Tuesday 141021

Four rounds for time:
21 Wall-balls, 20# (14#)
18 Pull-ups
15 Kettlebell swings, 70# (53#)
12 Handstand pushups

Post time to BTWB

IMG 0405 475x316 Tuesday 141021

An unfastened belt can’t slow down Jared during pause front squats.

This post is mainly for the newbies at CrossFit Verve, those that have been coming for less than 2 months, but don’t get me wrong the message will resonate with our experienced members as well.  Reading a few different websites over the weekend, I came across an article that discusses the mistakes newer CrossFit participants make.  Read on and see if you are guilty of any of the mistakes, whether a newer member or someone that’s been around for a while.  Check out the full article on The Box Magazine HERE.

Too much too fast.

We talk about it all the time.  Get your mechanics down, perform them consistently, and then jack up the intensity.  Movements we perform in the gym are sometimes difficult to master.  Taking a step back, using less weight, and cutting reps are going to be the ingredients to becoming a better athlete.  The coaches will give you guidance and recommendations on scales that we know are going to allow you to get a great workout and help you in the long run.


As a newer athlete you should never guess what you should do.  Ask as many questions as you want to your trainers, that’s what we are here for.  The trainers have scaled every movement we perform in a number of different ways so we can always come up with something that’s right for each person.  When it comes to choosing weight, the trainers will look at your movement and make sure you are using a weight that allows you perform the movement correctly and safely.  Ask questions, we encourage it!

Not enough rest.

Every person is different with regards to the workload he or she can handle, but every person also needs rest.  If you wake up and don’t feel like you have it, consider taking the day off or just coming in to do some mobility.  Rest is the key to seeing gains.  Let’s be honest, coming to the gym becomes addictive.  The high we get from working out leads to us wanting to come in everyday and chase it again, but working out when you’re sore or tired can sometimes lead to a bad performance in a workout.  CrossFit.com programs on a 3 on 1 off basis, meaning 3 days of work followed by a day of rest.  This is a great schedule to consider when you start out.

There are a few more key points in the article I referenced the above from so be sure to click through and give it a read.  Post in the comments any other advice you might have for newer members as well as the veterans.  


Monday 141020

Deadlift 10 – 10 – 10

Then, :03 pause front squats, 6×3 reps

Post loads to comments and BTWB

IMG 0792 475x356 Monday 141020

Verve’s very own group of full time trainers banded together to make up Team AC/EC for The CrossFit Games Team Series. Team AC/EC came in 25th in the Southwest region and 251st worldwide out of 1,080 teams.


It has been a little over a week since we announced the change in Verve’s ownership. The announcement and the change have been met with an amazing amount of support and well wishes from our Verve community. It has also been met with a few questions. I’ve been approached several times with the same two questions. They have been asked enough to make me realize there are probably still so many more of you wondering the same things. I would like to address both those questions now and hopefully give many of you clarity where there may currently be some concern.

1) What is happening with Matt, Cherie, Mas, and Joylyn?

Matt, Cherie, Mas, and Joylyn have, over the last 6 years, put their hearts and souls into CrossFit Verve. So first and foremost, they will always be a part of Verve. No one has cut ties and said good-bye. What they have done is made the huge decision to step back and enjoy the fruits of their labor, leaving Verve in the hands of people they believe capable of continuing to make Verve be successful. Matt and Cherie have been full time CrossFit HQ seminar staff members for years and continue to travel on the weekends sharing CrossFit with the world. Mas and Joylyn are still very much a presence at Verve, choosing to enjoy training and simply being athletes. 

2) Is Verve moving and where to?

Verve has recognized for some time that we have outgrown our space. We have an awesome group of athletes and our community continues to grow. Clancy and I have a goal to seek out a new space that will better suit this growing community. This goal has some time to work itself out, this is not something that will happen tomorrow, or next week, or next month. When looking at new spaces please know, our current members play a very large role in where we look. You are important to us, and your needs play a role in our decisions. In a nutshell, we want a bigger space and we want it fairly close to our current one. What, when, where, how are variables that remain unknown to us. What I will say is do not anticipate any changes in the near future and when decisions are made, you will be the second to know. . . something tells me Lucas and Pete will be the firsts. That’s just how we roll. 

