Friday 160610

Shoulder press

Max effort push-ups, full ROM
Rest 1 minute
Max effort push-ups to 1 ab-mat
Rest 1 minute
Max effort push-ups to 2 ab-mats

Post load to comments or BTWB




see full article here

Most of you have screwed up feet, and don’t even realize it. Thanks to the crazy choices we make in footwear, our feet have become pathologically weak. We have created a nightmare situation, not only for our feet, but also for everything up the chain. 

Nanos Versus Stilettos

I am a self-proclaimed prima donna when it comes to shoes. I have more pairs of shoes than any man should. About 95 percent of the shoes that I own are intended for training. These shoes are designed to protect and support the foot, integrating performance variables over style.
Dress shoes and high heels are a disaster. Most are designed purely for fashion and don’t take into consideration the health of the foot. My blessed mother grew up in the 50’s when image was everything. She wore high heels nearly every day of her life. As a result, her feet were sore and painful for as long as I can remember.
Regardless of the type of shoe you wear, one thing is certain. Shoes cut your feet off from the world. When a layer of rubber is between your foot and the ground, the nerve endings that provide the brain with proprioceptive feedback and copious amounts of information are being neutered. It’s happening to all of us, and most of us don’t know it.

The Oven Mitt Experiment

From this day forward, and for the next ten years, I want you to spend every waking hour wearing oven mitts on both hands. You can only take them off to sleep. We’ll find a way to work around the awkwardness of it all, hire someone to text, type, and work hand-related jobs for you.
Ridiculous, right?
Think of the level of dexterity and tactile sensitivity your hands have right now. How much of that you would lose if you imprisoned your fingers and hands inside oven mitts? If the SAID principle (Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands) is accurate, your hands would lose most of their sensitivity, and the brain would be deprived of feedback from your normal day-to-day activities. You would develop incapable, soft, sissy-hands from wearing the gloves.
This is exactly what we have done to our feet. Years and decades spent with our feet casted in our shoes have made them fragile and unstable.

The Feet and the Body

This article is by no means intended to replace the work of a professional in reflexology, acupuncture, or soft tissue manipulation. There is no better choice than to work with a professional if you are having feet issues of any kind. If you are lucky enough to find a good one, hang on to them like that girl you should have never dumped a few years ago. 
Many of these alternative practitioners believe you can access various organs and other body parts through the hands and feet. Acupuncturists routinely needle the feet because many of the meridian inlets and outlets of the body begin and end in the foot. Major acupuncture points for ailments like back pain, digestive issues, and kidney and liver problems reside in the foot.
The brain loves movement, and the joints provide the lion’s share of proprioceptive information for the brain to create the three-dimensional map we all live in. The world our brain perceives counts on all of the incoming information for accuracy and complex motor control.
The human foot has 26 bones, 33 joints, 107 ligaments, and 19 muscles and tendons. The 52 bones in the feet make up about 25% of the bones in your entire body. Every day, all these complex structures are slipped into a $125.00 pair of sneakers and strapped into place, inhibiting the foot’s ability to move naturally. It’s a travesty.

Reconnecting With the Ground

My first discovery about how shoes impact my performance (besides my time in cleats) was when I started training for my RKC. With kettlebells, the relationship of your foot, the ground, and the force being produced needs to be unobstructed. Most tennis shoes are meant to absorb force, not direct it into the ground, which is why people training kettlebells often wear either Chuck Taylors or nothing at all.
When I took my feet out of my tennis shoes and started to train barefoot, my feet hurt. They were not conditioned to harder surfaces, and it took time to become comfortable. But once I did, my training experienced a radical upgrade in performance. Power production, movement quality, and overall efficiency improved overnight, simply because my relationship with the ground was no longer muted.  

