Sunday 160807

As many rounds as possible in 5 minutes of:
10 Dumbell hang power cleans 40#(25#)
30 Double unders
rest 2 minutes and then repeat
*score is total rounds in each 5 minute window

Post score to comments or BTWB

Congratulations to Jen Wiman-Rader who got married last week!!! You will also see Lisa D. and Ceresa in this picture as fully supportive brides maids. We are so happy for you Jen!

Congratulations to Jen Wiman who got married last week to John Rader!!! You will also see Lisa D. and Ceresa in this picture as fully supportive brides maids. We are so happy for you Jen!

CARB-FREE Cheddar Biscuits!!

Let’s be clear, carbs are great, but when tracking your macros, it is hard to find an item that is solely Protein/Fat when your carbs have been consumed for the day.  HERE IS YOUR SAVIOR! This recipe comes to us courtesy of The Macro Experiment and you can see the full recipe here

170 kcal — 6F / 0C / 29P (for ENTIRE recipe)

– 6 room temp egg whites (from real eggs, not carton)
– 14g low fat cheddar cheese
– a pinch of stevia
– 1/2 tsp garlic salt
– 1/2 tsp table salt
– 1 tsp cream of tartar

1. Make sure eggs are at room temp. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Separate egg whites from yolk and place egg whites only in the mixing bowl.
3. Mix egg whites and cream of tartar on highest speed with an electric mixer and whisk attachment for about 2 minutes (I use a kitchen aid stand mixer) until high peaks are formed.
4. Sprinkle stevia, garlic salt, and sea salt on top of the egg whites and GENTLY fold into the egg whites. Do NOT over mix.
5. Using a spoon or small ice cream scooper, scoop 2-3 inch round “biscuits” onto sprayed baking sheets. You should be able to get 22-25 biscuits from this recipe.
6. Sprinkle a little low fat cheddar cheese on top of each biscuit.
7. Place in oven and bake for 10-15 minutes. As ovens heat differently, make sure and check for when biscuits are golden brown in color (as pictured). This is when you know they are ready! Enjoy and feel free to eat all the biscuits without any guilt! 😛

Saturday 160806

In teams of 2 complete the following for time:
100 Deadlifts 135#(95#)
*Bar must be passed at the top of the deadlift, 10 Burpees over the bar penatly if dropped
Run 400 meters together
100 Burpee box jump overs 24″(20″)
*One person works while the other holds a plank, must tap the plank holding partner on the arm to switch
Run 400 meters together
100 Ab mat pull overs with medball 20#(14#)
*If ball is dropped, 10 burpees over the medball penalty
Run 400 meters together

Post times to comments and BTWB

The Afraimi family working on their gains, thanks to Josh and Ascent.

The Afraimi family working on their gains, thanks to Josh and Ascent.


So, whatcha up to after class today? How about some SUPing?

It’s time for some Verve fun in the sun!!

What– Stand up paddle boarding (SUPing)

When– Today from 4pm-6pm

Where– Union Reservoir

How much– $30 for 2 hours

Who– The fabulous members of the fine establishment that is known as “Verve”.

Why– Because it is awesome. And in the words of Amy “OG” Schaeffer, if it is not awesome, do not do it. And since I said this is awesome, henceforthly you should be doing it. 

Logistics– Bring sunscreen. Skin cancer and looking like a lobster are not cool. Concerned about the weather? Weather pattern concerns are for the uncool. In the words of Nike, just do it. 


Friday 160805

5 Rounds for time:
20 Wallballs 20#(14#)
10 Pull ups
*10 minute time cap

At the 12 minute mark

3 Rounds for time:
30 Air squats
10 Power cleans 115#(75#)
*10 minute time cap

Post times to comments or BTWB

Don't let this be you!

Don’t let this be you!

Tight shoulders?  When athletes approach a coach mentioning pain or tight shoulders and asking for suggestions on mobility, there can be a long list of issues leading to those tight shoulders such as tight lats or traps or even chest muscles.  The following video gives you one approach along with a GREAT anatomy lesson for one possible reason your shoulders could be tight or painful.  Please note that if pain persists, do not simply rely on mobility and stretching, consult a physical therapist.

