Monday 150622


In 20 minutes establish a heavy complex of:
1 Snatch pull + 1 power snatch + 1 hang power snatch

Then, every minute on the minute for 10 minutes:
1 complex @ 70% of heaviest complex

Post weights to BTWB


The season of swole starts next week!

The season of swole starts next week!

Next week our 5 PM specialty hour will have no classes.  We finished our Olympic cycle last week and many people had great results.  I’m proud of everyone that was able to make it through the entire 6 weeks and saw their numbers go up, whether it was the snatch, clean and jerk, or any of the squat variations we hit day after day.  Think about the numbers you started with on week 1 and where you ended up.  If those weights come up in a WOD, now you know that you can handle that weight and feel comfortable doing so.

So what’s next?  We will be starting a new/old cycle of Hot Dogs and Cupcakes one week from today. Classes will be Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday night at 5 PM.  

So what is Hot Dogs and Cupcakes?  From the original creators of the program:

What is Hot Dogs & Cupcakes? Well, it’s a work in progress – much like we all are. HD&CC was originally started as a blog between two buddies that challenged each other to workouts that addressed their weaknesses. took care of the conditioning and GPP, but certain areas were left underdeveloped… particularly absolute strength and high level body positioning common to gymnastics.

The CrossFit Verve WODs will take take care of you GPP and HD&CC will help address areas of weakness.  Now be careful it may not seem like you’re lifting a lot, but take it from someone that’s been doing the programming for the past few weeks, it is a lot of work.  No need to add extra lifting days and try to add at most 3 WODS a week.  Yeah you may lose some of your engine or capacity,  but your strength will increase.  It’s a give and take relationship.

So here’s what you need to know.  1 Rep Max for the following:

Back Squat, Front Squat, Deadlift, Bench Press, Good Morning (I used an estimate for this).  The programming will target these major lifts and then add in accessory lifts.  

We need you to have been doing CrossFit consistently for 9 months to a year.  The volume and short rest make for a really challenging hour of work and similar to the Olympic class, we will correct faults, but teaching will be limited due to time restraints.  

The programming won’t change to much week to week.  The percentage of your 1 rep max that you are lifting will change as well the number of reps performed.  The workouts will be up on the whiteboard for all to see should you want to perform the workouts during Open Gym.  

If you have any questions use the comments to ask.  Here’s to getting strong over the next 6 weeks!   

Sunday 150621

12 Minute as many rounds as possible of :
50 Double unders
30 Air Squats
15 Kettlebell swings 16kg(12kg)

Post reps to comments or BTW



This recipe comes to us courtesy of Danielle!  A great cure for you late night desire for ice cream or cake.  Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you:

FLUFF (in Danielle’s eloquent words)

1 scoop MP Birthday Cake protein powder
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tsp xanthan gum

1 cup ice
- Mix in blender first to crush up all the ice.
- Transfer to big ass bowl.
- Mix with hand blender for a couple minutes until it gets all fluffy.
- Top with chocolate chips and a dash of cinnamon (because, you know, garnishes are fancy)

 Nutritional Info – Can vary slightly based on the protein powder you select
Calories – 207
CHO – 12g
PRO – 26g
F – 7g

Saturday 150620

3 Rounds for time:
Run 800 meters
21 Power cleans, 95#(65#)
2 Rope climbs, 15′

Post times to comments and BTWB

Beth and Mark Romero welcomed daughter Lucy Isabelle Romero into this word Thursday June 18th. Mom, baby, and big sister are all doing great.

Beth and Mark Romero welcomed daughter Lucy Isabelle Romero into this world Thursday June 18th. Mom, baby, and big sister are all doing great.


Start marking your calendars, we got a lot going on around here. . . 

*This summer Verve will be hosting several lectures/ events in it’s Summer Nutrition Series. The first will be held Saturday June 27th from 2pm-3pm @ Verve. Verve’s own Clara Wisner will be discussing The Keys To Detoxification. . . as chosen by you all. This lecture is open to Verve members, family, and friends. 

*Verve will be hosting an i99 clinic Sunday June 28th from 12pm-3pm. This seminar will build/reinforce technique with the handstand, hollow hold, solid kipping technique, toes to bar, dip work, and so much more! If you are thinking that you already have these things and you don’t need to attend, THINK AGAIN! It is always great to go back to the basics and fine tune your mechanics. Spots are limited, click here to get signed up.