How to Roll Your Feet

So what does a responsible strength coach do for his athletes to improve their performance? He buys a couple of driving range buckets, fills them with golf balls, and sets them on his desk.My athletes know to roll out their feet before every session. I need them to be physically present when they are training, so I help them turn their bodies on by waking their feet up. Here’s how we do it:
  1. Start in the center of the foot and work from outside to inside. Roll back and forth in the middle third of the foot for about a minute. Most people will notice that the center of the foot will be tender.
  2. Next, work the top third, from the base of the toes to the upper center of the foot. 
  3. Then work the lower third near the heel. 
  4. Last, roll the outer length of the foot, from pinkie toe to heel. Many of the reflexology points that pertain to the back run this line.
Spend about 2-3 minutes rolling out each foot, paying particular attention to areas that are tender. When you find a hot spot, lean on the ball. Make it hurt, but nowhere near tapping-out hurt. I typically sit in my office chair or on a bench and then lean on the ball.

Thursday 160609

5 Rounds for time:
200m run
20 Deadlift, 135#(95#)
10 Chest to bar pull-ups

Post times to comments and BTWB

CrossFit Teens summer camp is in full effect. They started their first class getting lessons in all things agility with Lillie.

Verve’s teens summer camp is in full effect. They started their first class getting lessons in all things agility with Lillie.


Mechanics, Consistency, Intensity, Oh my! As imagined by Courtney Shepherd and with the technical sounding language from Kelly Starrett

Hopefully everyone, at some point in their time at Verve, has heard about the idea of mechanics first, followed by consistency, and lastly adding in intensity. Good old MCI. But why pray tell is Mechanics first? It may be obvious to some but for those who find themselves scratching their heads and putting a good hard think on it, I would like to turn to Dr. Kelly Starrett and his book Becoming a Supple Leopard, to help answer that question.

Without actually using the words/ phrase Mechanics, Consistency, Intensity, Kelly addresses the importance of body positioning in the first few pages of his book. He starts first by saying that our bodies will take a ton of abuse for a really long time before it finally gives up the fight.

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

We can move incorrectly, put our bodies through a ton of stress, and continue to get fit but to a point. That point is pain and injury. Kelly classifies pain and injury into four categories: 1) Pathology, 2) Catastrophic injury, 3) Overtension, and 4) Open-circuit faults. Categories #3 and #4 combined account for 98% of all pain/ injury we see in athletes. I would like to specifically address #4, Open-circuit faults, which is just a fancy way of saying “moving in bad position”. Examples of Open-circuit faults includes: rounded back, shoulders rolled forward, hyperextension of the lower back, feet turned out, head tilted up or down, and elbows flared out. Sound familiar? Possibly like positions we attempt to address and correct during our warm-ups and WODs?

“The problem is that the body will always be able to generate force, even in poor positions. This is not unlike being able to temporarily get away with driving your car with no oil in the engine or with a flat tire. Sure, you can do it, it just gets expensive.

Herein lies the problem: We have confused functionality with physiology. Positions that have served us functionally, like jumping and landing with feet like a duck’s, quickly become a liability when speed, load, or fatigue is introduced. Sure, you can lift heavy loads with a rounded back for a long, long time, but at some point your tissues will fail, resulting in some kind of injury.”

There is no magical way to fix this. This post will not provide a one sentence cure to bad positioning and henceforthly bring all future injuries to a halt. The key is to working on and mastering our technique/ mechanics, our good body position, without the load, speed, and fatigue. We must first start in good position, we can not have good movement out of bad set up. After addressing our set up then we can slowly add in the load and speed, all while still maintaining an awareness of our mechanics. When the mechanics breaks down, we need to take a step back. This step back does not equal failure, being weak, or losing out on the intensity of the WOD. This step back is designed to generate several future steps forward. As we strengthen our good set ups, we generate more force and power, and we can do more work. All good athletes hit a plateau, the really good athletes know they need to address their technique to continue to climb.

Practice doesn’t make perfect. Practice makes permanent. Perfect practice makes perfect permanent. Focus on the mechanics. Work to make those mechanics consistent. When the good mechanics are consistent, then let’s add in some intensity. MCI Baby, YEAH!!

