Friday 141219

With a 5 minute clock
Complete as many reps as possible of:
10 Wall Balls 20#(14#)
10 Muscle ups
rest 2 minutes
5 Rounds for Time:
20 Wall Balls 20#(14#)
4 Muscle Ups

Post rounds/reps to comments or BTW

2015 IS RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER and most of us like to use this calendar opportunity to make some resolutions.  These resolutions are lucky to see the light of February IF they make it through the first week.  Don’t dwell on the past, 2015 will be different!

THE TASK if you should choose to accept it:  Spend this weekend thinking of some habits you would like to ADD, SUBTRACT, or CREATE and write them down.  These habits can be anything from fitness, nutrition, weight, mobility, performance, meditation, social media, familial, work, ANYTHING!  Choose 2 or 3 of them.  Next, you will find yourself an ACCOUNTABILIBUDDY (thank you Danielle D. for that term), someone who will help keep you accountable and vice versa.  LASTLY, stay tuned for Mondays’ post for more details.  Many of you have been asking if we will be doing a challenge for the New Year…. the answer is YES!

Here are the links to sign-up for the Bodyfat Testing truck:  The most favorable times fill up quickly!

Tuesday, January 6th

Wednesday, January 7th

What habits are you looking to change in 2015??

Thursday 141218

Push Press

Then, every minute on the minute for 8 Minutes:
3 Push press @ 80% of 1 RM
30 Double unders

Post loads to comments and BTWB

jordan 475x633 Thursday 141218

Jordan Afraimi, 14 years old, hit a 1RM back squat of 170# on Monday. Strong work Jordan!!


The Hook Grip: Do You Need it? A stolen title and bullet points by Matt Bruce of brUTE Strength, but brought to you today, by Courtney Shepherd

The Olympic lifts, snatch and clean & jerk, are unique in that they require proficiency in all 10 General Physical skills. That means that athletes who make Olympic lifting their main area of focus excel at cardio/ respiratory endurance, strength, flexibility, stamina, power, speed, coordination, balance, accuracy, and agility. This is why we, as CrossFitters, LOVE the Olympic lifts. While we do not devote all our time to them, we include them in our training because of the benefits they provide. Perhaps some of us can look back at our beginning CrossFit days and compare our comfort with the Olympic lifts to our comfort with them now. While we may not consider ourselves Olympic lifting experts, I will bet we have improved. An improvement in our ability to snatch means we have improved our explosive hip drive. An improved explosive hip drive can help improve our box jumps, our kipping pull-up, our kettle bell swing. The Olympic lifts have transference to other movements.

Whenever I teach the Olympic lifts I always hear athletes say “there are so many things to think about”. Well, there are. You have to focus on how you shift the weight in your feet, keeping our shoulders over the bar, shrugging at the right time, etc, etc, etc. Unfortunately I am here to add another, it’s something simple and often overlooked but still a part of the technique of Olympic lifting. I’m certain the title of this blog gave it away a long time ago, but I’d like to address the hook grip.

What is the hook grip?
“To secure the hook grip, the athlete needs to grip the barbell and place one, two or three fingers around the thumb. Most athletes prefer the method shown here: two fingers placed over the thumb, with the thumb protruding slightly between the middle finger and ring finger.”

hook 300x180 Thursday 141218

The hook grip


The hook grip feels awkward and/ or hurts.
“Many people attempt to hook grip the barbell but stop shortly after due to pain in the thumb or the inability to hold the thumb in place. There are a few methods you can use to help solve this problem: First, the hook grip is usually painful and awkward for only a few weeks. After a few weeks, the body tends to adapt the new grip, and sooner than later, you won’t even realize that you naturally grab the bar with the hook grip. One method to help speed this process is to hook grip a dumbbell in each hand and do farmers walks once a week for a total of 5 minutes. Another common problem is that athletes feel the hook grip sliding out. A solution might be to tape the thumb.”

What is the purpose of the hook grip?
“The hook grip is important because it helps keep the bar from sliding into the fingertips during the second phase (explosion phase) of the pull. The thumb helps keep the bar locked in place during the huge acceleration that is generated into the barbell during this phase.”

