Thursday 141030

Establish 1RM of complex:
Clean pull + power clean + 2 split jerks

Then, every minute on the minute for 7 rounds:
5 Split jerks from rack at 60% of 2RM
20 Double-unders

Post loads to comments and BTWB

IMG 0419 475x316 Thursday 141030

CrossFitters getting their groove on or being forced to do some awesome warm-up that looks good on film? Or is there a difference?


What in the world is Hotdogs and Cupcakes?

You mean other than a delicious snack? For those of you who have been with Verve greater than 6 months you may remember our Hotdogs and Cupcakes program. The name and the specialized programming took a bit of a hiatus when we made room for Verve Barbell Club. Well we are happy to announce it’s coming back, starting Monday November 3rd.

HD&CC was created by Matt Chan in around 2010 as a way for two buddies to share strength programming between themselves, forcing them both to work on their weaknesses. After over a year of blogging workouts back and forth to each other Matt decided to introduce the program to Verve, and anyone with a computer. The blogpost for HD&CC has continued providing programming over the last several months away from Verve’s schedule. The programming consists of a maximal effort lifting day on Monday and Friday. Tuesdays and Wednesday are dynamic effort lifting days when the two Olympic lifts are focused on. These dynamic days are lighter so the athlete may turn their attention to the technique of the lifts. Is it a strength program? Yes and no. Like Verve Barbell Club, you will spend the majority of the hour with a barbell in your hand, you will be doing various lifts, drills, and accessory work to not only build strength but also competency in the movements. Sound like something you would be interested in? First read the answers to many FAQ about the program before you decide.

1) Who can participate in HD&CC?

Any member of Verve who has been coming to the main WODs consistently for 6 months or greater. The reason behind this is this class is not taught but rather coached. It is not like the main WOD where all movements are reviewed before performing them. We need you to know and have a basic physical understanding of the 9 foundational movements, the 2 olympic lifts, and many gymnastics movements. An athlete needs to be able to move from task to task effectively with little guidance other than cueing and correcting of faults in movement.

If you are newer to CrossFit, don’t be disappointed. Use this as a driving force to get you to the main WODs, find consistency and comfort in the movements of the daily WODs. Hotdogs and Cupcakes will be around when you are ready.

2) What is the schedule for HD&CC and what kind of commitment do I need to make to it?

HD&CC will be Monday/ Tuesday/ Wednesday/ Friday at 5pm. HD&CC has always been written in waves consisting of 3 weeks of hard work followed by 1 deload week. Each wave builds off the last. Your commitment should be to attend all 4 classes for all 4 waves. How else will you know if it is an effective form of training for you otherwise?

With that said, everyone hates deload week. It’s light and has decreased intensity. So athletes come for 3 weeks and then take the 4th week to attend the main WODs and just kill it. Then lovingly return back to the program on week 1 of the next wave. The deload week is written into the program for a reason, your body needs it. Deload week is deload week across the board, not just for HD&CC.

3) Should I be doing this instead of the WOD or before the WOD or after the WOD?

I will first say, when it comes to training you should listen to your body. If your body and your current level of training supports doing two WODs in one day then cool. But here are a list of my recommendations:
a- Monday and Friday are max effort days. These are the days I would not recommend doing the main WOD as well, it is a lot for your central nervous system and it will have a negative effect on your progress.
b- If you absolutely must do two workouts in one day then do the WOD in the morning and HD&CC at night, giving them hours of separation. Or do HD&CC first followed by the WOD.
c- Do not add in additional heavy lifting on the same days you are already heavy lifting. As I said before, this is a lot for your body to take, this is the quickest way to overtrain, get injured, and absolutely blunt your gains.

4) Can I hop in and out of HD&CC? You know like if I get to Verve and the WOD doesn’t look like something I want to do, can I just jump over to the HD&CC class?

Seriously? As much as I don’t want to have to answer this question because my hope is you already know the answer, here I go. . . you are a grown adult. You are in charge of making your own decisions. If you want to cherry pick a WOD and randomly stop in on a program that is progressive and builds off itself, be my guest. But that will not be how you see any benefit from the program. As long as you are cool with that, then so am I.

