Saturday 140419

For time:

30 Muscle-ups

Post time to comments and BTW.

photo 32 475x475 Saturday 140419

Jim and Peter (visiting from CF Morristown) after PRs on their cleans during the first Master’s Qualifier WOD.

DON’T FORGET!!  Sign-up for the Lean Mean Nutrition challenge below, starting this coming Monday, April 21st!!  If you need skin caliper testing or measurements taken (cost $25 cash total for before & after) please email to get scheduled.  More info coming Monday for teams, etc.

Verve Lean and Mean Nutrition Challenge Sign-Up Sheet here!

Cheer on our Master’s guys this weekend as they complete their Master’s Qualifier WODs.  You can join them on Saturday at 1pm, and Sunday at 10am or 12:30pm.  We are so proud of them!  Wondering what their WODs are?  Check them out here.

Upcoming clinics this week:
Mobility     Sunday 11am with Maddie
Running    Tuesday 5:30am with Nate
Mobility     Tuesday 7pm with Slaughter

Friday 140418

For time:

10 Snatch 135# (95#)
50 Double-unders
8 Snatch
40 Double-unders
6 Snatch
30 Double-unders
4 Snatch
20 Double-unders
2 Snatch
10 Double-unders

Post time to comments or BTWB

20140414 133549 e1397587700596 475x844 Friday 140418

Jon looking like most of us when we are on the computer. (That is Cherie in the background with fabulous posture)

For many of us, we spend many hours per day or week working on a computer.  We are on the computer for work, fun, Instagram/Facebook (the latter more than likely).  All of these hours, sitting with poor posture, can lead to Postural Kyphosis.  Don’t be afraid, you won’t look like the Hunchback of Notre Dame or the witch in Snow White, but Postural Kyphosis has many adverse affects that you are probably experiencing now.  When we sit in bad posture with our shoulders rolled forward and head looking down towards your screen, much like Jon in the picture above, we open ourselves up to a plethora of painful symptoms.  For example, when the shoulders roll forward and internally rotate, the chest muscles tighten and the back muscles loosen, giving us the “douchebag shoulder” appearance.  YOU DON’T WANT THAT.  When we look down at our screen, our head sits forward from our midline.  Fun Fact: Sitting or standing with  your head sitting just 3 inches forward, your neck muscles are holding 42 pounds of added weight.  Are you wondering why your neck and shoulders are sore?

How do I fix this?
The following is just going to address proper positioning of the upper  back.  I will leave the lower back/hips for a future post.
First, the shoulders are a direct reflection of the angle of your rib cage.  Think of the rib cage as more of a sphere that your shoulder rotate around, not a boxy cage.  Test this out: Without even moving your shoulders, roll your rib cage forward by dropping your chest slightly.  Now, turn your chest up towards the ceiling slightly.  What did your shoulders do? This is the first way to fix Postural Kyphosis.  Make sure your rib cage is straight up and down by making sure your ear, shoulders, and hips are in a straight line. Take a look in a mirror if you need to, or have your creepy cube-mate take a picture.
Second, ensure your forearms and wrists are at approximately a 90 degree angle.  When that angle closes, generally our shoulders move towards our ears.  When that angle opens up, the shoulders roll forward. NAUGHTY NAUGHTY.
Lastly, make sure your screen is slightly below eye level, and you are not cranking your neck looking down at it.  Reference the picture below for ideal screen set up.

posture 2 475x287 Friday 140418

If your desk at work or at home is not set up like this, make some changes to make it happen.  Raise your screen up by putting books underneath it.  Invest in an adjustable chair, or better yet, a 55cm fitness ball.  Email if you would like some easy recommendations for customizing your desk to decrease Postural Kyphosis symptoms.  Better yet, post a picture of your fabulous-self below sitting at your desk and we can all critique you!!

DON’T FORGET!!  Sign-up for the Lean Mean Nutrition challenge below before the start date of April 21st!!

Verve Lean and Mean Nutrition Challenge Sign-Up Sheet here!


Thursday 140417

Three rounds for time:
Row 500m
12 Deadlifts, bodyweight
21 Box jumps, 20″
Post times to comments and BTWB 
IMG 9792 475x316 Thursday 140417

Anna teaching foundations class all about “What is CrossFit”.

Hydrostatic BodyFat Test sign-up sheet here!  Don’t be late.  Bring your swimsuit and towel.

Verve Lean and Mean Nutrition Challenge Sign-Up Sheet here!

