Tuesday 151006

6 Rounds for reps
With a 2 minute clock
Row 250(200) meters
then as many burpees over the rower
as possible with the time remaining.
rest 2 minutes between rounds
*score is best round of burpees and lowest round of burpees

Post reps to BTWB

Pete checking out the clues to chalky hands mystery.

Pete checking out the clues to chalky hands mystery.

Starting next week the 6 pm Skilz class will have a different look than normal on Tuesday nights.  Dan Pope, our resident Tuesday night specialty class instructor, has developed a gymnastic skills plan that we are going to implement on Tuesday nights during the Skilz hour.  

The programming is going to be  focused on gymnastic movements and specifically strict gymnastic movements.  There is 4 month plan with this programming designed to get our athletes better at gymnastic movements that we see quite often in workouts and for those of you planning on competing in the CrossFit Open this year, the movements you are likely to see with the workouts announced during the Open.  

The Tuesday night class will feature a 10 – 15 minute warm up designed specifically for the movements you will see over the remaining 45 minutes of class.  If you could use help with any of the following movements or just want to get better with the movements consider this your opportunity.

  • Handstands (wall facing and weight shifting)
  • Chest to ring pull ups 
  • Strict toes to bar
  • Ring row
  • P-Bar dips

The above movements will be the focus of the first month or so of Tuesday night programming.  After the basic foundations have been set with strict movements we will then begin to program in some more dynamic movements including kipping pull ups, kipping toes to bar, and kipping muscle ups.  

These classes are for people with all skill levels as any of the programming can be modified to be both challenging and beneficial to everyone.  We will cap the class to 12 people each Tuesday so please sign up and make sure you’re accepted to class if you’re wait listed.   




Monday 151005

20 Minutes to establish a heavy complex of:
1 Power Clean + 1 Hang Power Clean

then every minute on the minute for 5 minutes
3 Hang power cleans at 80% of complex + 30 double unders

Post weight to BTWB


The people look great, but it’s the donuts that really make this photo special

We have now finished our weightlifting cycle. This past Thursday and Friday presented 2 days to test your one rep maxes in the clean and jerk and snatch.  Over the past 4 – 5 weeks we have focused on developing the Olympic lifts as well as building strength in the squats.  This week we will have class at 5:00 but it will be a deload week.  If you followed the weightlifting program closely, the use this week to take it easy. Give your CNS a week to recover by using light weights and allowing the body to recover from the previous week work load and volume.  We will have programming for the hour so come and put the body through movements but plan on lighter weights.  

Next week we will be starting a new cycle of Hot Dogs and Cupcakes.  We are going to pick a wave from the programming that will be challenging and fun.  We ask that you have about a year of CrossFit under your belt in order to join Hot Dogs and Cupcakes as there isn’t a ton of teaching in the hour long class. You will be corrected on movement flaws and inefficiencies, but you should come with a pretty good understanding of the movements we are likely to see in the programming.  

A big thank you to everyone that showed up to the Andrew Schwiesow Memorial WOD on Saturday.  We averaged close to 25 people per class and the workout was really fun, actually a lot more challenging than it looked on paper.  It was an amazing atmosphere and was really nice to see our community rally for a great cause.  Great job by all and especially those of you that stayed and cheered on everyone until the finish of the workout.  That type of atmosphere is what makes our gym really special.  

A few people have asked about a competitor program and we have something in the works.  It’s still early in the planning process but we will have some information for you in the coming days.  It’s going to be different than we’ve done in the past as far as programming and how to be involved.  Stay tuned for more information. 

Reminder that this week in Skilz, the focus is going to be handstands, handstand walking, and handstand push ups.  If you could use some practice in any of those, be sure and join the Skilz class.


Sunday 151004

For time:
50′ Handstand walk
21 Shoulder to overhead, 135#(95#)
21 Chest to bar pull-ups
50′ Handstand walk
15 Shoulder to overhead, 135#(95#)
15 Chest to bar pull-ups
50′ Handstand walk
9 Shoulder to overhead, 135#(95#)
9 Chest to bar pull-ups

Post time to comments or BTWB

Day One of the Do More Charity Challenge in the books!!