5) When should I start? What if in the middle of the 4 weeks I have a 2 week vacation, should I still start?

HD&CC builds off it’s last wave during the next wave. It is best to start on Wave 1, Day 1. However, I will refer you to my previous FAQ and answer. If you start in the middle of the program or miss half of the program due to life obligations, we will not stone you. You just simply won’t see the full benefits from doing it consistently from start to finish.

I’m certain there are more questions out there about the program. Please feel free to ask in the comments and I will be responding throughout the day. You can also go to the HD&CC blogpost and scroll through the last several years of programming to see what goes on. Click here for a direct link to the site.


Wednesday 141029


As many rounds as possibe in 20 minutes:
5 Pull-ups
10 Push-ups
15 Squats

Compare to 131121.

Post rounds to comments and BTW.

IMG 0072 475x712 Wednesday 141029

L rope climbs….when will they come up next?

Having noticed a ton of “list’s for life” such as “Top 10 things to do in Denver” “Top 5 reasons your WOD’s are not improving” in all the media, we are going to piggy back off this sensation.
Top 10 Things to Keep You Healthy
1. Sleep!! Get 8 -10 hours of sleep a night. Your body rebuilds itself each night and needs rest to replenish those muscle fibers. Sleep also helps with memory, creativity, and reduces stress.
2. Sweat everyday.  In CrossFit or outside in our beautiful state, move your body.  It controls mood swings, eases pain, improves your immunity, and keeps you around longer for more fun.  
3. Eat to fuel, not to be full. Think of your body as a highly tuned machine. Are you going to put diesel or high octane fuel in your? All you need is: “Lean meats, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat.” Eat you breakfast! Skipping breakfast has been shown to increase your LDL (bad cholesterol) level.
4. Mobilize and take care of your body. In laymans terms, your body is a system of ropes, pulleys, levers, and extensors that work in unison to move your body. If a “pulley” is bound up, you will have shortened your range of motion of a “rope”.  Whether it’s regular couch stretch sessions, massages, or bodywork every little bit goes far.
5. Be social. Whether it is looking people up on the book of Face, or being twitterpated on Twitter. But nothing beats a good old fashion meet up for coffee or having a little dinner party.
6. Goals, goals and goals. Have goals for the day: I will eat veggies at every meal today. Short term goals: I will deadlift 450# in 6 months. And long term goals: I will save enough money for a new car next year! Make sure that they attainable and achievable to be successful.
7. Have 1+ hour that is electronics-free per day. One study showed that people check there phone or computer 110 to 150 times a day. Crazy, right?!?
8. Stay hydrated. From flushing out those nasty toxins from happy hour to keeping your skin looking beautiful, water is essential. Drink at least 64oz a day.
9. Do the deed. Getting frisky in the bedroom is not only fun, but good for you?  It can reduce stress, blood pressure, and the risk of a heart attack. 
10. Do what you love in your profession and at home.  Spend time with friends and family as possible.
What would you add or change?

Tuesday 141028

As many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of:
2 Rope climbs
20 Ab mat sit ups
Run 200 Meters

Post rounds to BTWB.

IMG 0410 475x316 Tuesday 141028

The blue and yellow Verve shirt has never looked so good!

From time to time we all get little bumps and bruises.  Whether the result of us being clumsy, getting dinged up playing sports, or something that happens in the gym, we all end up with little ailments that may require some attention.  What do we do to these ailments?  Perhaps we take a few over the counter pain reducers or perhaps we put some ice on it.  Is this really the best way to help speed up the recovery process?

According to a few experts icing may not be the best option and could potentially slow down the healing process. Inflammation, a typical reaction to an injury, is not necessarily a bad thing and is actually the natural response to an injury.  Inflammation brings blood flow and lymphatic flow to and from the injured tissues which brings healing nutrients and removes the harmful nutrients.  The inflammatory response is also what makes and injury hurt, which helps us to not re injure by beings sensible and staying off or away from the injured area.  