I hope I have helped clear a few things up and alleviated any anxieties that this change has brought. We are happy to discuss any other questions, concerns, thoughts that are still looming in the back of your mind. Shoot us an email or catch us in the office. Thank you all again for your continued support as Verve heads off on this new journey.



Sunday 141019

As many reps as possible in 3 minutes:
10 Burpee box jumps 24″(20″)
20 Pull ups
30 Air squats
40 Toes to bar
50 Wall balls 10ft. (20#/14#)
60 KB swings 24kg(16kg)
70 Double unders
Rest 3 minutes

As many reps as possible in 6 minutes:
10 Burpee box jumps 24″(20″)
20 Pull ups
30 Air squats
40 Toes to bar
50 Wall balls 10 ft. (20#/14#)
60 KB swings 24kg(16kg)
70 Double unders
Rest 3 minutes

For time:
10 Burpee box jumps 24″(20″)
20 Pull ups
30 Air squats
40 Toes to bar
50 Wall balls 10ft. (20#/14#)
60 KB swings 24kg(16kg)
70 Double unders

Post reps for to comments or BTW

hot cauli salad5 475x316 Sunday 141019

Bacon!! YUM!!



Chicken BACON Cauliflower Salad - This recipe comes to us from the recipe indexes of Ali Nichols.   You can see below that 1c is equal amounts of 1P – 1CHO – 1F, so add extra macro’s as necessary!  Leave suggestions below of the ingredients you added to make this Zone friendly for you.


  • 2 Head Cauliflower (6CHO)
  • 3 slices Bacon (3P)
  • ¼ cup Dill Mustard
  • 1 egg yolk
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 large grilled chicken breast
  • Hot Sauce
  • 2 tsp. coconut oil (6F)


  • Grill 1 large chicken breast
  • Boil a large pot of water to cook the cauliflower.  Chop up cauliflower into bite sized pieces and place in boiling water.  Cook for about 10 minutes until tender.
  • Drain water and place cooked cauliflower in large bowl.
  • Cook up 3 slices of bacon and cut cooked bacon into small pieces and place in bowl with the cauliflower.
  • Once chicken is cooked, shred chicken and place 5 oz of shredded chicken into cauliflower mixture.
  • For the mustard sauce place ¼ cup of dill mustard into small bowl.  Add 1 egg yolk, 2 tsp of melted coconut oil and a little hot sauce for an extra kick.  Mix well and then add mustard sauce into cauliflower mixture.
  • Easy and simple:)

1 cup = 1P, 1CHO, 1F

Verve Black – 9am – 1pm – 3:12pm
Verve Blue – 9:20am – 1pm – 3:12pm
Verve Red – 9:40am – 1:25pm – 3:24pm

Saturday 141018

Complete as many rounds as possible in five minutes of:
3 Deadlifts, 275#(185#)
7 Push press, 115#(75#)

Post scores to BTW.

IMG 0639 475x712 Saturday 141018

Rachelle, a woman on a mission and ready to work hard.



Heats start at 9 am on Sunday at Red Rocks Amphitheater – we have 3 teams competing, so come on out and support your fellow athletes!

Free Community Workout Today at 8 AM! Sign up here and bring a friend.

We are hosting a Level 1 Seminar on Saturday October 25th and 26th.

Modified schedule: 7 am WODs both days in the gym. Urban Acrobatics on Saturday (directions below). Park WOD on Sunday at 9 am and 10 am at Commons Park (Google Map)

720 W 84th Ave Thornton, CO 80221
Tel: 720-295-4396
Cell: 303-944-3267

Class is from 9-11 am on Saturday October 25th.
Class is capped at 25 people and costs $5 per person

New Foundations Starts Monday! Class starts at 7:00 pm and you can register here.

