Sunday 160131

For time:
Box jumps, 24″(20″)
Overhead squats, 115#(75#)

Post time to comments or BTWB

Protein for DAYS!

Protein for DAYS!

I NEED MORE PROTEIN!! – Anna Mattson

At Verve, we have several people that are tracking the macronutrients on a daily basis.  One of the things I constantly here is “I have so much protein at the end of the day”.  Well this recipe will more than take care of that issue. You can see the full recipe and other great ones here.



  • 4 Flat Out Wraps 
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 tomato 
  • 1 1/2 cup salsa 
  • 1/2 cup fat free Mozzarella shredded cheese
  • 1/2 cup fat free Cheddar Cheese 
  • 1.5 lb of chicken 
  • 2 oz of fat free cream cheese 
  • 4 teaspoons of taco seasoning 


  • Preheat oven to 400 while preparing everything 
  • Cook chicken in taco seasoning in BIG, deep skillet 
  • Add all the rest of the ingredients except cream cheese and fat free cheese
  • Once mixed, add cream cheese at the end and stir and let it melt into the mixture 
  • Prepare and spray a 8×8 baking dish 
  • Start layering! I started with pouring 1/3 mixture into dish 
  • Add 2 flat out wraps!
  • Layer another 1/3 of skillet contents and then top with 1/4 cup mozzarella and 1/4 cup cheddar cheese (You can buy regular Mexican cheese but this adds fat to the dish- some people are judgy of fat free cheese so if that’s you, then it’s totally preference!) 
  • Layer another 2 flat out wraps, top with the remaining 1/3 and top with 1/4 cup mozz and 1/4 cup cheddar 
  • Wrap in foil and bake for approximately 15 minutes


Macros for 1/8 of the dish (it’s a serious protein load): 38g P 23g C 3g

Saturday 160130

As many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of:
3 Rope climbs
10 Deadlifts, 265#(185#)
30′ Handstand walk

Post rounds and reps to comments and BTWB

Emily getting after a heavy snatch.

Emily getting after a heavy snatch.


Friday 160129

3 Rounds for time:
50 Calorie row
150 Double unders
50 Walking lunge steps

Post time to comments or BTWB

This is Andreana. Andreana is signing up the The Open for the first time. Andreana is entering to compete with her friends to steal all of their carbs. Andreana is awesome. Be like Andreana!

This is Andreana. Andreana is signing up for the The Open for the first time. Andreana is entering to compete with her friends to steal all of their carbs. Andreana is awesome. Be like Andreana!


In case you have not noticed a theme yet, each Friday until the Open, I will either post a video or story that will encourage you to join The Open.  Some of the feedback I have received when I mention joining is “I am doing the workouts anyways, why would I register“, “I am too new to CrossFit, I can’t compete“, “I am not going to make it to Regionals, why would I sign up?“.  All of these excuses come up EVERY year and hopefully these Friday posts will put to bed your apprehensions.  

The Leaderboard on the CrossFit Games website is customizable so you can compare yourself to whomever you would like.  To make the Open more interesting, you can create a friendly bet with some friends at the gym or friends at other gyms, you can compare yourself to the elite of CrossFit from around the world, you can compare yourself to your rankings last year.  THE KEY IS:  You have to sign up to get that data.   

As a gym, we get no benefits or “kick-backs” for the number of members that sign up, but when we see a Friday when the members are hanging around after class to cheer each other on, comparing scores and strategies, watch a team member get their first double under, muscle up, or handstand push-up, nothing compares.  When you are signed up and have a vested interest in your performance and others’ performances, it makes it that much more fun!

If you haven’t signed up yet, HERE is the link.  If you have any questions, please feel free to ask a coach.  ALSO, if you have registered in the past and felt the difficulty of finding a certified judge, we encourage you to take the JUDGES COURSE as well to help ease the burden and make the classes run more smoothly.

