, etc). The aim is to be a balanced athlete, but sometimes people will naturally drift towards improving certain skills at the expense of others, either intentionally or unintentionally. Now, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to become a more mobile athlete if you can’t put yourself in the correct positions to move heavy weight (as explained above). But if you’re spending the majority of your time working on your flexibility without actually moving heavy loads, your strength will stagnate. The same goes for people who want to improve their cardiovascular endurance. Yep, there is a thing as too much running, rowing and double-unders. While your engine may be improving, your muscles aren’t being put under (heavy) stress and they aren’t moving heavy loads; which means your muscle fibers aren’t undergoing micro-trauma and repairing themselves as they should be. Of course the flipside to this argument is that if you spend too much time working on your strength you’ll decline in other areas. So the name of the game is balance—which can be tricky, especially for newbies. 

You fear failure

I have a good friend at my box that’s a strong lifter, but he could be even stronger. His problem? He’s scared of failing a lift. Part of it is his discomfort with bailing when he can’t get out of the hole in a squat, the other half is his head telling him that he won’t be able to stand the weight up. Those are two powerful factors that are limiting his development, and I daresay a lot of other people’s development too. How can you ever grow in strength if you’re too scared to put intimidating weight on the bar? You might actually lift that weight if you had the confidence to try, but the thought of failure means that you’re always going to be lifting 10, 20lbs less than you should. I understand that for many athletes the idea of hitting the deck after a failed lift is a scary and embarrassing prospect. But no one is going to judge you for trying to hit a lift and failing, it’s a sign that you are stepping out of your comfort zone and pushing yourself to find new limits in the hope of becoming a better athlete—especially if you keep trying and trying. A great way to develop your confidence is by learning how to bail effectively with light weight. Once you’re confident that you can drop the bar safely, you can tackle those more intimidating weights with more bravado. You shouldn’t be fearful of not making the lift—you should be more concerned as to why you are afraid in the first place. When you find the root of the problem (be it bailing, feeling embarrassed or lack of technique), then you know what to work on.

You’re not eating properly

Part of the process of increasing your volume, adding poundage and letting your body recover is adding more fuel into your system. When you have an intense workout session your metabolism is increased for hours after you leave the box, so you need to provide your body with the proteins, carbs and fats it needs in order for your muscles to repair themselves and grow stronger. If you don’t, then your body will start burning both your fat and your existing muscle tissue, which obviously isn’t very good,  you need to eat in accordance with your goals. If you’re having trouble breaking through a plateau in your strength, consider adjusting your diet to allow your body to handle heavier loads.


I know there are several athletes following squat programs or lifting programs during open gym hours. We encourage athletes to work on their weaknesses or simply work on the things they enjoy. With that said, beware of your volume. If you are squatting 4 days/ week in a program, it is not a good idea to add more work below parallel. Joining a WOD with 100 wallballs is an absolute way to get injured due to overtraining. If you aren’t sure how to appropriately follow a lifting program and continue to incorporate CrossFit WODs safely, please email me, I would be happy to point you in the right direction, courtney@crossfitverve.com.

Tuesday 151110

5 Rounds for time:
20 Wallball shots, 20#(14#)
10 Deadlifts, 225#(155#)

Post time to BTWB


Weighted pull ups, the extreme edition, by Kaplan and Chance

Hopefully you all read yesterdays blog and are now aware of the competition Verve will be hosting on December 12th to raise money for the Devito Strong Fund.

Registration will be live Tuesday at 9 am.  To register your team please click HERE.

Teams will consist of 3 men or 3 women.  We have space for 16 teams of men and 16 teams of women.  32 teams total.  Registration will end at the close of business on November 25th.  Everyone is invited to participate so we encourage you to spread the word to your friends that might not go to Verve.

We will design the workouts to be as encompassing as possible so that everyone has a good time, a good workout, and helps with this great cause.

Workouts will be announced a few days before the competition as well as additional details around logistics of the competition as the date gets closer.  Stay tuned to social media for more information.

We will be looking for volunteers to helps as well so if you don’t want to compete but would like to help in another way we will have a way for you to register to volunteer.  Stay tuned for more information on registering to volunteer.

