Thursday 150319

Back squat

Post loads to comments and BTWB

Artis working on his max height box jump.

Artis working on his max height box jump.


Reasons you’re not getting deep enough (that’s what she said) By Courtney Shepherd and Breaking Muscle

Last week I talked about how much I love the squat, squats are my favorite. But not just any squat, the air squat. . . the full range of motion, hip crease below knee crease, below parallel air squat. My love for this functional movement even earned me a title of “mean”. I did realize however, after so many requests for athletes to get lower in their squats, that perhaps them no going below parallel wasn’t because they didn’t want to but it was because they simply couldn’t. Some athletes may have physical limitations that either inhibit their abilities to get below parallel or they can get below parallel with discomfort.

In an article titled “4 Reasons You’re Not Getting Deep Enough in Your Squats” in Breaking Muscle by Tyson Austin, the author addresses 4 possible reasons an athlete may have trouble reaching full depth in their squat. Establishing that one of these possibilities is in fact the answer, may provide us an opportunity to address it and help improve our squat.

Reason #1- The Spine

If you have any misalignments in your lumbosacral region, you will be putting pressure on your nervous system and interfering with its signaling to your lower extremities. If you don’t have proper nervous system signaling to your lower extremities, you can see how they will not be working optimally or properly. 

Reason #2- The Hips

In most jobs these days sitting is involved for long periods of time, which can be detrimental to musculature in the hip area. While you are sitting at your desk for hours on end, your hip flexors are chronically activated (shortened), while the hip extensors are chronically inhibited (lengthened). This does not bode well for you when you attempt to squat. The main thing you want to do is work on lengthening the hip flexors, namely the psoas, via daily stretches, myofascial release, foam rolling, lacrosse ball smashing, and flossing.

Reason #3- The Knees

Next up are the knees, specifically the under activation of the vastus medialis muscle and the over activation of the tensor fascia latae muscle and its tendinous attachment known as the iliotibial tract. These muscles are not necessarily going to affect your squat depth, however, they do play a huge role in knee joint alignment. They also play a huge role in many cases of knee pain, which can ultimately affect your ability to squat. If the vastus medialis muscle is under activated it allows the iliotibial tract to pull your patella laterally and can result in the aforementioned knee pain, known as patellofemoral pain or runner’s knee.

Reason #4- The Ankles

The thing we want to know is how good your dorsiflexion is. To assess this you can do a functional movement test where you kneel on one knee, have the other foot planted on the ground with toes about five inches from the wall. Then, lunge forward toward the wall. If you can do this with no problem and your front heel stays firmly rooted on the ground then your dorsiflexion of that ankle is mostly likely sufficient. Obviously you want to assess both ankles. If you are like many and either heel comes off the ground, then the ankles are definitely a culprit that is keeping you from achieving optimal squat depth. There are also several different ankle mobility drills that you can do at home that will speed up the process as well.

From mobility to exercises to seeking care from chiropractors/ physical therapists, there are several steps that can be taken to improve upon these areas. Working on ankle flexibility goes beyond improving the squat, same for increased hip mobility. We don’t have to squat to involved our ankles and hip, what about a push press or push jerk? Working to improve these 4 areas not only improves our performance in the CrossFit gym but, as we improve our functionality, we improve our over all quality of life outside of the gym. Click here for full article with ideas, tips, suggestions for getting yo-self fixed. 

*Get ready for Open WOD 15.4 to be announced at 6pm. 

*Stay tuned Saturday for a whole list of cool events and Verve happenings that are coming up.


Wednesday 150318

With a 7 minute clock 

Row 1000 meters
With remaining time as many reps as possible rope climbs
rest 3 minutes
With a 5 minute clock
row 500 meters
with remaining time as many reps as possible toes to bar
Post to BTWB.
That's one awesome cloud of POWER!

That’s one awesome cloud of POWER!

