Thursday 140904

Death by Clean and Jerk, 135#(95#)
*With a continuously running clock do one Clean and Jerk the first minute, two Clean and Jerks the second minute, three Clean and Jerks the third minute… continuing as long as you are able.

Post rounds to comments and BTWB

bloody hands e1389152455626 475x353 Thursday 140904

Friends don’t let friends share bodily fluids at the gym.

We need to get real about hand care people. I mean really real. By Courtney “#whatsupwiththat” Shepherd

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.

matt hand e1389153149782 300x225 Thursday 140904

If we look like this, we may be behind the eight ball. Time to catch up.


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.

tools 475x356 Thursday 140904

The tools of the trade.


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.

hands 475x475 Thursday 140904

Before and After.


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.

blister 300x225 Thursday 140904

Blister Pads be da bomb.

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. You have to shelter it, like a small innocent child, from the harsh world around us. Throughout the day put Aquaphor or Vaseline, or something akin to these items, over the uncovered area to keep it from drying out. 

 I know I said I wasn’t going to talk about scaling or technique but I lied, I do that sometimes. Life can get crazy, kids, jobs, significant others. Maybe sometimes our personal hygiene becomes questionable and we are unable to shower/ shave our hands for an amount of time we are too ashamed to say. It’s cool, I get it. I’m with you. It’s always at this time that some silly Verve trainer programs a WOD with 120 pull-ups in it. We don’t want to skip a workout because our calluses are HUGE and hand tearing is imminent. What we can do is 120 ring rows or 60 strict pull-ups or some other modification that is still an equally amazing workout. Think about it this way, maybe we get through the 120 pull-up WOD but at what cost to our personal lives, our professional lives, and our training for the next  few days. Better to do 120 ring rows today, go home and clean  our business up, and WOD again tomorrow. 

*If you are newer to CrossFit or are newer to working on kipping pull-ups, kipping toes to bar, or any other kipping bar work, remember that volume is key. We can not go from having spent little to no time on a pull-up bar to trying to rep out 100 pull-ups in a WOD. It doesn’t matter how much we can physically do the work, our hands are not ready. They need to be introduced to the workload over time to build some toughness. 

Wednesday 140903

Front Squat 1-10-1-20-1-30 reps

Post weights to BTWB.

rowing e1409856723671 475x633 Wednesday 140903

A little Pre on the water instruction for Verve members.

Where to next for rowing & running? As many of you know who’ve come to running & rowing the last 2 months (and if not, Tuesdays and Thursdays are where it’s at!) you’ve heard about combining the programs so that they compliment each other. Last cycle, running focused on short intervals, culminating in a mile test, while rowing worked on a 40 min progression and ultimately 40 min test. This cycle, we are switching roles: running is moving towards longer distance and rowing towards short intervals.

What’s up next…?

Rowing: Don’t worry, no more 40 minute progressions – but congrats to the 14 people who completed the 40 min test and even more who did the progression! Our next cycle is going to focus on max power and recovery. We are going to do the same workout every week for 6 weeks with a 2 x 500m test on either end. Each week we will do 8x1min on and as much rest as it takes you to slow your heart rate back down to about 60-65% your VO2max.

However, recovery isn’t purely a physical response, but also a mental skill. Throughout these 6 weeks we are going to dive into different techniques and components of regaining one’s cool in the face of discomfort & hard work. Each week will involve something new to add onto the physical component. The idea being that we will be attacking recovery from two directions: physicality & mentality = you being a super fit bad ass.

First test is this Thursday, Sept. 4th. As always, you can jump in to any class at any point during the progression, but you’ll gain the most from coming every week.

Tuesday 140902

15 Minutes as many rounds as possible of:
10 Pull ups
20 Russian kettlebell swings 53#(35#)
30 Meter shuttle sprint

Post rounds to BTWB.

IMG 0145 475x316 Tuesday 140902

I could come up with a caption for this, but I’ll let the comments section take a shot.

I know I may be rushing the fall season, but hey I’m from Massachusetts and fall is my favorite season.  Football is starting, the weather is getting cooler.  Who doesn’t look good in a long sleeve t-shirt and a pair of jeans, am I right?  With the fall also comes the holidays and with holidays come desserts.  Okay so maybe I’m rushing fall just to get to the desserts.  

We’ve posted a bunch of great recipes on the blog lately and since I’m a dessert person, I thought the article I came across with Paleo Desserts was spot on. recently published an article featuring 49 paleo desserts that are rather simple to make.  This is also something I look for in desserts, gotta be able to make!

Here are a few of my favorites from the list, but if my taste and your taste differs, click HERE for the full article.  I’m sure you’ll  find something that appeals to you.  Editors note, some of the recipes might be pushing the line on paleo but most are in line.

Snickerdoodle Paleo Cupcakes.  This had me at snickerdoodle.  