Day One of the Do More Charity Challenge in the books!!

IT’S CROCK POT SEASON!! – We can now throw ingredients into a heated bowl, set it and forget it!!  Here is a great recipe for meat for the week:



  • 6 medium pepper, green chile, dried
    such as New Mexico, Anaheim, or ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded
  • 14 ounce(s) tomatoes, fire-roasted, diced
  • 1 large onion(s)
    coarsely chopped
  • 4 clove(s) garlic
    coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/3 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoon cumin, ground
    1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup(s) beer, Mexican lager (such as Dos Equis or Corona)
  • 1 tablespoon oil, canola
  • 2 pounds beef, brisket
    first-cut, trimmed flat
  • 15 ounce(s) beans, pinto


1. Tear chiles into 1-inch pieces and place in a large bowl. Cover with hot water and let sit until softened, at least 20 minutes. Drain.
2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Place tomatoes and their juices, onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin, salt and the drained chile pieces in a food processor. Process until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in beer.
3. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add brisket and brown on all sides, about 6 minutes total. Pour the chile sauce over the meat and bring to a simmer.
4. Cover, transfer to the oven and bake for 2 hours. Stir in beans and continue baking until the meat is fall-apart tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour more.
5. Transfer the meat to a cutting board and pull apart into long shreds using two forks. Stir the shredded meat back into the sauce.  You can view the recipe in its entirety here
– 2 teams will continue to compete in the Do More Charity Challenge.  We do not know heat times yet but, more than likely, if you show up between 10am and 4pm, you will catch one of them!
-Thank you to everyone who came out for the Andrew S. memorial workout.

Saturday 151003

4 Rounds for time:
21 Calorie row
11 Power clean, 85#
28 Wallball shots, 20#
8 Power snatch, 85#

Post rounds and reps to comments and BTWB

RIP Andrew Schwiesow. You will be greatly missed.

RIP Andrew Schwiesow. You will be greatly missed.


*Today is Andrew Schwiesow’s memorial WOD. Any and all are welcome to join. Even anyone that has not done a CrossFit workout before. We can absolutely scale/ modify this workout to allow you to participate. We will not be asking for any drop in fees, rather we will ask that you simply donate to the scholarship fund that has been created for Andy’s children Bella (3) and Charlie (1). Donations can be made out to LUMC and in the memo line it needs to state “Bella and Charlie Schwiesow fund”. We will also take cash donations. 

*When you finish the workout at Verve, you can head over to Front Range CrossFit and cheer on two Verve teams as they compete in the Do More Charity Challenge competition going on all weekend. Click here for location details.

*The next, and final, Team Series workouts will be announced the week of October 6th.

*Saturday October 17th Verve will be hosting the EOD Memorial WOD for all the Saturday classes. Stay tuned for more details. 


Friday 151002

As many rounds as possible in 7 minutes of:
10 Deadlift, 225#(155#)
50 Double unders

Post reps to comments or BTWB

Thank you Jayme E. for the heart-felt show of memorium.

Thank you Jayme E. for the heart-felt show of memorium.

Recently, I have heard some complaints about some lower back pain (this is Anna Mattson by the way).  While lower back pain can be an indication of SO MANY things, such as inflexible ankles, tight hips, poor knee placement, “douche-bag” shoulders, and so much more, here are some tips to relieve the pain you are currently in.  You can view the entire article here.

How to Stop Your Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain afflicts approximately eight out of every ten people, both those who are sedentary and those who are physically active. The irony of back pain for the athlete is that while movement is what should be keeping you and your spine healthy, when you push too hard or you don’t let your body recover, back pain can strike you as well.
And, oh, how miserable it is not being able go to the gym, not being able to follow your detailed training plan, and possibly not even being able to tie your shoes. So how can you get back to feeling good and back to regular exercise?

Learn to Love Yoga to Heal Your Lower Back Pain

In a twelve-month study conducted in the U.K., researchers discovered that yoga was a highly cost-effective way to manage and heal lower back pain. Not only that, but the people in the study who did the yoga also took fewer sick days than the non-yoga-doing control group. So, your back hurts less and you get sick less often? Sounds awesome as far as my training aspirations go!