Haters gonna hate, potatoes gonna potate. By Courtney Shepherd

As most of you may know by now, mostly because I may have gone a little cray cray on social media about it, but I was recently hired by CrossFit HQ as part of their Seminar Staff. It’s only been a few weeks but the awesomeness of the experience thus far is hard to put into words. I am going to make my best attempt to do so. But before that I want to back up just a bit, I want to build up this experience for you as it has built up for me. Like most of you I subscribe to the many forms of social media that manage to suck up so much of my non working time. I dabble in the Twitter, the Facebook, and the Instagram. Over the last few months I started doing something that I now regret, I started to read the comments section under posts put out by CrossFit. Why do I regret this? Because I have never seen so many ugly comments to things I find to be so amazingly beautiful. Like the pregnant woman doing overhead squats. Amazing to me that a person will strive to keep themselves and their unborn child as healthy as possible, continue to move and thrive, yet be torn apart in text by nay sayers. If there is one thing that CrossFit is not at a lack for, it is the nay sayer. From the articles about rhabdo, to the comments from physical therapists about how much they love CrossFit because it keeps them in business, and to the acquaintance that tells us at parties how they’ve seen the games on TV and that just looks crazy. Sometimes it’s hard to ignore all that negative feedback.
Working as a CrossFit trainer has introduced me to so many different people with so many different stories. Now working as part of HQ Seminar Staff has taken it to another level. And after this past weekend, at one of the most amazing Level 1 courses I have ever been to, I have now decided how I would like to approach the CrossFit hater. With a simple blog post telling everyone what CrossFit really is. CrossFit is not the CrossFit Games. CrossFit is not the injuries sustained by people that are trying hard to push themselves because people push themselves in so many different sports and there will always be injuries. CrossFit is intense but it is intense relative to the needs of the person doing it, meaning that CrossFit is something different to each and every person that comes through the gym door. The Games, the injuries, the rhabdo, that’s the 1%. CrossFit is the other 99%. CrossFit is all the other people who walk through the doors whose only goals are to be happy, healthy, and active. 
*CrossFit is having a woman in her twenties be told after several knee surgeries throughout her life that she will never be able to squat or run again. CrossFit  is this woman coming into a gym and over the course of a year, with appropriate scaling, technique work, and strength building, be able to squat 100# and run 800m both without pain.
*CrossFit is an out of shape woman who admits to unhealthy habits having the courage to walk into a CrossFit gym and take the first steps to make healthy changes in her life. CrossFit is this woman, after consistently working out and making small changes in her diet over time, being able to take a work trip to Nepal. She was able to hike, while carrying a necessary equipment, without any issues. Something she admits would not have been possible months ago.
*CrossFit is a man with arthritis in his joints causing pain during day to day activities. After CrossFitting for a year, performing functional movements and taking his joints through a full range of motion, CrossFit is this man no longer having pain and being on the least amount of medication necessary to manage his disease.
*CrossFit is a couple coming to the gym and making that hour a time they spend together, encouraging each other. Celebrating each other accomplishments, and seeing how strong they both are.
*CrossFit is shared misery. When one person is done with the work but decides they will continue on working next to their friend until they are done. By the way, they are friends because they work out at the same time and simply introduced themselves to each other. They just met today. The idea to support someone does not require that you know them more then 30 minutes, that is CrossFit.
*CrossFit is the millions of dollars raised EVERY year to support the families of fallen soldiers. The families of  sick or injured  hometown heroes. CrossFit is CrossFit for Hope, CrossFit Kenya, Barbells for Boobs, Steve’s Club, 31 Heroes, Lift Up Luke, Ogar Strong. . . .  CrossFit is a community of people, that given the opportunity to WOD in honor of someone or some cause and raise money for support, will do it.
*CrossFit is the kid with ADHD, whose mom and dad brought him to CrossFit Kids as an outlet for all of his energy. CrossFit is this kid’s parents telling his trainers that because of CrossFit he has been able to focus more during school.
*CrossFit is the woman who has carried many children but not given birth. CrossFit is this woman coming to a place where she can find and harness her strength, in every sense of the word, and do it surrounded by supportive people.
*CrossFit is the snowboarding fiend who comes to the gym 8 months out of the year. CrossFit is taking the other 4 months to to use “all this fitness” and shred the mountains as often as possible. 
*CrossFit is. . . . . 
I have more stories than room on this blog. I know what CrossFit is to me. It has been a blessing physically, mentally, emotionally. I can say without doubt that CrossFit, over the past 5 years, has helped me to realize the best version of myself. You do not have to like CrossFit, you do not have to do CrossFit, but before you hate on it you do need to know what it truly is. Now I want to know, what is CrossFit to you? 