*Verve is hosting the CrossFit Football Trainer Course Saturday and Sunday July 11th-12th. Spots are still available. For more information and to register, click here.

*The O2X Summit Challenge will be August 15th at Winter Park Resort. All the Verve trainers are doing it, which means so should you. You can sign up at the front desk at Verve.

*Front Range CrossFit is hosting the first annual Do More Charity Challenge October 3rd-4th. It’s a 6 person team competition. We already have a few people interested, Verve will put $600 towards registering a team, make your intentions known in the comments section so others can join you. Click here for more info and rules.

Friday 150619

As many rounds as possible in 30 minutes of:
12 Walking lunge steps
15 Glute-Ham Sit-ups
15 Hip Extensions
5 Muscle-ups

Post reps to comments or BTW

Dana and Jen getting "gymnasty"

Dana and Jen getting “gymnasty”


For those of you that aren’t aware (there probably aren’t many of you) we will be hosting an i99 Fit Level 1 Gymnastics Seminar Sunday, June 28th from 12p – 3p.

What athletes should attend?
-Athletes looking to improve their handstand holds, push-ups, and walks
-Athletes looking to link more than 2 – 3 kipping pull-ups or increase their pull-up stamina
-Athletes looking to create a solid base for efficient muscle-ups
-Athletes who would like to see and receive feedback and video analysis of your movement

As you can see, pretty much any level of athlete should attend.  Until you win the CrossFit games (and not even then), you are not too skilled to work on/refine the basic movements!  You may say to yourself “I already have ….. movement, I don’t need to attend the Level 1″.  This is a dangerous mindset.  At Verve, the coaches have the opportunity to sit in on many certificatons offered by CrossFit.  I speak from experience in saying that I gain so much by hearing the same concepts presented by different people.  This seminar is a great opportunity to learn about the basics of movement presented by coaches that are some of the best in their sport and are bringing that experience to the CrossFit arena.

Here are some of the testimonials of athletes that have taken the seminar:

Handstand walking cues that have really helped me: 1. tuck your chin, and look at the floor with the top of your eyes 2. Pretend there are tooth picks taped to the back of the legs so that they straighten. 3. Heels together, it helps tighten the posterior chain. Thank you @i99fit & @vanvleetd for all your time coaching us @prburke! TAG your friends that need some TIPS for walking on their hands!

Andrea Ager

This Sunday, May 25th is going to be a day NOT to miss. There will be several coaches from i99 in addition to a handful of games/regionals athletes. Last Sunday I was blown away at how much I got out of their workshop. Definitely don’t miss!

Pat Burke

Take a minute, check out their website  If the information sparks your interest, sign-up here!  We have just ended the competition season and NOW is the time to start working on our goats. Go to the seminar, create a gameplan, and KILL the 2016 Open season.

If you have any questions or feedback, shout out in the comments below!



Thursday 150618

In 20 minutes, establish a 2 rep max overhead squat

Then, every minute on the minute for 5 minutes:
1 Overhead squat as heavy as possible (must be taken from ground and brought to back)

Post loads to comments and BTWB

Matt loves him some L holds. . . especially after swimming 100m repeats. Swim WODs are where it's at folks.

Matt loves him some L holds. . . especially after swimming 100m repeats. Swim WODs are where it’s at folks.


Volume training for weaknesses, By Courtney Shepherd and Brian Wilson of Potomac CrossFit

Several months ago a Verve athlete came to me with an article and a question about improving weaknesses. He told me he had 1 big weakness that had reared it’s ugly head several times recently during WODs, and that he wanted to find a way to target this weakness and improve it. He brought with him an article from the CrossFit Journal title “Volume Training For Goats”, and wondered if this was a good approach to building his ring dips. Since that conversation I’ve had several other athletes approach me about weaknesses in both pull-ups and push-ups. I will tell you what I told each of these athletes, I think volume training is a great approach to working weaknesses, specifically those involving bodyweight movements.