  Unsolicited PSA – I have been doing this stretch at home 3 – 4 x a week and my shoulders have been feeling great!


-Verve outing SATURDAY @ Union Resevoir from 4p – 6p.  If you have your own board, feel free to bring it.  There will be paddleboards available for rent as well!


Thursday 160804

Shoulder Press

Then, 2 rounds of max effort shoulder press into push press
(Go to failure on shoulder press and then push press as many reps as you can)
Rest 3 minutes between

*Score for the day is total pounds pressed in the 8 sets (keep track of your lifts and yes you’ll have to do math, just like Monday)

Post loads to comments and BTWB

Do you even lift bro?

Do you even lift bro?


Scale more, more often By Courtney Shepherd and The CrossFit Journal

Tuesday’s post was about intensity. We need intensity in our workouts. Intensity is what gives us the results we want. If you have ever attended a CrossFit Level 1 Seminar, during the opening lecture, “What is CrossFit?” there is the discussion of relative intensity. Intensity is relative to the person and their physical and psychological capabilities. Whether you are an elite athlete or an elderly grandparent, you can get the intensity needed from a workout. The needs of the elite athlete and the grandparent differ by degree, not kind. The elite athlete seeks functional dominance while grandma seeks functional competence. There is no need to change the program to help these people get their personal needed intensity, we simply need to scale the workout. 

Let’s look at the workout “Fran” for an example. This workout absolutely should be less than 10 minutes. That is the desired intensity. An elite athlete might do this workout as it is written (RX) in around 2 minutes. My grammy B can also do “Fran”, she might do 21-15-9 reps of ring rows and air squats to a box. She might do it in 6 minutes. And she will have gotten her necessary intensity for the day. . . the same way the 2 minuter got their intensity for the day. These 2 can even workout right next to each other. 

When we introduce workouts at the board, trainers give their expectations for the workout. If the expectation is 10 rounds in 20 minutes, that should be a goal everyone shoots for. Some of us may have to make changes to the workout to achieve this, AKA scale the WOD. Scaling is not a bad thing. It does not make us weaker or less of a human. Scaling is a necessary thing to get the necessary intensity. Because if you are the person who avoids scaling at all costs and then gets 5 rounds in 20 minutes. . . while you may be sweaty and out of breathe, you did not get truly intense. What you did is exactly half the work. And the questions becomes, can we expect to get 100% of the results doing 50% of the work? You can wish it to be true, but as my dad use to say, you can wish in one hand and poop in the other, see which one fills faster. It is the person that refuses to scale accordingly and does 50% of the work that often finds me several months into their CrossFit journey and asks me why they are not seeing improvement? Intensity gets results. Period. If you avoid intensity because you think having an “RX” next to your name is more important and way cooler, then you don’t get results. 

The CrossFit Journal published an article titled “Scaling: How Less Can Be More. There’s no shame in scaling a WOD. Here are some ideas on how to do it effectively” by Clea Weiss (click here for full article). It is an amazing read for those of you who want a bit more insight into scaling. For some of you science geeks out there that enjoy putting numbers to concepts, the article gives examples of how scaling a workout actually yields a higher power output, AKA intensity.

“There are various ways to scale. How to elicit the most effective response is both subtle and complex. You don’t always scale by reducing the duration of workouts, for instance. Scaling correctly will increase work capacity more efficiently than attempting to complete workouts as prescribed before you’re ready for them. Properly lowering the weight and achieving a faster time will actually yield a higher level of power.

The work and power output calculator on the Catalyst Athletics website shows that a 5-foot-10, 180-pound athlete who completes Fran with 95 pounds in nine minutes has a power output of 98.2 watts. If the same athlete scales the weight down to 75 pounds and completes the workout two minutes faster, his power output actually rises to 115.7 watts. So using less weight can sometimes be better.

Here’s another example of how using less weight can be the right thing to do: a five-foot- five athlete who weighs 130 pounds and completes Fran in nine minutes using 65 pounds has a power output of 64.3 watts. If the same athlete scales the weight down to 45 pounds and completes the workout two minutes faster, her power output rises to 72.9 watts.”