CHALK = POWER!!!  – Anna Mattson

Welllll, yes and no.  Does chalk help give our hands more grip? Yes.  Does chalk covering our entire hand, forearm, and thighs look awesome? Yes.  Does chalk give us a great excuse to rest? Absolutely.  I have listed the many reasons why chalk can be GREAT!  There are also drawbacks to using chalk, especially too much chalk.  I want to discuss why we even use chalk, how to properly use chalk, and where it is best stored!


Our grip is very important in CrossFit.  We pull things off the ground, we put things in the air, and we pull ourselves up over objects.  When our hands are slick with sweat, this just increases the element of danger; hence, why we use chalk.  Chalk helps to dry out our hands when they sweat so we can keep a stronger grip. 


Setting chalk’s mystical powers aside, let me put the theory of “the more chalk the better” to rest.  Chalk adds grip to our hands.  As we are working out, our hands sweat, we use more chalk, more sweat, more chalk, and so on.  This cycle creates a paste of stickiness on our hands that, especially when doing pulling work, leads us straight into rip town.


You wouldn’t think there is much to the chalking process, “I put the chalk on the hands, I pick things up, I put things down”.  There is more to the chalk process than covering your whole hand from wrist to finger tip before doing pull-ups.  Take a moment and think about what part of your hand you use for any lifting or pulling; more than likely, if you are a homosapian you are only using the base of your fingers to your third knuckle up not the palm of your hand.  When chalking up, just focus on that area.  When re-chalking, possibly keep a towel near by, wipe down your hands before adding another layer of chalk.  Following this process along with good hand maintenance should help you avoid the constant ripping of the hands.


We try to do our best to keep Verve clean!  When chalk leaves its’ home in the bucket, this task of cleanliness gets harder.  I will start this with where chalk does not belong:

On a J-cup

On a J-cup

At the bottom of a post

At the bottom of a post

Randomly laying on the ground

Randomly laying on the ground

When chalk is left in the above places, it will likely get stepped on or dropped, crumbling into a pile of a million pieces, then Lindsay Lohan magically appears and jumps on the new pile of powder and has a party.  We have 5 chalk buckets set throughout the gym, so you will never have to walk more than 20 ft. to get some chalk.  Being as how we are not at the CrossFit games, you can either take a couple of extra seconds to go grab chalk from a bucket or decide we don’t need more chalk and we move faster!


One of our members, Danielle D, runs a t-shirt design company BARCODEFIT and has designed some shirts specifically for this topic!  If you are interested in one of these shirts, just follow THIS link to get your very own!  Enter promo code “VerveChalkPower” to receive $5 off.


Chalk = Power

Tuesday 150317

For Time:
30 Thrusters 115#(75#)
30 Burpee box jump overs (20″)
Run 400m
20 Thrusters 115#(75#)
20 Burpee box jump overs  (20″)
Run 400m
10 Thrusters 115#(75#)
10 Burpee box jump overs   (20″)
Run 400m

Post time to BTWB

Maddie working through muscle ups during 15.3.

Maddie working through muscle ups during 15.3.

Who doesn’t love a great cheat meal?  How many of us actually plan out our cheat meals ahead of time, either when or what we are going to consume?  I read an interesting article over the weekend and thought I’d share some of the interesting points about how losing body fat with cheat meals is recommended.  

First, let’s talk about how often we should cheat.  The zero tolerance approach is really difficult to follow, so having a cheat meal every now and again is good for your mental state as well as your physical state.  Typically a cheat meal should be taken between 20 and 30 good or healthy meals.  Healthy is relative to you.  This means that if you eat 5 good meals a day, you should have a cheat every 4 – 6 days.  It’s recommended that the last meal of the day be the cheat meal.  

Have a plan.  Eating a great meal at a favorite restaurant is sometimes more satisfying than just eating a bunch of junk food while watching TV, although that has it’s place too!

Deciding what to cheat with is sometimes difficult.  Take note of how you feel the following day.  If you feel worse than being hungover, perhaps better choices are needed for your next cheat meal.