At the beginning of workouts you may have even heard me make mention about volume just before discussing scaling. For example, a workout has 5 rounds with 20 pull-ups per round, making the total volume of pull-ups 100. The question becomes what volume of pull-ups are you capable of? Because if the most pull-ups you have done in a workout successfully is 50, then the idea of trying to go for 100 in the current workout is not a good one. A better idea would be to aim for a total volume of 60-65 pull-ups, split over the 5 rounds. By doing this we are increasing your volume of pull-ups and keeping you successful as well as working in the intended intensity.

That would be a way to address volume in a WOD. The above mentioned article addresses volume with additional programming outside of the daily workout.

This training technique—called volume training—has been used in various forms; it is characterized by specific and repetitive training for a weakness. It could be fielding ground balls with a backhand technique in baseball, shooting free throws in basketball, or pressing to handstand in gymnastics. The goal is to develop proprioception and endurance—defined as the ability to reproduce a movement many times over or at length—in that specific modal capacity.

Brian Wilson of Potomac CrossFit has been using volume training with his athletes, while volume training can be used for any human movement, Brian has found “that upper-body gymnastics movements (e.g., handstand push-ups, pull-ups, ring dips, push-ups, muscle-ups) see the greatest relative improvement with this method.”

Brian uses a 20 minute system, when I have used it for myself and suggested it to others, I have used a 10 minute system. The idea with either is the same: perform reps every minute on the minute, working sub-maximally (not reaching muscle failure) and to maintain a difference of no more than 2 reps from the first set to the last set. The athlete’s goal is to continue to progress in total number of reps completed per session, while still not going beyond 2 in the difference between the 1st minute and the last minute. An example of what this might look like for someone working on HSPUs using the 20 minute system, is shown below:

A five-session volume-training log for handstand push-ups.

A five-session volume-training log for handstand push-ups.


Over the course of 5 sessions, this athletes volume of HSPU has gone from 23 to 50. In the article Brian states he has his athletes do this 20 minute work twice per week. I think a better way to say that would be do a session every 3 to 4 days. This is not something that should be done every day, however going too long between sessions will hinder progress.

A key concept to remember is the athlete should work at a sub-maximal effort. This training method is designed to allow the athlete to practice the movement with near- perfect form, not to create a significant metabolic-conditioning response.

That’s right folks “near perfect form”. This type of training does not good if we are performing a movement with poor form and barely eking out reps. So if you have ever felt like your push-ups seem to stink and never seem to get better, perhaps you should drop in to an open gym time, set a clock for 10-20 minutes, and every minute on the minute perform some push-ups. While you may feel like this is silly, a good starting place is simply 1 rep every minute on the minute. . . with near perfect form for all reps. You can build from there. On that note, whichever time frame you choose, use the same time frame every time. It would be hard to track progress if every session lasts for a different amount of time.

Lastly, volume training should be prescribed for athletes who have trained regularly for several months or years but still have one or two modalities that need improvement. While this plan might be of use for beginners, it is more important to first build capacity in the general physical preparedness programming that is CrossFit. Build basic strength and capacity before worrying about isolating movements. 

For full article, click here.

Wednesday 150617

7 Rounds, working with a 2 minute clock:
Row 40(30) calories

*For each calorie under 40(30), perform 1 burpee
*Rest 2 minutes between rounds
*Burpees are accumulated and owed at the end of the 7 rounds

Post scores to comments and BTWB

Kristi and Katie working through a nice little push-up EMOM.

Kristi and Katie working through a nice little push-up EMOM.


Calling all competitors!!!

In the last few months following the CrossFit Games Open, I have had several people approach me and ask about another comp crew. In the months leading up to the Open Verve had a competitor’s program with specialized programming. This program and it’s programming were designed to help build those athletes that had a desire to improve their competitive performance. Verve’s majority of members come to Verve to workout, lift weight, and break a sweat simply to feel good. To feel happy, healthy, confident, and even help improve their performance in activities that exist outside the gym walls. But there is a nice group of Ververs that have their eyes set on bigger prizes. These athletes enjoy signing up for and competing in local competitions. These athletes look forward to the CrossFit Open every year so they can see the product of their handwork leading up to it. There may even be some that have the goal of one day making it to the CrossFit Games. Verve does not currently have a comp crew on the schedule, nor do we plan to in the immediate future. . . however, with that said, your requests for comp crew work has not fallen on deaf ears. We are simply opting to go about it a different way at the moment. Before I discuss our plan for comp crew, let me first explain to you the concept of macro/ meso/ micro cycles.