But which yoga poses are the best for your low back? And is there something you can do on your own without attending yoga classes? Yes, indeed. Yoga expert Julie Rader has a sequence of five yoga poses she suggests you do daily in order to relieve back pain. At the very least, you should do these after every workout:

  1. Supine Hamstring Stretch
  2. Two-Knee Twist
  3. Sphinx
  4. Pigeon or Thread the Needle
  5. Legs Up the Wall

*****ASK ONE OF OUR IN-HOUSE YOGA EXPERTS (MOLLY/KACEY) if you need further explanations of these movements OR come to yoga on Sundays!

Low Back Advice From a World-Champion Powerlifter

Maybe yoga isn’t your thing and you’re more of a powerlifting athlete. In fact, maybe that’s why your back hurts to begin with – but don’t worry, we won’t judge you for that. We know that more weights is more better, and we’d hate to have you give up lifting heavy, so here’s a video from one of our resident powerlifters, Donnie Thompson, to help you out.

Donnie knows a thing or two about both lifting heavy and low-back pain. His powerlifting total is 3,000lbs and for his day job he specializes in helping other athletes stay healthy with physical therapy techniques. Check out his advice on how to treat your back pain. You’ll need some rubberbands and a rack (and you may want to make sure none of your friends have their cameras on hand):

What to Do If You’re Stuck Sitting All Day

Despite your active lifestyle, we know that many of you get stuck sitting for long periods of time, whether at your desk, driving a car, or flying to your next awesome fitness-adventure destination. In this video, yoga expert Jon Kolaska shares a simple stretch you can do while seated that will bring your lower back some relief:

Take the Time to Slow Down and Heal

For most people, while back pain is a setback, it will be a temporary one. Refusing to acknowledge that you have to slow down, though, could result in your back pain becoming chronic and/or more severe. So take your pain as a sign that you need to change your speed and intensity for a bit. It doesn’t mean you can’t be active, but you may need to adjust your activities a bit.


– The memorial WOD for Andrew S. will be tomorrow during the scheduled classes.  ALL ARE WELCOME, we just ask that, in lieu of the drop in fee, you make a donation to a fund set-up to support his children in the future.  THANK YOU SO MUCH for all of you that have already donated!

-Yoga is cancelled this Sunday, but if you need some ideas for mobility, talk to a coach or one of our in-house yogies.

Thursday 151001

Take 20 minutes to establish 1RM clean & jerk

Rest 5 minutes

Then, as many rounds as possible in 5 minutes of:
5 Hang power clean & jerk @ 65% of today’s 1RM
5 Bar facing burpees

Post loads to comments and BTWB

Andrew Schwiesow and his family.

Andrew Schwiesow and his family.

The Andy Schwiesow memory WOD

This Saturday we will be hosting a memorial WOD in honor of one of Verve’s members who unfortunately passed away a few weeks ago. Andy Schwiesow had been a member of Verve since April 2011. He regularly came to classes, with his most favorite being the barbell focused specialty classes. And his most, most favorite being the classes focused on the Olympic lifts. Here is his workout:

4 Rounds for time:
21 Calorie row
11 Power clean, 85#
28 Wallball shots, 20#
8 Power snatch, 85#

Andy’s first workout as a member of Verve was 4-21-11 and Andy’s birthday is 8-28-85. A workout built for a tall man with an enjoyment for throwing around a barbell. I am posting this early because I understand many who would like to join us on Saturday may not be able to. If you perform this workout, please let me know, and if you can send a picture. His family will love to know everyone that gets involved. 

Andy’s family will be here on Saturday watching those who participate during each class. Following the 11am class we will roll out some beers, toast and share in some great stories. Andy’s family will also have a guest book they would like participants to sign. 

Any and all are welcome to join. Even anyone that has not done a CrossFit workout before. We can absolutely scale/ modify this workout to allow you to participate. We will not be asking for any drop in fees, rather we will ask that you simply donate to the scholarship fund that has been created for Andy’s children Bella (3) and Charlie (1). Donations can be made out to LUMC and in the memo line it needs to state “Bella and Charlie Schwiesow fund”. We will also take cash donations. 

