Saturday 170114


21 Overhead Squats 95#(65#)
42 Pull-ups
15 Overhead Squats 95#(65#)
30 Pull-ups
9 Overhead Squats 95#(65#)
18 Pull-ups
Post results to BTWB


U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Joshua Hager, 29, of Broomfield, Colorado, was killed Thursday, Feb. 22, 2007, when an improvised explosive device detonated near his Humvee during combat operations in Ramadi, Iraq. Prior to his death, Hager was serving in the 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division in Fort Carson, Colorado. He is survived by his wife, Heather; son, Bayley; mother, Lois Knight; father, Kris; and stepbrother, Ensign Aaron Jozsef.

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Joshua Hager, 29, of Broomfield, Colorado, was killed Thursday, Feb. 22, 2007, when an improvised explosive device detonated near his Humvee during combat operations in Ramadi, Iraq. Prior to his death, Hager was serving in the 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division in Fort Carson, Colorado.
He is survived by his wife, Heather; son, Bayley; mother, Lois Knight; father, Kris; and stepbrother, Ensign Aaron Jozsef.


Looking for a recipe that will knock your socks off? Well here ya go!

Melissa Joulwan’s Stovetop Pork Carnitas          

For website, recipe, and other nifty ways to cook this, click HERE

Serves 8-12 | Prep 5 minutes | Cook 2-3 hours | Alert 15 minutes | Whole30 compliant

  • 3-4 pounds boneless pork shoulder (6-ish pounds if it’s bone-in; you must use pork shoulder or Boston butt)

  • 1/2 cup lime juice

  • 1/2 cup lemon juice

  • 1 heaping (!) tablespoon ground cumin

  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder

  • 1/2 tablespoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander

  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1. Cut the pork shoulder into a few large chunks. You don’t want them bite-sized; I make mine about 3-4 inches.
2. Mix cumin, garlic powder, salt, coriander, black pepper, and cayenne together in a small bowl. Place the pork chunks in a plastic container with a lid or a Ziploc bag. Pour in the spice blend, then toss the bag vigorously until the chunks are completely coated on all sides.
3. Place the pork in a large, deep pan. Pour the lime and lemon juice into the bottom, then add water to just cover the meat.
4. Turn heat to high and bring the water to a rip-roaring boil. You want big bubbles! When it’s rolling, turn the heat to a simmer. Keep the pan uncovered. You want it bubble a fair amount, but not be a roiling boil.  While it’s cooking, it will look like uninspired soup. Do not be discouraged!Essentially, you’re waiting for the water to evaporate from the pan, but while the water is evaporating, the powerful acidic qualities of the lime and lemon juice are tenderizing the meat. Yay, science!
5. At about the 2-hour mark, check the pot. The water should be much lower and maybe even almost gone. Now things get interesting… allow all the water to cook out of the pan and watch as the meat magically fries and carmelizes. It is a thing of beauty. But seriously, you need to watch it at this point.
6. Carefully turn the hunks of meat–without shredding them–to brown all sides, then remove the hunks  to a plate and let them rest for 5 minutes before eating. If you’re into this sort of thing, you can save the pork fat from the bottom of the pan in a glass jar and use it for other cooking projects.
  • Eat it like an animal.

  • Serve on a plate with avocado slices, pineapple chunks, chopped cilantro, and lime wedges.

  • Cut into cubes and use in paleo egg foo yung.

  • Shred, wrap in butter lettuce leaves, and drizzle with Sunshine Sauce.

  • Eat alongside creamy cucumber salad made with homemade mayo.

  • Shred and sauté in your favorite cooking fat with shredded cabbage, onion, and garlic.


Friday 170113

Shoulder Press
1 x 10 at 55% of 1 rep max
1 x 8 at 60% of 1 rep max
1 x 6 at 65% of 1 rep max
1 x 4 at 70% of 1 rep max

Every minute on the minute for 12 Minutes
Odd minutes = Pull ups
Even minutes = Handstand push ups

Post loads to comments or BTWB

The shoulder - the cause of strength or nagging.

The shoulder – the cause of strength or nagging.