Friday 141017

For max reps:
1 Minute squat clean, 165#(115#)
3 Minutes rest
1 Minute squat clean 185#(125#)
3 Minutes rest
1 Minute squat clean, 205#(135#)
3 Minutes rest
1 Minute squat clean, 165#(115#)
3 Minutes rest
1 Minute squat clean 185#(125#)
3 Minutes rest
1 Minute squat clean, 205#(135#)

Post reps to comments or BTW


chan quad 475x356 Friday 141017

Super-friend Quad wrapping!!


In last week’s post, we discussed knee pain and some mobility drills to directly attack the knees.  What we also mentioned is that, many times, knee pain can be an upstream issue.  Today, I will cover some drills that will mobilize the Quads and the IT band, both of which can be tight on their own AND can lead to the downstream knee issues mentioned above.

#1 – MASH IT UP!  The quads and IT bands are very ropey and thick masses of tissue.  Mashing, as in putting lots of pressure on a particular area, is ideal for these areas.  There are several ways that you can mash:

-Foam Roller
-Quad Baller (Green trigger point roller)
-22# to 45# Empty Barbell
-Post-WOD Super friend

The key with mashing is to go slowly over the areas.  Once you find a trigger point (area of tension), stay on that point with just pressure than small movements side to side.  Ideally, you are mashing about 2 minutes per leg.  Avoid intense mashing before your workout and save that magic for when you are done or on a rest day.  Here is a great video explaining why and how to use a Super Friend:

#2 – Wrap it up! – Bring out the good-ole VooDoo floss band and follow the instructions from Coach Starrett.  You can focus your wrapping above the knee only if you would like, or you can hit above and below.  You can also go as high on the thigh as you would like.  Again, go for about 2 min. per leg, exiting quickly if there is numbness and tingling.

#3 – Have a Ball!  The following video shows how to effectively roll-out your quads with a lacrosse ball.  Please visit the website, found here, to see the 3 columns of the quads to focus on!

Thursday 141016

Bench press 2-2-2-2-2-2-2

Then, EMOM x 10 minutes, alternating:
Evens- :20 handstand hold
Odds- 10 chest slapping push-ups

Post loads to comments and BTWB

IMG 1085 475x633 Thursday 141016

Lillie going the distance. . . the whole length of the pool underwater. Fun times had at swim WODs.


High School shmigh school. . . I’m way cooler now. Seriously. By Courtney #whatsupwiththat” Shepherd

Not too long ago the workout of the day had something to do with heavy back squats. Man, who doesn’t love them some heavy back squats? I took a lap around the floor seeking numbers, when I happened across an athlete putting their weights away. I asked, “What did you get?”, I got my number and I followed up with, “was that a PR?”. The answer was “no”, but what followed that answer made me take pause. “I lifted more in high school.” Hmmmm. High school? To be clear there are only two Verve athletes that are actually in high school, this was not either of them. 

This got me thinking about what I was doing in high school. I was swimming, and not very well. I had stopped taking it seriously, I was many years into the sport with little to show for it, so the motivation to push on was lost. So during the off season I spent my break periods sitting with friends in a specially designated area of the school called “smokers corner”. Yeah, I smoked. It was a form of rebellion, I’ve made peace with it. I spent the weekends, in the wise words of Luke Palmisano, “gettin’ crunk”. Yeah, I underage drank. It was a form of rebellion, I’ve made peace with it. I spent lunch period walking to Burger King, it was the only way to eat cheaply and save money for cigarettes. I was not paleo in high school. I was a tomboy in high school. Still am, somehow it’s more socially acceptable now. Basically if you could take the unhealthiest version of myself and subtract 15 years, you would have me in high school. Based on this it might not shock you to hear I was not happy in high school. I hated my body, I hated that boys treated me like a boy and hit on my more girly friends, I hated not being really good at anything. I had zero direction in high school. So, pretty much, not my finest years. 