*Quoted portions of this post were taken directly from Becoming a Supple Leopard by Dr. Kelly Starrett.

Wednesday 160608

With a 3 minute running clock x 4 rounds:
20 Wallball shots, 20#(14#) to 10′
20 Ab-mat sit-ups
AMRAP Double unders
Rest 2 minutes

Post Scores to BTWB.

Hopefully you have all gotten the chance to meet resident 9am-er, Alex Wolfson. If not, here are some of his sweet new ninja tricks that we were practicing yesterday, let’s make sure his main sponsor Reebok doesn’t get a hold of this video. 

Now, for important things. I want to spend the rest of this blog post talking about nutrition, again. Last week I touched upon a couple reasons why dialing in our nutrition may fail us. One of them is our priorities. Some have trouble managing social situations with their nutrition goals. Precision Nutrition lays out three different strategies to get your friends and family to support your healthy lifestyle. Here are some ways to have your cake and eat it to:

1. Accept that you may not be “right”.

Step back and embrace some hard truth.

How much of the friction you feel from others… is actually created by you?

Even if you mean well, and even if you are absolutely, 100% correct (yes, smoking is bad; yes, vegetables are good)…

How often have you been judgemental? Insistent? Preachy? Self-righteous? Dismissive? Over-enthusiastic? Maybe even a bit…culty? (That t-shirt that says “Kale University”? We see it.)

Conversely, how often have you been curious? Interested in others’ perspectives? Able to deal with diversity and tolerate various viewpoints? Open-minded? Empathetic and compassionate? A good listener?

Consider this: Maybe “right” isn’t so obvious.

All behaviors and choices have a reason to be there. You might not know the reasons; you might not quite understand the reasons or even agree with the reasons.

But whatever habits your loved ones are practicing, they are doing them for a reason. In some way, their habits are “right” for them. They may have only a limited toolbox of options or coping skills.

This means:

  • understanding that your brother feels panicked and crushed under work stress, and sees drinking as the best way to cope.
  • having compassion for your best friend, who is terrified to confront her body, and therefore gets defensive and critical every time you bring up your new health regimen.
  • understanding that your parents were raised to respect traditional authority figures, so they still believe margarine is better for you than butter, because that’s what their doctor drilled into them 30 years ago.

When we focus on defending our “right-ness” and proving our loved ones’ “wrongness”, our perspective becomes very narrow and our relationships become oppositional.

However, when we let go of judgement and choose compassion and empathy, we make room for understanding.

Understanding dissolves conflict, because it usually shows us that, at our cores, we are all dealing with the same themes — we’re more alike than different.

Understanding helps us collaborate instead of clash; connect instead of criticize. We start to ask questions that, instead of inducing blame and shame, invite connection and support:

Why are they so different from me?
When have I dealt with something similar?

How do I get them to stop the bad habit?
What problem is the bad habit trying to solve?

What is wrong with them?
What might they really need?

As your loved ones begin to feel more understood, and less judged, they may begin to practice more flexibility and less judgement toward your new habits and beliefs too.

(And by the way, it’ll serve you immensely to practice non-judgement, compassion, and understanding on yourself too.)

2. Be persistent, not pushy.

Resistance more often comes from fear than from true philosophical opposition.

Change can feel scary. It can bring up issues of control, security, and identity, and it can also bring up painful emotions like anxiety, panic, shame, or loss.

When our loved ones resist change (in all the creative ways they can come up with — consciously and unconsciously, kindly and unkindly), what they might actually be feeling underneath it all… is fear.

Their fear can be the result of thoughts like:

  • What if you become a different person?
  • What if this new food tastes gross?
  • What if your healthy habits make me confront my unhealthy habits?
  • What if people don’t accept us?
  • What if you judge me or don’t love me anymore?
  • What if I can’t keep up with you?
  • What if life gets uncomfortable?
  • What if I lose you?

Just like a scared child, resistance and fear in their adult forms don’t respond well to rational arguments and pushing.