We will also ask that you please go to Verve’s schedule page (click here) to sign up for a class on MBO, this will give us an idea how many people will be attending classes so we may plan accordingly. 

If you have any additional questions, please feel free to email me, courtney@crossfitverve.com. We look forward to seeing you all on Saturday.


Wednesday 150930

“Tabata mash-up”
:20 of work followed by :10 of rest, alternating between stations, x 8 rounds:
Ring support
Chin over bar hold
Squat hold (perfect form)

Post results to comments and BTWB

Who's excited for the next round of the #Teamseries?? It starts next week, Anna and Nate are ready to rock.

Who’s excited for the next round of the #Teamseries?? It starts next week, Anna and Nate are ready to rock.


Volume vs. Intensity vs. Over Training By Courtney “more is not always equal to better” Shepherd and Adrian Conway of Brute Strength

Let’s chat about the concept of over training. We have posted several blog posts over the past few months about over training. These blogs come about because we take notice to trends arising involving Verve’s members actually over training. I’m not going to repeat these blogs posts in their entirety but rather highlight a few main points about the detrimental effects of over training. This can include, but are not limited to, increased risk of injury, what I have lovingly referred to in the past as “cock blocking” your progress and gains, and the eventual need to be forced to take a lengthy period of time off to actually recover from the systemic bodily effects of over training. When it comes to over training I think there are really 2 issues to deal with: 1) The idea that increased volume automatically leads to increased/ improved performance, and 2) that actually taking a day off/ rest day will instantly make you weaker/ less fit. And ain’t nobody got time for that, right? Wrong. Before I dive any further, EVERYONE has time for a rest day, period.

Well let’s look at this from a Volume vs. Intensity stand point for a moment. Adrian Conway, member of Hacks Pack Ute CrossFit Affiliate Cup champs 2 years in a row and individual Regional competitor, wrote a blog at the beginning of the year addressing these two concepts. Here the list of the big questions most athletes ask themselves:

As a training athlete should you be doing more workouts? More skill work? Learning to play new sports…more often? More metcons in a day? OR should you be doing less better? Should you instead do 1 workout a day and attack it like there is no tomorrow? Maybe have 1 skill per day you focus on with all your heart in order to maximize the results? How about instead of always building to a heavy snatch/clean and jerk followed by some accessory front squats, overhead squats, snatch grip deficit dead lifts, banded clean pulls and then a metcon followed by some intervals……you simply warm up, do skill work for the metcon and hit it, no holding back, no pre fatigue. WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?

The Volume Approach

There are advantages to working out more often than others, period. Increased work capacity, increased ability to recover. You will be able to finish 3-4 day competitions better than your lesser-trained competitor. You will have had more exposure to unique combinations of movements, modalities, time domains, you name it.

But how hard are you really able to train during your 5th hour of the day? Do you ever find yourself saving just a touch of energy because you know something is coming next? How about on your AM1 strength session for your Olympic lifts – do you leave out 1 or 2 more attempts on your clean and jerk that may be your breakthrough reps in order to save up for the AM2 session of front squats? Does all the volume actually slow your body’s ability to respond to proper strength training, therefore slowing/blunting potential GAINZ? An even more applicable question is, in your PM1 session at the track, do you let off the gas just a touch in order to save yourself for your evening metcon because that is more “important?” Maybe you don’t even make the standards for your run paces due to the fatigue from your earlier strength session. In that case tell me, what was the purpose of the track anyways?

Just to do more because “more is better,” right? Well of course, the fittest man on earth 4 years in a row trains each day hours on end, so that is what you must do to become great.


The Intensity Approach

Intensity is the independent variable most commonly associated with maximizing the rate of return of favorable adaptation. In short, intensity gets you what you want. It’s where the magic happens!

