Thursday 161027

5 Rounds for time:
10 Dumbbell thrusters, 40#(25#)
3 Rope climbs, 15′

Post times to comments and BTWB

Chris and Patrick working hard on those assault bikes.

Chris and Patrick working hard on those assault bikes.


During our day of heavy hang power cleans this week, I was working with an athlete that is newer to CrossFit. As we were reviewing the movement, this athlete made a comment that I have heard many times in my coaching career, “This is hard, there are so many things to think about”. A more true statement cannot be made about the Olympic lifts.

There are 10 general physical skills that CrossFit develops:
Cardio/ respiratory endurance

The first four skills are developed through training, I have to lift more weights in order to build strength. The bottom four are developed through practice, a handstand hold requires balance that only comes from practicing balancing upside down. Power and speed are developed through both training and practice. When we think about something like a back squat, it demands and develops strength, power, flexibility, there is really no requirement for accuracy with a back squat. If we think about that handstand hold we know we definitely need balance, coordination, stamina, but practicing a hold will not demand or develop power, speed, or endurance. We can list any movement and discuss which skills they build/ require and which ones they do not. It’s when we do this that we learn why any athlete, new or veteran status, makes a comment about the difficulty that exists with the Olympic lifts, they are preaching the truth. The Olympic lifts are the only movements that demand AND develop ALL 10 general physical skills. #mindblown

It is because of this that CrossFit loves the Olympic lifts and why they encourage anyone and everyone to practice them, even if it means grandma is only power snatching with PVC. This is also why in order to get better at the Olympic lifts we need to practice them. Neuromuscular Facilitation, also called muscle memory, is one of the most important factors in the adaptation of strength in an athlete, but more importantly as a novice. When we try new movements or activities, our brain sends an electrical impulse to activate the muscles needed. When this movement or pathway is unfamiliar, it is like driving with grandma in a big city and she has no idea where she is going. You end up taking seventeen different streets to go five blocks. As grandma lives in the city, she learns the quickest pathway from point A to point B. The body reacts in a similar way. As your mind works to find the best pathway to move your body it starts finding short cuts and movements become more efficient. With the strength movements in CrossFit, novice people can see strength gains from 20-40 percent in little time with small gain in muscle mass. The gains are attributed to the neuromuscular connection. Now that grandma spent some time in the city (going through repetition after repetition) and finding the most efficient path, she can start pouring on the gas!!! Allowing your mind to catch up to your body will make you more efficient in the long run. We use a lot of fine motor control in our daily lives like typing, brushing our hair, and using a pen. It took a lot of training to make these movements efficient, if you don’t believe me, go brush your teeth with the opposite hand tonight and see if its as easy. 

Yes, there are a lot of moving pieces. Yes, there are a lot of things to think about. Yes, while trying to build those neurological pathways we may not move the most weight. But not moving the most weight cannot be the reason we avoid the heavy Olympic lifting day. We need to practice. Our increased practice lends way to better technique. Better technique lends way to moving more weight. And lastly, because of those 10 general physical skills, as we practice the Olympic lifts, our adaptation transfer to other movements in CrossFit. Other movements that require explosive hip opening, timing, and a pull. . . like the kipping pull-up.

In short, my point is: keep on keeping on. Some day it won’t seem like so much to think about.

Wednesday 161026

6 Rounds
Row 300(250) Meters
Rest 2 minutes between each round

*score is the slowest interval

Post Result to BTWB

Garret and his much better half, Stephanie, after a nice walk up Pike's Peak.

Garret and his much better half, Stephanie, after a nice walk up Pike’s Peak.

Verve, have you been to the night classes in the past year? Have you seen a man dancing non-stop when Nelly comes on the radio. Well if you haven’t introduced yourself (which you should) meet the man behind the dance, Garret Mueller

Emerson, Nebraska


Investment Banker 

What do you like to do in your free time?
I always say my favorite hour of every day is my daily workout at Verve. Beyond that, I enjoy reading – my goal is to get through at least one new book a month. I’m actually looking for book recommendations, so if anyone has any shout it out in the comments! I used to be an avid golfer, but haven’t been out as often as I’d like since moving to Denver. I also love sports and am looking forward to getting to some Avalanche and Nuggets games this winter.

How long have you been a member at CrossFit Verve?
Just over one year.

What is your background in sports and fitness?
I played football and basketball and ran track in high school. Before finding CrossFit, I’d always been good about going to the gym, but definitely fell into the mind-numbing rut of “Weights M/W/F, Cardio T/Th/S.”