Here’s a great tip that I hadn’t heard before.  When your butt leaves the chair, you’re done.  Sometimes a few bites can lead to an all out assault of everything unhealthy in your house.  Make a rule, that once you get up, you’re done.  Throwing away food isn’t condoned by everyone, but if you can’t finish the things you purchased for your cheat meal, sometimes getting rid of them will help.  If it’s not in our house, we won’t eat it.  If you don’t like throwing away food, be more realistic when purchasing the items for your cheat meal. 

Click HERE to read the article the above was referenced from.  Pretty interesting article with some additional data for those scientifically inclined.  

Monday 150316

Push jerk


Post Weights to BTWB.

Picking heavy things up, fun for everyone

Picking heavy things up, fun for everyone

We recently received our latest shipment of Box Life magazine.  If you read the cover you’ll notice that one of the articles features Cherie Chan.  Cherie gives her top lessons on becoming a better coach and becoming a better athlete.  Pick up a copy today, they are right up front.  For those of you that visit our site from other places, here are a few of the highlights from the article.

Pain is Necessary.  Pain is necessary for progress.  You have to go to that dark place as often as you can.  Getting better isn’t about the volume of training but the quality and intensity of each session.  

Mechanics are Essential.  You should be working to quality movement.  If you throw mechanics aside to get a better time or better score you’re doing yourself a disservice in your overall fitness journey.  Slowing down can suck, but it’s a way to improve your performance and mitigate risk. 

Don’t Turn Every Workout Into a Competition.  This is great advice and sometimes really tough to advice to listen to.  No athletes compete 5 or 6 times a week for 52 weeks.  If you try to, this will be a sure fire way to burn yourself out mentally and physically.  

CrossFit Programming is Equal Parts Weightlifting, Gymnastics, and Monostructural Movements.  Always focusing on one aspect is going to mean something has to give.  With our programming we try to mix and match so that we produce the most well rounded fitness freaks in the world.  

Keep a Logbook.  We talk about how the proof of our fitness levels is in the data.  Well if you don’t know what you were able to do the last time because you didn’t write your results down, how are you going to know?  Unless you have a ridiculous memory, write it down, or log it on Beyond the Whiteboard.  

There are many more great tips and advice in the article that everyone should read and understand.  Grab a copy and give the article a full read.  

Remember to submit your 15.3 score by this evening too.  If you are trying out for the Regional Team, make sure to put your score card in the green folder by the office after you do Tuesdays workout.  Too many of the score cards were missing last week.  

Sunday 150315


5 rounds for time

35 Kb swings (1.5 pood/1 pood)
30 Push-ups
25 Pull-ups
20Box jumps (30/24)
Run 1 mile

U.S. Air Force Major Lucas “Gaza” Gruenther, of Twain Harte, California, died Jan. 28, 2013, when his F-16 jet went down in the Adriatic Sea off the coast of Italy. Gruenther was in the 555th Fighter Squadron where he served as an F-16 Flight Lead for the 31st Fighter Wing, Aviano Air Base, Italy. Gruenther is survived by his wife, Cassy; daughter, Serene, born just a week after his death; parents, Romel Mathias and Joseph Malin; brother and sister-in-law, Alex and Britton; brother, Chance Hildreth; grandmothers, Melba Mathias and Brigitta Gruenther; and many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. He is preceded in death by his grandfathers, Robert Mathis and Col. Donald Gruenther.

post time to comments or BTW

Bacon AND meatloaf!! YAAA!

Bacon AND meatloaf!! YAAA!

Here is our lesson for the day: ANYTHING WRAPPED IN BACON IS DELICIOUS.  Now that we know that, we present to you a recipe from Ali N.’s own sisters’ blog Taysteofpaleo.  You can find this recipe and many other paleo-friendly recipes here.

