Wednesday 160622

Every minute on the minute for 20 Minutes
Odd minutes = 5 Cleans 135#(95#)
Even minutes = 8 Burpee Box Jump Overs 24″(20″)

Post Results to BTWB


The DB Snatch doing a great job of teaching core to extremity.












Today, is a great workout to dive into the topic of scaling a workout for it’s intended purpose. On paper, this workout does not look like something that can be devastating. However, attacking the EMOM with the correct volume, loading and intensity – it is something that can leave you smoked. 

In this interval style couplet containing both a gymnastics conditioning piece and a weightlifting movement, the work will be roughly 1:1. What does that mean? It means that we will be using a blend of all three energy systems: Phosphogen, Glycolytic, Oxidative. Now, what does that mean and why is important?

1. Phosphagen System: This system uses creatine phosphate to reconstitute ATP after it’s broken down to release its energy. The total amount of CP and ATP stored in muscles is small, so there is limited energy available for muscular contraction. It is, however, instantaneously available and is essential at the onset of activity, as well as during short-term high-intensity activities lasting about 1 to 30 seconds in duration, such as sprinting, weight-lifting or throwing a ball.

2. Glycolytic: This system does not require oxygen and uses the energy contained in glucose (carbohydrates) for the formation of ATP. As an intermediate pathway between the phosphagen and aerobic system, anaerobic glycolysis can produce ATP quite rapidly for use during activities requiring large bursts of energy over somewhat longer periods of time (30 seconds to three minutes max, or during endurance activities prior to steady state being achieved).

3. Oxidative (Aerobic System): This pathway requires oxygen to produce ATP, because carbohydrates and fats are only burned in the presence of oxygen. This pathway occurs in the mitochondria of the cell and is used for activities requiring sustained energy production. The oxidative system is predominantly utilized during longer-duration, lower-intensity activities after the phosphagen and anaerobic systems have fatigued.

It is important to remember that all three of these systems contribute to the energy needs of the body during physical activity. These systems do not work independently of each other, but rather dominate at different times, depending on the duration and the intensity of the activity.

Just looking at the workout and thinking of time domains, it would be natural to think this workout would be a blend between just phosphogen and glycolytic because the intent is to be around 30 seconds of work per round. However, because the work:rest is 1:1, eventually the systems will shift towards the end of the workout making it a dominantly oxidative (aerobic workout). Below is a energy vs. time graph to help explain: 


If you look at the chart above, it shows that in the beginning of the workout we will be using the ATP-CP (Phosphogen) energy system, however towards the middle of the workout it will be a blend of glycolytic and oxidative and right as the workout ends we will be crossing the purely oxidative (aerobic) threshold. This will make a nice blend between the three. 

Now, to talk scaling. This will be a great chance for you to learn your body and see how different weights and variables work for you. If you load the squat clean too heavy, you could easily miss out on the phosphogen energy system, the one that a sprinter primary uses. If you try to go touch-and-go in the beginning of the workout and it leaves you smoked halfway through, you could miss out on the glycolytic pathway because you will work your way into being aerobic by being bent over and not moving quickly. If you don’t push the burpee box jump hard enough, you will remain aerobic throughout the entire workout and miss out on the goods the other systems bring. Remember to listen to your body and scale appropriately in order to get the intended stimulus of the workout. 

Tuesday 160621

For time:
Row 1000 Meters
50 Alternating dumbbell Snatch
Row 750 Meters
36 Alternating dumbbell Snatch
Row 500 Meters
20 Alternating dumbbell Snatch
Row 250 Meters

*Athletes choose dumbbell weight

Post time to BTWB

Urban-Luxe-Logo Headshot.2015


At Verve we have such a diverse group of professionals and we love to provide some exposure for our members that work in different industries that might be useful to our other members or their friends.    

Today we are going to introduce you to Diona Gouker.  Diona is a staple in our lunch time classes and is also a top realtor for Urban Luxe Real Estate.  Her office is located right down the street from Verve at 3060 Larimer St.  Diona serves as the Director of Development for Urban Luxe Real Estate and specializes in land acquisition and urban infill development.  