If I were to sit here and compare my current lifestyle to high school, hands down my current self is way awesomer. My high school years helped mold who I am today but they are not something I would use to define me today. Now I recognize this is not everyone’s story, I’m sure there is a good chunk of you that were athletes in high school, good ones too. So maybe it is hard to see where you are now and not want to compare yourself to back then. Well Uncle Rico, I’m here to tell you, just like me, A LOT has changed for you over the years. You got jobs, the kind that suck your life away. Maybe you sit hunched over a desk, maybe you are on your feet all day, maybe you build things and do hard manual labor all day. It doesn’t matter what you do, it takes it’s toll on your body. You are not 18, you do not rebound like you did. Maybe you have had kids. Kids take up your time. Between your job and your kids when do go to the grocery store? You don’t, you drive through McDonalds, it’s easy, it’s convenient, and it comes with a toy. Toys equal no tears. These things and more have happened since high school, you and your body are completely different than high school. 

Then came CrossFit. Oh, sweet, sweet CrossFit. It’s only 1 hour and you sweat buckets. It’s convenient, it’s on your way to work or on your way home from work. Your inner athlete has been reawakened. You love the drive and the competition, you learn how to better fuel your body to make you a better athlete. You bring your loved one to try it, to make a time during the day you can be together, and then you curse your decision when they start kicking your butt. You find yourself scrolling through CrossFit videos online, you find yourself ordering your third pair of nanos and first pair of olympic lifting shoes. Clearly things have changed. When you find places to CrossFit while you are on vacation, take note my friends, life as you know it is different. So how in the world can you look back to your teenage years and compare it to anything that you do now? I will answer that for you, you can’t. 

I’m going to take this a step further. . . how many of you compare yourself to your pre baby self? Or how about your pre injury self? Or pre surgery self? You are a different person. I speak from experience. I had shoulder surgery, there was physical change done to a part of my body, it is not the same shoulder I had 3 years ago. Now, do I compare myself to 3 years ago. Yes, I do. Now. But I didn’t for a while. I took my logbook pre surgery and tucked it away. I started a new one and watched my progress from day 1 post op. I started fresh and new. It was over a year later, when I saw some progress that I was making, when I dug out that log book. I had come a long way, it was exciting to see it, but before I looked I had no idea where I stood in comparison to my previous athlete self. I had nothing looming over my head that I felt like I had to get back to, there was no pressure to achieve something sooner than later. My only goal was to move along and remain pain free. I’ve done that and more. Starting over is a good thing. But when is your start over? The day you started CrossFit. The day after you give birth. The day after surgery. The day after the life changing injury.

You may have multiple start overs, one for every kid, or injury. There is nothing wrong with that. With every start over brings new knowledge, new understanding, and new PRs. Relish in them. Rejoice in them. Do not poo poo them because in a previous life you could have done better. It’s about what you can do now. And what you are doing now is pretty badass, I bet your high school self would be jealous. Unless of course you are Jordan or Ethan, in which case keep CrossFitting and kick high school in the teeth, it just keeps getting better. 

Wednesday 141015

As many rounds as possible in 20 minutes:
20 Box jumps, 24″ (20″)
5 Muscle-ups
30 Double unders

Post rounds to comments and BTW.

IMG 0287 475x712 Wednesday 141015

AJ loading his skeleton smartly.

Jumping.  We do a lot of it.  Probably not as much as kids do on a daily basis, but we definitely have a fair amount of jumping and landing in CrossFit.  In box jumps, double unders, olympic lifting, etc. because it’s important for improving coordination, balance, strength, power, speed, agility, accuracy, and agility.  So you could say its good for us.  It’s necessary, it’s functional and shouldn’t be avoided as we grow older.  Often times chronic pain and injuries have developed from years and years of consistent loading and pounding on our joints and tissues, so we hear to “go swimming” or get on an elliptical to decrease that high impact.  Fact is in generally healthy and well-nourished people, 15-24 weeks of progressive training is long enough to remodel and harden bones into well adapted force-transmitting machines.  

A New York Times article, “Why High Impact Training is Good for Your Bones” states:

“Bones should be jarred, for their own good. Past experiments have definitively established that subjecting bones to abrupt stress prompts them to add mass or at least reduces their loss of mass as people age.

Recently researchers at the University of Bristol gathered male and female adolescents — the body accumulates bone mass rapidly at this time of life — and had them go about their daily routines while they wore activity monitors. The bone density of the volunteers’ hips was also measured.