Let’s look at what it may look like to train for 1-2 hours a day as a Games competitor. You walk into the gym, your warm up lasts 15-20 minutes, and the next 10-15 minutes are spent doing skill work for the movements that will be included in the conditioning session, along with some gymnastics static holds and positional work. You then spend the next 35 minutes hitting a few heavy clean and jerks and then getting through a series of heavy front squats. Following that, you begin the metcon that lasts 6-10 minutes, followed by a cool down of 10 minutes. A lot can be accomplished in a short amount of time, right? And your ability to get it done in such a short window allows for a long recovery between sessions from day to day. The primary advantage is that time spent in the gym is short and you can leave everything you have right there in that specific session. You visit the dark place in those 6-10 minutes of your metcon knowing that you are there to maximize effort, mental toughness, and physiological thresholds to the point of muscle failure. No breaks, no saving energy – what you have, you expend it.

What else do you get? Speed! Something that competitors in our sport generally overlook is the value of going extremely fast for 3-6 minutes. Why? Because it hurts, really, really bad, but a workout that comes up like that at a competition or the Games is worth just as much as the 12-15 minute chipper, is it not? What else do you avoid by getting in, training and getting out? Less mental fatigue. You hear about it all the time from competitors: “Oh I’m just feeling burnt out, I don’t even know if I want to compete this year, it is so stressful/ time consuming.” Well chill out bro, maybe workout a bit less, enjoy what you do. Others manage just fine with only 1-2 hours a day as stated above.

Fact is, there is more than one way to skin a cat. With this “Sport of Fitness” there are a bajillion and one ways (literally, and yes I said that). Do you want Intensity? Yes. Do you want volume? Yes. How do you balance it? That is going to be up to you and how you can fit your training into your life. I would also encourage taking an even deeper look into your athletic history, your age, your current strengths and weaknesses, your durability, how well you recover, your current stress levels, how well and how much you sleep, your nutrition…and the list goes on. All of these things should influence how you train day to day, cycle to cycle and year to year. If you need work on how you perform in the open, focus on INTENSITY like it is your job. If you are a Games athlete that looks around on day 4 and sees yourself getting passed or left behind by lesser athletes, then maybe you need to look at your training volume and make some increases at certain times. If you have no idea where to start, if you don’t know if you are training too much, or not enough, assess if you are improving. If the answer is yes, you are doing good things.”

This post is being brought to you today because I literally saw an athlete do the Verve weightlifting class (where heavy lifting occurred), followed immediately by the skilz class, followed immediately by joining the main WOD for another session of heavy lifting. During the main WOD this person missed the same lift 3 times and said out loud “I don’t know what’s wrong with me today.” I do. This person had been working out for 3 hours in a row, their central nervous system is completely shot. That last hour in the main WOD was time wasted, it would have been better spent recovering/ mobilizing/ eating/ resting, and then coming back the next day to tackle that heavy lift. The negative effects of that wasted hour may not show up right away, but they will several weeks down the road, especially if this behavior continues. There will be no gains, no new PRs, there will be fatigue, and there may be injury. When fatigue and injury set in there are 2 ways to address it: 1) rest and rehab/ recover, 2) push through it. Option #2 means right about the time of the Open this athlete is going to be forced to take an extended, unplanned, and obviously unwanted period of time off to really truly recover from the damage done. MORE VOLUME DOES NOT EQUAL MORE PROGRESS. 

And again, if you are unsure as to whether or not you are over training, it’s simple. . . if you take a heavy lifting class and consistently miss a weight that you know you should get, causing you to ask yourself, “what’s wrong with me?”, and this is following a 3 hour training session. . . . you my friend are over training. A lack of progress should be your guide. 

Click here for full article.

*Details about Andy’s memorial WOD on Saturday will be in tomorrow’s blog post.

Tuesday 150929

8 Rounds, max effort per round:
250 Meter row
Rest 2 minutes

*Record only fastest time and slowest time

Post times to BTWB

The calm before the mashed potatoes.

The calm before the mashed potatoes.


What’s the deal with Skilz? 

You may have noticed that the Skilz class at 6 pm has had a different look when it comes to programming over the past couple of weeks.  