Her firm, Urban Luxe Real Estate, is focused on Denver’s urban neighborhoods as well as surrounding suburbs. They are a boutique real estate firm with a clear vision to help shape Denver neighborhoods through residential and commercial brokerage, and community engagement.  The company is comprised of single-family luxury real estate specialists as well as a commercial and developmental sales division.  Urban Luxe Real Estate has stayed true to their vision to build a next-generation estate company, one that continually raises the bar on service, professionalism, and performance, focusing on quality not quantity.  

I can tell you first hand how dedicated Diona is to helping her clients and potential clients.  When I first met Diona and found out she was in real estate, I told her how I hoped to buy something in the near future.  Given we had just moved the gym and had many tasks to still accomplish, I told her that I wouldn’t be able to really dive in for a while. Diona asked me what I was looking for and I gave her a few ideas.  Now knowing that I wasn’t quite ready to really put a ton of effort into looking for a place, given my time restrictions, Diona still takes the time each week to send me listings.  Each listing she sends me, I provide her feedback about what I like and don’t like.  She takes this information and has developed a profile for me.  She knows exactly what I’m interested in and continues to send me listings that match my likes completely.  I can’t tell you how much I appreciate this.  She could have simply told me to let her know when I was ready to start looking and then started to keep her eye out for me, but she takes the time each week to send me listings so I can get an idea of the market and what I can expect when I’m ready to move forward with purchasing.  This type of service tells me that she is really has my interests in mind and when I’m ready to buy, she’ll know exactly what properties to take me to.  

Here’s a little information about Diona when she’s not at work or at Verve:  “My family means the absolute world to me! My husband Brandon (Also a Verve member) and I, our two young children Brody and Everly, and our not so tiny mastiff, Layla, love spending as much time outdoors as we can. Having lived in Colorado all our lives, we love to run, hike, bike, and snowboard as often as we can. Our kids share our love of music and we see as many concerts as we can. Spending time with our family and friends is the most important thing in our lives and the reason for everything we do.”

If you’re in the market or considering being in the market, please feel free to contact Diona.  I’m sure she’ll give you the same type of attention and professionalism she has shown me.  Diona’s contact information is below. 

Diona Gouker


Monday 160620

20 Minutes to work to a heavy complex of:
1 Push press + 2 push jerks

Then every minute on the minute for 7 minutes
2 Push press + 2 push jerks @ 65%

Post to BTWB

crossfit-verve-layouts-05 crossfit-verve-layouts-07 crossfit-verve-layouts-06 crossfit-verve-layouts-04

Finally we are going to be getting some new Verve gear.  Starting today, we are going to be offering the above shirts and tank tops for pre-order.  If you would like to buy any of the new shirts above you will have to pre-order them. The pre-order starts today and will run for two weeks ending July 4th at 9:00 PM.  All shirts are Next Level.  We went to the printer and picked out the shirts and check sizes to make sure they run true. Click HERE, HERE, and HERE to check out the shirt specs.  

Using the pre-order model will allow us to refresh our Verve gear offerings more frequently so hopefully you won’t have to wait a long time for some new tank tops or t-shirts.  Don’t like the options above, no worries, we will have some new options in the next few months for you to choose from.  We will be choosing colors that go along with the seasons as well as shirts that fit the seasons too.  Think light weight hoodies in the fall and heavier hoodie options in the winter.  Hopefully we’ll be able to get some sweats and winter hats too. People have always asked for these and now we should be able to meet those demands.

If you like what you see above and would like to purchase any or all of them, you have a couple different options.  If you’re at Verve, you can pre-order right through the square system in the retail room.  If you’re not sure how the Square system works, grab a trainer and they’ll be happy to walk you through.  Not at Verve but still want to get your hands on some new tanks or t-shirts?  All you have to do is visit: and follow the easy to use instructions.  We will ship your gear to you as soon as the shirts are ready from the printer.  Once the pre-sale ends the turn around time to get the shirts is around 2 weeks, but this could change based on the quantity we need to order.

Again shirts will ONLY be available through the pre-sale.  We will not carry any additional inventory at the gym so you must get your order in before the July 4th deadline.  

Sunday 160619

For time:
Run 400 Meters
Run 400 Meters backwards
Run 200 Meters
Run 200 Meters backwards
Run 100 Meters
Run 100 Meters backwards

Post time to comments or BTWB

Sweet potato as a vehicle for a burger?? yes please!

Sweet potato as a vehicle for a burger?? yes please!