When should I use or not use the hook grip?
“The hook grip is utilized for all lifts below the shoulders. On the clean, the hook grip is most commonly released when receiving the bar in the front rack. It is not suggested that you jerk with a hook grip because this can restrict the movement of the barbell while traveling overhead. On the snatch, you can either keep the hook grip throughout the lift, or you can release the hook grip on the turnover above the head. This is the choice of the athlete as to which feels more comfortable— neither is right or wrong. Most importantly, the hook grip should be utilized for cleans and snatches, especially when lifting heavy.

The only time I would not suggest using the hook grip is for high repetitions of snatches or cleans within a WOD, especially when the weight needs to go overhead then back to the floor extremely fast. Other than that, I suggest using the hook grip, especially while lifting heavy weights.”

Yes, the hook grip is weird. Yes, the hook grip is uncomfortable. Yes, using a hook grip is just one more thing to think about. But as we become more comfortable and consistent in our technique, now is the time to refine our technique, add in the smallest of technique work that may in fact produce a big difference. So get out there and start hooking. Not like on the streets for money but like in a WOD with a barbell. 

Click here for full article.

Wednesday 141217

Three rounds for time:

Run 400m
21 Power cleans, 155# (105#)
12 Bar facing burpees

Post time to comments and BTW.

IMG 0639 475x475 Wednesday 141217

Max amidst box squats last week. #roguefitness #represent

Whether or not you breaking up with your knee sleeves as of late after our post a couple weeks ago, it’s a good chance to give them some TLC.  Often times neoprene sleeves can develop a distinct “smell…”  Like the smell of hard work getting done!  But seriously….they need some care regularly so they last a long time and not drive your fellow athletes away.  So here’s some good tips below.  What have you found works best for you?

How To Wash Your Knee Sleeves
By Calvin Sun at CrossFit Invictus

Method 1: Prevention Is The Medicine

The best way to keep your knee sleeves smelling fresh is to prevent mildew (and who knows what else) from growing in the first place. If possible, don’t throw your sweaty knee sleeves into your gym bag and seal them up until your next training session.

- Turn your knee sleeves inside out after use and allow them to air dry.

- Depending on how frequently you use them, wash your knee sleeves with a normal load of laundry as needed and air dry them completely before putting them back in your gym bag.

- If you find that homeless people grimace when you run by with your knee sleeves on or maybe the UN has requested an inspection of your gym bag for biological and chemical weapons, you might want to try one of the two methods outlined below.

Method 2: Boil Your Knee Sleeves

I first heard of this method from Freddy Camacho of CrossFit One World. It’s pretty simple, all you need is a pot of water and some soap.

- Boil your knee sleeves in a pot of hot water for about 5 minutes.

- Remove the pot from heat.

- Add a small amount of dish soap to your sweaty neoprene mildew broth.

- Allow your knee sleeves to cool in the pot.

- Rinse your knee sleeves off and allow them to air dry.

Method 3: Hot Water and Vinegar Soak Before Washing With Laundry

The idea here is to use two methods for killing mildew and whatever else might be growing in your knee sleeves: heat and distilled vinegar. Bleach and other chlorine-based cleaners are not recommended for knee sleeves. Bleach can possibly weaken the textiles that comprise your knee sleeves.

- Heat up a large pot of water.

- Pour into a large bucket.

- Add 2 to 4 ounces of distilled white vinegar.

- Add your knee sleeves and allow them to soak for at least 10 minutes.

- Add your knee sleeves to a normal load of laundry with chlorine-free detergent.

- Allow your knee sleeves to completely air dry, you can leave them outside in the sun to speed up this process.

Besides allowing people to share a squat rack or lifting platform with you, washing your knee sleeves also has the added benefit of tightening them up a bit so you can be sure you have a secure knee support. As I mentioned, prevention is the best method but if you (or a friend) have particularly putrid knee sleeves, consider using one of the methods listed here.

Tuesday 141216

As many reps as possible in 15 minutes of:
3 Pull ups
3 Handstand push ups
6 Pull ups
6 Handstand push ups
9 Pull ups
9 Handstand push ups
12 Pull ups
12 Handstand push ups
Add 3 reps each round and continue until time expires

Post reps to BTWB

Michael Scott 475x270 Tuesday 141216

Unreal advice!