Thursday 160128

Take 60% of your 1 rep max back squat,

Perform 10 sets x 10 reps @ 60%, rest 90 seconds between sets

Add 10# from last week if all 10 sets were successful. If not, remain at same weight until all 10 sets are completed unbroken.

Post weights to comments and BTWB

Mike and his favorite piece of workout equipment. Like peas and carrots.

Mike and his favorite piece of workout equipment. Like peas and carrots.


Throwback Thursday post brought to you by a Verve alum.

The 411 on Nightshades By Tiffany Skidmore

Nightshades may not be a familiar term to many. However, the negative affects of eating the vegetables in the Nightshade family are becoming very well known as increasingly greater numbers of Westerners experience them: arthritis, gastro-reflux disease, auto-immune diseases such as psoriasis and lupis, osteoporosis, and pain in joints, bones, gums, and teeth.

What are Nightshades?

Nightshades include the following frequently consumed veggies: tomatoes, white potatoes, eggplant, and all peppers with the exception of black pepper. Other toxic members of this plant family are tobacco, poisonous belladonna, mandrake, and jimson. Nightshades are a relatively recent addition (within 400 years) to the Western diet. Tomatoes and potatoes were regarded with caution when they first appeared in Europe as many believed them to be poisonous. Historically, Nightshades have been used in witchcraft, as ingredients in narcotic medicines and sleeping pills, and even as murderous poison.

What is so important about Nightshades?

If you are interested in maintaining strong joints, bones, and neuromuscular system, keep reading. If you have arthritis, auto-immune disease, or suffer from chronic pain, this is for you!

Nightshades contain high levels of alkaloids which have been reported to result in the excretion of calcium, minerals, and other trace elements from the bones. Nightshades also contain high levels of nicotine (solanine) which acts as acetylcholinesterase inhibitors in the body. As a frame of reference, other acetylcholinesterase inhibitors are used as pesticides. Simply put, higher levels of solanine in the body can result in an overstimulation of nerve endings, muscle weakness, hypertension, and muscle twitches.

Many nutritionists now recommend that people suffering from any type of bone and joint pain and/or auto-immune diseases eliminate Nightshades completely from their diet. Overwhemingly, the majority who do, report reduced and even the disappearance of symptoms.

Why do we crave Nightshades?

Tomatoes and potatoes contain high levels of potassium and are largely expansive foods. Many Westerners crave these foods as a way to maintain a balance within their bodies while consuming a diet that consists of very high levels of sodium and constrictive fatty, dense proteins (cheese, dairy, and processed meats). By pairing these foods, the body is striving to maintain a balance and ease digestion. In other words, making the best of a bad situation.

We can make our bodies’ job easier by eating mostly vegetables (minus Nightshades for some), lean meat and fish, some fruit, nuts and seeds. As we eliminate the harmful foods from our bodies, cravings tend to disappear as the body moves towards a state of homeostasis where diet is not longer ruled by cravings, but by the ultimate goal of wellness.

Only time will tell…

Researchers say that for some, the results of eliminating Nightshades may take six to twelve weeks to appear. Changing your diet may very well be one of the hardest things to do. However, this is the one most controllable factor in a person’s journey towards health. If you are experiencing pain, give up Nightshades and see how it may help you! If you are recovering from an injury, keep in mind that a Nightshade-free diet has been shown to improve cartilage repair. For those not experiencing illness, remember that prevention is the key. Lino Stanchich, Macrobiotic Educator and Licensed Nutritionist states, “If you wish to have the strongest body possible, then reduce, avoid, or eliminate nightshades.”

As always, you know best what works for you. Why not experiment? Try going six weeks without Nightshades in your diet and log what happens. Whatever your results, let us know!

Wednesday 160127

21-15-9 Reps of:
Power clean, 135#(95#)
Ring dips

Post times to comments and BTWB

Zink killing some burpee box jumps during the Winter WODfest competition.

Zink killing some burpee box jumps during the Winter WODfest competition.