I would like to take a second and thank BETTY ROCKER for the idea of using sweet potatoes (and other items) as a vessel for meat.  Betty has some great recipes above and beyond this recipe that utilize different food delivery vehicles.  Check out her blog and the full recipe here

Sweet Potato Sliders
Yield: 2-3 servings
You will need: knife, cutting board, baking sheet, grill or saute pan, spatula or tongs


1 large sweet potato
1 large yellow onion
1 lb ground buffalo (or beef)
Fresh basil and thyme
Chunky salt
Olive oil


1. Chop Sweet potatoes cross-wise into even sized discs

2. Preheat your oven to 350. Lightly coat a baking sheet with olive oil and lay out your sweet potatoes. Top them with a little oil. Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until pierced easily with a fork.

3. Slice 1 onion into even sized discs.

4. Grill or sear onions in a little olive oil until browned.

5. Make burger patties that match the size of your sweet potato discs. Grill or cook them to desired done-ness.

6. Rough chop fresh basil. Remove thyme from stems.

7. Assembly your sliders as shown!

Saturday 160618

Workout is at the track today!!!

3 Rounds for completion
Sprint 50 Meters
Walk 50 Meters back
Sprint 100 Meters
Walk 100 Meters back
Sprint 200 Meters
Walk 200 Meters back

Post times to comments and BTWB

Track workout is at Manual High School today.

Track workout is at Manual High School today.


The gym is closed this weekend!! Verve is hosting the CrossFit Football Seminar Saturday and Sunday. There will not be any classes or open gym time at the gym. . . . but there are still WODs programmed this weekend.

Verve will be having track workouts on Saturday and Sunday at Manual High School: 

Manual High School
1700 East 28th Avenue
Denver, CO 80205

There will be a 9am WOD and a 10am WOD both Saturday and Sunday, please go to MBO to sign up for class. Don’t like running? Perhaps now is the perfect time to try and remedy that. Get outside early while it’s not too hot, get some Vitamin D with friends, and go for a nice little jog. And then maybe after go get mimosas. . . enjoy a beautiful weekend. 



Friday 160617

Everyday Warrior Team Battle Series Workout 3
As many rounds as possible in 11 minutes of:
5 Deadlift 225#(155#)
20 Partner Wall Balls 20#(14#)10′(9′) (10 Each Passing the Ball back and forth)
12 Alternating Burpees Over the Bar

Post reps to comments or BTWB

Where do you track your progress? Nowhere? Let's change that.

Where do you track your progress? Nowhere? Let’s change that.

Today, I would like to repost a previous post from July of last year.  We have many new members and this information is always relevant.  I can’t tell you the number of times we ask “Who knows there 1RM or Who had done this workout before” and we are met with a coy yet blank stare.  You do so many great things in this gym DAILY, but they are hard to remember unless we write them down.  Take a minute, read through this article, and if you have any questions talk to one of the coaches!

ARE YOU KEEPING TRACK? – CrossFit Invictus

“So, I would like to take a poll. How many of you know your numbers? You know, like how much is your one rep max back squat? What is your heaviest clean and jerk? I am sure some of you can tell me instantly your numbers or can head over to the red cabinet and look through your logbook to tell me your numbers.  As for the rest of you, my question of knowing your numbers may be a foreign concept. Alas, we shall change this! Soon we will live in an ideal world where everyone knows what they are currently lifting. I guess I should state that this isn’t just about numbers. Keeping a record of your lifts is important, but keeping a record of your workouts is just as important, for many reasons.

1) Keeping a workout logbook can help measure your progress! If you don’t know how much you lifted or what your time on the workout was previously, then it is hard to measure any progress.  Instead, write down exactly what weight you used and in what time you completed the workout. That way, next time the workout comes up you can see how much stronger and faster you are!

2) A workout logbook can help you set goals. Say a workout, like Fran, comes up on the board. If you have been keeping track of your workouts then you will know what your old Fran time is (if you have done it before). Say your old time was 5:45 with the prescribed amount of weight. That was 4 months ago. You can now set a new goal, say 5:15. By keeping track of your workouts, you can set realistic goals.