Today we will deviate from the normal video with suggestions and do a quick “HOW MY SHOULDER WORKS” session.  Sometimes, when we understand the inner-workings of something such as our shoulder, we can better nail down how to treat it.  Here is a little exerpt from an article on the Breaking Muscle blog entitled “WHY DO I KEEP JACKING UP MY SHOULDER?” – Meghan Rovig (you can see the full article here)

“In the two years I’ve been coaching and CrossFitting, I’ve seen biceps tendonitis, rotator cuff tears, and labral tears. These injuries are not always mutually exclusive. The structures are housed closely together and dysfunction in one affects function in the other.

A little anatomy lesson of the shoulder: (refer to picture above) The biceps tendon courses through the subacromial space. This is an area made up of the head of the humerus (upper arm bone) and the acromial process of the scapula (shoulder blade).  There are four muscles that make up the rotator cuff: supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, and subscapularis. The supraspinatus courses through the subacromial space along with the biceps tendon and the subacromial bursa.

If the thoracic spine doesn’t have good mobility, the scapula then cannot be in correct mechanical position. Often, the scapula tilts forward, thereby closing down the subacromial space, creating impingement. This impingement causes the biceps tendon, supraspinatus tendon, and subacromial bursa to be inflamed. Add overhead motion to it, like push press or a kipping movement, and you’ve got yourself one pissed off shoulder joint.

The labrum is not forgotten in this dance of shoulder movement and mobility. It is the site of attachment of the long head of the biceps tendon. Often injured in overhead throwing athletes, the labrum’s purpose is to provide additional stability to the shoulder joint, with the assistance from the rotator cuff muscles. When the cuff is weak, the biceps tendon and labrum will take up the slack, attempting to provide additional stability. When the rotator cuff is already weak, and then gets fatigued with a kipping movement, the labrum takes over. Because of it’s low tensile strength, something has to give. If the rotator cuff doesn’t, the labrum will.

So, there are multiple reasons why you keep f’ing up your shoulder. The first steps toward rehabilitation are rest from the aggravating movement and re-evaluating your form. If you have a good CrossFit coach, talk to him or her about your form, and ask to be watched in a workout. Many of my athletes look technically sound during technique practice, but then it all goes to crap when the WOD is on and sh*t hits the fan.


Thursday 170112

5 Rounds with a 3 minute clock:
Calorie Row, 15(12)
12 Box jumps, 24″(20″)
9 Deadlifts, @ 60% of 1 rep max
Rest remainder of time

*Score is fastest and slowest rounds

Post times to comments and BTWB

Who's got two thumbs and is pumped to register for the 2017 CrossFit Games Open?!?!

Who’s got two thumbs and is pumped to register for the 2017 CrossFit Games Open?!?!


Registration for the 2017 CrossFit Games starts today!!!

Cool story Courtney but I’m kind of new to CrossFit and I have no clue what you are talking about. 

Every year CrossFit crowns one man, one woman, and one team the fittest in the world. This crowning happens after a week long competition that takes place over the summer. But one cannot simply just show up to the CrossFit Games, one must first win the opportunity to go. And that all starts with the CrossFit Games Open. The Open is a weekly competition lasting 5 weeks. Every Thursday starting February 23rd a workout will be announced. Anyone in the world can sign up to participate in the Open, they will have 5 days to do the workout and submit their score. At the end of the 5 weeks, the top men, women, and teams in each region will earn their spot at the CrossFit Games Regionals. Regionals takes place in May, and it’s at this weekend long competition where the top 5 men, women, and teams can earn a trip to the Games. 

Woh. . . that’s a lot of information. I’m still not sure I understand. 

Verve loves to participate in the Open and we love to get as many of it’s members involved in the Open too. It’s as simple as going to the Game’s site and registering, total cost is $20. And now you have the opportunity to compete against hundreds of thousands of people across the world in weekly CrossFit workouts. The best part about the Open? Every workout has a scaled version and there are various divisions based on age, all of which make the Open possible for anyone and everyone to compete in. But there’s more. . . 

This year Verve would like to announce that we will be attacking the Open a little different. Verve would like to introduce you folks to our first ever Open Team Cup. The Open will become a big in house competition. Verve will be made in to 4 teams, able to earn points based on how many people do the workout, top RX and scaled finishers in each workout, passing the judge’s course, and more. The winning team at the end of the Open will get a Verve sponsored social event to celebrate at. So for those of you on the fence about whether or not to sign up for the Open, now’s the time to hop over to the side that gets you registered. It’s no longer about where you place in the world, now it’s about how much smack talk you can back up when you get to go head to head with your WOD buddy.