Paleo Sriracha Meatloaf Wrapped In Bacon

Author: Taylor Nichols
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup almond flour
  • 2 plus TB Sriracha (or make your own using this great recipe from Nom Nom Paleo)
  • ¼ cup chopped green onions
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 4 TB coconut aminos
  • 2 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 slices of bacon
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a large bowl combine the meats, egg, flour, sriracha, green onions, cilantro, coconut aminos, and garlic. Mix thoroughly.
  3. Lay down Saran wrap on a clean and even surface. On top of saran wrap lay down 8 slices of bacon. Make sure they lay side by side. Lay another layer of saran wrap on top of them. Pound down the bacon until they thin out and are overlapping each other.
  4. Remove the top layer of saran wrap.
  5. Morph the meatloaf mixture into a loaf. Place on top of bacon slices horizontally. (You want the bacon strips to lay out vertically and the meatloaf to lay out horizontally)
  6. Lift the end of the saran wrap and pull upwards around the meatloaf. This makes it easier to wrap the entire loaf with the bacon.
  7. Grease a baking sheet and lay down the meatloaf wrapped in bacon.
  8. Bake in the oven for 40-50 minutes or until the bacon is browned and crispy.


We received a friendly reminder this weekend to make sure we only park in Verve reserved parking spots OR street parking.  The surrounding building are filled with businesses that need their reserved parking as well.  Thank you in advance.

Saturday 150314

Power Cleans 135#(95#)
Lateral burpees over the bar

Post times to comments and BTWB

Raise both hands if you like burpees over the bar.

Raise both hands if you like burpees over the bar.


Aaaaahhhhh SNAP! Some stuff is happening all up in Verve. 

*Today from 1:30pm-2:30pm is the Open WOD 15.3 re-do

*Sunday morning YOGA!!! Sign up on MBO for the 8am active recovery session. 

*The Basic Self Defense class will be at 12pm on Sunday.

*Sunday, if you miss the chance today, is another Open WOD 15.3 re-do opportunity from 2pm-3:30pm.

*Teton Waters will be back at Verve with their truck full o’ meat Saturday March 21st, 12pm-2pm.


Verve has 2 huge seminars coming up this summer. It may seem weird to mention them now but I want you guys to be prepared.

CrossFit Football Trainer Course, July 11th-12th:

This course is an introduction to the concepts, movements and level of intensity needed to be successful in training for sport. In the course, participants are provided with a foundation for training athletes. They are taught the fundamentals of sport-specific training, including sprinting, basic movements, warm-ups and cool downs, change-of-direction and agility drills, jumping and weightlifting. Participants are given information on programming, nutrition and diet, and film study. Film study demonstrates the practical application of the CrossFit movements to football and other power sports. Anyone who trains groups that are required to be strong, agile and powerful can benefit from this course, no matter the level of athletes. Click here to register.

CrossFit Weightlifting Trainer Course, August 29th-30th:

Two days are spent detailing each lift (snatch on Day 1, clean and jerk on Day 2). The focus is on participants experiencing the basic positions and learning the foundational teaching points for instructing others to achieve them. The snatch and clean and jerk bring speed, power, coordination, agility, accuracy and balance to training and are indispensable to CrossFit programming and developing a well-rounded athlete. Click here to register.

Verve is also hosting another CrossFit Level 1 Certificate Course, April 11th-12th. You can go to our events page to read more about it and get registered. If you have ever felt like you wanted to know the “why” behind Verve’s programming or our relentlessness in correcting movement, the Level 1 course is all that and more. Get an depth look into the CrossFit methodology and the science behind it. 

Get excited, these are amazing opportunities to gain knowledge and experience in a specialty field of interest.

Friday 150313

Open Workout 15.3

14-minute AMRAP:
7 muscle-ups
50 wall balls
100 double-unders

M 20-lb. ball to 10’
F 14-lb. ball to 9’

*If you are a teen or a masters athlete, please check below for your specific weights and movements.

Post score to BTW AND GAMES SITE


This workout begins with the athlete standing under the rings. At the call of “3-2-1 … go,” the athlete will jump up and perform muscle-ups. Once all the muscle-up reps are complete they will move to the wall-ball shots then to the double-unders. After the last double-under, the athlete will move back to the rings and begin the next round.