Programs such as comp crew, utilize programming cycles to work weaknesses while also maintaining strengths. The first step is to make an overall goal of the program and make a time frame for that goal. Let’s take for example, my goal is to make the top 100 women in the Southwest Region during the 2016 Open. That makes my macrocycle for my goal from April of 2015 to February 2016. In that long term goal I will make smaller monthly goals that will make up my mesocycles. My first mesocycle will be to spend 3 months building strength. Following my strength mesocycle, I will take the next 3 months to focus on using my new found strength to improve my Olympic lifts. Around this time I might start taking all this barbell work and adding in more volume at lighter reps for time, to build my engine and prepare for the Open. Each week of my mesocycles I will have certain programming that will need to get done. This weekly work constitutes my microcycle. Why in the world am I explaining all this? Because, using my example as a basic template, this is our plan for comp crew. We want to take comp crew through several mesocycles/ microcycles with the overall macrocycle goal focused on the 2016 Open. And just like my example, we want to start the comp crew working on a strength mesocycle.

The 5 o’clock pm specialty hour just finished up an Olympic lifting cycle. Starting the week of Monday June 29th, it will be filled with Hotdogs & Cupcakes programming, specifically a hypertrophy phase used to generate a training base or foundation from which to build upon. It will involve high volume and low to moderate intensity. This program will be 3 days per week, Monday/ Tuesday/ Thursday and will be based off percentages of 1 rep maxes in the power lifts (deadlift, back squat, and bench press). If you are interested in the comp crew, we ask that you start here. We will eventually have specialized programming for comp crew, however currently there is no need to. We understand that the 5pm hour does not work for everyone, remember that the programming will be up on the whiteboard, accessible for you to do during any one of our many open gym hours that may be more convenient for you.

Should you choose to start your comp crew journey here, we have a few additional requests to aid in your programming:

1) The program is written to be done on those specific days, please attempt to do them on those days. If you have to change the schedule to fit your schedule, the ultimate goal is that they are not done back to back 3 days in a row. They should be done spread out over 4-5 days, in the order they are written.

2) This program has high volume, please do not add anymore. You will not necessarily feel like to are moving a bunch of heavy weight, but please believe us when we say, it is enough. Please DO NOT add in any additional heavy lifting days.

3) Because this is a strength cycle, the focus is weightlifting. We expect during this cycle there may be a slight decrease in one’s aerobic capacity/ engine. THAT’S OKAY. That will come into play in another mesocycle down the road. To help maintain some of the aerobic capacity you have, please add NO MORE than 3 WODs throughout the week.

4) In order to get the most out of this cycle, if you plan to do the Hotdogs & Cupcakes and a WOD in the same day. . . PLEASE DO THE HD&CC FIRST. You can do the WOD second. Doing them in reverse order will be detrimental to your gains in the strength department. The HD&CC is based on percentages, if you destroy your legs in a rower exhaustive WOD, you will not be able to move 75% of your 1RM back squat for 30 reps. Period. Better to put 100% effort into the strength work at the expense of a slightly slower time in a WOD rather than the other way around.

5) Lastly, let’s talk volume. After reading all this there will be some of you that may laugh and think “3 strength pieces and 3 WODs in 1 week. . . that’s nothing. I’m a highly competitive athlete, I can do more than that.” Please, please, please do not do more than that. We ask that you also be cautious about the WODs you choose to add into your weekly programming. The strength piece is a lot of volume. If you choose a WOD that also has high volume of moderately heavy squats, it will not simply be a matter of “if” but “when” you begin to have aches, pains, and eventually injuries. The goal of the WODs is to help maintain aerobic capacity. If you are unsure what this means, please feel free to ask myself (Courtney) or Eric, we will help steer you in the right direction. We want gains, not busted joints.

If you’ve had the competitive bug itching you since the end of the Open, here’s the starting point to get ready for next year. This is early in the season, this is the time to make gains that we will build on over the next 8 months. Now is not the time to over do it, get injured, and spend the next 8 months rehabbing. This program will provide benefits as long as you follow it based on our recommendations. 