There is only one prerequisite to participate in this fun filled competition. . . you have to register for the Open. We are super excited to do this. We want you to be as excited. The Open is meant to be such a fun time of the year but this will surely guarantee that for us. So get pumped and get registered.

Wait!! What team are you going to be on?!?! Don’t you worry about that right now. . . that party has yet to start. Over the next few weeks we will continue to give you updates as to how we will roll out the Open Team Cup, so stay tuned. 


Wednesday 170110

For time:
Run 400 Meters
50 Russian kettlebell swings 53#(35#)
50 Ab mat sit ups
Run 400 Meters
35 Russian kettlebell swings 53#(35#)
35 Ab mat sit ups
Run 400 Meters
20 Russian kettlebell swings 53#(35#)
20 Ab mat sit ups
Run 400 Meters

Post results to comments or BTWB

This is the most fitting picture for this Raiders fan!!!

This is the most fitting picture for this Raiders fan!!!



WHAT ARE YOUR HOBBIES/ WHAT DO YOU DO IN YOUR FREE TIME? Mountain bike, snowboard, watch as much Raider Football as possible, spend time with Kristy, Jordan, and Ty.

WHAT CHANGES HAVE YOU SEEN SINCE STARTING CROSSFIT? My strength and conditioning has improved. Mentally when you can do something you never though you could, its very powerful!

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE WORKOUT/MOVEMENT? Anything with squatting, burpees or double unders

ADVICE FOR NEWBIES? Take your time, mobilize A LOT and listen to your body and coaches, remember you have a day job!

FAVORITE QUOTE/JOKE? “Do or Do Not, there is no try”





Tuesday 170110

Back Squat
1 x 10 at 60% of 1 rep max
1 x 8 at 70% of 1 rep max
1 x 6 at 75% of 1 rep max
1 x 4 at 80% of 1 rep max
Front Squat
1 x 5 at 60% of 1 rep max
3 x 5 at 70% of 1 rep max

Post weights to BTWB


Jeremy and Joannie going lunge for lunge

We are beginning a new strength cycle today.  As you can see from the workout, it’s the same squat program we did back in September.  We saw such great results from those that consistently showed up and squatted using the volume and percentages, that with the turn of the new year, we wanted to do the program again and see if we can use the same template and increase our overall capacity and strength in our squats.

We are also going to be the same program on Friday’s for our press, but I’ll get into that a little further down, so keep reading.  The key to success with any program is making sure that you are able to follow it weekly.  Every Tuesday for the next 5 – 6 weeks we will be squatting.  The volume and percentages will vary week to week but the overall goal is to make us stronger squatters and also increase our capacity when squatting movements show up in workouts. Think about a wall ball workout and having the capacity to do more reps before your legs get tired, the Tuesday squat program will help increase your capacity and ability because your legs will be stronger.  We will program workouts around the squat and pressing days that should leave you feeling fresh when Tuesdays and Fridays strength days show up.

We tested our 1 rep back squat in December and our front squat this past week so hopefully you have those numbers written down and can use them for the program.  If you don’t know what your 1 rep back and front squat numbers are, the best thing to do would be to take a fair guess and then use about 90% of that number.  For example is you squatted 400 in high school, but haven’t come close to that since, it’s probably best to not use that number, but rather something more realistic.  

Friday will be devoted to overhead pressing strength.  We will use the same volume and percentages we use for the back squat portion of Tuesday, for Friday.  Since the press won’t take quite as long as the squat program, we will also have workouts or skill based EMOM’s planned for after.  The after pressing portion of Friday’s workouts will all be explained in class and the idea is to spend some time on movements that are more challenging and help us build capacity in the movements.  We tested our 1 rep max shoulder press at the end of December so you should have an idea of what your current number is but again, best to use a more conservative guess rather than a number we’d like to get to.  

The key to both program is going to be consistency.  If you want a bigger squat and bigger press, make sure you are able to come to class or at the least, make up the lifting days in open gym.  

The CrossFit Open starts up at the end of February so we’ll run the program up until about a week before the Open begins.  We will then switch over to programming as the programmers typically take into consideration what the Open workouts are going to be.  This prevents us from programming pull ups the day before an Open workout that may a ton of pull ups in it.  