Wednesday 140416

For 20 minutes, every minute on the minute complete:

3 Weighted strict pull-ups (dumbell)
With remaining time, complete as many air squats as possible

Post weight to BTWB

IMG 9753 475x712 Wednesday 140416

This man knows how to climb a rope.

I’m not an enormous fan of running.  Yes I see the benefits of it, but I’ve never been one of those people that enjoys just going out for a run.  Hey let’s go run a 10K, it’s not something you’ll hear should I call you.  Let’s go do some fast exercising, is.  That being said I recently read an interesting article on The Poliquin Group’s website regarding sprinting.  Now I know it’s not the same as a lengthy distance run, but after reading the article and reading the benefits, I’m convincing myself that running might be more fun than I thought.  

I digress.  Here are some great benefits to sprinting.  Sprints, help you lose fat, build muscle, improve your health, and can come in handy when you need to run away from someone.  That last one may be specifically for me only. 

Here are some bullet points from the article.  For the full article and studies referenced click HERE.

Sprints help you lose fat and not only that, but they do it in a short amount of time.  Here’s some facts from a 2010 study.  Participants in the study ran 6 sprint sessions of 6 30 second full effort sprints with 4 minutes of rest between.  The average waist size dropped by 3 cm in that time.  

Sprints help you build muscle by increasing the fast twitch fibers and studies have shown that sprinting enhances protein synthesis pathways by as much as 230 percent.  Sprinting can also increase testosterone levels and decrease cortisol levels which is a desired balance when looking to increase muscle and decrease fat.  Women won’t see the same increase in testosterone but will see increase in growth hormone levels, burn fat, and help build muscle.  

There are many additional benefits to sprint training including; improved cognition and brain function, improved circulation and lung function, improved insulin sensitivity and energy use.  Click the bold link above for all the benefits to sprint training.  

Here’s my takeaway and one that will be useful for all of us.  Add some sprints to your life.  With the weather getting nicer, take advantage and find a nice straightaway and just rip it a few times.  Curtis Park has a  great cut of grass that is perfect for sprinting.  Sprint one direction and walk back the opposite direction.  Repeat a handful of time and you’ll soon start seeing the benefits that The Poliquin Group article talks about.


Tuesday 140415


5 – 5 – 5 – 5 – 5

Post loads to comments and BTW.

IMG 9771 475x712 Tuesday 140415

America and AJ go together like Verve and rope climbs.

CrossFit Verve Lean and Mean Nutrition Challenge  – Are you in?

The CrossFit Verve Lean and Mean Nutrition challenge is a 6 week team and individual challenge designed to teach you healthy nutrition and lifestyle habits in a fun, competitive format that will help you build muscle, eliminate excess body fat and improve your health and fitness.

Why do I need this?

To build healthy lifestyle habits, balance your stress levels, improve your health and continue to improve your performance in the gym. And you’ll likely lose body fat and build muscle while you’re at it.

What should I expect from this challenge?

Over the course of this 6 week challenge, you can expect to build lean muscle and shed excess body fat. But that’s just the beginning. In addition to building a lean and strong physique, you’ll also improve your energy on a daily basis (no more mid afternoon insulin naps), improve your digestion, eliminate nasty food allergies and inflammation, continue to crush your workouts, and gain some control over your hectic and stressful life.

How does it work?

Every day for 6 weeks you will keep track of a couple important things, such as exercise, sleep, nutrition, quiet time and rest days. Each of these activities will have a certain score associated with them. At the end of the competition, the individuals with the highest scores (total points, body fat lost, best team score, most dramatic before/after photos) will be awarded with prizes!

How do I log my score?

You will be given a scorecard prior to the start of the challenge to use to log your scores daily.

What are the prizes?

GRAND PRIZE – Biggest Change in Before/After Photos: 1 month free training, 1 free Foundations membership for a friend, and a gift basket.
Most Body Fat Lost: Gift Basket
Most Points Scored (Individual): Gift Basket
Most Points Scored (Team): T-Shirts and Tender Belly Bacon

What are the rules?

Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat. Eliminate alcohol, processed foods, dairy, grains and other inflammatory foods. Exercise 5 times per week. Take 2 days off to rest and recover. Sleep a minimum of 7 hours every night. Take 20 minutes of uninterrupted quiet time every day (no electronics allowed).

How do I get started?

  1. Sign up in person at the gym or e-mail
  2. Your fee will be paid through your account on Mind Body
  3. Schedule your first body fat test
  4. Take before pictures (make sure your entire body is in the shot – take one from the front, one from each side and one from the back. And take one flexing – because, why not?). Send these photos to
  5. Identify and write down, on paper, 3 goals that you would like to achieve – improved fitness, decreased stress, a lower bodyfat percentage, better performance in the gym, etc
  6. Keep score every day

How does the scoring work?

  • Eating (up to 8 points a day). Earn 2 points for each 100% real food meal (up to 3 per day). Earn 1 point for each clean snack (up to 2 per day).
  • Drinking (1 point per day). Earn 1 point for each day without alcohol, soda, juice or other drinks that taste sweet (no artificial sweeteners). Black coffee and unsweetened tea is acceptable.
  • Exercise (up to 3 points per day). Earn 2 points for each day with a CrossFit workout (maximum of 10 points per week). Earn 1 point for each day with a workout outside of the gym, such as Yoga, hiking, biking, etc. Minimum of 60 minutes of activity for these outside of gym workouts. Earn 2 points for each day that you do NOT exercise (limit 2 per week).
  • Sleeping (2 points per day). Earn 2 points per day for each day with a minimum of 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Naps count towards your total!
  • Quiet Time (1 point per day). Earn 1 point per day for taking 20 uninterrupted minutes of quiet time – no electronics allowed!

How do the teams work?

The teams will be selected at random and you will be assigned a coach. Your coach will provide you with accountability and will also be your resource for any questions regarding the competition.

How much does the program cost?

Program Cost: $35
Before and After Body Fat Test: $65

Where can I schedule my body-fat test?

Check out this Google Spreadsheet to register:

What is the schedule/timeline for the challenge?
April 17th – First Body Fat Test @ Verve (register at the link above)

April 19th – Registration closes and teams are chosen at random. Information packets are sent out Saturday afternoon, containing all the guides and information you will need for the challenge.
April 20th – Go grocery shopping and prepare meals for the first three to four days.
April 21st – Challenge begins. Start filling out your score cards.
June 1st – Challenge ends. Tally your scores and keep with the healthy habits.
June 4th – Second Body Fat Test @ Verve. Be proud of your hard work.


Monday 140414

In a team of two, complete as many push press as possible in 12:00
Partner 1 lunges 100′ while partner 2 does 5 supine ring rows and then as many reps as possible of DB push press (40#/25#)
Athletes switch when lunging athlete gets to rings

Post time to comments and BTW.

Engineering the Perfect Nights Sleep by Colby Knepp

You hear it time and time again – sleep is important! Well, how important is it? Check this out.

During those precious hours of rest, your body releases growth hormone and testosterone – hormones that give us more strength, muscle and vitality, and help to repair your broken down body (assuming your nutrition is up to par). This is ideal for anyone who wants to look, feel and perform their absolute best on a daily basis.

In addition to helping support the recovery process, getting enough sleep will also help you maintain a lean physique by improving your insulin sensitivity. Having high insulin sensitivity is generally a marker of good health. The more sensitive your body is to the storage hormone insulin, the better your body will process carbohydrate (storing carbohydrate in your muscles and liver rather than your belly fat). This is great news if you want to maintain a low body fat percentage.

Who doesn’t want that? But with all the modern luxuries (see: distractions such as Facebook, YouTube and Game of Thrones) that we have at our disposal, chances are you are missing out on the best sleep of your life – every night.

Here’s how to do it.

  1. Purchase a good bed. Memory foam does the trick for me.
  2. Establish a bedtime routine. Turn off the electronics one hour before bed. Drink some decaf tea and do some light reading. This is also a good time to work on your soft tissue – pull out those foam rollers and start mashing!
  3. Sleep in a cold environment (65 degrees) or take a COLD shower. I mean COLD. Turn that handle ALL the way to the cold side – five minutes minimum (or more if you’re a real man). I have no idea how or why this works, but you’ll feel like you’ve been hit with an elephant tranquilizer within about 30 minutes.
  4. Make your bedroom as quiet as possible. This means no television. Some white noise in the background such as a fan will help shut your brain down, however.
  5. Make your room as dark as possible. Blackout curtains will do the trick nicely.
  6. No cell phones or electronics. Seriously. Put them in another room and turn your notifications off. Purchase a plain jane alarm clock to replace using your cell phone as an alarm.
  7. Do some light reading before bed. Fiction or non-fiction; just be sure to shut it down after about 20 minutes.
  8. First thing in the morning, get 10-20 minutes of sunlight as soon as possible. Because sunlight is awesome. If your schedule allows it, go for a quick walk outside.
  9. And gosh darn it; wash your freaking sheets! Once a week, minimum.