Never Back Down – Why You Belong In That Gym by Lisbeth Darsh

Are you a natural athlete? Or, in the middle of the gym, do you sometimes feel like a monkey trying to give birth to a barbell?

I feel that way too at times. If I’m by myself, it’s one thing, but if I’m in a class, sometimes it’s harder.

When the coach speaks, I can’t always easily translate those instructions into perfect movement. I practice a LOT. Sometimes, I simply need help telling my brain how to make my ass move. (You don’t want to see me jump rope. Or dance. And, last week when a friend suggested I join her Barre class, I replied, “Oh, the world does not need me in Barre.”)

But the one thing I know for sure is that I BELONG IN THAT GYM. And, if I keep working, I can figure anything out.

See, sometimes, if you don’t feel like a natural athlete, it’s easy to think that your place isn’t in a gym. You get embarrassed that you’re not naturally good at everything. Your body feels too big or too small or just not … right. And you feel like you’re back in grade school playing kickball and you just got thrown out at first base. You start to think that your place is in a library or a courtroom or an operating room: any place but the gym. Your brain seems otherwise occupied. Why are you here?

Because the gym is a GREAT place for you!


The gym is the place you belong, not only because you can get stronger and learn so much at the gym, but I’m going to let you in on a secret: the good coaches are happy to see you.


Good coaches love to coach. And nobody makes you dig deeper into the how and why of a movement (whether it’s a back squat or a deadlift or pull-ups or ring dips or whatever) than someone struggling with a movement. This is how a good coach improves and this is how the rest of the class learns—by watching and listening to these teaching opportunities. If everyone does everything perfectly and there are no mistakes, the learning opportunities are greatly reduced.

Still, we can (and do) learn by watching the best athletes and beautiful movement. There is much to be said for studying the elites. But that’s only one way to learn, and it’s like learning art by studying the work of Picasso or Monet. Something different happens when you stick a brush in your own hand and try to paint. Here’s where art (and life) gets real. And get this:

Your imperfections are beautiful.

No, really, they are. Ever hear of the painter Edward Hopper? He was a great artist, but not because he was a technically phenomenal painter. Rather, his ability to convey emotion through his work eclipsed his ability to paint. As the art critic Clement Greenberg said of Hopper: “Hopper is simply a bad painter, but if he were a better one, he would probably not be such a great artist.”

So, be fabulous and original like Hopper, but be you. And when you go to the gym, don’t worry that you’re not Rich Froning or LeBron James or Serena Williams. (They don’t worry that they’re not you.)


1.) Arrive with a positive attitude and a “Beginner’s Mind”

What’s that mean? Approach your gym time by being happy to learn. Just because you’re an adult doesn’t mean you have to know everything. Whether you’re learning from a person or a YouTube video, be receptive to being taught and welcome the instruction you’re receiving.

In the book “Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind”, Shunryu Suzuki talks about the importance of not getting caught up in the concept that you’re the best horse in the race or the worst one. He writes: “When you are determined to practice zazen with the great mind of Buddha, you will find the worst horse is the most valuable one … those who find great difficulties in practicing Zen will find more meaning in it. So I think that sometimes the best horse may be the worst horse, and the worst horse can be the best one.”

So too is it in the gym. Those who struggle the most with their squat may find more meaning in it. Ditto with the push jerk or the pull-up or whatever you’re trying to better. Practice can add meaning. Don’t worry about being the best horse or the worst horse. Just be a horse.

2.) Ask questions.

Really. Ask questions. This is how everyone learns. I have a friend who is a professional translator, so she’s used to asking questions when she doesn’t understand. She asks many questions in the gym. I love those questions (and so do the coaches) because we all learn more through the answers provided to those questions.

See, when you ask questions, you’re not “taking up time” so don’t be embarrassed. Good coaches welcome questions. And if your coach doesn’t welcome questions? Maybe she’s not such a good coach, and maybe you can find a better one.

3.) Try to relax.