3) It will help you to continue to make progress.  Often, a lift will come up that says something like ‘Deadlift x 3 @ 85% of your 3-RM.’ This is going to be an awful hard prescription to follow if you have no idea what your 3-Rep Max on the Deadlift is. You have no idea if you lifted 205 x 3 or 225 x 3, a big difference in numbers when trying to make progress in your deadlift. Keeping track of your workouts will also be handy as we continue with the testing days in the group sessions. We can only have re-testing days if we have something to re-test!” – see full post here

PHEW – now that is out of the way, this may be old news, a reminder, or new news to all of you Ververs but, along with belonging to one of the most awesome gyms with the most awesome members, you ALSO get a free membership to Beyond the Whiteboard when you sign up!!

What is Beyond the Whiteboard (BTW)?? – BTW is a website / app that gives you the capability to track ALL of the work you do in this gym.  You can track 1RM, WOD’s, Hero WOD’s, Girl WOD’s, water intake, weight, etc.  You can also compare your performance to others in the gym or across the world.  BTW will track your input and analyze the data, give you graphical analysis, and so much more.  Here are a few screen shots of the website:

Beyond the whiteboard Log in screen!

Beyond the whiteboard Log in screen!

Log your workout screen

Log your workout screen

Analysis screen

Analysis screen

How do you sign-up? E-mail; he will then send you a log-in to get your account set-up.  Play around for a while to figure it out.  If you have any questions, feel free to ask one of the coaches or Danni, and we are happy to help.

HAPPY LOGGING! Gone are the days of “I don’t know my 1 rep max”!!!!


  • Track WOD’s all weekend (9 and 10am each day) at Manual High School.  Go to 1700 E. 28th Ave Denver, CO 80205

Thursday 160616

Take 15 Minutes to work to a 2 rep back squat

Then 5 rounds:
10 Back rack reverse lunges at 40% of 2 rep from today
20 Jumping lunges, no weight
Run 100 Meters
Rest 1 minute

Post loads and times to comments and BTWB

When there is a squeak in the assault bike and the only way to find it is to have someone work harder. . . at least that's what Clancy told Kacey.

When there is a squeak in the assault bike and the only way to find it is to have someone work harder. . . at least that’s what Clancy told Kacey.


Just when you thought we were done talking about INTENSITY, I’ve gone and found another article to hammer the point home.

This lovely little ditty will be brought to you By Courtney Shepherd with a lot of assistance of Mike Warkentin of CrossFit 204.

Monday evening, while wrapping up a class, someone came up to me and asked me, “How do I get better at burpees?” If you recall Monday’s workout, it contained 60 burpees. This athlete and I chatted for a few minutes during which time they told me the burpees were the worst part of the workout, they just kind of “slugged through them”. I get it, burpees, to most people, suck. But what is even suckier, there is nothing you can do to make them better. The only thing you can do as an athlete is tolerate being uncomfortable more and be willing to push through discomfort faster. I can’t make burpees easier, they are intense. I can only make you appreciate intensity more and your need for it. Which is exactly what I told this athlete.

“You have to do Fran today. Stop reading, close your eyes and really think about that for a moment. Note the freefall feeling in your chest, the sweaty palms and the subtle changes in your breathing. Now consider this statement:

You have to do Fran in less than 12 minutes today.

I bet you suddenly don’t feel nervous at all. You might even view the reps as a warm-up for another workout. Same weight, same reps, same workout—different results.

Intensity burns. It tastes like a mouthful of old pennies soaked in battery acid. It makes you dizzy. It causes you to writhe around on the ground trying to work the misery out of your muscles. It usually requires a period spent on your back or butt, and sometimes it sends your lunch back the way it came in. Intensity gets caught in your throat and keeps you hacking hours after the workout ends.

Intensity also brings results. Push someone out of the comfort zone and physiology adapts. Do that regularly and fitness improves dramatically. Discomfort creates adaptation, but it can be very tempting to avoid the continuous discomfort needed to keep driving adaptation—even as a CrossFit athlete who knows its rewards.

Reducing intensity can be as subtle as breaking up Fran’s 15 thrusters when we don’t have to. It’s a very minor reduction in effort, and almost no one notices—sometimes not even the athlete. Fran burns a bit less, and only 20 seconds are added to a PR time, giving him or her the opportunity to attribute the score to an off day, bad sleep or “that third burrito at lunch.”

Luckily, the athlete still stays far fitter than if he or she hadn’t done Fran, but slacking off a little can lead to slacking off a lot, which is equivalent to treating a CrossFit workout like a 20-minute roll through the sports section while plodding on the elliptical machine.