To reduce swelling, a lot of us have been told to put ice on it, but compression may actually the better solution.  Compression doesn’t affect the lymphatic flow which should speed up the healing process.  

So should we never use ice?  Ice definitely has it’s place in certain circumstances and procedures but as far as the issues that we encounter in the gym, there are better options.  Ultimately it’s going to come down to what you think and feel, but do some research as there are better alternatives than always reaching for a cold pack or a bag to fill with ice.

The above was partially referenced from an article on the blog; Marks Daily Apple.  To read the full article and reference different studies conducted, please click HERE.

Monday 141027

5 – 5 – 3 – 3 – 3 – 1 – 1 – 1 – 1

Post score to BTW.

urban acrobatics group photo 475x633 Monday 141027

Weekend Fun at Urban Acrobatics

Avoiding the CrossFit Burnout

Do you remember the first year you did CrossFit consistently?

Do you recall how great it was to PR nearly every time you retested a benchmark workout?

Or what about the first time you got that gymnastics movement that was a “weakness”?

Well, that’s usually how the first year or so goes … lots of really, really big improvements … and you might have even gotten a nice set of abs if you’ve been eating clean.

But I am here to say that following that first year the work really starts.

By making those monumental jumps during the first year or so you’ve expanded your athletic abilities – and by expanding your athletic abilities, you are also getting closer and closer to your genetic limitations, which means PRs will be few and far between.

And I am all for pushing the boundaries about as far as they’ll go … but when the PRs slow down, it get’s tough to continually grind it out, so I really enjoyed reading this article titled “5 Tips to Avoid the CrossFit Burnout” written by Patrick McCarty about how to avoid the burnout once the progress stops.

Here are my favorite suggestions, along with a few of my own:

  • Develop a long term plan
  • Choose competitions wisely
  • Consider an even bigger change (use the skills and fitness you’ve developed in CrossFit towards something else)
  • Take a break
  • Reconnect and visualize your long-term goals and objectives – why did you get into this in the first place? Have you accomplished everything you set out to accomplish?
  • Don’t take it so serious – smile, laugh, make jokes, and when it’s time to get serious, then get after it
  • Change up your class time

And here’s one last note – I went to the Urban Acrobatics class on Saturday, and I have to say it was the funnest thing I’ve done in a while.

Having learned basic movement skills from CrossFit and my years as a competitive athlete, the experience at Urban Acrobatics was fantastic!

But here’s the real takeaway – get out into the world and use the “fitness” that we work so hard fun. You might really, really impress yourself.

Sunday 141026

3 minutes each to establish max:
Double unders
Muscle ups
Rope climbs

Post reps to comments or BTW

Shaina 475x475 Sunday 141026

Shaina winning her weight class at FRCF/ qualifying for the American Open/showing her Best Lifter Award!

In case you were wondering, her totals for the competition were:

Snatch – 81kg – 9kg meet pr!
Clean and jerk  -96kg – 6kg meet pr!
total – 177 – 15 kg meet pr!


There may not be a Broncos game this Sunday, but who needs an excuse to eat nachos!  The following recipe from Zoneappetit.

Servings per batch: 3 (best of luck not eating them all yourself)

Zone calculations per serving: 3P, 3C, 2.5F


5 oz of Plantain Chips (NOT the sweet variety)

6 oz of shredded pork, chicken, beef, etc.

¾ c. shredded cheddar cheese

2 tbsp sliced black olives

1 avocado, sliced/chopped/diced

¼ c. salsa (find one that’s sugar-free!)


Place a layer of parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Put plantain chips on parchment paper in a single layer. Next, add pork (or whatever meat you’ve chosen). Add olives, and then cheese. Place pan in over under broiler (set to HIGH) until cheese is bubbly and melty. Remove from oven and cover with avocado and salsa.

– Workout @ 7am is at Verve.  Workouts @ 9am and 10am will be at Commons Park – 19th st and Little Raven!


Saturday 141025

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 7 minutes of:

10 Squat cleans, 95# (65#)
20 Sit-ups

Post score to BTW.

image2 224x300 Saturday 141025

Because one-hand handstands are cool.