The bottom line is this – you can train 5 days a week, eat clean most of the time and make some good progress towards your goals. But why miss out on recovering faster, having more energy throughout the day, and making GREAT progress towards your goals? Make ONE of these changes tonight and let us know how it goes.

Questions? E-Mail Me –

Sunday 140413

Five rounds for time:

20 Dumbbell snatch, alternating
30 Ab-mat sit ups
40 Double-unders

Post time to comments and BTW.

IMG 9766 475x475 Sunday 140413

Tara making pregnancy and fitness look good!

Upcoming Athlete Interest Clinics:

Mobility this Sunday 12:15pm w/Robyn
Running Tuesday 5:30am w/Nate
Mobility/Mash next Sunday 11am w/Maddie
Next Foundations begins this Monday, 4/12 at 7pm.  Through the end of May, CrossFit Verve is offering a special 6 Weeks to Summer Getting Started package to new athletes.  For $250, you can complete our Foundations Program and 1 month of Unlimited Membership.  Upcoming and eligible Foundations start dates are April 14, April 28, May 12, and May 27.  This includes a savings of $25-$75 off our normal rates.  Please join us on these start dates to sign up or email with questions.  We look forward to meeting you and helping this summer get started off right!


Saturday 140412

As many rounds as possible in 6 minutes:

2 Squat cleans, 225# (135#)
4 Burpees over the bar

Post rounds to comments and BTW.

IMG 0690 475x712 Saturday 140412

Mike makes time for his mobility and his muscles.

Free Intro Class 8am at Verve.  Come meet some of the best CrossFit trainers around!  Next Free Intro Class Saturday April 26 at 8am. 

Next Foundations Program begins this coming Monday, April 14 at 7pm.  This program is for active healthy individuals that want to ramp up into our fast paced group CrossFit classes. This class will meet Monday, Tuesday and Thursdays during each week, with a limited number of people per class. There is a total of six (6) classes that will need to be completed to sign-up for membership.  

During the Foundations course we are going to want to know a little more about you. We will be conducting assessments in order to understand you, your personal goals, current health, concerns or up and coming competitions. Once we have some understanding of your needs, we can help you achieve your goals.  Additionally, you will receive a comprehensive understanding of the CrossFit program. 

Through the end of May, CrossFit Verve is offering a special 6 Weeks to Summer Getting Started package to new athletes.  For $250, you can complete our Foundations Program and 1 month of Unlimited Membership.  Upcoming and eligible Foundations start dates are April 14, April 28, May 12, and May 27.  This includes a savings of $25-$75 off our normal rates.  Please join us on these start dates to sign up or email with questions.  We look forward to meeting you and helping this summer get started off right!

Friday 140411

6 Intervals of:

2:00 of the following work:
12 Medball cleans
6 Hand stand push ups
As many reps as possible of  Muscle Ups
Rest 2:00

Post reps and rounds to comments or BTWB

20140405 080015 e1396977699576 475x844 Friday 140411

Wonder what Jamey and Ali’s personal mantra was during monster walks?

“I’m good enough, I’m strong enough, and gosh darn it, people like me” 

I had the opportunity to attend the Crossfit Competitors Course this past weekend.  First let me say, I HIGHLY recommend attending that course if you have any interest in competing, coaching, or just motivating you to achieve your goals. Second, the topic of positive self-talk and the power of thought was discussed.  I am an admitted culprit of mentally abusing myself like a red-headed step-child if a workout isn’t going my way, so this topic was of great interest to me.

During the discussion, Matt Chan mentioned having a personal mantra to keep you focused when things are going haywire. Example: When you are in on your fifth round of a 400 meter run just after doing 20 over-the-bar burpees and all you want to do is walk around the last corner, a personal mantra can snap you back to reality and keep you focused on your ultimate goal. After looking online and researching this topic, crossfit979 had some great information on setting and using your very own personal mantra.  Here are some details on setting your personal mantra:

What is a mantra? A mantra is a sound, word, or phrase used to aid in meditation or to snap you back into focus at any point in time.