I often have athletes that tell me “it’s not the weight, that weight is light for me but it’s all the other stuff.” To be clear, it’s the weight. If asking you to hold on to a weight for many reps gases you so much that you can’t do the other stuff or doing the other stuff makes it hard to hold on to the weight for many reps, it’s the weight. 

“If the WOD calls for 30 clean and jerks at 155 pounds, it’s clearly a met-con WOD. If you turn the workout into 30 single reps with a minute rest between them, you’ve missed the point.”

We don’t just scale weight. We can scale rounds, reps, rest, and even the movement itself. We have another saying in CrossFit “scale more, more often”. If you over scale a workout that was suppose to take 12 minutes and get it done in 6 minutes, the benefits to that are far greater than taking 17 minutes to do it. If that happens, if you just crush a workout. . . write that stuff down. Start paying attention to what your new limits are. Keep track of your accomplishments and use that information to achieve even more. 

If you’re just starting out and can’t judge whether to hold back or push harder, hold back. Once you’ve been doing CrossFit for a while and learn what your real limits are, push harder. Careful scaling works—but it takes planning and experience. Track your progress, evaluate the results of your scaling and correct your mistakes. Talk to other coaches and athletes and ask for advice. Think, plan and educate yourself.

Most importantly, keep at it. While it may seem that you’re always scaling or just completing basic movements day-in and day-out, you’ll eventually start cranking out impressive CrossFit performances. The day will come. Just keep hitting the scaled workouts with all you have: blood, sweat, tears and patience.


Wednesday 160803

Death by 10 Meter shuttle sprint
Minute 1 = 1 10 meter sprint
Minute 2 = 2 10 meter shuttle sprint
Minute 3 = 3 10 meter shuttle sprint

Rest 5 minutes then:

Death by burpee to a 6″ target
Minute 1 = 1 burpee
Minute 2 = 2 burpees
Minute 3 = 3 burpees

Continue as long as you can. Score is total shuttle sprints and total burpees.

Post Results to BTWB

Attention Verve!

This Saturday we will be heading to Union Reservoir for some fun paddle boarding in the sun. Yes, we already have notified the paddle board company and all you have to do is show up. Here is what you need to know:

Date: Saturday, August 6th.
Time: 4-6pm
Place: Union Reservoir
Cost: $30 for 2 hours. 
Who will be there?: Verve members

Here is to a great Wednesday and hope to see you all this weekend up at Union Reservoir on Saturday. 

PS. We won’t be paddle boarding boxing. 

Tuesday 160802

As many rounds as possibe in 18 minutes of:
Row 20(15) calories
2 Rope climbs 15′
5 Strict handstand push ups

Post to BTWB

When the whole group is trying to do synchronized leg kicks, but one guy just can't get it.

When the whole group is trying to do synchronized leg kicks, but one guy just can’t get it.

Below is a great read from the CrossFit Journal that is most likely going to resonate with our Verve members.  When our trainers introduce a workout to a class, we often talk about the expected time domain a workout should be finished in.  The goal with hitting this time, is to keep intensity at it’s highest.  Later this week, we have some workouts coming up that have time caps on them.  The goal with a time cap isn’t to stop you’re workout before it’s over, but rather to make sure that the athletes have modified or scaled a workout so that their work output remains as high as possible during.  Read on and I’m sure most of what is below will sound very familiar to the way we approach workouts at Verve.

To move all significant health markers in the right direction, do more work faster, trainers say.

The only way to know intensity is to experience it.

It is not a mythical creature born of grunting loudest, sweating most or cheering excitedly. It is also not a matter of opinion. It’s physics. Scientifically speaking, intensity is defined as power: force multiplied by distance, then divided by time. Simply put: Intensity is doing more work faster.

“You have to teach people how to do it,” said Chris Spealler, a member of CrossFit Inc.’s Seminar Staff and a seven-time CrossFit Games athlete who owns CrossFit Park City in Utah.