We are hosting a Level 1 Seminar this weekend. Modified schedule below:

  • 7 am WODs both Saturday and Sunday in the gym.
  • Urban Acrobatics on Saturday (directions below) from 9-11 am.
  • Park WOD on Sunday at 9 am and 10 am at Commons Park (Google Map)

Urban Acrobatics

720 W 84th Ave Thornton, CO 80221
Tel: 720-295-4396
Cell: 303-944-3267

Class is from 9-11 am

Verve will be participating in the Everyday Warrior Series = please take a few minutes to read yesterdays post here.

To honor a fellow CrossFitter and help raise funds for her foundation, we are inviting all Ververs to participate in the Everyday Warrior Battle Series online competition.  The 4 workouts will be incorporated into regular programming so you can perform them during class.  You can find out all of the details and how to register here.

When: November 8th, November 15th, November 21st, and November 28th, though you are welcome to perform the workouts whenever you would like.

Where: CrossFit Verve

How: Register here.  There is an Scaled, RX, and Masters division.  Even if you don’t register to compete, still show up and have fun!!

What else:  Brittany loved wearing leg warmers and listening to 80’s music, so if the feeling hits you, dress up in your best 80’s garb when you are doing these workouts!!!  Shout out below if you plan on competing.

battle series flyer 475x610 Saturday 141025

Friday 141024

For time:
10 Muscle ups
100 Push press, 75# (55#)
Row 1000m

Post time to comments or BTW


My biggest love of CrossFit is the community.  People from across the world united through their love of fitness, and as it so happens, their support of each other.  Brittany Gill, the young lady from the video above, was a very close friend to one our Verve family members Shaina.  Shaina is very passionate about the Everyday Warrior Foundation that Brittany created and what it represents.  The following is a post Shaina wrote on her personal blog regarding Brittany:

It’s Not Heavy Anymore

A mother is not supposed to bury her daughter. A father is not supposed to bury his daughter. A thirty year old is not supposed to get cancer, not supposed to die, not supposed to leave behind a grieving husband, a young son, an army of loving friends. These are truths so fundamental that they go unsaid, and it is by their absence that the truth of these thoughts is certain. There is not supposed to be emptiness where things were always supposed to be full.

But here it is – emptiness, heartache, sadness, confusion, reluctant acceptance.

The intensity of those feelings in this moment, and all the other ones that no language can describe, is a reflection of Brittany’s intensity and passion.  Brittany and I became friends through crossfit, stayed friends for the competition, and became co-conspirators in life when she was diagnosed with cancer last year.  We shared an intimate friendship – her diagnosis came just a couple months after I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and together we faced the doubt, the struggle, the uncertainty that comes when a doctor says, “you have a disease, and there is no cure.”

The array of emotions that erupt in response to hearing such a thing is complex, and it’s lonely, and there is no roadmap anywhere that dictates how to navigate. Brittany had her matrix, I had mine, and together we walked through them. We got bounced around, knocked down, kicked over, and always always always stood back up. Together we learned that beating a disease is an everyday battle – to wake up, to get out of bed, to smile, to laugh, to lean on a friend, to dance (in her case), to talk (in my case), to hope, and to fight in every moment of every day.

In the midst of her battle, Brittany consistently beat people in workouts. Sometimes she would be crushing workouts just a few days after chemo – she really really loved beating people. There is a deep satisfaction in doing that which too many people say can’t be done. And I was so proud when shortly after she was diagnosed she planned to just “talk shit and lift heavy things.” We definitely shared pleasure in doing that.

Over the past 10 months, she and I didn’t have a lot of light conversation. “How are you doing?” was not intended as a greeting – it was an inquisition – another way of asking, how heavy is it today? What’s the burden really like? She and I used that a lot. We talked about the heaviness of things – of back squatting and lesions and chemo and cancer. We embraced doubt, acknowledged it as a foe, and always accepted it as a new challenge. In typical awe inspiring action, Brittany turned her own struggle into something that can help others – she created Everday Warrior to help other people with cancer.