Your score will be the total number of repetitions completed before the 14-minute time cap. You will enter your result by the total number of reps completed plus your tiebreak time (see below).

In this workout, we are using a special tiebreak method. At the end of each set of double-unders, time should be marked. When you submit your final result, your score will be the number of reps completed. There will be another field in which you will enter the elapsed time at which you completed your last set of double-unders.

For example, a male athlete finishes 2 complete rounds, plus an additional 2 muscle-ups for a total of 316 reps. This is his score. During his second round, he finished his 100th double-under at 13:20. In this case he will enter 13:20 as his time in the tiebreak field. This athlete would be ranked above someone who got 316 reps and a tiebreak time of 13:45, but below someone with 316 reps and a tiebreak time of 13:00.

For Masters and Teens, this workout is completed in reverse order, and their tiebreak time will be the point at which they completed their last wall-ball shot.

For Scaled options there is no tiebreak.

Note: All tiebreak times must be reported in elapsed time, not in time remaining. If you are using a countdown timer, you must convert to elapsed time before reporting your score. For this reason, it is recommended you set your clock to count up.

Video Submission Standards
Prior to starting, film the measuring of the height of the wall-ball target, as well as the weight of the ball, so the loads and height can be seen clearly. All video submissions should be uncut and unedited in order to accurately display the performance. A second person with a stopwatch should be in the frame throughout the entire workout. Shoot the video from an angle so all exercises can be clearly seen meeting the movement standards.

Workout 15.3 Variations

(Rx’d Men, Masters Men 40-44, Masters Men 45-49, Masters Men 50-54, Rx’dWomen, Masters Women 40-44, Masters Women 45-49, Masters Women 50-54,Teen Boys 16-17, Teen Girls 16-17)

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 14 minutes of:
7 muscle-ups
50 wall-ball shots
100 double-unders

 Men use 20-lb. ball to 10 feet, Women use 14-lb. ball to 9 feet

(Scaled Men, Scaled Masters Men 40-44, Scaled Masters Men 45-49, Scaled Masters Men 50-54, Scaled Women, Scaled Masters Women 40-44, Scaled Masters Women 45-49, Scaled Masters Women 50-54)

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 14 minutes of:
50 wall-ball shots
200 single-unders

Men use 20-lb. ball to 9 feet, Women use 10-lb. ball to 9 feet

(Masters Men 55-59, Masters Men 60+, Masters Women 55-59, Masters Women 60+)

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 14 minutes of:
100 double-unders
50 wall-ball shots
7 muscle-ups

Men use 20-lb. ball to 9 feet, Women use 10-lb. ball to 9 feet

Scaled Masters
(Scaled Masters Men 55-59, Scaled Masters Men 60+, Scaled Masters Women 55-59, Scaled Masters Women 60+)

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 14 minutes of:
50 wall-ball shots
200 single-unders

Men use 14-lb. ball to 9 feet, Women use 10-lb. ball to 9 feet

(Teen Boys 14-15, Teen Girls 14-15)

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 14 minutes of:
100 double-unders
50 wall-ball shots
7 muscle-ups

Boys use 14-lb. ball to 9 feet, Girls use 10-lb. ball to 9 feet

Scaled Teens
(Scaled Teen Boys 14-15, Scaled Teen Boys 16-17, Scaled Teen Girls 14-15, Scaled Teen Girls 16-17)

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 14 minutes of:
50 wall-ball shots
200 single-unders

Boys use 14-lb. ball to 9 feet, Girls use 10-lb. ball to 9 feet

Thursday 150312

For time:
Run 1.5 miles

Post times to comments and BTWB

TBT to Eric K. and Jim D. competing in the FRCF Masters Competition.

TBT to Eric K. and Jim D. competing in the FRCF Masters Competition.