A week later, the scientists reclaimed the monitors to check each teenager’s exposure to G forces­, a measure of impact. Those who experienced impacts of 4.2 G’s or greater — though these were infrequent — had notably sturdier hipbones. Additional work done by the same researchers showed that running a 10-minute mile or jumping up onto and down from a box at least 15 inches high was needed to produce forces that great. The significance of these findings is that people should probably run pretty fast or jump high to generate forces great enough to help build bone.”

Bone remodeling and the formation of additional bone can modify the strength of bone in direct response to the amount of stress that is applied to it.  Stress to the bone increases osteoblast activity in the bone tissue.  A removal of stress decreases osteoblast activity. Stress is defined as load bearing, so does it feel heavy?  If yes then you might be able to call it stress.  So you should be gradually getting stronger and adding weight, eating your veggies and gradually increasing the consistency and intensity of your loading, aka jumping abilities.  

Train your bones with proper technique and intensity and you can avoid serious potential injuries. Our bones can change shape and density over time to adapt to our changing lives and activities.  Then we can catcall across the gym about “those amazing femurs on you or wow, look at that humerus!”  Don’t avoid high impact activities, just be smart about them and gradually improve them.  If you haven’t already, start today.

Tuesday 141014

With a 12 minute running clock, accumulate as many reps as possible:
1 Minute of power snatch, 115#(75#)
1 Minute of GHD sit-ups
2 Minutes of power snatch, 115#(75#)
2 Minutes of GHD sit-ups
3 Minutes of power snatch, 115#(75#)
3 Minutes of GHD sit-ups

Post reps to BTWB

IMG 0391 475x316 Tuesday 141014

The whiteboard, friend or foe.

What’s the first thing we all do when we get into the gym?  I’m talking about after we’ve changed, said hello to our friends, and put all our belongings away.  Look at the Whiteboard of course. Maybe you look to see what your friends were able to do or maybe you look to see what the best score, time, weight of the day is.  

I have a love hate relationship with the whiteboard.  I love it because it’s great to help us track our progress but I hate it because many of us are so concerned with seeing an RX next to our name that we sacrifice certain things to get said RX.  Workouts are written and programmed for studs of CrossFit.  I’m not talking about the athletes in our gym, I’m talking about the Matt Chan’s, Jason Khalipa, Julie Foucher and Rich Fronings of CrossFit.  When we program workouts we design them to have a certain intensity to them and then we scale so that everyone still feels that intensity.  Now clearly not all of us can do all the workouts as written and that’s a good thing.  We need to scale to keep intensity high, have great mechanics, and get better at movements we need work on.  There are many more benefits to the whiteboard, but also some negative aspects as well.  

Here are a few good things about the whiteboard as referenced from an article in BoxLife Magazine.  

Motivation.  The scores your friends or friendly competition put up are great for motivating you and also to give you an idea of how you should approach a workout.  Perhaps you see that your friend did a workout at a certain weight.  You know that you and your friend are pretty close in strength so seeing her weight might convince you to do a similar weight.  

Goals.  Writing your score on the whiteboard shows that you’re moving in the correct direction to your fitness goals.  A few days we did “Karen” and I heard people saying they beat their previous time by 2 minutes!  That’s amazing.  Put that on the whiteboard with a big ass PR next to your name!

Now here are few of the not so positives with the whiteboard.

Loss of Focus.  Say you’re in a workout and you know what your friends time is.  Well what happens if you look at the clock and realize you’re not going to be able to beat his time, what happens?  We lose focus and start our brains running, instead of busting your butt to finish the workout and put up your best time possible.  

The Whiteboard doesn’t tell the whole story.  What if an athlete messed up counting and ended up doing a few more or less reps but that loss of counting was reflected in the time on the board?  What if something effected the workout result? We may not know the whole story behind the time listed.  

My advice is take the whiteboard for what it is, a board we write your name on and keep track of your score.  That’s it.  The real question should be how much better are you than the day you began your fitness journey?  We try to describe a workout and it’s intended intensity so you can choose how you scale so you get the best workout for you.  