I know that’s easy to say and harder to do, but it’s just the gym. Not an open heart on the operating table. Not a school bus on an icy road. This isn’t even spilling the last cup of coffee in your house on a bitter cold morning when your bedhead is frightful and you don’t feel like exposing the coffee shop to your hot mess. You’ve survived much worse than this in life. Remember, you got through grade school. Smile and kick the hell out of that ball.

Tuesday 160126

5 Rounds:
500 Meter row, @ 75%
Rest 1 minute
100 Meter sprint
Rest 1 minute

Score is slowest 100 meter sprint

Post time to BTWB

mhs sprints

On Saturday February 6th, CrossFit Verve is hosting a rowing competition.  The competition will run from 8 am until around 2 PM.  We will not be offering our normal classes due to the event, but we will have classes after the event ends.  The times for the classes will be after the competition but we aren’t exactly sure what times those will be.  We will probably have 2 classes at around 4 PM and 5 PM but stay tuned for more details as the event gets closer.  Our schedule for the Friday before may change as well due to the set up for the competition but we’ll give you plenty of notice.  

Rowers for Sale

We have decided that we’d like to replace some of our current rowers with new rowers that will be made available to us by the folks hosting the competition.  We will sell 5 – 10 of our current rowers so if you’re interested in one keep reading.

We are going to be offering them to Verve Members first.  Here’s how it will work.  We are going to do a silent auction for the rowers we sell.  We are going to set a minimum bid price of $375 per rower.  If you’re interested in buying one, here’s what you’ll do.  Email with your bid price.  I’ll track all the bids and notify the winning bidders.  You will have to pay by check or cash.  We won’t be able to charge your accounts or accept credit cards.  The bidding will be open until Monday February 1st at 6:00 PM.  I’ll notify the winning bidders that night and you’ll have to pay and pick up your rowers by February 4th.  All rowers that are sold will be checked and serviced before we hand them off to you.  

If there are numerous bids at the same price point, I’ll notify the bidders so they have the option to submit another bid.  

After all Verve members have had a chance to bid, I’ll then open the rowers up for sale to non members via other channels.  

In summary:

5 – 10 rowers for sales

Minimum bid price: $375

Deadline for bid: February 1st at 6:00 PM

Must be picked up and paid for by the close of Verve on February 4th 

Monday 160125

Take 60% of your 1 rep max shoulder press,

Perform 10 sets x 10 reps @ 60%, rest 90 seconds between sets

Add 5# from last week if all 10 sets were successful. If not, remain at same weight until all 10 sets are completed unbroken.


Post weights to BTWB

A pretty cool video about what motivates people when it comes to accomplishing goals or tasks. Since it relates perfectly to why we all choose CrossFit and Verve specifically, it’s important to choose something that we actually like to do.  This helps us stick to a plan and makes us more likely to accomplish a goal we set.  Let’s face it, we aren’t going to continue to do something we don’t enjoy even if we set a goal that tries to convince us to.  

Sunday 160124

3 Rounds for time:
50 Pistols, alternating
7 Muscle-ups
10 Hang power snatch, 115#(75#)

Post time to comments or BTWB

Jay Cain slamming bars and killing PR's! (photo courtesy of Winter Wodfest)

Jay Cain slamming bars and killing PR’s! (photo courtesy of Winter Wodfest)

Here are the heat times for WODFEST this Sunday!! LET’S SWIM!!

Meghan – 8:30 / 11:40
Lillie – 9 / 12Courtney – 9 / 12
Emily – 9 / 12
Joel – 10:15 / 12:50
Mick – 10:15 / 12:50
Zink – 10:30 / 1
Jay – 10:30 / 1
Mike – 10:30 / 1

Location:  VMAC Pool – 5310 E. 136th Ave  Thornton, Co 80026



Saturday 160123

As many reps as possible in 7 minutes of:
Burpees to a target

Post reps to comments or BTWB



Today we have lots of members competing in the Winter WODFEST!  If you get a chance, stop by and cheer them on.