What changes have you seen in your body, health and fitness since starting CrossFit?
First and foremost, I’ve really benefitted from Verve’s emphasis on mobility and a proper warm up. I have really poor mobility in my shoulders (as anyone who has seen me try to overhead squat knows), but a year of consistent mobility work has led to a noticeable increase in my range of motion – especially in my shoulders and hips. I’ve also made huge strides in my gymnastics. Prior to joining Verve, I had never done a bar muscle up and never touched a set of rings – now both types of muscle ups are among my favorite movements.

Has CrossFit influenced your life outside of the gym? If so, how?
Definitely. CrossFit has encouraged me to think about fitness beyond what happens in the gym – such as sleep and nutrition. For example, I didn’t really think about what I ate before starting CrossFit – I definitely didn’t think about things like meal planning. Now I dedicate time on Sundays to preparing my food for the week. More importantly, Verve is the first place that made Denver feel like “home” to me. I think one of the toughest things about relocating is finding a new social circle and building new relationships. Through Verve, I’ve found a lot of like-minded people that I’ve really enjoyed getting to know.

What’s your favorite benchmark workout?
Karen (150 Wall Balls for time).

Any advice for someone just starting?
Trust the coaches and use them as a resource. There’s so much knowledge in the minds of the staff at Verve and they go above and beyond to put each member in a position to succeed, not just in the daily WOD, but in our constant pursuit of our long-term goals.

Tuesday 161025

In 20 minutes build to a heavy 1 rep hang power clean
For mechanics every 2 minutes for 12 minutes
3 Hang power cleans at 60%
5 Box jumps 30″(24″)

Does any of the above belong to you?

Does any of the above belong to you?

This coming Friday we are starting the 2016 Everyday Warrior Battle Series.  The Verve WODS for the next 4 Fridays will be the ones from the Battle Series.  This is a great cause to get behind as they are truly supportive to members of the CrossFit community currently battling cancer.  


Competition Fee: $45 per registration. $60 includes a shirt. Don’t want the shirt? opt to donate the t-shirt fee back to the cause.
Divisions: Mens and Womens – RX, scaled, masters, scaled masters, and teen.

You can register HERE.  Almost everyone knows someone that has been affected by cancer so this is a great opportunity to help raise money for those in our community currently undergoing treatment.  

It’s time for another post about the lost and found.  It’s sometimes quite amazing to me and the rest of the Verve trainers what is left behind and placed in the lost and found. One shoe? I can see leaving a pair behind, but how do you only leave one behind?

For those of you that are new to Verve, we have a lost and found.  It’s the purple bin to the right of the refrigerator.  In addition to the clothes in the picture above, there are also countless jump ropes.  If you lost your jump rope, chances are it’s in the purple bin.   

There are several pairs of wrist wraps in the bin as well.  If you check your gym bag and can’t seem to find yours, the bin may be a good place to check.  

If we find things such as glasses or phones or anything of value really, we most likely will put it behind the front desk and do our best to track down the owner of the lost items.  If you find anything in the bathroom that you think may be lost, please give it to a trainer so we can make sure it finds it’s way back to it’s owner.  

If you leave something behind you can always send a quick email to the gym or give us a call and let us know to be on the lookout for whatever you left behind.  Jay Cain leaves something behind everyday so when in doubt about the process to recover lost items, you can always ask him.  

We are going to be sending the above articles of clothing and water bottles to good will later this week, so make sure you come in and take a look through the bin and see if any of the items are yours.


Monday 161024


Six rounds for time of:
24 Squats
24 Push-ups
24 Walking lunge steps
Run 400 meters

Post Results to BTWB

Linda focusing on a good overhead position a during our 20:00 AMRAP a few weeks ago.

Linda focusing on a good overhead position a during our 20:00 AMRAP a few weeks ago.

For most CrossFitters, their fitness journey is a means to a healthy and fit lifestyle. But as an athlete develops a comfort level with participation, long-term perspective can be blurred by whiteboards and new skills and PRs. Immediate gratification is not only a distraction but also a danger in some instances. A journey that began as a means to health can end with injury and aggravation. But avoiding a few common CrossFit mistakes can keep any athlete on track!