Classic Chocolate Cake.  No grains, dairy, soy, or refined sugar added.  I know I know but give it a chance.

Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies.  Yep you’re reading that correctly.  Bacon in anything is alright with this guy. 

Paleo Apple Pie.  Combine this with some nice vanilla ice cream and you’ve got half of a paleo dessert.   

Be sure to give the article a click through and read.  I’m always available to taste test any dessert people make.  Doesn’t matter what time of day it is.  You bring the dessert and I’ll let you know how it is.  


Monday 140901

5 Rounds for time
Run 400 Meters
15 Overhead Squats 95#(65#)

Compare to:

Post scores to BTW.

colby e1409857244910 Monday 140901

Join Coach Colby for a Crossover Symmetry Class on Tuesday at 5 pm!

The Importance of Sleep by Coach Colby

I just returned from a wedding over the weekend. It was my best buddy from my college days, and in similar fashion to my college days, I didn’t sleep much this weekend.

As I write this I am feeling pretty run down, and that made me realize just how great I feel when I get enough sleep!

So, here is a short list of some simple things you can add in to your weekly routine to help recover faster, written by Brad McLeod at Box Life Magazine. Check out the entire article here.

  1. On a rest day, try planning an additional 15-30 minutes of additional sleep.
  2. Sleep in a cold room. This is helpful because your body temperature will rise naturally while you sleep, and if you get too hot it can be hard to relax and fall into a deep sleep.
  3. Try a really, really cold shower for 5 minutes before bed. I don’t know why this works, but I swear it hits me like an elephant tranquiler.
  4. Take a nap! I know you’re all super busy, but 20 minutes of shut eye can really help you power through your afternoon.
  5. Sleep in complete darkness. And turn off the iPad/iPhone/electronic devices.

Limited schedule today. Afternoon open gym ends at 3:00 pm. Check MBO for complete details! Happy Labor Day!

Sunday 140831

Five rounds for time of:

10 Wall-walks
10 Toes to bar
20 Box jumps, 24″ box

Compare to 131124.
Post time to comments and BTW.

IMG 0127 475x712 Sunday 140831

Howard showing age is just a number and practicing HS in Zink’s gymnastics skills sessions.

Limited class schedule on Monday, September 1 due to the holiday.  Please check MBO and sign up for WODs or Open Gym.  
Enjoy your fitness this beautiful weekend!

Pulling for all You’re WorthCrossFit Journal [article]

Saturday 140830

With a partner on a 6 minute clock:
Partner 1 rows 20 cal
Parter 2 as many reps as possible of power cleans 165# (115#)

Rest 1 min

With a partner on a 6 minute clock:
Partner 1 rows 15 cals
Partner 2 as many reps as possible of wall balls 20# (14#)

Rest 2 mins
Then as many reps as possible in 5 minutes: 1 person works at a time

Row for calories
1 person works at a time, switch as often as partners choose.

Post reps to comments and BTW.

IMG 0102 475x712 Saturday 140830

Lisa getting after some legless rope climbs.

Limited class schedule on Monday, September 1 due to the holiday.  Please see MBO.  

Upcoming Athlete Interest Clinics:

  • Crossover Symmetry with Colby, Tuesday Sept 2 at 5PM
  • Gymnastics Skills with Zink, Friday Sept 12 at 1:30PM
  • Gymnastics Skills with Zink, Wednesday Sept 17 at 5PM
  • Gymnastics Skills with Zink, Thursday Sept 25 at 5PM
  • Gymnastics Skills with Zink, Monday Sept 12 at 5PM

Free Community WODs Saturdays, September 6 and September 20 at 8AM.
New Foundations Programs begin Mondays, September 8 and September 22.  Email to get signed up or for questions.  

Rowing Seminar this Saturday, August 30th with Maddie and Elevation Rowing at 2:30PM.  Cost is $60/pp, click here to register for the class.

This Sunday, August 31st, Verve is teaming up with Mile High Rowing Club from 7AM-10AM. Cost is $45/pp and limited to the first 24 people who sign up. We will watch the US Rowing Safety Video first thing followed by a quick demo of boat handling and then get on the water. Come get your vitamin D the natural way and put your fitness to work on the water. Email to get signed up.


Friday 140829

For Time:
Run 800 Meters
5 15″ Rope Climbs
10 Strict HSPU
3 Rope Climbs
10 Strict HSPU
1 Rope Climb
10 Strict HSPU
Run 400 Meters

Post time to comments or BTW

20140824 095643 475x267 Friday 140829

Recently, there was a video posted to the Crossfit Journal with Matt and Cherie Chan discussing Matt’s recent accident and road to recovery.  This video got me thinking, there are so many reasons we CrossFit.  Some of us CrossFit for aesthetic purposes or weight management, some for strength, some for sanity, and some for the social aspect.  While a more resilient immune system and faster injury recovery time may not have been the ultimate reason you CrossFit, it is DEFINITELY an added bonus.