So while you must press forward with the changes you’re trying to make for your own well-being, you’ll more likely get support if you practice persistence rather than pushiness.

Pushiness means attempting to force friends and family to join/agree with you, and accepting only a rigid set of compliant responses.

Persistence means continuously offering opportunities for your friends and family to join you on your quest for a healthier life, and yet remains open to a wide range of responses to any given invitation.

So be persistent:

  • Keep offering healthy dishes at the dinner table.
  • Keep inviting your friends and family to join you on runs, hikes, and exercise classes.
  • Keep having conversations about nutrition, healthy body image, and what it means to have a truly good, capable life.

Prioritize positivity and connection when you present these options, and expect resistance, sometimes over and over and over again.

As much as you can, take the drama and emotional charge out of these conversations. Validate your loved ones’ reasons for staying the way they are, and don’t push back.

Perhaps, when their fear subsides and they realize it’s safe to dip their toe in the land of green smoothies and box jumps, your loved ones will join you, and you’ll ride off into the sunset (on your recumbent bikes, drinking coconut water) together.

3. Just “do you”.

Change is difficult.

In order to overcome the many bumps, blocks, and blusters inherent to significant lifestyle change, we need to be anchored to a deep, internal, personalized “why” that will pull us through.

You can’t manufacture this type of motivation for someone else. No matter how hard you try to coerce your kids, spouse, parents, and friends to change, they may have none of it.

And in fact, that may be a good sign. Because that means they know that in order to make the kinds of changes you’re making, they have to want it too.

We call this “intrinsic motivation” — a connection to one’s own, internal reasons for doing something. Research shows that intrinsic motivation leads to change that’s longer-lasting and more self-sustaining than extrinsic motivation, which is based on the desire to obtain external outcomes such as good grades or the approval of others (ahem).

Intrinsic motivation requires deep thought and reflection, and may take longer to develop.

So respect that your loved ones may take time to connect to their own reasons for eating and moving better.

Meanwhile, just “do you”.

Focus on your own intrinsic motivations. Stay connected to what’s driving you, deep inside, to make these personal changes.

Without ignoring your natural love and concern for loved ones, let your attention turn inward. Spend more energy on your own growth and development.

Which could lead to something else amazing…

Think about how you feel when you watch someone you love work toward a BIG goal with heartfelt determination, grit, and bravery.

Think about how you feel when you watch that person persist despite setbacks, failures, and fears.

Think about how you feel when you watch that person triumph, however messily and imperfectly, over adversity.

You feel inspired.

You feel like anything is possible.

You feel like maybe you could do something great too.

And that is the beautiful irony in “doing you”:

By working toward and achieving a healthier, happier, more confident and capable version of yourself, you become the inspiration, the positive influence to your family and friends.

And it all comes full circle when that little healthy-lifestyle wave you started attracts other riders, builds, and then become a huge tidal of momentum to carry you to your final objective — a fit, healthy you — and keep you there.

Influence happens in both directions, remember?

Lead the way.

Tuesday 160607

As many rounds as possible in 15 minutes of:
250m row
5 Burpee muscle-ups

Post rounds to BTWB

Joel, Erin, Jen, and Trevor. I don't think they are all that close in height.

Joel, Erin, Jen, and Trevor. I don’t think they are all that close in height.

After Friday’s Back squat workout and yesterday’s front squat from the ground workout it’s inevitable that our legs might feel a touch sore.  So what to do on days that we wake up really sore or know that what we just did is going to leave us sore over the next couple of days?  

There are ways to reduce post workout muscle soreness.  From the minds over at The Poliquin Group here are a few ways to help accelerate recovery.

Caffeine.  In addition to being a useful for starting your day off, caffeine is also an effective in reducing delayed onset muscle soreness or DOMS.  DOMS is the reason a workout hurts more 48 hours after being done versus 24 hours. The recommended dose is 5mg/kg of body weight pre workout to reduce muscle soreness.  