1. Neglecting Progressions

Everybody wants to learn butterfly pull-ups and pistol squats and handstand push-ups, but not everybody is ready to dive into those movements headfirst. The key to safe and proper movement is respecting progressions. If you can’t do a strict pull-up, you’re not prepared for kipping pull-ups and neither are your joints and muscles. If your pistols are only manageable on your toes, your mobility probably needs some work before you tackle a workout that might result in rough knees. Your coach should always keep an eye on your progress and guide you through proper progressions. But it’s also an athlete’s responsibility to stick to instructions and progression plans.

2. Inappropriate Modifications

As a coach, I always instruct my athletes on not only the movements and standards within a workout but also on the main goal. Sometimes we want you moving fast and other times slow. Sometimes we want to condition your lungs and other times we want to build strength. Knowing the goal of a workout is wildly important to your success. An athlete going too heavy or too light with weight, or selecting a movement that is either too easy or too difficult, can change the entire experience. CrossFitters need to look to their coaches for guidance on every workout and aim to achieve it. A 10- to 12-minute workout should be 10 to 12 minutes (or close to) for everybody, regardless of abilities. A “light” workout should be light for everybody, regardless of strength. Make sure you’re not taking your workouts into your own hands by making inappropriate modifications that alter the foundation of your training that day.

3. Too Much, Too Fast

Stronger, faster and more complex … it’s what we want as we progress. But there is such a thing as too much, too fast. In the initial stages of CrossFit participation, an unconditioned body (and oftentimes even a conditioned one) will require a different kind of recovery than one that’s been at it for a year or two. In addition, if strength is the entire focus and technique is left in the peripheral, big jumps might be possible but bad for your body. There is no healthy and quick solution to physical development, so take your time and allow yourself to explore the process as you go.

4. Forgetting Foundations

You learn a skill. Then you complete it on repeat, fatigued. There’s a good chance that not every rep was perfect. And while that’s common, it’s something that should be considered daily. Only perfect practice makes perfect, so if you find your form is losing its former glory, it might be time to take a step back and revisit all the cues and tips you began with. Practicing bad habits are the surest way to wind up with injury. Keep the foundations of your lifts and movements in the forefront of your mind to keep yourself healthy and progressing.

We all have greedy moments in our CrossFit experience. But if you’re able to hold yourself accountable to just a few very applicable best practices, your end goal will have a much greater rate of achievement. Remember why you CrossFit … for most of us, it’s to be a better and healthier version of ourselves. Silly mistakes and lax fundamentals aren’t worth letting go of your goal. Laser focus keeps you moving forward the right way.


Sunday 161023

5 Rounds for time:
20 Kettlebell swings 35#(26#)
30′ Handstand walk

Post time to comments or BTWB

A sauce that is good for anything! Thank you Clara

A sauce that is good for anything! Thank you Clara

It is GREAT to have a base recipe of sauces that you can put on virtually anything!  The following Pesto recipe, from Clara Wisner at rEvolutionary Lifestyle, can be put on spaghetti squash, pasts, salads, or just spoon it into your mouth it is so delicious!  You can see the full recipe and blog post here


Ingredients (for the chicken)

  • 1-2 lbs of organic, pastured chicken breasts (just depends on how much meat you want)
  • juice of two lemons 
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • sea salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients (for the sauce)

  • 2 cups packed basil leaves 
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts 
  • 3 TBSP olive oil
  • 2 TBSP lemon juice
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Optional: 1/2 cup grated hard parmesan cheese 


  • cut raw chicken breasts into one-inch strips 
  • place all other ingredients in bowl and coat chicken strips in marinade 
  • Cover bowl and leave in the fridge for at least 2 hours, but up to one full day. 
  • Grill, pan fry or bake chicken strips until cooked all the way through. 
  • Place all ingredients for sauce in food processor and process until smooth. 
  • May need to add more olive oil to smooth out texture 


  • Yoga!!! Today!!! 11am – come on in and let Kacey get you bendy!
  • Everyday Warrior starts this Friday.  If you do not know the details, look at yesterdays blog entry
  • Both Joel and Amelia are looking to sell their spots in the Turkey Challenge, if you are interested, seek them out at the gym or mention it on comments!


Saturday 161022

In teams of 2, as many rounds as possible in 30 minutes of:
30 Double unders
10 Wall balls, 20#(14#)
1 Legless rope climb, 15′

*Partner 1 completes a full round. Then partner 2 completes a full round. Continue alternating rounds.

Post rounds and reps to comments and BTWB

Post PR beers for Barb, Eddie, and John!! How else would you celebrate crushing weights?