As we approach the end of the year it’s time to look at the Goals 2014 board and see what we still have left to accomplish.  Many of us have achieved some of or all the goals we have set for ourselves this year.  Some of us, Kaplan, put up goals that we already had just to show someone up, me, even thought he outweighs me by A LOT!   

With only a few weeks remaining in the year, now is the time to go ahead and attempt to attain those goals. How will you know if you don’t try right?  Heed the words of the great Michael Scott in the picture above.  We have plenty of open gym hours remaining in the year and enough to hopefully accommodate everyone’s schedule so they can come in and take a shot at achieving their goals for 2014.  

The accomplished board is filled up and we want to see if filled up even more.  

Start looking toward 2015 as well.  Maybe your goals are to lift a certain amount of weight or perform a high skill gymnastic movement.  Perhaps the goal is to run faster or even get down to a certain body fat %. Whatever goal or goals you choose for the following year, make sure they are realistic and measurable.  The board is a fun way for you to be held accountable.  Once you have your goals in mind, come up with a plan to help you achieve them.  Ask your trainers for help and advice, that’s one of the reasons we are here, to help you along in your fitness journey.  

Monday 141215

Back Squat

Post score to BTW.

Adam 475x316 Monday 141215


A Case For Training Without Adrenaline

What follows is a short read from – check out the original article here.

You’re standing at your bar, and you have that sick, nauseous feeling in the bowels of your gut. It’s the day to challenge your Fran time, and you put 115 on your bar like a boss. The timer says ten seconds, and tiny beads of sweat form on your fingertips through layers of chalk. Five seconds. Your heart begins to pound. Three seconds. Two seconds. You’re in it now kid. You better go hard. One… GO!!!

At that moment, you start lifting your brains out and throwing your self around the pull-up like you hated the flesh on your palms. Your muscles scream, flooding with lactic acid, but you’ve drowned them out because you found your Master of Puppets cassette the day before and you fast forwarded to Kirk Heinrich’s killer solo on minute six.

You collapse. You breathe. It’s over.

This scene is part of what makes CrossFit so damn fun and so damn easy to get hooked. Challenging limits and seeing what you’re capable of is an incredible rush, and it’s part of what drives people to do irrational things (base jumping, bull riding, karaoke).

I’m going to encourage you to do just the opposite.

Not every time, but I believe there’s much to be gained from being fully present with yourself and your environment during a difficult WOD. We exert so much of ourselves toward avoiding discomfort and pain that it becomes a distraction from what’s beautiful about experiencing those feelings. I know that’s a strange thing to say because it goes against all our natural instincts, but if you can embrace discomfort in a safe setting then it makes you more equipped to deal with pain in other areas of your life.

In yoga, this is known as sitting with your discomfort. An article in New York Family describes how this same mantra is used by a psychotherapist with her clients. Rather than allowing someone to avoid a subject that is difficult, she asks her clients to “dive deeper and explore” the pain in their lives.

When we rely on external factors to push us through a WOD, like a screaming coach or loud music, we’re creating a co-dependent relationship that diminishes the motivation you have within yourself and distracts us from feeling pain. Adrenaline simply becomes a pain killer.

This goes to why it is you come to CrossFit in the first place. Are you there to just get through and check it off your to-do list, or are you there because you believe the experience is beneficial to your health and growth as a person?

Sunday 141214

As many rounds as possible in 12 minutes:
15 Unbroken wall balls, 20# (14#)
15 Unbroken kettlebell swings, 32kg (24kg)

Post rounds to comments or BTW

apple cinammon 475x475 Sunday 141214

Breakfast goodness!!


THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO CAME OUT LAST NIGHT TO CELEBRATE 2014 AND EACHOTHER!! It was a great time and we are ready to bring on 2015!  Make sure to check out all of the pictures on the CrossFit Verve Social page.  If you are not part of that group, talk to Anna and she can make it happen.