We have several people in this gym who have fought their way through injury and are back to their previous level, if not better! Matt is a great example showing that if you are healthy going into an injury, you will probably recover much faster.

 Take 7 minutes out of your day to watch this video and let us know in the comments section HOW CROSSFIT HAS HELPED YOU RECOVER FROM SETBACKS IN YORU LIFE!



Thursday 140828

As many rounds as possible in 6 minutes of:
3 Squat cleans 155#(105#)
3 Shoulder to overhead 155#(105#)

Post times to comments and BTWB

DSC01384 475x316 Thursday 140828

Brad taking pause during his 100 mile backpacking excursion through the Teton Range to show us his skills.

A love note to Verve, from Brad. (I hope you don’t mind us calling it a love note but when we read it, we felt the love.)

“Here’s a little shout out to Verve and the exceptional coaching I’ve received over the past 18 months! This photo was taken at about mile 80 of a 100 mile / 9 day solo backpacking excursion through the Wind River Range and The Teton Crest Trail. My pistols need work, but the Teton Range (L to R is Grand, Middle, & Lower Teton) makes up in beauty what my pistol lacks!”

Thank you Brad. We love when you are here and your willingness to take our coaching. Happy to see it’s paying off.

It’s time to fight By Courtney Shepherd

Well on that note. Let’s talk more about achievements. Let’s talk about what it is we are willing to work hard for, willing to fight for. Anything good that’s worth having is worth fighting for, that includes PRs. But PRs don’t just come in 1 rep maxes or 3 rep maxes or heavy lifts. PRs exist in doing something you have never done before, it is your personal record in handstand push-ups, in running a full 400 meters without walking, in doing 15 reps at a weight that you had previously only done 10 reps at. As a trainer I have front row seats to PR-ville. During classes I see the drive and determination, I see the fight for those PRs. . . . sometimes. But sometimes I see that we are quick to quit on what we want. Sometimes I see us hit resistance and not attempt to push through, to not fight for that PR. 

Tony Blauer, of Blauer Tactical Systems, teaches CrossFit Defense and has an amazing way of relating CrossFit to life and vice versa. “If you understand the cycle of behavior, you are going to change how you approach workouts, people, conflict and confrontation.”

“The first place that you are hit in a real confrontation is your emotional system,” he says. “Everybody says, ‘I had a bad feeling, right?’ You must identify fear and then learn how to push through it,” Blauer adds.

We approach hard workouts the same way. We pick up a bar and we instantly tell ourselves, “this is heavy”, followed by, “this is hard, I don’t know if I can do this.” We have now started priming ourselves emotionally and mentally, and not in a good way. We are prepared to meet resistance, we’ve already talked ourselves up to it. And when we meet that resistance we’ve already given ourselves the okay to quit, to give up the fight before it’s even started.

“Everybody knows what they should do, but then they get this mental imprint or idea that doing that might be a problem, and so fear discourages us from being courageous. You gotta get in the fight and give yourself permission to win. It only starts there, you need to make shit happen now.”

I’m not encouraging pushing through pain. I’m not encouraging using positive mental thought to do something we truly are not physically capable of. What I’m encouraging is fighting for what you want. I’m encouraging getting a bar on your front rack, starting a heavy shoulder press, and once you hit that moment in the press when it becomes hard. . .  keep pressing. Fight. Tell yourself “this weight is not coming back down, I will get this over my head”, and press. If it takes you 10 seconds to complete the lift, guess what, at the end, you completed it. It’s easy to hit that rough spot and let that bar drop right back down to our shoulders. But taking the easy way out hasn’t trained us mentally or emotionally to overcome. The easy way doesn’t tell us what we are truly capable of. The easy way doesn’t get us that true rush of accomplishment and confidence and success. All it is, is easy. 

What we do in the gym transfers over to other aspects of life. Not just the physical act of fighting but mentally and emotionally fighting. Think about going into a job interview, telling yourself “I am ready for this,” and fighting for that job with your knowledge, skill, and confidence. There are people everyday being given news about a life changing medical condition. Now imagine sitting down, hearing bad news, and telling yourself, “I will beat this. I will put up the fight of my life, for my life.” Build your fight in the gym so that you are ready when life demands it. 

“The act of fighting back,” Blauer says, “is what saves most people.” I guess it’s time to fight. 

To read more about The Cycle of Behavior by Tony Blauer, click here.

*This Saturday, August 30th, from 2:30pm-5pm Verve is hosting Elevation Rowing Seminars with your favorite rowing coach Maddie Berky. Learn to not hate rowing as much. Dare I say, maybe learn to love it!! Cost is $60/pp, click here to register for the class.