Post PR beers for Barb, Eddie, and John!! How else would you celebrate crushing weights?


Everyday Warrior Battle Series kicks off Monday October 24th. It’s an online fundraising competition. Competitors will do 1 workout per week for the next 4 weeks. Verve will be hosting these workouts on Fridays as our WOD, the first being on October 28th.

Everyday Warrior is a non-profit organization founded with the primary mission to inspire, empower, and financially support individuals in the CrossFit community who have been diagnosed with cancer and are currently undergoing treatment. Everyday Warrior had Verve member Sarah DeVito as a featured warrior. Whether we have a personal connection to someone fighting cancer or not, we all understand how devastating it can be for the person battling cancer, and to the people standing beside them. If you plan to workout on Fridays, we urge you to register for this competition, be a part of the support system that shows anyone dealing with cancer, that they do not fight alone. 

The Battle Series has 5 divisions of competition: RX, Scaled, Masters, Masters Scaled, and Teen. That’s 5 reasons why there is no excuse not to participate. Registration is already open, click here to get signed up and to learn more about Everyday Warrior. 


Friday 161021

For time:
Row 500 Meters
10 Rounds of:
10 Push ups
1 Power snatch 155#(105#)
Row 500 Meters

Post time to comments or BTWB

Greg with a solid back squat PR under the watching eyes of Stan and Jeremy.

Greg with a solid back squat PR under the watching eyes of Stan and Jeremy.

SLEEP!!! – Anna Mattson

Sleep is soooo important.  There are two types of people in this gym: Those that can handle less sleep and still functions and those that crumble after a rough nights sleep.  For the majority of us, we fall under the latter category in which even a temporary time frame with a lack of sleep affects us in every aspect of our lives.  This CHECKLIST was found on a psychology website, you can see the full page here

Things that are known to make sleep worse
  • Napping during the day.  Don’t get me wrong, they are great but if your sleep at night is not great, consider eliminating these.
  • Watching television in bed. Especially The Walking Dead (per Maddie)
  • Using a device with a bright screen in the hour before bedtime (e.g. a smartphone, a laptop)
  • Consuming drinks containing caffeine (includes tea, coffee, cola, energy drinks, hot chocolate

    • – How many each day and what time of the day was your last caffeinated drink? (try to avoid caffeine after 6pm)
  • Drinking alcohol (alcohol typically leads to interrupted sleep. Alcohol can help you fall asleep quickly but will not help you sleep longer and leads to a poor quality of sleep
  • Eating a heavy meal less than 3 hours before bedtime
  • Staying in bed even if you can’t fall asleep (it’s better to get up and do something relaxing (then try again later)
Things that are known to improve sleep
  • Regular exercise YAY, we all do well here!
    • – How many times a week? (it is recommended to do at least 3 x 30 minutes per week)
    • – What time of the day? (it is best not to exercise in the 3-4 hours before bedtime)
  • Setting aside some ‘worry time’ each day to write down any issues that are bothering or concerning you, then deciding to leave those worries behind until tomorrow (make sure to do this at least one hour before bedtime)
  • Relaxation exercises (e.g. relaxed breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation)
  • Having a relaxing bedtime routine (e.g. taking a bath or a shower, reading a comforting book) Setting the conditions for sleep
    •  Make sure the bedroom is completely dark (blackout curtains are cheap and eective)
    • Make sure the mattress and pillows are comfortable (make bed an attractive place to be!)
    • Make sure the bedroom is the right temperature (think like Goldilocks: not too hot, not too cold)


Thursday 161020

Back Squat

Post weights (those well earned PRs) to comments and BTWB

New Verve shirts are coming!!

New Verve shirts are coming!!


You’ve been waiting patiently. . . at least some of you have. :) And now it’s go time folks. Verve’s new shirt, also known as the one that may cause Clancy to vomit, is available for pre-sale starting today.

These are 3/4 sleeve baseball tees. The shirts are unisex. We have two sample shirts for sizing available at the front desk, they are a small and a large.  

We are doing PRE-SALE ONLY for these shirts. Starting now through October 31st you can use the square system to pre-purchase a shirt. The shirts are $25 + sales tax, the square system takes credit card only. No Verve employee will be able to charge your MBO account for a shirt, please use the square system. 

We will place the shirt order November 1st, shirts will take less than 2 weeks to get made and dropped off at Verve. 