Add some Ginger to your cooking.  2 grams of ginger has been shown in recent studies to reduce inflammation that coincides with intense muscle damage.  

BCAA’s.  Branch Chain Amino Acids aid in protein synthesis and reducing muscle breakdown as well as assist in conserving tissue during intense training.  

Training more often can also help in reducing DOMS.  The first workout may be a killer but continuously training will condition the muscles to be better prepared for the type of workouts performed inside the gym.  It may seem impossible to move a few days after a really intense workout, but the best thing to do is get up and move around and get back into the gym.  

For more great advice click HERE to read the full article at The Poliquin Group’s website.

Monday 160606

Front squat

*Bar must be taken from the ground

Post weights to BTWB

These people should have read the blog below.

These people should have read the blog below.

We like to post this blog every once in a while and given the amount of band-aids or tape I’ve been asked for mid-workout, I figured now was as good a time as any to refresh the talk about how to take care of our hands.  We also have some new members that might not have their first case of ripped paws so please read below for tips on how to take care of your hands.  

Too often we post pictures like the one above with a braggadocios status to follow. Some may even see this mangled scene as a right of passage in CrossFit, “first RXed pull-up WOD, tears and all”. NO MORE. This ends here.  This is not something we should be bragging about, but rather something we should be putting work in to prevent and avoid. We are rough on our hands in CrossFit but if we take a few simple steps throughout the week, we can avoid the blood bath mid WOD. This post is about prevention with regards to hand care, I will not get into scaling a WOD and technique, both of which would fall under the category of ways to prevent hand ripping. Perhaps in a later post.


Go to your local Target, Walmart, Walgreens, etc. And go to the foot care aisle. I’m not talking about the orthopedics/ gel inserts aisle, I’m talking the mani/ pedi aisle. Go looking for the nail polish (sorry guys but that’s where the good stuff is at). It is in this aisle that you will locate two items of huge importance, 1) a pumice and 2) a callus shaver. Grab one of each and proceed to the check out counter.  If you prefer a more automatic option, you can purchase a dremel tool.  I personally use the one designed for animal claws.  Click HERE if you don’t know what a dremel is.  I purchased mine 3 years ago and it’s been great for maintaining my hands and keeping me from ripping. 


Put these new purchases to work. I have a preference for using these items while I am in the shower. I would suggest pumicing your hands EVERY TIME you shower. I would add using the callus shaver to shave the calluses that build across the top of your palm 1-2 times/ week. The shaving of your hands may be dependent on your activity level or even which WODs you have recently done or are coming up in the future. The key is to avoid the raising of the calluses. The bigger they get the more susceptible they are to ripping. We want to try and keep our hands smooth and even across the surface.


Let’s be honest though, rips/ tears happen. Then what? If they happen mid WOD, let’s call it good and proceed with a modification that allows us to keep working out without creating further damage. Then go back to your local Target, Walmart, Walgreens, etc. and go to the first aid aisle. Pick up a box of Blister Pads.

Clean the torn area thoroughly. When it’s dry put a blister pad over the area. I like to do this at night, sleep in it, and keep it on as long as I can the whole next day. The problem is we use our hands a lot so realistically the blister pad may not stay on long, that’s okay. Doing this every night for several days will help tremendously in keeping the area moisturized without exposing it to dirt/ germs. 

Be sure and check the pull up bar or barbell after you’re done.  Too many times we are so worried about our hands that we forget that our bloody hand were just all over a piece of equipment that someone else needs to now use.  We have clorox wipes and plenty of cleaning supplies to help you clean and disinfect.  If you can’t find the cleaning products, ask the trainers.  

Sunday 160605

For time:
50 Burpees
Row 500m
40 Push-ups
Row 1,000m
30 Ring dips
Row 1,500m

Post time to comments or BTWB

A delicious, cool homemade treat!

A delicious, cool homemade treat!