Verve’s goal is to help it’s athletes achieve their goals, big and small. The opportunities we bring to Verve, including clinics, seminars, specialty classes, and in house lectures, are our way of helping build you into whichever kind of athlete you choose to be. You simply need to take advantage of them.

Tuesday 150616

For time:
5 Rounds
15 Deadlift 115#(75#)
12 Hang power clean 115#(75#)
9 Front squat 115#(75#)
6 Push jerk 115#(75#)

Post time to BTWB

Great turnout for yesterdays heavy day.  Weighted push ups are harder than they seem.

Great turnout for yesterdays heavy day. Weighted push ups are harder than they seem.

If you noticed, we threw a lot of information about upcoming events on last weeks blogs.  Here is a quick recap of those events in case you missed any of the pertinent information.  

O2X Summit Race is August 15th at Winter Park.  6 mile race up the mountain, no man made obstacles only what’s already there.  Sign up sheet is available at the front of the gym.  I’ll begin emailing discount codes this week so you can purchase your tickets.  Remembers this is open to anyone and everyone so tell your friends.  Discounts available for them as well!

Front Range CrossFit Do More Charity Challenge.  October 3-4th.  Teams of 6 compete.  This competition is for anyone.  Whether you CrossFit or not, there is a place for you on a team.  Verve will donate money for teams to compete.  If you’re interested in competing, don’t worry if you don’t have a team, email

The 5 PM Specialty Hour.  This week is the final week of the Olympic Cycle.  There is no class tonight or Friday.  We will use the class on Thursday to test a 1 rep max clean and jerk.  Next week there will be no specialty classes at 5 PM. The following week, we begin a new/old Hot Dogs and Cupcakes.  Classes will be Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday.  Prepare to get your lift on.  This 6 week phase is designed to build strength.  Might be a good idea to cut the met cons to around 2 per week if you intend to follow this program closely.  A lot of send offs and high reps at pretty damn high percentages.  I speak from experience, this is not easy.  I’ll post more next week about what you’ll need to know as far as 1 rep maxes.  Get ready to get swole.  

Monday 150615

10 minutes at each station to find your 2 rep max of:

Weighted pull- ups

Weighted dip on p-bars

Weighted push – up

Post weights to BTWB


Nate, mid singing of a Miley Cyrus song.  There is video and i'm sure we'll use it.

Nate, mid singing of a Miley Cyrus song. There is video and i’m sure we’ll use it.

We like to use the blog to help our members promote any upcoming events they may be associated with.  Whether it’s a charity outing or perhaps the spotlight of a new business.  If you have something that might interest our community let us know.  

One of our members, Brandi Thomas, is a board member for the Christmas Crusade for Children.  Each year the charity puts on a golf tournament that helps raise funds.  I know there are a lot of Verve members who golf so we are taking this opportunity to promote the upcoming charity golf tournament on July 18th at Buffalo Run Golf Course.

Four person teams with play in a scramble format.  What that means is that each person tees off, the next shot is then played from the best lying shot and each person in the group hits from that spot and continues to hit from the best shot until someone holes out.  It’s super fun because you’re always hitting from a good spot which is especially nice if you’re a hacker like me and Zink.  

Breakfast and lunch are included with the tournament fees.  There are prizes for the longest drive and closest to the pin.  There will also be 4 Hole in One prize opportunities.  

Here’s some information about the Christmas Crusade for Children Charity:

Law enforcement officers nominate children in need. Each officer warrants that he/she has personal knowledge of each child, and agrees to pick up donated gifts at 7075 W. Hampden, to be delivered to each child by Christmas Day. The children’s names are entered into the Christmas Crusade computer system, wherein each child is given an identification number. This allows each child to be confidentially tracked throughout the process and ensures that each child will get a gift. KYGO-FM on-air personalities tell the stories of individual children soliciting pledges of new, unwrapped toys. Listeners like you respond by calling the Christmas Crusade Hotline. Sponsors follow up by bringing the gifts to the Christmas Crusade Headquarters where they are bagged, tagged and passed along to the child’s nominating officer for delivery. Gifts for non sponsored children are purchased through cash donations to the Christmas Crusade, which is a non-profit organization as described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

I know we have a lot of golfers at Verve so perhaps we can get a few teams interested and head down and help a good cause.  If you’re interested in playing, but don’t have a full foursome, you can email  I’ll keep track of everyone that’s interested.  If you have a foursome ready to go, you can register HERE.  