*Take your new love of rowing and hit the water. This Sunday, August 31st, Verve is teaming up with Mile High Rowing Club from 7AM-10AM. Cost is $45/pp and limited to the first 24 people who sign up. We will watch the US Rowing Safety Video first thing followed by a quick demo of boat handling and then get on the water. Come get your vitamin D the natural way and put your fitness to work on the water. Email to get signed up.


Wednesday 140827

7 Rounds for time:
10 KB swings
10 Over and unders, 20″

Post times to comments and BTWB

IMG 0121 475x316 Wednesday 140827

Has anyone seen the 10’s? Does anyone know where all the 10# plates went? This is so weird. So, Ross, how much you benchin’?

It’s fast, it’s simple, and it will give you a new found love for brussel sprouts. You’re welcome.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts

4 Lbs brussel sprouts
4 Slices thick cut bacon
Black pepper

2 Cookie sheets/ baking pans
Aluminium foil
1 Gallon size zip lock bag

Putting it together:
1) Rinse brussel sprouts
2) Slice off end of each sprout and then slice in half (keep any leaves that may fall off, they get crunchy and yummy in the oven).
3) Fill zip lock bag 3/4 full with sprouts, add in 1 tablespoon of oil to bag, and shake/ mix contents. 
4) Cover cookie sheet with aluminum foil and begin to even spread oil coated sprouts over the two pans. 
5) Repeat steps 3 & 4 until all sprouts are oiled and placed on cookie sheets. 
6) Slice raw bacon into 1 inch pieces, evenly place the bacon pieces on top of the sprouts.
7) Sprinkle tope of sprouts and bacon with black pepper.
8) Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place sprouts in oven for 45 minutes. Toss sprouts every 15 minutes to prevent from burning on one side.
9) Enjoy, as these are unlike any other brussel sprouts you have had before. They are, to paraphrase, life changing, like heavy back squats. 

*2.5 cups= 1.5C, 3F

*This Saturday, August 30th, from 2:30pm-5pm Verve is hosting Elevation Rowing Seminars with your favorite rowing coach Maddie Berky. Learn to not hate rowing as much. Dare I say, maybe learn to love it!! Cost is $60/pp, click here to register for the class.

*Take your new love of rowing and hit the water. This Sunday, August 31st, Verve is teaming up with Mile High Rowing Club from 7AM-10AM. Cost is $45/pp and limited to the first 24 people who sign up. We will watch the US Rowing Safety Video first thing followed by a quick demo of boat handling and then get on the water. Come get your vitamin D the natural way and put your fitness to work on the water. Email to get signed up.

Tuesday 140826

Back Squat 


Post weights to BTWB.

IMG 0077 475x316 Tuesday 140826

Swoie session going down at CrossFit Verve


We’ve all heard of ATP, but how many of us really know what it is or how it’s produced?  ATP powers all movements that your muscle perform, whether it’s running 10 miles or pulling a 1 rep max deadlift.  Adenosine triphosphate or ATP is essentially your body’s energy currency and is stored in the body.  Only a small amount of ATP is stored so we must replenish or resynthesize it regularly.  The body uses energy sources or substrates to aid in the production of ATP.  Below are 4 such substrates and information on how each works in producing ATP.

Creatine Phosphate
Creatine phosphate is readily available to the cells and rapidly produces ATP, but it’s unfortunately available in limited concentrations. The body is estimated to contain or hold only about 100g of ATP and about 120g of creatine phosphate mostly within the muscles. 

The other substrates that can the body can use to produce ATP include fat, carbohydrate and protein. Fat is stored predominantly as adipose tissue throughout the body and is a substantial energy reservoir. Fat is less accessible for cellular metabolism as it must first be reduced from its complex form, triglyceride, to the simpler components of glycerol and free fatty acids. So although fat acts as a vast stockpile of fuel, energy release is too slow for very intense activity.  

Unlike fat, carbohydrate is not stored in peripheral deposits throughout the body. At rest, carbohydrate is taken up by the muscles and liver and converted into glycogen. Glycogen can be used to form ATP and in the liver it can be converted into glucose and transported to the muscles via the blood. A heavy training session can deplete carbohydrate stores in the muscles and liver, as can a restriction in dietary intake. Carbohydrate can release energy much more quickly than fat.

Protein is used as a source of energy, particularly during prolonged activity, however it must first be broken down into amino acids before then being converted into glucose. As with, fat, protein cannot supply energy at the same rate as carbohydrate. The rate at which is energy is released from the substrates is determined by a number of factors. For example, if there are large amounts of one type of fuel available, the body may rely more on this source than on others. 

The above was referenced from the article found HERE.  It’s very in depth and speaks to ATP, the three energy systems, and how to train them.  Highly recommended reading the entire article.