To reap the greatest benefits from CrossFit, you have to be willing to push yourself, to be uncomfortable, to suffer for reward. And most of us are most of the time. The whiteboard and the rivalries thereon are powerful motivational tools. Still, a 5-minute Fran can become a habit if you let your mind trick you into dropping the barbell well before you need to.

Remember: Objects in motion tend to stay in motion, while objects at rest tend to head to the chalk bucket.”

Mike’s point to his readers and my point to this particular Verve athlete are one in the same. It’s not enough to just slug through a workout. So you did all the reps and all the pieces, but if all of it together takes 20 minutes when the workout was suppose to take 12. . . there is no adaptation. There will be minimal benefit, other than a few calories burned. If you want a dose of intensity, if you want burpees to feel better and you want improved times in those faster workouts, then take away any and every excuse you have to stop. Don’t worry about RX, what Joe Shmo at 5:30am did, or the average time on the board. Instead, lighten the load, maybe cut the reps, and make your goal to never stop, never put the bar down, not come down from the pull-up structure. If you finish a 12 minute workout in 5 minutes, I guarantee you hauled ass. I guarantee you did not stop moving, and I can guarantee you got more from that workout than if you did the 20 minute version of it. 

So think about it. CrossFit will never get easier. Period. The better you get the harder it gets, you can push yourself even more. So rather than resting until you feel comfortable, keep going, your heart will not physically explode from your chest. Get use to being uncomfortable. Get use to how bad intensity is and next thing you know, those 60 burpees don’t seem so bad anymore. . . . it could of been 100.

**You can read Mike Warkentin’s article “Elliptical Syndrome Cripples Fran, Helen” in it’s entirety by clicking here.

**Remember Verve is closed this weekend as we host the CrossFit Football Seminar. Verve will have a track WOD both mornings at Manual High School track. Get signed up on MBO. Click here for directions.

Wednesday 160615

2 Rounds for time:
Row 20 calories
20 Strict pull ups
Row 20 calories
20 Strict ring dips

Post Results to BTWB


Today I am going to be addressing a couple different factors that come to play while training around an injury. An exercise program takes many things into consideration before putting the words on paper. When you are dealing with an injury there are many ways to tinker with the variables a bit to make a workout more in your favor. Here are some things that I did for myself when I injured my back and was returning to a training program:

  • Volume Control. The days of throwing caution to the wind are behind me. I can no longer just jump into any workout without carefully sitting down and thinking about what I have done the days prior or what I would like to do in the days to come. If I know that I have travel coming up, I lay low on higher volume squatting or pulling from the ground. My main focus here is not to smoke my hip flexors before sitting and traveling for somewhere between 4-8 hours.
  • Exercise Selection. In the introductory phases of going from a rehabilitation program into an exercise training program, it’s important to pick the correct movements. Again, let’s take a lower back injury as an example. Don’t do back or front squats before you do box squats, don’t pull from the ground before you pull from the blocks. Don’t do cleans until you have deadlifts. There are progressions for everything. Pick exercises in the introductory phase that will help you build confidence getting back to the more complicated, technical movements.
  • Exercise Order. When introducing new exercises back into a program, don’t be afraid to set the workout up for ideal situations. Training fatigued immediately after an injury isn’t the best route to go. Yes, eventually we would like this to be be able to change, however in the beginning stages – train smarter. What would this look like? Let’s look at writing a workout for someone who is coming back from a back injury in this instance. For assumption purposes, let’s assume the athlete has already worked back up to heavier deadlifts in his strength protocol and it’s time to start testing higher rep, heavier load deadlifts in workouts. How would we do this?
    • Example:
      For Time:
      2K Row

      20 Deadlifts, 275#
      20 Handstand Push-upsWhat this could look like?

      For Time:
      20 Deadlifts, 275#
      2K Row
      20 Handstand Push-ups

      Simply doing the deadlifts in the beginning of the workout will set someone coming back from a lower back injury into a safer scenario than having them do higher rep, heavier weight pulls from the ground in a fatigued state. This is a parameter that we can and SHOULD control. Don’t just throw caution to the wind. Train optimally, not maximally

  • Better Recovery Tracking. I know I have referenced this before, however I think it is good material and worth mentioning again. Use a recovery tracking device. Some use heart rate variability – I prefer a system called “Restwise”. I like this system because there are both quantitative and qualitative markers to help you decide how you are handling the workload you are trying to perform. If you receive a score of 60% or below, you are not allowed to train that day. This helps an athlete train optimally, while avoiding being overtrained. If you have a history of doing this to yourself, you should check it out here.

Tuesday 160614

20 Minutes to work to a heavy complex of:
1 Hang power clean + 1 power clean

then every minute on the minute for 7 minutes
3 Hang power cleans @ 65% of today’s heaviest complex

Post weight to BTWB

Josh taking care of some accessory work!

Josh taking care of some accessory work!

Reminder that this coming weekend we are hosting the CrossFit Football Seminar on Saturday and Sunday.  We have reserved the track at Manual High School from 9:00 am – 11:00 am for both days.  We won’t be bringing much equipment so plan on taking advantage of the track and field for some good old fashion sprinting and running.  Make sure you bring sunscreen as they are forecasting temperatures in the upper 90’s with plenty of sun.  I take about 10 – 15 minutes before I start to get burned so if you have some fair skin like me, best be prepared.

This past weekend was the CrossFit Cherry Creek Triple Threat competition.  The two day competition featured 6 teams from Verve having some fun in extreme heat.  One of our teams had to withdraw at the last minute due to injury.  We had a few members that competed in a CrossFit competition for the first time and the feedback was all very positive.  Anyone that tells you they don’t get nervous is lying to you, but once the clock starts it’s like any other workout.  The weights feel lighter once the clock starts and all the butterflies disappear.  For anyone that hasn’t competed in a local competition, I highly recommend getting involved in one of the local team competitions that seem to be happening each weekend in and around Denver.  

We post flyers for local competitions around the gym but there are also resources online and on Facebook.  If you have a competition you’d like to participate in make sure you post to the comments on the blog or on Verve’s Facebook page so others are aware.  

Verve is hosting the Femme Royale competition in August.  The competition is for women only and they have different divisions available (Fun, 50/50, and Rx) to make the competition as inclusive as possible.  Stay tuned to Verve’s social pages and the blog for more information about the Femme Royale and consider competing with a friend.  This one is at Verve so you’ll be familiar with the equipment and surroundings so it would be a great chance to try a competition if you so choose.

This week’s Everyday Warrior Team Battle Series workout will be our class WOD on Friday due to the gym being closed for the seminar this weekend.  This week’s workout is an 11 minute AMRAP so you don’t have to worry about a 30 minute treat this week.  

Monday 160613

For time:
20 Handstand push-ups
30 Supine ring rows
40 Kettlebell swings 35#(26#)
50 Ab mat sit-ups
60 Burpees to a 6″ target
50 Ab mat sit-ups
40 Kettlebell swing 35#(26#)
30 Supine ring rows
20 Handstand push-ups

Post time to BTWB

Joel, Adam, and Mick doing some heavy sand bag clean and jerks.

Joel, Adam, and Mick doing some heavy sand bag clean and jerks.

Congrats to everyone that participated in the CrossFit Cherry Creek Triple Threat competition this weekend.  Really amazing to see all the Verve athletes throwing down.  Thanks to everyone that came out to show some support.  Love seeing Verve always bringing the support.  

Next weekend we are hosting the CrossFit Football Seminar so Verve will be hosting our workouts at an outdoor track.  Safe to say there might be some running in the workouts.  These will be the only workouts for the day.  There will NOT be any classes at the gym.  

A lot of people have asked when we were getting in some new Verve gear.  Well the time is near.  In the next coming week you’ll begin to see blogs and social media posts about our new shirts.

We are going to be doing a pre-sale for the new shirts.  If you would like to buy a shirt you will have to pre-order it through Square system.  We will only be ordering the shirts that are pre-ordered.  If you like the shirts and would like to get your hands on one, stay tuned for information about the pre-sale.  

We are working with a new printer and doing the pre-sales will allow us to refresh our gear more often. Again this will require everybody interested in buying shirts to pre-order rather than just grabbing them in the retail room.  We’ll make sure to keep reminding you about the pre-order so you don’t miss out.  

Stay tuned this week to find out about more about the new shirts and when they go on pre-sale.