Paleo Cinnamon Apple Muffins

I have been doing a recipe very similar to this with pumpkin and pumpkin pie spices and it has been delicious!  Muffins are so convenient in the morning because you can pop them in your mouth anytime, walking out of the door, driving, or right after a workout.  Here is an easy recipe that doesn’t have too many ingredients from

  1. 1 cup almond flour
  2. 3 tablespoons coconut flour
  3. 1 apple, diced
  4. 3 eggs, beaten
  5. 2-3 tablespoons honey
  6. 1-2 tablespoons cinnamon (depending on how much you like cinnamon)
  7. 1/4 cup coconut oil
  8. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Take large mixing bowl and add flours, cinnamon, and baking soda. Mix.
  3. Once mixed, add apples, eggs, honey, and coconut oil to mixture and mix well again.
  4. Prepare muffin tin with liners and add batter.
  5. Place tin in oven and bake for 30 minutes or until done.
  6. Enjoy once they cool off or you lose your patience while waiting.


Shaina is competing TODAY starting at 11:30am MST.  You can watch her and all of the other athletes LIVE HERE

Saturday 141213


Complete as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of:
20 Overhead squats, 45# (33#)
20 Back squats, 45# (33#)
Run 400m

Post time to comments or BTW.

photo 3 2 475x712 Saturday 141213

Just Because.



Modified schedule during the week of Christmas and New Years – Check MBO for updates.

Have a safe and wonderful weekend everyone!






Friday 141212

For Time:
30 – 25 – 20 – 15 – 10 – 5 reps of
Double unders
Ring push-ups
GHD Sit-ups

Post time to comments or BTW

426747 10200582002057772 786212894 n 475x356 Friday 141212

Shaina doing work. Good Luck this weekend! (sorry for the poor pic quality)

Verve would like to take this opportunity to wish SHAINA JORDAN the best of skill luck this weekend as she travels to compete in the American Open Championships.  Here are some interesting facts about the American Open Championships that will help you realize what a big deal this is :

#1 – To qualify, Shaina had to lift a combined total of 166kg (365.2 lbs) between her Snatch and Clean and Jerk to qualify.

#2 – Shaina is one of only 200 women from across the country who met the lifting criteria and will be competing for their respective weight.

#3 – Shaina has only been lifting for 4 years!!  Talk about natural talent!

You can watch the live feed for all lifting HERE






Thursday 141211

Find a 1RM of the following complex:
Snatch pull + hang power snatch + overhead squat

Then, accumulate 30m handstand walk

Post loads to comments and BTWB

IMG 1655 475x356 Thursday 141211

Ryan putting in some work while his partners in crime, Robyn and Trey, watch on. Just a few of the athletes representing Verve during last month’s Turkey Challenge.


Dear Universe, knock that s#@t off right now. Thank you, Courtney

I’m 33 years old and the universe has not slowed down in serving me up some hearty life lessons. I suspect it never will. The universe is on a mission to constantly remind me that I am an adult, and as such have to deal with adult problems like paying bills, running a business, rehabbing injuries sustained most likely from an aging body and not from doing something fun and youthful. In the words of Jorge, #firstworldproblems. None the less, I thought maybe it was time I laughed in the face of the universe, time to get ahead of this situation and basically pre learn these ridiculous life lessons before they smack me over the head. So I did what any good universe defying rebel would do, I got on the inter webs and googled “important life lessons everyone should learn”. Yeah, I was hoping for some short, definitive list, turns out there isn’t one. What there is, is a plethora of people out their with their own opinion on what life’s most important lessons are.

Marc Chernoff, author of the article “7 Important Life Lessons Everyone Learns The Hard Way” (click here for full article), had some good stuff to say:

1) The people you lose remain a part of you.
2) The pursuit of happiness is about finding meaning.
3) Seeking validation from others invalidates YOU.
4) Regret hurts far worse than fear.
5) Life is too unpredictable for rigid expectations.
6) When you try to run away, you end up running in place.
7) Unanticipated hardships are inevitable and helpful.

Definitely valid and important information, but to be honest, I felt like I was already pretty solid with that stuff. I needed something more practical. I liked what I read when I got to “The life lessons school should teach you” by Lauren Laverne, this was the practicality I was looking for (click here for full article):

It’s OK to be a nerd If nerds ran the world there would be no wars. Only unconvincing battle re-enactments in meticulously correct period costume.