Fran, for example, is a workout most of the general population should be able to finish in roughly 7 minutes or less, he explained. The workout calls for 21-15-9 reps of thrusters and pull-ups. For an athlete who is trying to break into that time domain, Spealler provides the road map: Do the 21 thrusters and 21 pull-ups in no more than 2 sets each, and the break can be no longer than 5 seconds. At the end of that round, the clock should read “2:00” or “3:00.”

“Giving people targets is hugely helpful, and I think that’s where a lot of affiliate owners miss it in the application,” Spealler said.

He continued: “Really, intensity is being comfortable with being uncomfortable.”

That discomfort—doing 5 more reps when all you want to do is stop—is how you become fitter.

“Intensity is the independent variable most commonly associated with maximizing favorable adaptation to exercise,” CrossFit Founder and CEO Greg Glassman wrote in April 2007’s “Understanding CrossFit.”

Favorable adaptation includes improved body composition and improved health markers such as fasting glucose and triglycerides. It takes people from sick to well to fit.

“Be impressed by intensity, not volume,” Glassman is quoted as saying as early as 2002.

Crudely translated, it means this: Do more work in less time—not more work in more time.

Explained via a CrossFit scenario, if you took 10 minutes to do Fran and then did another workout because “10 minutes wasn’t enough,” you did not perform Fran with intensity. If you had, you’d still be on your back. Likewise, you will not reap intensity’s benefits.

The scenario is becoming increasingly common at affiliates worldwide.

“There’s a pervasive thought process going on in kind of the competitors’ circle that more volume equals better, and I see that leak into our regular classes where everybody wants extra work to do,” said Ben Benson, owner of CrossFit Terminus in Atlanta and coach to Games athletes Emily Bridgers, Stacie Tovar and Becca Voigt.

When he started CrossFit, he remembered, the mentality was to give 100 percent effort on every workout.

“Now I’m seeing people approach them with a gaming-type attitude,” Benson explained. “It’s a very insidious problem that I’m trying to address.”

Games athletes are able to do more because they can maintain intensity throughout all the additional workouts, he noted.

“They’ve earned that volume, and they have the measurables and the resiliency to do that.”

One way Benson addresses the problem is through scaling.

“On a day-to-day basis … we do a lot of scaling to try to get classes to be on the same page, especially with finishing times. We do a lot of time capping also,” he said. “It’s a culture thing we worked on: not letting people make short workouts huge aerobic-capacity endurance tests.”

For a workout like Kelly—5 rounds of a 400-meter run, 30 box jumps and 30 wall-ball shots—he typically institutes a 30-minute cap. For Grace—30 clean and jerks for time—it’s a 5-minute cap.

“I might do an 8-minute cap (for Grace),” Benson said, adding that he tries to balance such goals with ensuring all athletes feel included. “I don’t want to make the cap so damn hard that nobody ever finishes anything.”

Most members have the ability to complete workouts in a timely fashion and also get a dose of intensity relative to their fitness, he noted.

“That’s one of the arts of coaching a group class: You have to accommodate for what is relative intensity.”

In other words: scaling.

“It’s so important when we get to driving intensity in a class,” Benson stressed.

Monday 160801

Back Squat 5-5-3-3-3-1-1-1

Then 3 rounds for quality of:
10 alternating back rack step ups 24″(20″) with 30% – 40% of todays 1 rep

Post Results to BTWB

Garrett working hard to get into a good overhead position.

Garrett working hard to get into a good overhead position.


















What defines your success?

I had the opportunity last week to have an enlightening conversation with one of the members at Verve. We got to talk about training, nutrition and life. Something that came up was how people define success. I think it important to understand that people have different interests and hobbies and within each one of their special niches, there is a way to find success.

However, during this conversation he brought up a very special point about success. Yes, you can be successful in your different avenues and facets of your life, which is awesome. However, are you truly successful if you haven’t found success in all avenues of your life?

Where this conversation is going is balance. Yes, you can have a job that makes you six figures and an amazing family, however if you don’t like what you see when you look in the mirror, have you found success? Yes, you can have a six-pack of abs, but no meaningful relationships and people in your life, have you found success? You can flip the script and change the scenario, but I hope you are picking up what I am putting down.