Want to get up off the toilet by yourself when you’re 80 years old? Start squatting below parallel when you’re 30 years old. Trust me. By Courtney Shepherd

A few days ago I was accused of being mean. That’s right, you heard me, mean. Following a workout an athlete came up to me and said, “Dang girl, you’re mean today.” You would think I might be upset, or at least concerned about what it was I did to this athlete to earn the distinction “mean”. Well I’m not upset, and I know exactly what I did. And I’d do it again.

I relentlessly made this athlete, along with an entire class, for 20 whole minutes, squat below parallel. Yeah, that happened.

Now, I hope at this point you realize that, while this really was said to me, that it was said with humor. This athlete may have disliked me in the moment for lovingly reminding them often to get lower in their squats, but they know my constant nagging is out of a desire to see them get stronger, healthier, and live a longer, more productive life. Wait a tic. What’s that you say? Squatting below parallel isn’t just something CrossFit Games made up to help establish guidelines for a “no rep” during a workout? Nope, they sure didn’t. (Yes, I realize I’m having a conversation with myself. . . publicly, for all you to enjoy) Long before the Crossfit Games came to light CrossFit was teaching the air squat as one of it’s foundational, functional movements. A point of performance for this movement is that the hip crease gets below the knee crease, also known as getting below parallel.  Why does CrossFit teach it this way? Because that is what life demands of us. Life demands at times that we set our butt down on something that is lower to the ground, and I’ll be darned if at some point in time later life asks us to get our butts up. We want to be able to do this without the help of someone or something else. So CrossFit is preparing us for life. 

The squat is my favorite foundational, functional movement because you see it in so many other things. You see it in the thruster, snatch, clean, overhead squat, wall ball, and more. We do a workout with 150 wall balls in it, and after it kicks our butt we rack our brain trying to figure out how to get better at wall balls, but very few of us will actually say, “I bet if I worked to improve my squat I would also improve my wall balls.” I’m not talking about throwing weights on a bar and squatting our brains out. I’m talking about sitting back in our heals, driving our knees over our toes, and keeping our chest upright as we squat below parallel. Taking time to perfect the air squat translates to those sexier movements we all want so bad, like a heavier snatch or clean. 

The squat is also my favorite for it’s presence in everyday life. My Nana use to live in an assisted living facility. When I would visit, I couldn’t use her private bathroom because it had a 2 foot booster seat on top of the toilet. The facility put this there for my Nana because she had long ago lost the ability to sit down and stand up without assistance. She lost her functional ability to squat. CrossFit was not in my life at a time I could have helped make a difference in my Nana’s. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t wish it would have been. I would have loved to have visited Nana and done silly things with her like sit down and stand up, now do it holding this phone book. She wouldn’t have known it at the time but she would have been working on doing squats with a little bit of weight. She would have been doing CrossFit. 

I know it seems “mean” to hear my obnoxiously loud and raspy voice booming across the room, “get lower in that squat for me”, but I obviously don’t see it as mean. I see it as keeping you healthy and functional, so that when you are 80 no one puts a 2 foot booster seat on your toilet and it freaks out your grandkids. 

In short, you’re welcome.

*Stay tuned this Saturday for a huge list of upcoming events at Verve. They are pretty sweet.

*Don’t forget, this Sunday at 12pm is the 3rd installment of the Basic Self Defense Course.

Wednesday 150311

EMOM x 10 minutes: snatch, starting weight is 50% of 1RM snatch, add weight each round,
Then, EMOM x 10 minutes: clean, starting weight is last weight of snatch EMOM, add weight each round,
Then, EMOM x 10 minutes: deadlift, starting weight is last weight of clean EMOM, add weight each round

Post heaviest load for each lift in comments of BTW

Courtney sharing the CrossFit-way with some kids!

Courtney sharing the CrossFit-way with some kids!

“FAILURE TO THRIVE” – quote from Nicole Caroll

We have many new, fresh faces at Verve so this may be a repeat for some BUT it is still great information.