Brittany had a predilection for leg warmers and 80s music, but in many ways she and I were cut from layers of the same cloth – one that is woven together with threads of passion, strength, resolve and resiliency. In one of our more sappy exchanges, Brittany said to me, “…not that you were supposed to be diagnosed with MS for me, but because you were you have been able to understand and offer support no one else really can.” And I think that she was right – that I was diagnosed to support her in a way that nobody else could. Without celebration and in the middle of her own struggle, Brittany gave my diagnosis a purpose – she was just able to do stuff like that. If all else in my own journey falls away, I am at peace knowing that I was able to make Brittany’s load just a bit lighter. She certainly did that for me.

Matt turned to me yesterday and said, “you know she’s always going to be with us,” and I said,”I know.” And if I had been able to find my words, I would have continued, I do not have a world in which Brittany does not exist. Nobody who loves her does.

To honor a fellow CrossFitter and help raise funds for her foundation, we are inviting all Ververs to participate in the Everyday Warrior Battle Series online competition.  The 4 workouts will be incorporated into regular programming so you can perform them during class.  You can find out all of the details and how to register here.

When: November 8th, November 15th, November 21st, and November 28th, though you are welcome to perform the workouts whenever you would like.

Where: HERE!!!!

How: Register here.  There is an Scaled, RX, and Masters division.  Even if you don’t register to compete, still show up and have fun!!

What else:  Brittany loved wearing leg warmers and listening to 80’s music, so if the feeling hits you, dress up in your best 80’s garb when you are doing these workouts!!!  Shout out below if you plan on competing.

battle series flyer 475x610 Friday 141024

Thursday 141023

Muscle snatch 1-1-1-1-1 reps
Power snatch 3-3-3-3-3 reps
Snatch 5-5-5-5-5 reps

Post score to BTW.

IMG 0026 475x712 Thursday 141023

Jonathan in his second snatch pull, looking focused.

Proof That Coffee is Even More Amazing Than You Originally Thought

That morning (and afternoon) cup of coffee could be more beneficial than you think. In addition to tasting delicious, it’s likely that caffeine is also aiding your performance in the gym.

Caffeine has been proven to have a few benefits:

  • Improved endurance
  • Reduction in delayed onset muscle soreness
  • Increased fat burning
  • Increased mental focus

But there is also a downside – if you constantly need of a cup of coffee to get going, or if you need to take some sort of pre-workout powder to “wake up” before you WOD, then it’s probably time to cut back on the stimulants for a week or two!

For a more in-depth explanation, check out this article by William Imbo of Box Life Magazine.


Wednesday 141022

“The Ghost”

6 rounds of 1 minute each:
Rowing (calories)

Rest 1 minute

Watch the official explanation here.

Try for as many reps as possible of EACH exercise, not just total score. Post separate totals of calories rowed, burpee reps and double-under reps completed to comments and BTW.

IMG 0268 475x712 Wednesday 141022

Lookin’ strong Carrie!

Some workouts are downright scary.  Either it’s a movement or a modality you struggle with, or maybe it’s “in your wheelhouse” and you know you should decidedly crush it.  Or maybe you see a workout and think, “Hey, that doesn’t look bad” or “Well, it’s got rest that that will be nice.”  Those are nearly always omens that you are in for a burner of a workout.  

But the awesome thing is that we are surrounded by CrossFitters–who I’ve found over the last 7 years–to be decidedly hardworking and enjoy a challenge.  Truly, why else would we come into Verve daily to push our limits and suffer next to each other if we didn’t love to “do work.”  This fact by the way is definitely one my favorite characteristics of the CrossFit community.  I know you all won’t back down from work.  But somedays are rougher than others, so here’s a few tips from a great article by James Clear regarding how to improve your mindset and not operate from a fear-based decision making point.  Read his whole article here.

It’s Good to Feel Stupid: 5 Thoughts on Overcoming Fear and Self–Doubt

1. Don’t pick goals where the stakes are low.

Failing in a safe zone is just a clever way of holding yourself back.