It is always great knowing exactly what is going in your food, especially when you are feeding it to your kiddos.  This dessert is a delicious and chilly treat that you made, your kids (or you) will enjoy, and you know everything in it!  You can see the full recipe here

Cookies and Cream Pudding Pops


  • 1/2 cup raw cashew or macadamia nuts (60g)
  • 2/3 cup milk of choice (160g)
  • scant 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sugar of choice or xylitol (24g)
  • pinch pure stevia, or 1 extra tbsp sugar of choice
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 4-5 oreo cookies or Homemade Healthy Oreos


In a bowl, cover the nuts with water and let sit 6-8 hours. Drain and be sure to pat dry completely. Combine the drained nuts with the salt, vanilla, sweetener, and the milk of choice, and blend until smooth. (If you have a Vita-Mix, blend a full minute. This can technically be done in a non-high-power blender if you blend a very long time, but I don’t know that it will be as smooth.) Add the Oreos and blend again, just enough to crush the cookies. Pour into popsicle molds or dixie cups. (If using dixie cups, freeze until slushy, then remember to add a popsicle stick to the middle of each popsicle.)


-YOGA!!! Tomorrow at 11am.

-Next weekend is the Cherry Creek CrossFit Triple Threat!  Good luck to all of those people competing!!!




Saturday 160604

Everyday Warrior Battle Series Workout #1
In teams of 2, as many reps as possible in 15 minutes of:
100 Double Unders
30 Snatches 75#(45#)
80 Double Unders
25 Snatches 135#(75#)
60 Double Unders
20 Snatches 165#(95#)
40 Double Unders
15 Snatches 185#(115#)
20 Double Unders
AMRAP Snatches @ 205#(135#)

Post reps to comments and BTWB

Nick holding strong in his ring support during "Tabata This".

Nick holding strong in his ring support during “Tabata This”.


What is going down this summer at Verve? Sooooooo MANY things.

The Everyday Warrior Battle Series began May 30th. This is an online team (2 men or 2 women) competition. One workout will be posted every week for 4 weeks. Verve will be programming these workouts on:
Saturday June 4th
Saturday June 11th
Friday June 17th
Saturday June 25th

Click here to get registered.

June 11th & 12th- Cherry Creek CrossFit is hosting the Cherry Creek Triple Threat. Verve has 7 teams signed up for the competition. Come check out the action and get your cheer on! For more info about the event, click here.

June 18th & 19th– It’s Father’s Day weekend and. . . . Verve is hosting the CrossFit Football Seminar. What better gift for the dads in our lives then a weekend seminar where participants learn to be a more powerful, explosive athlete. They will be taught the fundamentals of sport-specific training, including sprinting, basic movements, warm-ups and cool downs, change-of-direction and agility drills, jumping and weightlifting. Click here for more information and to get registered.

July 30th- It’s Paleo Pop-up time!! Come hang out and chat with vendors from all over Colorado, introducing various paleo products, and discussing all things health and nutrition. Click here for more info.

August 13th- Verve is hosting the ladies only team competition Femme Royale. This is a one day event that brings ladies from all over the state to compete, cheer, and inspire each other. There are 3 divisions ensuring anyone and everyone is able to participate. Click here to register.


Friday 160603

Take 15 minutes to work to a heavy single back squat

Then, 4 rounds for time:
400m Run
10 back squat @ 70% of today’s heavy single

Post load to comments or BTWB

Team Real Deal Holyfield completed Everyday Warrior Workout #1, did you??

Team Real Deal Holyfield completed Everyday Warrior Workout #1, did you??


You do your due diligence, spend a good amount of time mobilizing everyday AND have a standing desk but your toes still flare out when you squat or your chest still dives forward….. WHAT’S GOING ON??  This is a very frustrating situation.  One thing you need to consider above and beyond your mobility is your anatomy.  Perhaps your hip socket is shaped so you HAVE to bow out your toes to get full depth, but how do you know?  This article from The Movement Fix shows us the different hip sockets and how to test to see if you fall into that category.  You can see the full article here

The Best Kept Secret: Why People HAVE to Squat Differently

There is absolutely no one size fits all squat position. If you don’t believe me, you are in for a treat. This article will help show you why athlete comfort should dictate squat width, why some people’s (not EVERYONE) feet point out (no matter how much “mobility” work they do), why some people have a really hard time squatting deep, and why some people are amazing at pistols while others can’t do them at all.