In order to be successful you must find balance. How can you find balance? Set aside time each day to make yourself a priority. Use this time to work on something that you would like to work of your own enjoyment. Know what your priorities are. Stop spending your time on things you truly do not care about. Create an efficient mindset. Work to get organized and plan ahead. Maintain a positive attitude. Everything you do is a choice. You have the power to choose the way you feel, always find the positive.


Sunday 160731

As many rounds as possible in 15 minutes of:
10 Medball power cleans 20#(14#)
30 Meter walking lunge with medball
30 Lateral hops over the medball

Post reps to comments or BTWB

Does it get much better than this?

Does it get much better than this?

Our very own Maddie Berky reminded us yesterday that it is COLORADO PEACH SEASON!!!  Maddie was nice enough to make us a peach cobbler for our trainers meeting a while back and it was to DIE FOR.  The following is a recipe from her blog Madwellness.  Enjoy!


  1. 4-6 peaches (or enough to almost fill your cobbler vessel)
  2. Zest & juice of 1 lemon
  1. 1 cup nuts of choice (I’m a fan of some combo of hazelnuts, pecans, and cashews for this recipe)
  2. 1/4 c honey
  3. 1/4 c ghee, butter, or coconut oil
  4. 1T + 1t cinnamon
  5. dash of salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Wash, peel, and coarsely chop peaches. Place those beauties in a medium sized mixing bowl.
  3. Zest lemon and add zest to peaches. Juice that same lemon and add juice to the bowl, mixing thoroughly. Set aside while you make the topping.
  4. In your food processor, add all the ingredients for the topping (nuts, honey, fat, & spices.) Pulse until nuts are broken down, but still a little chunky. Taste as many times as needed.
  5. Add peaches to a pie dish and using your fingers, crumble topping evenly over the peaches.
  6. Place pie pan on a baking sheet (just in case those awesome peach juices spill over the side.)
  7. Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until the juices are bubbling and the topping is golden brown.
  8. Eat hot with coconut milk or ice cream. Eat cold for breakfast the next day (so freaking good.) Eat a bite or two throughout the day, because life is just a little bit better with peach cobbler 😉

Saturday 160730

For time:
30 Muscle ups

Post times to comments and BTWB




DudeFest. What happens when a couple of dudes call another couple of dudes and are all like, “Hey dude, wanna workout at the same time?” “Dude, you know it.” Then all said dudes meet up at 7pm on a Thursday night, creating an entire class of dudes. DudeFest.

Speaking of DudeFest. . . Verve needs all you dudes!! Saturday August 13th Verve is hosting a ladies only competition. While the ladies will be dominating the workout floor we need you men to help volunteer with the event logistics. We need judges. We need help moving equipment between workouts. We need you to help the day run smoothly. So put your volunteer pants on, give a few hours of a Saturday to support the strong women around you, and get signed up. There is a sign up sheet on the front desk at Verve or you can email 


TODAY- Verve is hosting a Paleo Pop-up from 2:30pm-5:30pm. 

The Paleo Pop-up is an expo of local paleo products and service providers. It is free to attend and open to all. 

Friday 160729

Take 20 minutes to work to a heavy 1 rep max Snatch

Every minute on the minute for 7 minutes
1 Hang squat snatch
1 Full Snatch
@ 60% – 70% of todays 1 rep

Post load to comments or BTWB



Here are some new and innovative techniques for loosening up your forearms and elbows to help that front rack from my favorite new mobility guru Trevor Bachmeyer!

You will notice in the video that Trevor uses a VooDoo band, which we have at the gym.  For those of you that aren’t too familiar with the Voo Doo Band and how/why we use it, here is a video from Kelly Starrett with some of the theory behind the band AND how to properly wrap your elbow.


  • Paleo Pop-Up tomorrow at Verve!  2:30pm – 5:30pm.  Come and check it out.
  • Verve SUP Saturday, August 6th from 4p – 6p @ Union Reservoir.  Keep an eye on the Verve Social Facebook page for more details