If you fail inside your comfort zone, it’s not really failure, it’s just maintaining the status quo. If you never feel uncomfortable, then you’re never trying anything new.

In other words, feeling stupid is a good thing.

2. Nobody is rooting for you to fail.

Maybe you’ll succeed. Maybe you’ll fail. For the most part, nobody cares one way or the other.

This is a good thing! The world is big and you are small, and that means you can chase your dreams with little worry for what people think.

3. Just because you don’t like where you have to start from doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get started.

I wish I was a better writer when I started writing. I wish I was a smarter entrepreneur when I started building businesses. I wish I was a better photographer when I picked up a camera. But more than anything, I’m glad I chose to start even though I wasn’t very good in the beginning.

Feelings of fear and uncertainty have a way of making you feel unprepared.

  • “I should learn more before I take this test.”
  • “I should practice more before I compete.”
  • “I should get this degree before I start this business.”

Here’s a tough question that forces you to consider the opposite side: How long will you put off what you’re capable of doing just to maintain what you’re currently doing?

4. Stop making uncertain things, certain.

Who says you’re going to fail? Just because someone else got rejected from that job doesn’t mean you will. Maybe the publisher hated your friend’s book, but that doesn’t mean they’ll hate yours. Maybe you tried to lose weight before, but that doesn’t mean you can’t lose it now.

You’re not destined to “miss that lift.” In fact, maybe you’re destined to succeed.

Stop acting like failure is certain. It’s not.

5. The only real failure is not taking any action in the first place.

We all deal with feelings of fear, uncertainty, and vulnerability. And unfortunately, most of us let those feelings dictate our actions. For this reason, the simple decision to act is often enough to separate you from most people. You don’t need to be great at what you do, you just need to be the one person who actually decides to do it.

You can enjoy a lot of success by doing the things that most people make excuses to avoid.  Put this to use today and push hard on every movement every time every round.

Tuesday 141021

Four rounds for time:
21 Wall-balls, 20# (14#)
18 Pull-ups
15 Kettlebell swings, 70# (53#)
12 Handstand pushups

Post time to BTWB

IMG 0405 475x316 Tuesday 141021

An unfastened belt can’t slow down Jared during pause front squats.

This post is mainly for the newbies at CrossFit Verve, those that have been coming for less than 2 months, but don’t get me wrong the message will resonate with our experienced members as well.  Reading a few different websites over the weekend, I came across an article that discusses the mistakes newer CrossFit participants make.  Read on and see if you are guilty of any of the mistakes, whether a newer member or someone that’s been around for a while.  Check out the full article on The Box Magazine HERE.

Too much too fast.

We talk about it all the time.  Get your mechanics down, perform them consistently, and then jack up the intensity.  Movements we perform in the gym are sometimes difficult to master.  Taking a step back, using less weight, and cutting reps are going to be the ingredients to becoming a better athlete.  The coaches will give you guidance and recommendations on scales that we know are going to allow you to get a great workout and help you in the long run.


As a newer athlete you should never guess what you should do.  Ask as many questions as you want to your trainers, that’s what we are here for.  The trainers have scaled every movement we perform in a number of different ways so we can always come up with something that’s right for each person.  When it comes to choosing weight, the trainers will look at your movement and make sure you are using a weight that allows you perform the movement correctly and safely.  Ask questions, we encourage it!

Not enough rest.

Every person is different with regards to the workload he or she can handle, but every person also needs rest.  If you wake up and don’t feel like you have it, consider taking the day off or just coming in to do some mobility.  Rest is the key to seeing gains.  Let’s be honest, coming to the gym becomes addictive.  The high we get from working out leads to us wanting to come in everyday and chase it again, but working out when you’re sore or tired can sometimes lead to a bad performance in a workout. programs on a 3 on 1 off basis, meaning 3 days of work followed by a day of rest.  This is a great schedule to consider when you start out.

There are a few more key points in the article I referenced the above from so be sure to click through and give it a read.  Post in the comments any other advice you might have for newer members as well as the veterans.