Basic Anatomy
The hip joint is basically made up of a “socket” on the pelvis (called the acetabulum) and a “ball” at the top of your thigh bone (femur), which we call the femoral head. Around the hip joint are a lot of muscles, a joint capsule, and connective tissue. There are many other anatomical considerations when considering a squat, but let’s focus on the hip.

Anatomical Variations
When someone has difficulty squatting, or their feet turn out, or they like a wide stance, we all want to jump on the bandwagon and say “your hips are tight, you need to mobilize them”. If we say that without considering anatomical variations of the hip joint, we can be misled.

Let’s take a look at this first picture. Here we have two femurs from two different people. One points more upwards, the other points more downwards. Do you think these people will squat the same when they have that much bony difference?

hip #1

Again we see the difference in how much of the hip socket we can see. There is no way these two people will squat the same. The bony anatomy literally won’t let them.

Hip #2

How will you know if you have “special” hip anatomy without an x-ray or becoming a test cadavor?


Athlete’s won’t squat the same, and they SHOULDN’T! I hope I shed some light on the WHY. Athlete comfort will dictate the stance that puts their hip in a better bony position. There are narrow squatters and there are wide squatters. That may have nothing to do with tight muscles or “tight” joint capsules and have more to do with bony hip anatomy.

Very few people are at the end range of their hip motion, so hip mobility drills are definitely a good idea.

-Tomorrow we are doing Everyday Warrior Workout #1 in class.  If you haven’t had a chance to sign up already, grab you same-sex buddy and go to this link

Thursday 160602

4 Rounds for time:
10 Power clean, 155#(105#)
3 Rope climbs

Post times to comments and BTWB

#tbt to when Verve trainers spent a Saturday getting CPR certified. Be scared, be very scared.

#tbt to when Verve trainers spent a Saturday getting CPR certified. Not sure if Verve members should feel comforted or possibly scared.


Your third installment of intensity, this time courtesy of Miranda Oldroyd. . . and a few opinionated comments from me.

Over the last two weeks the word intensity has come up quite a bit in my weekly blogs. Two weeks ago I addressed the method behind the madness that is Verve’s programming. Our goal is for every athlete that walks through Verve’s doors to give 100% intensity from the warm-up, to the workout, through the cool down/ post WOD. Last week, with the help of an awesome article by James Hobart, this blog addressed the concept of volume in training. Who needs it, who doesn’t, is it better to work out for two hours at 60% intensity when working out for one hour giving 90% intensity would have yielded better results. Now I want to bring up another buzz word that I think goes hand in hand with intensity. . . consistency.

How about doing both consistently?

How about doing both consistently?


Have you seen this meme going around? I saw it posted several times from Facebook to Instagram. I get its message and I find a lot of truth in it. However, I don’t think either of those things are as difficult as doing them consistently. We can workout and we can eat healthy. . . . but if we do it for a couple of weeks and then we go on vacation, and then when we get back and it’s Memorial Day weekend and all the BBQs, and then. . . . . all the “and thens” continue to put very large gaps in our consistency. And it’s the consistency in both intensity and monitoring what we eat that really gets us our results.