When we start CrossFit, we see great gains; changes in our abilities, our bodies, and our minds.  As time goes by, there may come a point where those gains start to peter off, your progress slows and you may even lose some of your gains.  Nicole Carol calls this time in our CrossFit careers “FAILURE TO THRIVE.”  This is when we have to start looking outside factors that could be affecting our performance such as diet.

crossfit heirarchy

Greg Glassman has created a pyramid or heirarchy of the essential pieces that make up the sport of CrossFit.  You will notice above, the base of the entire pyramid is NUTRITION.  We believe a solid nutritional base is KEY to having a successful CrossFit career.  What is nutrition? “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.” What does this look like?  The Zone Diet by Barry Sears is a great resource that follows this CrossFit diet prescription.  The video below does a great job explaining the importance of diet in CrossFit and begins to introduce the Zone diet philosophy.

CrossFit Mayhem recently posted some great resources on places to find more information, recipes, tips, and more HEREAs always, if you should have an questions at all, please feel free to talk to one of the trainers.  We are working on scheduling a nutrition meeting to help anyone that may have questions.



Tuesday 150310

20 Minutes of work:

150 Wall Balls 20#(14#) for time**

AMRAP Muscle Ups w/ Remaining Time

**Any time the wall ball shot reps are broken, athlete must complete 400m run before continuing. A broken set is the ball hitting the ground or the athlete standing with the ball not doing wall balls.

Score will be total number of muscle ups.

Post to BTWB.

Looks like a lot of our hands after 15.2

Given the amount of torn hands and blood on the bars we’ve seen since last Friday, I figured now was as good a time as any to talk about hand care and making sure we wipe down our bars after a workout.  

Too often we post pictures like the one above with a braggadocios status to follow. Some may even see this mangled scene as a right of passage in CrossFit, “first RXed pull-up WOD, tears and all”. NO MORE. This ends here.  This is not something we should be bragging about, but rather something we should be putting work in to prevent and avoid. We are rough on our hands in CrossFit but if we take a few simple steps throughout the week, we can avoid the blood bath mid WOD. This post is about prevention with regards to hand care, I will not get into scaling a WOD and technique, both of which would fall under the category of ways to prevent hand ripping. Perhaps in a later post.

If we look like this, we may be behind the eight ball. Time to catch up.


Go to your local Target, Walmart, Walgreens, etc. And go to the foot care aisle. I’m not talking about the orthopedics/ gel inserts aisle, I’m talking the mani/ pedi aisle. Go looking for the nail polish (sorry guys but that’s where the good stuff is at). It is in this aisle that you will locate two items of huge importance, 1) a pumice and 2) a callus shaver. Grab one of each and proceed to the check out counter.

The tools of the trade.


Put these new purchases to work. I have a preference for using these items while I am in the shower. I would suggest pumicing your hands EVERY TIME you shower. I would add using the callus shaver to shave the calluses that build across the top of your palm 1-2 times/ week. The shaving of your hands may be dependent on your activity level or even which WODs you have recently done or are coming up in the future. The key is to avoid the raising of the calluses. The bigger they get the more susceptible they are to ripping. We want to try and keep our hands smooth and even across the surface.

Before and After.


Let’s be honest though, rips/ tears happen. Then what? If they happen mid WOD, let’s call it good and proceed with a modification that allows us to keep working out without creating further damage. Then go back to your local Target, Walmart, Walgreens, etc. and go to the first aid aisle. Pick up a box of Blister Pads.

Blister Pads be da bomb.

Clean the torn area thoroughly. When it’s dry put a blister pad over the area. I like to do this at night, sleep in it, and keep it on as long as I can the whole next day. The problem is we use our hands a lot so realistically the blister pad may not stay on long, that’s okay. Doing this every night for several days will help tremendously in keeping the area moisturized without exposing it to dirt/ germs. 

Be sure and check the pull up bar or barbell after you’re done.  Too many times we are so worried about our hands that we forget that our bloody hand were just all over a piece of equipment that someone else needs to now use.  We have clorox wipes and plenty of cleaning supplies to help you clean and disinfect.