We have been focused more on skill development work lately.  What a concept given the name of the class, don’t you think?  Every week we have been using the first 10 minutes of class, after the warm up, to focus on a particular movement.  The past few weeks we’ve been developing handstand skill work as well as pull ups.  This week will be devoted to pull ups so if you are looking for additional practice with your pull ups or to building your pulling power to help get pull ups, perhaps the Skilz class is a good option.

Barbell movements and getting more comfortable with certain lifts has also been a focus.  Spending most of the class on building positions in certain barbell movements and then adding in some accessory work after.  

There are still met con workouts programmed on most days, but the focus lately has been to allow more time on certain movements and high skill gymnastics so athletes that want more exposure to certain lifts or gymnastic movements have an outlet for this.  

Here is what we have planned for the next couple weeks.  This week the skill work will be pull up focused. Developing strength and working on positioning for the strict and kipping pull up.  Next week we will be working on getting inverted and developing the handstand, handstand walk, and handstand push up.  If you could use some extra work with those particular movements, Skilz class is at 6 pm Monday – Thursday.  

Monday 150928


Then, 1 rep @ 90% of today’s heaviest
Then, 1 rep @ 80% of today’s heaviest
Then, 1 rep @ 70% of today’s heaviest

Post weight to BTWB

This photo has to be staged it looks so good.

This photo has to be staged it looks so good.

This week will be the final week of the current Verve Weightlifting Cycle.  Over the past 4 weeks we’ve worked on a lot of squatting and skill work for the Olympic lifts.  Monday and Tuesday will be focused on percentage work for the snatch and clean and jerk and then on Thursday and Friday those classes will be devoted to establishing a new 1 rep max Snatch and Clean and Jerk.  Thursday and Friday will give you the opportunity to come in and spend the half the class on each lift.

After this week we will still have Verve Weightlifting at the 5 PM hour for the following.  Next week is going to be a de-load week.  We will program the days to feature lightweight squatting and position work for the clean and jerk and snatch.  

So what are we going to do with the 5 pm specialty hour after the deload week? 

We are going to be bringing back Hot Dogs and Cupcakes.  For those of you unfamiliar with what Hot Dogs and Cupcakes is here is a description from the creator:

What is Hot Dogs & Cupcakes? Well, it’s a work in progress – much like we all are. HD&CC was originally started as a blog between two buddies that challenged each other to workouts that addressed their weaknesses. CrossFit.com took care of the conditioning and GPP, but certain areas were left underdeveloped… particularly absolute strength and high level body positioning common to gymnastics.

As you can see the program will address and absolute strength building and help you focus on your body positioning in gymnastics.  We are looking over the programming now to determine where we are going to begin the next phase of HD & CC.  Stay tuned for more details but if this is your first foray into the HD & CC program and you have questions please use the comments section or ask a trainer at the gym.

Sunday 150927

For time:
1,000 Meter row

10 Rounds of:
5 Deadlift, 305#(215#)
15 Air squats

1,000 Meter row

Post time to comments or BTWB

Add whatever protein your heart desires!!

Add whatever protein your heart desires!!

You can never have too many side dish recipes!!  Here is one for Spanish Cauliflower fried rice that can go with anything.


Serves 4-6 ~ 6C, 6F for entire batch – You choose your protien

  • 1/2 c. onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 head of cauliflower, riced (about 3-4 c. worth)
  • 4 oz. can fire roasted green chilies (if you are wanting a less spicy version, eliminate or reduce the amount)
  • 1 can Rotel Tomatoes, drained (I used mild)
  • 1 c. salsa
  • 1/2 c. cilantro
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin
  • 1 T. lime juice (optional – I did not add the lime juice this time, but I think it would add some nice zestiness to it!)


  1. In a skillet, saute onions in olive oil until they begin to soften.
  2. Add cauliflower rice and continue to saute for about 10-12 minutes or until “rice” begins to brown. If it seems too dry in your pan, feel free to add a little bit more olive oil to help saute the cauliflower more, but it will increase your fats a bit more.
  3. Add chilies, tomatoes, salsa, cilantro, cumin, and lime juice.  Saute for an additional 3-5 minutes.
  4. Consume.