Several months ago a verve athlete came up to me after a class and asked if they could have a few minutes of my time. In a few minutes time this athlete wanted me to give them “a couple of quick exercises” they could do to give them six pack abs. Their goal was to look like Brad Pitt in the Fight Club. Seriously, I get it. Who doesn’t want a six pack like that, but it’s beyond important for everyone to know there are no quick exercises any one can do and suddenly develop a six pack. Paul’s blog yesterday hopefully started to shed some light on the fact that there is no quick way to achieve these aesthetic looks. It takes time, it takes some sacrifices, and it takes a great deal of precision in your diet. Oh, and it takes intensity. (I feel like you saw that coming)

I want to tag onto Paul’s post with an article posted by Miranda Oldroyd several weeks ago, “I Only Look Like This Because of Good Genetics. . . “. This is an amazing post that highlights several misconceptions about Games athletes/ highly competitive athletes, how they train and why they look the way they do. This information is coming from a women who is a Games/ highly competitive athlete and happens to be so many people’s #WCW when they describe how they want CrossFit to make them look. I would highly encourage everyone to give it a read (click here), because I am going to skip to her 5th and final misconception. Miranda is going to drop a truth bomb that will absolutely blow more than a few people’s minds:

Misconception #5 – You have to train like a Games athlete to be “fit” and to look good. More is better.

Truth: There are 3 things you need to see amazing results from training (CrossFit or otherwise), and it’s not steroids, or more volume, or amazing genetics. Here it is…

  1. You need intensity. You need to GO HARD in your workouts. And you need to stop thinking that 45 min EMOMs and Chippers are the key to the goods. You need to take off the weight vest, and stop adding weight until you start seeing times that would rival Regional level athletes. Until then – go faster.
  2. You need to eat better. I didn’t say less. For many of you (women especially) it might even be more. One thing you can bet is that Games athletes eat to perform. You should do the same thing. You need to weigh and measure your food and have some sort of tracking system that works for you. Use that information to tell you whether or not you are on the right track, then keep making tweaks until you get it right.
  3. This one is the most important…and you’re not going to like it…. YOU NEED TO BE CONSISTENT WITH 1 AND 2 FOR A LONG ASS TIME if you ever want results that actually stick. I am no scientist, but it is my belief that you can change how your body responds to training and nutrition if you keep reprogramming it over and over again for years.

Is training difficult? Yes. Is eating right difficult? Yes. But the hardest part is doing them consistently. Create your goals. Rally a friend to make you accountable, set yourself up for success. Come to the gym and don’t worry about how many workouts you need to do, worry about crushing just one, and I mean crush it real good. Go home and have a complete, balanced meal, AND THEN. . . rinse and repeat, a lot. 

Wednesday 160601

Bench Press 2-2-2-2-2-2-2 reps

Post Results to BTWB.


As  fitness professionals, our job is to help clients reach their goals. However, there is a lot that comes into play with this – mainly in the sense of goal setting. When asking someone their goals, I always like to ask “Is the juice worth the squeeze?”

I think Precision Nutrition published a fantastic article a couple months back named “The cost of getting lean. Is it really worth the trade-off?” (which you can find here). In this article it describes what it will take to reach certain aesthetic and body fat goals. I think it is super helpful to have a chart written out to explain to someone what work it will take to reach specific goals. It’s unrealistic to ask someone that is trying to just live a healthier and more balanced lifestyle to eat the exact same as someone that is trying to go on stage for a bodybuilding competition. So, below I am going to add a couple things from that article. 

So, what goal should we strive for? Healthy, athletically lean, super lean? It all depends on your OWN priorities and goals. Here is a nice little guide to helping you figure out the next steps:

1. Figure out your priorities. 
2. Decide what work you are willing to put into your nutrition.
3. Decide how consistent and precise are you willing to be with your nutrition.
4. Decide what you are not willing to do, or what you are not willing to give up.

Not being willing to change certain things does not make you a bad person, it makes you human. However, if your goal is to be the most ripped person on the beach, then you are definitely going to have to give up some of life’s pleasures. On the same note, if your goal is to be performing at a high level in the gym, then there will have to be some sacrifices outside the gym in order to make sure you are recovering from your workload properly. 

Posted above is one of my favorite charts, it shows the benefits and tradeoffs for both men and women at different body fat percentages from below 6% to above 30%. Have a look and hopefully this will help you with your own goals.