What are you thoughts on the whiteboard?  Love it?  Hate it?  Let’s hear it.


Monday 141013

Front squat

Then, tabata bottom to bottom squats, followed immediately by 400 meter run for time.

Post score to BTW.

IMG 0614 475x712 Monday 141013

Good looking front rack from Clay.

CrossFit: Is It Really For Everyone?

This is a post from TabataTimes.com – you can find the original article here.

There is a lot of buzz around CrossFit. There are the lovers. There are the haters. Then there are the ones who do not think they could ever do it. I have been asked three times, just this week, “Really? Can anyone do CrossFit or do I need to be in shape to start?” Preconceived notions seem to surround the sport of CrossFit. Those on the outside seem to fall into two camps. They either watch The Games and think that every workout in a box looks like THAT, or they look at the people who walk in and out of a CrossFit box and think they have to look like THAT. Here’s the inside scoop: The Games athletes can only complete workouts like THAT from doing CrossFit, and the people look like THAT by doing CrossFit. You have to do it. The catch is, you have to start somewhere, and very few of us have started CrossFit in the shape we are in now.

When I am asked the question, “Is CrossFit really for everyone?” I generally encourage the asker to come try it out. I wish people who are interested in CrossFit would come to their local box and look around. In any given class that I have trained I have athletes that have scaled the workout up. They have added weight to their bars; they have added in an extra movements; they have made the workout just a bit harder to meet their training needs. I also have athletes who are keeping everything as prescribed. They work their tails off to tackle the WOD as it is written, and do it as quickly as they can… even if that’s not so quickly. I also have athletes who have scaled everything. They have deloaded their bars; they have replaced movements with ones that are more their speed; they have made the workout fit their training needs. There is not ONE way to do a CrossFit WOD. Every movement can be modified to meet the training needs of the specific athlete. For example, I have an athlete who is a regular at one of my classes. He has very limited mobility due to some health issues. While he is not able, at this point, to complete a workout as prescribed, he shows up, does the work to the best of his ability, and has already shown great strength gains in the work he has done.

CrossFit is functional fitness by definition. What this means is that the movements we do in CrossFit are movements you do in your daily life. A deadlift? Simply picking something up off the ground. A squat? Sitting down. A push up? Getting up off the ground. Don’t be scared of weights. You won’t start there. No one does. You will start at a level of fitness that is acceptable for you. Many athletes have limitations. Limitations can be worked with. Don’t confuse limitations with excuses. You don’t want to do CrossFit because you are overweight? That’s an excuse. You don’t want to do CrossFit because you have an old injury? That’s an excuse. You don’t want to do CrossFit because you don’t move well? That’s an excuse. Don’t let your excuses motivate your life. If you want to change your life you have to take the steps to do so. Don’t be scared of work. Is CrossFit really for everyone? Yes, but it starts with you. Don’t make excuses, make changes.


Sunday 141012

6 Rounds for reps:
With a 2 minute running clock:
12 Medicine ball cleans 20#(14#)
6 Handstand push-ups
Then, as many muscle-ups as possible in remaining time
Rest 2 minutes

Post total reps to comments or BTW

anw 475x267 Sunday 141012

Get ready for obstacle course fun!

Next Verve Outing!!

The next Verve get together will be October 25th @ Urban Acrobatics! 

What is Urban Acrobatics?  Urban Acrobatics is a multi functional gym and recreation center for cutting edge fitness and creative movement. Featuring Parkour/FreeRunning, Tumbling, Break-dancing, Yoga, Martial Arts, Aerial acrobatics, Birth Day Parties, and so much more. Our focus is to bring fun, fitness, health, and energy back into your life.

What will we be doing?  We have the gym reserved from 9am to 11am.  We will be coached on different Parkour moves and America Ninja Warrior-style obstacles.

How do you sign up?  You will sign up via MindBody like a normal class.  When you sign up, you will be prompted to pay $5, Verve is covering the rest of the cost.  The class is capped at 25 people, so sign up quick!

Check out this website to check out the gym and what we have in store.


Workout today will be at Commons Park.  Here is map to the park: