Tuesday 140812

5 Rounds for time:
10 Power cleans 135#(95#)
10 Burpees

Post time to BTWB.

IMG 9896 475x316 Tuesday 140812

Matt throwing some weight overhead!

How often have you told your friends or associates that you do CrossFit and that they should give it a try.  Only to hear someone say that they don’t want to get too bulky or put on too much muscle.  We all know that truth, that our preferred form of fitness is so well rounded that we don’t focus solely on exercises  that are going to just build huge bulky muscles.

Let’s be honest, most sports that people play don’t require huge body builder type muscles, but most people that play sports do want to be as strong as possible.  So how do we gain strength without getting bigger?

We need to focus on relative strength in order to get as strong as we can without becoming too big that it could possibly affect other areas of our fitness.  Ever seen a professional body builder running a 5K?  Me neither, but I’m guessing it wouldn’t look to fluid.    Relative strength is being as strong as possible at the lightest weight we can maintain.  

A relative strength program would focus on sets of 1 – 5 reps, but more importantly think about the time involved to perform those reps, time under tension (TUT).  The goal with a relative strength program is to keep those 5 reps to no more than 20 seconds.  Here’s an example:  Take a bench press workout.  For this to be considered a relative strength program you’d want to perform whatever number of reps you perform in 20 seconds.  Here’s what the tempo would look like.  4 reps with a 4 second lowering to your chest, no pause at the bottom and 1 second to press the weight out back to the starting point.   At the top go right into the next 4 second descent.  Here’s what it would look like if we wrote it on the board; Bench Press 4 sets of 4 with a tempo of: 4010.  4 seconds to descend, 0 rest at bottom, 1 second to ascend, 0 rest at the top before the next rep. That’s 5 seconds of work for each of the 4 reps, or 20 seconds.  Below are some other variations: 

Bench Press, 4 x 4, 40X1, rest 180 seconds. Total TUT = 20 seconds
Bench Press, 5 x 3, 40X2, rest 180 seconds. Total TUT = 18 seconds
Bench Press, 6 x 2, 42X2, rest 240 seconds. Total TUT = 16 seconds

If you’re trying to be as strong as you can without a bodybuilder type physique, then focus on relative strength. 

Check out the article the above was referenced from HERE. 

Monday 140811

5 Rounds for time:
500 Meter row
50 Air squats
30 Good mornings 45#(33#)

Post score to BTW.

mad Monday 140811

We are all envious of Maddie’s PERFECT squat.

You know you are a CrossFitter when…

  • At least 50% of your Facebook posts are about CrossFit.
  • Your shins have more scrapes than a twelve year old boy.
  • You know better than to say, “That looks easy”.
  • You’ve spent HOURS watching videos of other people working out (who does that?).
  • CrossFit t-shirts dominate your wardrobe.
  • When you travel, your first concern is if there is a local affiliate close by.
  • Refresh is your favorite button after 9pm.
  • 3 on 1 off takes priority in your schedule.
  • The words Snatch and Jerk have lost there comedic value, but farting while deadlifting has not.
  • There are days you have to talk yourself OUT of going to the gym because it’s a rest day and that means you are suppose to rest, right? You are confused at this and ask your coach if you can still go for a run.  When they tell you rest means rest, still confused, you ask if that means you should do nothing or could you do…?
  • You can relate to this sentence “I feel like a GD Navy Seal and an Olympic Gold Medalist wrapped in a F-ing suit of body armor”.
  • You shave your hands.
  • Pain is a relative term.
  • You know what this stands for IWCABTAMD.
  • You know the ten general skills by heart and can recite them at social gatherings.
  • You have posted pictures of yourself working out on Facebook. A lot of pictures.
  • You believe in sweat angels.
  • You’ve looked up the criteria for the Nobel peace prize to see if you can nominate Coach Glassman.
  • Tape and chalk are at a premium.
  • You used to bite your nails and now you pick at your callouses.
  • Almond butter is the nectar of the Gods.
  • You know that the benchmark WOD’s are named after real people and you would find it interesting to talk with some of them and find out WHY? 
  • You think in blocks not calories.
  • Fat is delicious, you laugh at fat free.
  • You don’t remember what it is like to have mirrors in your gym.  
  • You know that a 70%+ dark chocolate bar can sub as 3 blocks carbs.
  • You must workout with loud obnoxious music, but never hear a word of it.
  • You consider other CrossFitters family.
  • You believe the world would be a better place if everyone was a CrossFitter.

And a couple of announcements for you:

Next Foundations Program starts TONIGHT at 7pm.  This class will meet Monday, Tuesday and Thursdays during each week, with a limited number of people per class.  There is a total of six (6) classes that will need to be completed in order to then sign-up for membership. 

Next Free Community WOD is Saturday, August 30 at 8AM.  Sign up on MBO.  If you’re looking to try CrossFit Verve out for the first time, here is your chance.  Come join us and learn about constantly varied functional movements done at high intensity.  The workouts are scaled and modified to each athlete’s level and performed at the highest intensity that the individual can sustain with good form and proper technique.

Community WODs are open to our members to bring family and friends or athletes looking to check out Verve.  Different WOD each class, not the WOD for the day.

Sunday 140810

For time:

21 – 18 – 15 – 12 – 9 – 6 – 3 

Bench press (bodyweight)
Pull-ups (no butterfly pull-ups)

Post time to comments and BTW.

IMG 9968 475x712 Sunday 140810

Welcome Afraimi family!

Next Foundations Program begins on Monday, August 11 at 7pm.  This class will meet Monday, Tuesday and Thursdays during each week, with a limited number of people per class.  There is a total of six (6) classes that will need to be completed in order to then sign-up for membership. 

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

We’ll introduce, refine and technique and discuss range of motion requirements for the following movements:
Squats: air squat, front squat, overhead squat, back-squat
Presses: shoulder press, push press, push jerk
Power movements: deadlift, sumo deadlift high pull, ball clean
Olympic movements: clean and jerk, snatch
Gymnastics: pull-up, push-ups, burpees, ring dips, muscle-ups, Handstands, l-sits etc.
Other common movements: thrusters, wall ball, kettlebell swings, rowing, box jumps, jump roping.

Please understand that all movements have modifications and we are happy to work with all abilities.

Next Free Community WOD is Saturday, August 30 at 8AM.  Sign up on MBO.  If you’re looking to try CrossFit Verve out for the first time, here is your chance.  Come join us and learn about constantly varied functional movements done at high intensity.  The workouts are scaled and modified to each athlete’s level and performed at the highest intensity that the individual can sustain with good form and proper technique.

Community WODs are open to our members to bring family and friends or athletes looking to check out Verve.  Different WOD each class, not the WOD for the day.

Saturday 140809

Free Community WOD at 8am, different WOD than below.  Sign up on MBO.

“31 Heroes”

As many reps as possible in 31 minutes:
8 Thrusters, 155# (105#)
6 Rope climbs (15 ft. ascent)
11 Box jumps, 30″ (24″)

This is a Partner WOD – Partner #1 will perform the work listed above. Partner #2 will run 400m with a sandbag (45/25). Once Partner #2 returns from the run, Partner #1 will grab the sandbag and begin their 400m, while Partner #2 continues work wherever #1 left off.
Score is your total # of reps

Post score to comments and BTW.

31heroes2 475x322 Saturday 140809

This WOD was created specifically to honor the 30 men and one dog that gave their lives for our country on August 6, 2011.  It is 31 minutes long—one minute in remembrance of each hero. The rep scheme is 8-6-11—the date of their ultimate sacrifice.  Finally, this is a partner WOD.  The men who gave their lives were from multiple branches of our military, working together as a team.  In the workout you and your team member will constantly be taking the load from each other providing much needed support and relief.  We realize that no physical sacrifice made during a workout can come close to the sacrifice our brave heroes made, but we consider this WOD a CrossFitters “moment of silence.”  This is how we can honor those that gave all in the name of freedom.

Please consider donating here.

The Heroes
On August 6th, 2011, 31 of America’s bravest warriors gave their lives in defense of our freedom. These men were sons, brothers, husbands, fathers, and friends. Not only do we thank them for their service and sacrifice, but we thank those that love them for the sacrifice they have made as well.

Alexander J Bennett, Sgt.
Darrik C Benson, PO1 SEAL
Brian R Bill, CPO SEAL
John W Brown, Tech Sgt., USAF PJ
Christopher G. Campbell, PO1 SEAL
David R Carter, CWO4
Jared W Day, Information Systems Technician PO1
John “Jet Li” Douangdara, Master at Arms 1st Class
Spencer C Duncan, Spc.
John W Faas, CPO SEAL
Patrick D Hamburger, Staff Sgt.
Andrew W Harvell, Staff Sgt., USAF CCT
Kevin A Houston, CPO SEAL
Jonas B Kelsall, Lt CMDR SEAL
Louis “Lou” J Langlais, Master Chief SEAL
Matthew D Mason, CPO SEAL
Steven “Matt” M Mills, CPO SEAL
Bryan J Nichols, CWO2
Nicholas H Null, CPO EOD
Jesse D Pittman, PO1 SEAL
Thomas A Ratzlaff, Senior Chief SEAL
Robert J Reeves, CPO SEAL
Heath M Robinson, CPO SEAL
Nicholas P Spehar, PO2 SEAL
Michael J Strange, Cryptologist Technician PO1
Jon “JT” T Tumilson, PO1 SEAL
Aaron C Vaughn, PO1 SEAL
Kraig M Vickers, Senior Chief EOD
Jason R Workman, CPO SEAL
Daniel L Zerbe, Tech Sgt., USAF PJ
Bart, K-9

The 31 Americans were not the only ones that died as heroes that day. We cannot forget the sacrifice of our Afghan comrades. Seven Afghan commandos and one Afghan interpreter were also killed in action and we cannot look past their sacrifice. They too are heroes and we thank them and honor them and their families.

Friday 140808

For load:
Split Jerk from the rack
EMOM 10 Minutes
2 split jerks @ 60% of 1 RM
15 Ab Mat Sit-ups

Post weight to comments or BTW

10557170 605602646223090 7788850288961260290 n 475x354 Friday 140808

The rowing crew after completing their 40 minute time trial thanks to Maddie and Elevation Rowing!

GAINZZZZZZ!!! Where have mine gone?

When we first start CrossFit, PR’s are not hard to come by.  Snatch, Cleans, Back Squats have monthly increases of 10 to 20 pounds.  Man does it feel good!  The world can’t stop us.  If we continue at this rate Rich Froning better watch out, we will be at the Games within our first year of starting.  What many of us have realized, one to two years into our journey, those PR’s are harder and harder to come by.  I recently read an article by Catalyst Athletics about this very topic.  Below is the portion that I took the most away from.   You can read the full article here.


Enjoy these PR bonanza days, because anybody with long-term experience in weightlifting knows exactly what I’m gonna say next…

You’ll hit a wall at some point. As my coach used to say, “You start reaching a point where you have to work twice as hard to make half as much progress.” This is the best statement I’ve ever heard to describe those time periods when the PRs start to get fewer and farther between. 

When you reach this phase, your frustration will get pretty hot. I recommend that you find something you can hit regularly. A punching bag would work, or maybe a small child who doesn’t show much potential. 

(I’m just kidding, don’t hit things. I’ve done plenty of that and it doesn’t help.)

A lot of people want to start changing everything when the progress slows down. They think, “What I used to do isn’t working anymore, so I need to do something different.” Sometimes this might be true…but sometimes it isn’t. When your PRs start getting higher and harder to beat, it doesn’t necessarily mean your program is wrong. You can easily get sucked into a pattern where you’re constantly changing how you do things, and that’s not good. You keep wanting to rearrange your technique or routine because the previous change didn’t lead to any improvement. Before you know it, all you’re doing is jumping from one rock to another. Having good coaches and actually LISTENING to them can make this a lot easier. 

I once heard a coach say, “Everything works, but nothing works forever.” I disagree with both parts of that idea. There are some things that clearly don’t work, and there are also things that definitely work forever. Trying to become a better Olympic lifter by using all the newest strength fads you read about on the internet doesn’t work. Mastering the technique of the full competition lifts and improving your squat strength works forever. 

Here’s a little thought about making progress. Have you ever chopped down a tree? It didn’t topple to the ground the first time you hit it with the axe, did it? Nope. You had to keep swinging and whacking at it, over and over and over. It took a lot of blows to knock that damn thing down, but you finally did it. You might have had to make a few adjustments while you were doing it, like changing the angle of your axe swings or adjusting your grip on the handle. But it basically came down to simply putting in a lot of effort over a long period of time. That’s how weightlifting works, jack.

Key points here:

#1 – Trust the programming!  Don’t’ try to switch things up to much.   Mechanics, Consistency, and Adaptation will lead to better lifts.

#2 – CELEBRATE THE CRAP OUT OF THE PR’S YOU DO ACHIEVE!! Ring that bell, ride your imaginary pony and enjoy the fruits of your hard work.


Tomorrow starts our Verve Community Class @ 8am.  This class is taking the place of the Intro Class.  This is a great class to bring your friends and family who have been wanting to check out Verve or CrossFit.  An added bonus is the workout changes each class and you can join your friends and family and still get your WOD-on too.  Next Foundations Class starts August August 11th.


Thursday 140807

With a continuously running clock do one pull-up the first minute, two pull-ups the second minute, three pull-ups the third minute… continuing as long as you are able.

Use as many sets each minute as needed.

Post round to comments and BTWB

 Thursday 140807

Husband and wife tandem p-bar swings. Luke and Shelle working on their gymnastics skills.

Without trunk flexion, you aren’t working the abs…. right?

At first glance, the GHD sit-up appears to rely almost soley on the hip flexors to lift the torso from the back position (hyperextension) of the sit-up. But rest assured, the abdominals are utilized for both midline stabilization and assisting the movement from hyperextension to flexion. Don’t believe me? Ask an athlete who appears to have some experience if he/she has ever performed the “GHD slither”.

While the hip flexors (rectus femoris and iliopsoas) are doing the vast majority of the work raising the trunk, the abdominals exhibit the the worst of the delayed onset muscle soreness. This is because the work being done by the abs is in isometric contraction (static stabilization). To avoid the slither, start by only lowering to a position parallel to the floor (horizontal). With a partner there to spot you, perform 10 or so reps and see how your body reacts. Increase the range of motion as you build capacity on the GHD, but always limit repetitions as you add ROM.



Wednesday 140806

21-18-15-12- and 9 rep rounds of:
Deadlift 95#(65#)
Hang power clean 95#(65#)
Front squat 95#(65#)
Push – ups

Post time to comments or BTW

 Wednesday 140806

Super easy tuna! Simple, easy, convenient.

submitted by Cherie Chan

560gms of tuna (2-12oz cans in water) (20P)
252gms of celery chopped (1C)
88gms of raisins (8C)
5oz of Alpine Avocado dressing (5F, 1C)

 Wednesday 140806

Delicious Dressing

Total volume = 1014 grams (20P, 10C, 5F)

50.7 gms = 1P, 0.5C, 0.25F – add the extra carbs and fat to make complete blocks, I added cherries and some heavy cream in my coffee for a delicious lunch.

Just times this by any number of blocks you want to eat. Yummy yummy in your tummy!

If you have any great Zone GO-TO recipes, e-mail them to annam@crossfitverve.com and I will include them in an upcoming post.


Join us this Saturday, August 9th @ 8am for Verve’s inaugural Community Class.  Verve’s Free Intro Class will be evolving into a Community Class. Here is a brief description:

If you’re looking to try CrossFit Verve out for the first time, here is your chance. Come join us and learn about constantly varied functional movements done at high intensity. The workouts are scaled and modified to each athlete’s level and performed at the highest intensity that the individual can sustain with good form and proper technique. Sign-up here.
Open to our members to bring family and friends or athletes looking to check out Verve.  Different WOD each class, but not the WOD for the day.


Tuesday 140805

As many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of:
10 Wall Balls 20#(14#)
20 Alternating dumbbell snatch 40#(25#)
30 Double Unders

Post time to BTWB.

Many of you have seen the trainers and plenty of Verve athletes using the contraption that appears to be scrunchie bands attached to one of the squat cages.  The contraption I’m referring to is Crossover Symmetry and I’m going to give you a quick overview of why we use it and what it’s used for.  Many athletes have asked about how to care for their shoulders and I thought this would be a good time to talk about the Crossover system again.  The video above shows proper scapula engagement but please see a trainer for a full demo of the system.  

I have shoulder issues that stem from many years of playing baseball.  Many times during my career I continued to throw when my arm was basically hanging and needed rest.  This has caused some issues that I’ve dealt with and come up during overhead movements or any general shoulder workouts.  My PT gave me plenty of exercises to do but honestly I would never really stick to the plan.  Enter Crossover Symmetry.  

Crossover Symmetry is a rotator cuff and scapular strengthening system engineered to enhance shoulder health and performance.  I’ve been using it for the past two months and have seen some fantastic improvement in my shoulder strength and flexibility.  

Here’s a few of the benefits to using the system:

  • Activate the essential shoulder foundation muscles prior to activity 
  • Optimize the mechanical position and movement of the shoulder complex 
  • Prevent/Cure mild shoulder impingement through Scap-Cuff Activation 
  • Increase the tensile strength of the rotator cuff tendons
If you have questions about how to use it please ask one of the trainers to take you through how to set it up and use it properly.  We keep all the sets in the purple bins on the shelf near the office.  I’ve tried to incorporate some of the exercises using regular bands during class and will continue to find ways to apply the system to class.  Of course this isn’t a substitute for constantly varied functional movements executed at high intensity, but it will provide some additional help if needed.  Get with a trainer for a demo.   


Monday 140804

3 rounds for time of:
20 Burpees
10 Handstand push ups
Run 400 meters

bench 475x710 Monday 140804

Mr. and Mrs. Colby Knepp

Here’s a little throwback blog action for ya …. One of my favorites from Coach Luke, Circa July 2013.

Signs That You’re Overtraining ~ Luke Palmisano

​It seems like an oxymoron; we train in a extremely intense environment and drive ourselves to exhaustion within a workout to make ourselves… fitter? Stronger? Really? Well, the short answer is, yes. That is, to a point.

Think of it this way: The gains in fitness you receive from workouts take longer to show up, but are longer lasting. The deterioration we see due to fatigue are more intense, and more visible, but fade faster. In reference to the gains we see, a good illustration of that is the sickness/wellness/fitness continuum that is used in CrossFit. According to the continuum, we use measurable health markers to define if someone is “fit,” or “sick.” It takes time (sometimes considerable time) to see a person who is sick, and watch them become fit. However the opposite is also true. If you took the fittest persons at your gym, or at any competition, and suddenly started feeding them less than optimal food choices and stopped allowing them to workout, would they become sick overnight? Certainly not. They have built themselves a hedge against being sick. 

As we have seen, however, that although fatigue has a shorter life within our bodies as compared to the gains we see from fitness, fatigue has been seen to build up to the point where the deterioration we see from it overtakes the fitness gains we may have anticipated from our workouts. Therefore, we need to cognizant of what our bodies are telling us. If the cumulative effects of training are causing us to go backward in our goals, action is needed to save our bodies from burnout. Here are some indicators that you can use: 

  • Resting heart rate. This is your heart rate when you wake up in the morning. Ever checked it? If not, get in the habit. After 3 weeks, you have a baseline. Significant changes (+/- 5%) indicate that you may need some time off; something is happening in your body.
  • Weight. +/- 2% change in your body weight within a day may indicate something strange is happening. Take your weight after checking your resting heart rate, and before your first bowel movement.
  • Urine shade. This indicates hydration, or lack thereof. Something to consider: If you are a active person, or high level athlete, water may not be enough. You may need to add electrolytes to your fluid intake to truly rehydrate your cells. 
  • Sleep hours. I know, I know. Who has time for sleep?? How about this: sleep as much as your life will let you get away with. Sleep effects are cumulative. If you are tired all the time, a nap may be in order!
  • Sleep quality. This may involve lowering caffeine intake, late P.M. water intake, or simply getting into a bedtime routine. 
  • Appetite. Are you losing it? You may be over-doing it with your training.
  • Muscle soreness. Extreme muscle soreness or a period of days indicates that your body may not have the time to adapt to the volume you are giving it.
  • Mood state. Can you sense something being “off” mood-wise? It could be because of your training.
  • Immune status. The immune system is one of the first things to go if you are taxing your body beyond what is can handle.
  • Previous days performance. If you did poorly on a WOD yesterday that you should have crushed, take note. If this happens a few days in a row, this could be a sign that you need to take a day off. 

All these together are signs that you may be over-reaching in your training. 

Sunday 140803

Overhead Squat

1 – 1 – 1 – 1 – 1 – 1 – 1 – 1

Then every minute on the minute for ten minutes:
2 Overhead squats @ 50% of today’s 1 rep max (from the ground)
20 Double unders

Post to comments and BTW.

IMG 9965 475x316 Sunday 140803

Family that sweats together stays together!

Thank you to everyone who came out and joined us for the In House Olympic Lifting meet yesterday!  Congratulations to everyone who lifted and participated, as well as all the volunteers who made it happen!  Verve Barbell Club is off-cycle for the next 12 weeks.  We’ll be offering plenty of WODs, clinics, Endurance, and other opportunities to build your fitness.  What did you think of the last cycle?  We saw some great improvements in technique and strength as the PR’s rained!  

31 Heroes WOD all day on Saturday, August 9.  Heats start every hour from 9am–12pm.  Free drop-ins, please consider donating here.

Gymnastics skills clinic with Zink on Wednesday, August 6 at 4pm.  Free to members, sign up on MBO.  

This coming week we’ll have some additional opportunities for 5:30pm and 6:30pm WODs on Monday and Tuesday evenings.  This will allow you more opportunities for quality coaching and attention during some of our busiest times.  Sign up on MBO and let us know if you like them!