Hopefully we’ll all see some really good gains in our squats and presses that will have a positive effect on everything else that we do for workouts.  Here’s to some big gains in the new year!

Monday 170109

Every minute on the minute for 10 minutes:
6 Power Cleans and push jerks @ 40% – 50% of 1 rep max Power clean

Rest 3 minutes, then:

Every minute on the minute for 10 minutes:
10 Burpees over the bar

Post loads to comments and BTWB

Lucy and her kids having a fitness off.

Lucy and her kids having a fitness off.

What’s the word, bird?!

*January 21st (Saturday)- We will be hosting Mile High Sprints. This is a satellite indoor rowing competition to qualify individuals for the World Indoor Rowing Championship. Anyone can compete in this event, as long as they are over 14 years of age. The event will be a 2,000m row for time. While this event brings out all the local crew teams and rowing specialists, it also brings out anyone interesting in seeing how they fair next to these people. Have an interest in competing, click here to register. This event will take place in the morning, class times will be moved to 4pm and 5pm Saturday evening.

*January 28th & 29th (Saturday & Sunday)- Verve will be hosting a CrossFit Level 2 Certificate Course. This engaging seminar will teach current Level 1 holders how to proficiently coach athletes. If you currently hold your Level 1, and interested in coaching classes, this is a seminar that you want to take advantage of. For details and registration, please visit the CrossFit Training page here.

For athletes not attending, we will have morning classes and be looking in to off site swimming WODs. Please stay tuned for more updates.

*February 11th & 12th (Saturday & Sunday)- Verve will be hosting Matt Chan and Eric O’Connor for their Train FTW Open Prep Camp. Participants will spend two days training, enhancing movement efficiency for CrossFit Open movements, eating, having discussions related to CrossFit competition, and downtime.

Participation is limited to 60 – all levels are welcomed.
Lunch is provided both days.
Cost is $349/pp, including lunch.
Time is from 9am – 5pm

Go to to register today!
If you are a Verve member and are interested in attending the seminar, we’ve worked out a deal with the TrainFTW team.  Email to find out more information about discounts offered for Verve members.
Happy Monday, Athletes!

Sunday 170108

For time:
Run 800m
50 DB snatch, alternating
40 Ab-mat sit-ups
30 Walking lunge steps w/ DB in right hand
30 Walking lunge steps w/ DB in left hand
40 Ab-mat sit-ups
50 DB snatch, alternating
Run 800m

Post times to comments and BTWB

Leah and Heather working through some banded push press.

Leah and Heather working through some banded push press.

Saturday 170107

Working in teams of 2, as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of:

10 Pull-ups/ ring rows
10 Calorie row
5 Burpees over the rower

*Partner 1 completes full round before switching with partner 2.

Post results to BTWB

Paleo Nick's- Creamy Shrimp Zucchini

Paleo Nick’s- Creamy Shrimp Zucchini

The Crossfit Kitchen is a great resource for recipes when looking for ways to spice up your palette. This savory “pasta” dish from Nick Massie is perfect for a warm comfort food fix. You can watch the full video here along with the original article from the CrossFit Journal. 


  • 16 oz. wild shrimp, peeled, deveined and sliced in half
  • 3 oz. Italian sausage
  • 2 c. tomato puree
  • 1 c. light coconut milk
  • 3 zucchini, rinsed and cut into noodle-like strips
  • 3 yellow squashes, rinsed and cut into noodle-like strips
  • 1 oz. basil chiffonade, saving two basil leaves for garnish
  • 7 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
  • Olive oil, as needed
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste  


  1. Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add 1 tsp. of olive oil and all the garlic to the pan. Cook until the outer edges of garlic become golden brown.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the sausage to the pan, breaking it into small chunks.
  4. Stir garlic and sausage together, add the zucchini and yellow squash, and fold all ingredients together. Turn heat to medium-high and continue to cook for 3-4 minutes.
  5. Add the tomato puree and coconut milk and stir to incorporate. Bring to a simmer, fold in the shrimp and cook for 60 seconds.
  6. Cut the heat, taste the sauce, and adjust seasoning to your liking using kosher salt and black pepper.
  7. Transfer to a plate, garnish with basil leaves and enjoy!
  8. You can also portion this out and refrigerate for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 6 months.

bon appétit!