Why create a mantra? This is a great tool for reminding us why we are diving into the suck of a workout and pushing ourselves beyond a level we think we can achieve.  Mantra’s can influence our subconscious to keep us moving on.   By repeating your mantra over and over, in some cultures hundreds of times a day, you program your subconscious to always have your intentions in your head and it begins to influence the actions you take throughout each day.

We encourage you to define and utilize a personal mantra for yourself. Think about the stresses in your life, the goals you have to overcome them, and the things you want to achieve and create a phrase you can use to focus your intentions. Remember that your mantra should be personal, it should be 1-5 words that are meaningful to you. Your mantra should be written in a manner that is similar to your own verbiage; if you’re not a Greek philosopher and don’t speak latin, your mantra probably should not have that in it.  Your mantra should be a motivator, or a reminder of who you want to be or what you want to accomplish this year or could define your dreams, goals and passions.  The key is that it has meaning, it defines you and expresses the things you are going after.

“Create your mantra, program your mind, and get ready to be the best you’ve been in your entire life! The power of a mantra is immense!”

Here are some great examples of  of some mantra’s that you can feel free to claim as your own:
“I am enough”
“I have come this far, I can go all the way”
“Yesterday I did, today I do, tomorrow I will”
“No regrets”
“Keep Breathing”
“I am stronger than I was yesterday”
“I will beat Clancy” 

Take a second to write your personal mantra in the comments below.


Thursday 140410

Take 15 minutes to find 1RM OHS (from racks)
Then, take 10 minutes to find 1RM complex of 1 Power Snatch + 1 Hang Power Snatch
Then, every minute on the minute for 7 minutes:
1 Power Snatch + 3 OHS @ 50% of heaviest Snatch Complex
Post loads to comments and BTWB
IMG 9305 475x356 Thursday 140410

Lindsay and Katie doing some bench pressing.

The air squat, that’s functional. By Courtney Shepherd
Each of us, before becoming a member of CrossFit Verve, took part in a foundations class in some form or another. Just the title of the class gives away it’s purpose, to teach us the foundations of CrossFit. The very first one on the list is the air squat. The air squat is a foundational movement because we can continuously build on it, seeing new movements form like the front squat, OHS, back squat, thruster, wallball, etc. Each of these movements has it’s own working parts and pieces but the underlying components of their squats are all the same. 
We put a lot of emphasis on the squat, not just because it’s a foundational movement but because it is a functional movement. That’s a lot of “F” words to describe the air squat. Your next question may be “what makes a movement functional?” There are several characteristics that make a movement functional:
1) Functional movement is natural. What I mean by that is we don’t have to be taught functional movement. When you were a kid did you ever sit down? Then moments later did you stand back up? That was a squat. Do you remember your parents teaching you how to sit down and stand up? Most likely because they never had to, we figured it out all on our very own.
2) Functional movement demonstrates universal motor recruitment patterns. Meaning it’s unavoidable movement. Try sitting down without bending at the knees, not possible. Squatting requires multiple joints, multiple muscle groups engaged to be performed.
3) Functional movement is safe. Even at post 1 rep maximal loads. 
4) Functional movement is essential. You need functional movement to get through the day. Getting out of bed in the morning, sitting on to and getting off of a toilet, sitting down in a chair at our work desk. The loss of functional movement is called decrepitude and is the reason people find themselves in nursing homes. 
5) Functional movement is compound yet irreducible. I can not break a squat up into pieces. I can not do leg curls, calf raises, thigh abductors, thigh adductors, and at the end have a better squat. Because of characteristic #2 in order for my squat to improve I must do squats. 
6) Functional movement demonstrates the importance of core to extremity. When we warm up the squat we address initiating with out hips first. This engages our bigger muscle groups first. I want my biggest muscle groups engaged before the smaller ones, they do more work. 
The most definitive characteristic of a functional movement is that it allows us to move large loads, a long distance, quickly. In the air squat that large load may first be your body weight. As we build strength we may be able to support loads for back  squats and front squats. 
The point is that an air squat is not just an air squat. It is the foundation for many additional movements. Building strength in the mechanics of an air squat has transferability. An air squat is also a functional movement. Performing functional movements is a necessity in life. In short, squats are good for the soul, like chicken soup.