Love Never date anyone who is rude to waiters.

Style Never buy anything to impress someone you don’t know. Never wear a T-shirt with a face on it that’s more attractive than yours.

Socializing All the good bits of a night out happen before 2am. Don’t feel the need to stay up any later. Drugs have a terrible rate of return: they make you ugly, boring and ill, in that order. (The legal ones are the worst.) When talking to someone you like, don’t be nonchalant. Be complimentary. Everyone likes compliments, except dickheads, and it’s usually politic to identify them as quickly as possible.

Art Good art never makes you feel too stupid to understand it, even when you don’t.

Family If you love them, call them often and tell them so.

The internet Don’t use it as a junk drawer for your least interesting thoughts. Never post anything in anger. It makes you look powerless. If you wouldn’t get it out on the bus, don’t put it up online. Never sleep with anyone who uses more than three hashtags per post. #LOL #bantz #Purebantz #Psychicdeath #Shitinbed.

I can’t lie though, I still think I need more. I’m certain there is a lesson to be learned about answering a business phone and the caller says “hey it’s me” and just starts talking. But you have no clue who “me” is. And now you haven’t actually heard a word they have said because you are meticulously studying every inflection in their voice to identify them. When do you let that cat out of the bag?

How about when you just meet a person for the first time and they have food in their teeth? Not just a tiny dot of something up in the corner but like some major food particles all up in their grill, front and center? You were introduced to this person by a good friend, who is in fact NOT blind. So if good friend wasn’t willing to point it out, do you as new acquaintance?

I don’t need a list of lessons on dealing with failing (in order to succeed you must first fail), or lessons on friendship (a true friend doesn’t put you down but lifts you up), blah, blah, blah. I get that, what I’m asking you for is lessons in professional etiquette and courtesy. Lessons, big or small, laced with humor or dead serious, that have profoundly impacted your life. I’ll take whatever you got.

Wednesday 141210

3 rounds for time:

30 Toes to bar
15 Clean and jerks, 155# (105#)

Post time to comments and BTW.

IMG 0633 475x475 Wednesday 141210

Life would be better if we just wore more tutus.  Words to live by Carmen.

“Mom, sometimes waiting is really hard to do. . .”  –a 3 year old wise beyond her years close to me. 

True, true.  Waiting is nearly always really hard to do.  Anticipation is a big, magical part of childhood.  Seems like we were always waiting for holidays, the end of the school day, summer break, or to be old enough to do something amazing.  Despite the fun in anticipating, we still never seemed to lose the view of beauty in each day.  Even in this season of anticipation for Christmas, she finds every snowflake sparkling, every taste of coconut water sweet, every snuggle warm and cozy.  

Sometimes in our fitness journey we forget how to enjoy all the small steps.  Whether it’s just dancing with friends between heavy sets of squats, high fives on a running loop, or the opportunity to even pick up a barbell.  Often our beginnings of CrossFit are filled with PR’s, many firsts, and huge leaps of improvement.  The longer we stay the journey it evens out more with a small but steady gain.  I PR’d my max clean last Wednesday, but then was disappointed not to PR my 3RM jerk  on Friday.  I got greedy!  Then I realized what a gift that I can even walk in our doors and pickup a barbell, that I can move my body each day, that I got to work out with Anna and hear her laugh (that seriously makes my day every time.)  

We clean up our nutrition and we want overnight results, we start a new workout routine and we want immediate changes, we are surrounded by an impatient society.  Technology teaches us to expect immediate results, but we can’t lose sight that it is in our small steps that true joy exists.  It’s in the fact that earlier this year maybe you did 21 pull-ups in a workout, but now you can do 30 pull-ups, that you can deadlift your bodyweight not 1 but 2 times in a row, that you are coming consistently 3x/week instead of 2x/week.  That maybe my jerks haven’t PR’d but my handstand pushups have improved consistency.  

It doesn’t get easier to wait, but we can enjoy each other and celebrate our moments of fun along the way.  Shout it out!  Our community loves to hear and celebrate with you.  What is one of your small victories this week?  Share to comments, we want to hear all about it.