Friday 160106

Front squat

Post load to comments or BTWB

FLEXIBILITY FRIDAYS!! – Front Rack / Overhead positioning

Yesterday we did some solid overhead and work and today, we front squat.  This video has great tips for both positions.  The key to all of these videos/tips/tricks is to do them, and to do them on a consistent basis!  If you get overwhelmed by the amount of mobility you need, pick a region or body part to focus on for a week or a month.  Any mobility is better than no mobility. 


  • Speaking of mobility, Kacey is back for YOGA this Sunday at 11am!!! Start the New Year out right!
  • BRING A FRIEND DAY is tomorrow, so grab a buddy and bring them to any one of the classes



Thursday 170105

2 Rounds for time:
20 Shoulder to overhead, 115#(75#)
10 Toes to bar
Rest 3 minutes

2 Rounds for time:
15 Shoulder to overhead, 135#(95#)
15 Toes to bar
Rest 3 minutes

2 Rounds for time:
10 Shoulder to overhead, 185#(125#)
20 Toes to bar

Post times to comments and BTWB


What you say matters, By Courtney Shepherd, with the assist of James Gaines and UpWorthy

I guess maybe that seems obvious, especially if you’ve ever said something that hurts someone else’s feelings. Words matter. They express excitement, sadness, we tell lies, we give compliments, we spread gossip and rumor. I think it’s obvious the impact we can have with what we say to others, but what about the impact of what we say to ourselves? Do you have a mantra that instantly boosts your mood or are you constantly the bearer of your own bad news? Self talk is powerful. I can say that from my own personal experience but you don’t have to take my word for it, you can take the word of scientists.

What’s the best way to motivate yourself to not just stay in the game, but to actually do better?

Scientists wanted to test this question, so they set up an odd little competition.

Scientists in England recruited nearly 45,000 people (a stupendously huge sample size for a psych study, by the way) and pitted them against a computer in a kind of virtual race. The players had to try to find their ways through randomized grids of numbers as fast as they could.

Each player got three chances to play this game (plus one practice round). Between the rounds, the players were given different kinds of video motivational messages (presented by Olympic athlete Michael Johnson, which is kind of delightful).

The messages broadly fell into three categories:

Category 1 was self-talk.

This is pretty much what it says on the label. In these motivational messages, Johnson encouraged the players to talk to themselves, saying stuff like, “I can beat that score!”

Category 2 was imagery.

This category of motivational messages encouraged players to unleash their inner eyes and visualize stuff — like beating the computer or getting through the number grid super-fast.

And Category 3 was called “if-then planning.”

In this case, Johnson encouraged players to come up with specific battle plans for the game. “If I start worrying about mistakes,” they might have said to themselves, “then I will calm down and relax.”

The scientists also broke each of those three categories into four different focuses.

The motivations were sorted into piles based on what the desired outcome might be, like “focusing on staying calm,” “remembering the instructions,” or “thinking through the process of playing the game itself.”

Then the scientists collected data on all those different factors, put them through their science-o-matic data analyzer (note: doesn’t actually exist), and lo and behold … results popped out!

So which approach won?

It turns out that saying “I can do this” (either in your mind or out loud) is a game-changer.

Both the self-talk and imagery-motivated players did well, especially when they focused on the outcome they wanted or the process that could get them there. But self-talk not only helped players do better — it made them feel that they were doing better, which is key.

The scientists pointed out that their study looked at a short-duration computer game, so getting yourself pumped up before a business meeting or track event might require a different strategy. Plus, everyone’s brains work a little differently. What might work for one person might not work for everybody.

But the scientists on this project think this work could help people design better interventions to help people stay motivated.

You can always follow in the foot steps of Jessica, the girl in the YouTube video. You might feel a little silly, but go on over to your mirror and tell yourself that you can do this. Or channel your inner Little Engine That Could (“I think I can, I think I can”). Or maybe announce to the world: “I’ll beat that darn computer this time.”

It might just work.” 

(For full article, Scientists tested 3 ways to psych yourself up. One was the clear winner, click here.)

For me I have two things that I do that change my game, whether it’s before a lift, before a workout, in the middle of a workout, before I give a lecture to a crowd of people. . . 

  1. I smile
  2. I say “I got this”.

Find you personal mantra, find your self motivation, say positive things to yourself, be your best and loudest cheerleader!!