Broncos fan? Get on it. A fan of making Clancy feel sick to his stomach every time you walk by in Broncos colors? Make the buy. And no David Afraimi, we will not be making any in Raiders colors. . . because this is Bronco nation, home of the current Super Bowl champs. If the Raiders win Super Bowl 51, we will make Raiders colors shirts. 😉

Wednesday 161019

Every minute on the minute for 20 minutes
Odd minutes = 3 bar or ring muscle ups
Even minutes = 5 Strict handstand push ups

Post Results to BTWB.

Connie Luu celebrating two years at Verve in style!

Connie Luu celebrating two years at Verve in style!

Ladies and germs, give a warm welcome to this week’s Athlete Highlight – Connie Luu! Connie celebrated her two year Verveversery yesterday and we couldn’t be happier for the things about to come!
Aspen, CO



Unemployed as of three days ago and enjoying the break…until I can’t afford it anymore, which will be in about a week. But right before, I was an Onboarding Coach at Zen Planner (a fitness business & gym management software).

What do you like to do in your free time?
I love going to coffee shops, eating ice cream, cooking, hot yoga, snowboarding and crafts. Let’s be real though, most of my free time is spent catering to my dog or at Verve.

How long have you been a member at CrossFit Verve?
Exactly 2 years ago today!

What is your background in sports and fitness?
High school volleyball and track (I can’t believe I ran either). Continued volleyball in college and dabbled in yoga. Skiing and snowboarding my whole life.

What changes have you seen in your body, health and fitness since starting CrossFit?
My strength and capacity to do sh*t. When I first started CrossFit, I just wanted to loose some extra lbs. I can’t pin point the moment, but there was a mental shift when I no longer cared about loosing weight. Instead, I wanted to do a strict pull up, lift and push that weight, snatch this, climb a rope, do a muscle up, etc, and the physical changes in my body were simply bonuses to the real prize-being stronger.

Has CrossFit influenced your life outside of the gym? If so, how?
Absolutely! The physical benefits allow me to do the things I love, like snowboarding but more importantly, eat all of the ice cream. CrossFit has built my self confidence outside of the gym and my mental strength & capacity to keep fighting when I want to say “no” or give up. It has also encouraged me to pursue learning about fitness & nutrition. Lastly, the Verve community. I love the relationships I have formed through CrossFit because everyone is supportive, strong, hardworking; and I am a strong believer in choosing who you surround yourself with because those people influence your life the most.

What’s your favorite benchmark workout?
Isabel because I love snatching…duh!

Any advice for someone just starting?
Focus on today. I find it easy to get caught up in yesterday’s successes or failures. Yes, they are important because they allow us to learn and grow, but I encourage you to come in and focus on what’s on the board today. Work on improving today’s movements, and I promise you will see it translate into how you move and perform later. Come in, work hard, laugh (and cry), and know that everyone is there to support you.

Tuesday 161018

For time:
Deadlift 205# (135#)
Bar facing burpess

Post time to BTWB

Mike and Kendall getting their synchronized kettlebell swing on.

Mike and Kendall getting their synchronized kettlebell swing on.

Last week we finished our modified for GPP Hatch program.  This coming Thursday, we are going to be testing our 1 rep max back squat to see how people improved their overall strength.  The idea with the program was to to combine volume and percentages of maxes to see the results when it comes to overall strength.  If you were consistent with the program, that means you squatted for 6 weeks with percentages ranging from 60% to the final day where you were moving 95% of your 1 rep max back squat for a double!

I’m posting this today to give you a couple days to figure out your schedule.  Many of us use Thursday as a rest day so if you would like to know how your squat has improved over the past 6 weeks, be sure to come in on Thursday for the WOD.  Wednesday’s workout will leave the legs alone so hopefully you’ll feel well rested when it comes to squat some heavy weight on Thursday.  

As we discussed in the post leading up to the squat program, consistency was going to be the key to seeing results.  If you were unable to attend the squat days, don’t be discouraged if your strength improvements aren’t what you had hoped or as high as some of the other members.  Hopefully you’ll still feel more comfortable with heavier weight then before the program started.  Even though we won’t be doing a squat specific program for the foreseeable future, you should still be able to maintain most of the gains you developed due to the number of times we go below parallel in our regular programming.  

When you do squat on Thursday, be sure to let the person recording your weights for the whiteboard know if you were able to hit a new PR.  Hopefully we’ll see a lot on names with new records next to them.  

In summary, this coming Thursday, we are squatting to a heavy 1 rep max.  Be there!