Sunday 150614


Three rounds for time:
Run 400 meters
21 Kettlebell swings 24kg(16kg)
12 Pull-ups

Compare to:


Team THRUSTER? I HARDLY KNOW HER! Heat times: 9:32am / 12:00 / 2:42 / 5:38



Team JUST THE KIP! Heat times: 8:23 / 11:15 / 1:54 / 4:47



Team PULL UP OR PULL OUT! Heat times: 9:55 / 12:15 / 3:06 / 5:55



Team MOTHER THRUSTERS! Heat times: 8:00 / 11:00 / 1:30 / 4:30

CROSSFIT VERVE has 4 teams competing in the CrossFit Cherry Creek Triple Threat.  If you are looking for something to do in the beautiful weather, stop on by the heat times are listed above.  Here are the workouts:

Event 1

  • 6 minutes to:
    • Run 1,000m
  • 5 minutes to:
    • Row for max calories
  • 4 minutes to:
    • Do max burpees over the rower
  • 3 minutes to:
    • Do max heavy rope single unders

Event 2

  • 10 minutes to find your team’s highest total:
    • Clean
    • Snatch
    • Shoulder to overhead

Event 3

  • 2 rounds for max repetitions of:
    • 1:00 max box jump overs (30/24”)
    • 1:00 max alternating arm dumbbell snatches (70/50#)
    • 1:00 max shoulder to overhead (155/105#)
    • 1:00 max goblet squat (32/24kg)
    • 1:00 max chest to bar pull-ups
    • 1:00 max wallballs (30/20# to 10/9’)
    • 1:00 rest

Event 4

  • For time:
    • 100 GHD sit-ups
    • 75 front lunges (135/95)
    • 50 thrusters (135/95)
    • 25 ring muscle-ups


  • As many reps as possible in 4 minutes of:
    • 1 tire flip
    • 1 tire jump through

CrossFit Cherry Creek
2422 South Trenton Way, Denver, CO 80231



Saturday 150613

For time:
100 Overhead squats, 75#(55#)

*Each time the bar is put down, athlete must perform 15 bar facing burpees before picking it back up

Post times to comments and BTWB

Rower powered electricity coming to you courtesy of the 5:30am class.

Rower powered electricity coming to you courtesy of the 5:30am class.


Hold on to your butts folks. . . we got a lot of stuff on the calendar this summer.

*Verve will have one 7am WOD Saturday and Sunday this weekend. Verve will be closed the rest of the day for a seminar. 

*Verve will have two off site swim WODs Saturday morning at 9:30am and 10:30am @ Glenarm Rec Center. Please sign up on MBO.

Glenarm Rec Center
2800 Glenarm Pl
Denver, CO 80205
Click here for a map

*CrossFit Cherry Creek is hosting the Triple Threat competition this weekend. Verve has 4 teams competing on Sunday only. Stop by and do some cheering!! Click here for directions and information.

*Verve will have it’s first event of it’s Summer Nutrition Series Saturday June 27th at 2pm @ Verve. It will be a lecture on the topic of your choice presented by Clara Wisner. Be sure to Vote for the topic you want to hear about. The voting box is at the front of Verve with your topic choices. The lecture is open to everyone at no cost.

*Verve will be hosting an i99 clinic Sunday June 28th at 12pm. More details will be posted next week along with a link to register. 

*Verve is hosting the CrossFit Football Trainer Course Saturday and Sunday July 11th-12th. Spots are still available. For more information and to register, click here

*The O2X Summit Challenge will be August 15th at Winter Park Resort. Verve trainers are signing up a team and looking to make some wagers against any other Verve teams that sign up!! For more info, click here.

*Front Range CrossFit is hosting the first annual Do More Charity Challenge October 3rd-4th. It’s a 6 person team competition. Verve will put $600 towards registering a team. Click here for more info and rules.