Thursday 160317

Clean and jerk

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Garret kicking off 16.3 with his first bar muscle-up in a workout.

Garret kicking off 16.3 with his first bar muscle-up in a workout.


Holy bar muscle-up Batman!!

The introduction of the bar muscle-up in Open WOD 16.3 was a first for the CrossFit Games Open. I think my favorite meme I saw come from the announcement was one showing a man with the total look of shock/ dismay/ angry confusion and the caption “when you spend all your free time learning ring muscle-ups and Dave announces bar muscle-ups”. 

Well none of you gave a look, none of you said a word of disappointment. Everyone heard the news and took it as a personal challenge. There were more first bar muscle-ups and first jumping chest to bar pull-ups in one day, I ran out of memory on my phone trying to capture them all. I want to congratulate all of Verve on keeping your heads high, stepping up to the bar, and putting your biggest effort in to that challenge. Whether or not you were as successful as you wanted to be, it was not for a lack of effort and heart. 

This week I would like to highlight two individuals for their efforts in 16.3:

Garret Mueller

Garret joined Verve in September of 2015. He came to Verve with a previous introduction to CrossFit, but started from scratch anyway to continue to review/ reinforce what he had learned before. During an open gym hour at Verve several months ago, I saw Garret grab some bands and begin practicing bar muscle-ups. We discussed some technique tips and over the course of weeks I saw him slowly go down in bands to less and less assistance. Garret came up to me about a week prior to the 16.3 announcement and told me he got his first unassisted bar muscle-up a few days prior. He was pretty excited to have achieved a goal he had been working hard on. When 16.3 was announced I was excited to see Garret’s hard work pay off in a workout. After Garret finished his first 10 snatches, he walked over to the Speal bar, took a breath, hopped up, and bagged his second ever bar muscle-up, the first in a workout setting. And just when I thought he was going to come down and rest before attempting the next one. . . he swung down and linked his next rep. Garret embodied my favorite quote, “Practice does not make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect.” Congratulations. 


Liz Sloan

Liz has been a consistent member of Verve for years. She regularly attends classes in the evening and since she has started at Verve, she has always listened to the trainers regarding how to approach the WOD. Liz has spent plenty of her time not worrying about weights but rather form. She has completed several WODs with some form of modification, to both help her build her technique as well as strength. Liz has never been in a rush to make things happen, she has always put in the work for her achievements. I have watched Liz start off using bands for pull-ups, to building the strength for strict pull-ups and building the technique for kipping. I have watched Liz build her volume of all these movements into workouts that kept her moving and kept her successful. All of this work and focus netted Liz with her first ring muscle-up on the Wednesday before 16.3 was announced. When Liz heard the announce,eat for bar muscle-ups, I’m certain she was both nervous and excited to see if the feat could both be duplicated and/ or if it was transferable to the pull-up structure. I’ll save you the suspense, it was and it did. Liz got her first bar muscle-up two days after her first ring muscle-up, followed by several more throughout the workout. This is Liz’s benchmark that shows her she absolutely is getting fitter, she absolutely is stronger than yesterday. 


Again, these are not the only two amazing displays of athleticism during 16.3. Ali Dietzgen was having a hard time connecting her chest to the bar in her jumping chest to bar pull-ups. She took one cue, made the necessary correction, and began cruising through the workout getting several rounds of jumping chest to bar pull-ups. After Andrew Feinstein finished in his heat, he stood by the next heat to continually cheer on Matt Duckett for seven minutes. Every Friday the energy in the gym is amazing and the chaos of different groups of people cheering on someone in every corner of the gym is beautiful. Another round of high fives to you all. . . now let’s get prepped for 16.4.


  1. Garret M. :

    Thank you!! Joining Verve was the best decision I’ve made since moving to Denver last summer. I love the community/camaraderie of the members and the 6PM WOD is always the best hour of my day.

    Thanks to everyone for being so welcoming. Moving to a city where you know almost nobody can be intimidating – Verve never felt that way.

    Can’t wait to see what 16.4 has in store for us all. No matter what it is, I’m sure everyone is going to crush it.

  2. Liz :

    Verve trainers are the best trainers. Thanks for the shout-out and all the fantastic coaching!

  3. Kacey :

    Amazing job, Garrett and Liz!!!! This is so much fun!!!!!

  4. Anna :

    LOVE LOVE LOVE these weekly shout-outs! Seeing so many accomplishments is great! Nice work to all! Liz – you are unstoppable right now:)

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