Date: Saturday, December 12th
Location: CrossFit Verve – 3344 Walnut Street, 80205 | 720-238-7783 | info@crossfitverve.com
Time: Athletes and spectators may arrive starting at 7am | First heat at 9am
Cost: $120.00 per team | FREE for spectators
After Party: After event is over, head to Jake’s Sports & Spirits – 3800 Walnut Street, 80205 | 303-295-3800
Parking: Parking is free and will consist of lot parking in the back of the building as well as street parking.

A great place to stay up to date on all the happenings for the competition will be the social media pages of Verve. Check out the Verve Instagram, and Twitter pages for details.

Monday 151109

Take 20 minutes to establish a 3 rep max hang power clean

Then, 3 rounds for quality:
5 Deadlift + 5 bent over row + 5 hang muscle clean + 5 shouder press @ 40% of today’s 3 rep max

Post weights to BTWB


Our CrossFit Verve community is great at rallying around a cause, well now it’s time to rally for a friend.  Sarah Devito, besides being a long time member of Verve, has been a long time friend to many of us. She is now battling cancer and we at Verve plan to make sure she knows she is not in this battle alone. 

On December 12th CrossFit Verve will host the “It Takes a Team Challenge.”  This will be a 1 day team competition with 100% of the proceeds going to Sarah.  We are opening it up to 32 teams made up of 3 men or 3 women.  There will be 1 division, workouts will be designed for all CrossFit skill levels to participate. 

The competition will feature 3 workouts taking place throughout the day. We will kick the party off at8am and close out around 3pm. Registration for this event will begin Tuesday November 10th at 9amYou can create teams with athletes from other gyms as long as they are same sex teams of 3 men or 3 women.  The entree fee for the competition is $120 per team, again, with all proceeds to going directly to helping Sarah with medical costs during fight with cancer.  

We are working with several CrossFit related vendors as well as local vendors in the neighborhood for ways to make the day as fun as possible. There will also be an after party, details TBD. We will also be posting a registration for volunteers and judges. If competing is not your thing, we can still use your help to make the day run smoothly. 

This competition will be fun but more importanly it will be benefiting a cause that hits far too close to home for too many of us, helping a friend battle cancer. Let’s make this event a success, so grab two friends, mark your calendars, and get signed up to throw down. This event is designed to bring us together to work hard and break a sweat. To rally behind those that are important to us and show that it really does Take A Team. 

Check out our social media pages as well for more information.  Again, registration will go live Tuesday November 10th @ 9am. We will have the link posted on the blog, Facebook, and Instagram. Please let us know if you have any questions or would like help in any way. Email me at eric@crossfitverve.com and I’ll be sure to get back to you.  

Sunday 151108

As many rounds as possible in 30 minutes of:
500 Meter row
5 Rope climbs
25 Ab-mat sit-ups

Post reps to comments or BTWB

Throw all of your fall faves in this skillet!

Throw all of your fall faves in this skillet!


This recipe is great because, not only is it delicious, but it only dirties ONE PAN!  You can view the whole recipe here

Chicken, Apple, Sweet Potato, and Brussels Sprouts Skillet


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 4 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
  • 3 cups Brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered (about 3/4 pound)
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes (about 8 ounces)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into 3/4 inch cubes
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken stock, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large, nonstick or cast iron skillet over medium high, until hot and shimmering. Add the chicken and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Cook until lightly browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer to plate lined with paper towels.
  2. Reduce skillet heat to medium low. Add the chopped bacon and cook until crisp and brown and the fat has rendered, about 4 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate (I simply laid another paper towel on top of the plate with the chicken, then stacked the bacon on that). Discard all but 1 1/2 tablespoons bacon fat from the pan.
  3. Increase skillet heat back to medium high. Add Brussels sprouts, sweet potato, onion, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender and the onions are beginning to look translucent, about 8 minutes.
  4. Stir in the apples, garlic, thyme, and cinnamon. Cook 30 seconds, then pour in 1/2 cup of the broth. Bring to a boil and cook until evaporated, about 2 minutes. Add the reserved chicken and remaining 1/2 cup broth. Cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Stir in reserved bacon and serve warm.