Here is the schedule of heats:
Chris Zienkievicz – 11:15 / 1:40 / 5
Michael Cain 11:30 / 1:50 / 5:15
James Cain 11:15 / 1:40 / 5
Mick Lewis 11 / 1:30 / 4:45
Nate Rader11:30 / 1:50 / 5:15
Emily Yates Bird 9:45 / 12:40 / 3:30
Elizabeth Lillie 9:45 / 12:40 / 3:30
Courtney Shepherd 9:45 / 12:40 / 3:30
Meghan Barkman Law 9:15 / 12:20 / 3
Joel Swanson 11/ 130 / 4:45

We will post the heat times for tomorrow in the post and on Verve Social.  GOOD LUCK ATHLETES!!!


Friday 160122

For time:
1,000 Meter row
50 DB snatch, alternating, 40#(25#)
750 Meter row
35 DB snatch, alternating, 40#(25#)
500 Meter row
20 DB snatch, alternating, 40#(25#)

Post time to comments or BTWB



We have many new faces at Verve who may not know about the CF Games Open and what it is about, so this post will be dedicated to explaining what it is and why everyone at the gym, seasoned member or brand new member, young or old, pregnant or not pregnant should join and compete.  The CrossFit Games Open is not just a way to try to qualify for the CF Games, it is so much more.


The Open is a 5 week, 5 workout competition that athletes around the world compete in.  Workouts are released Thursday evening and can be completed through the following Monday evening.  Verve will, more that likely, be completing the workouts during Friday classes.  There are several divisions that you can sign up for for ALL skill and ability levels.  The levels available are: RX, Scaled, Masters (varying ages starting at 40 yrs old), teens, Firefighter/first responder/military / law enforcement.  Here is a take out from the CrossFit Games website:

The week’s workout is released each Thursday at 5 p.m. PT. Each time a workout is released, athletes will be given two versions: Rx’d and Scaled. With reduced loading or less challenging movements, the Scaled option will be designed to be accessible to the vast majority of athletes who train in CrossFit affiliates. Rx’d will challenge the world’s elite.

The workout write-up, movement standards, explanation video, and scorecards will all be published on Review the standards before you start.

You can complete the workouts at a participating CrossFit affiliate in front of a judge, or film your performance from anywhere you want and submit a link as proof. 

However, for most people the Open is not about trying to earn a title or qualify for the next stage of the CrossFit Games season. It’s about joining the global CrossFit community in a celebration of fitness for a few weeks each year. To connect to others in your box as well as those a world apart through the experience of suffering through the same workout at the same time. It lets you revel at the strength and skills you’ve developed over the past year, and learn what you need to improve.

Registration: January 14 – March 28, 2016

The Open begins February 25, 2016.
16.1: Feb. 25 – 29
16.2: March 3 – 7
16.3: March 10 – 14
16.4 March 17 – 21
16.5 March 24 – 28


That is a great question.  Aside from the fact that you will be doing the workouts anyway, there are TONS of reasons.  An article from 2013 in Breaking Muscle (see the full article here)  best explained the many reasons.

Like many CrossFitters, I’m thrilled for the event, and so is my gym. The Open has become a lively event for our community. We always encourage our members to register even when they balk at the idea. Reintroducing the idea of physical competition to someone often evokes myriad responses and emotions they probably haven’t felt for awhile. We keep encouraging though, because we know the thrill that waits on the other side of diving into the Open.

Here are four reasons I encourage you to do the same:

1. Yes, You Are Good Enough.

Even if you cannot do the exact prescribed weight of any or most of the Open workouts, you will most likely surprise yourself with what you are able to pull off. The Open is about calling on the best in yourself no matter your current level. Most likely you are physically stronger than your mind lets you believe. Two seasons ago, during my first Open, I had never done any CrossFit workout as prescribed (Rx) – ever. The first workout of the Open 2011 was the first achieved at Rx and it put me on cloud nine. I wasn’t able to do any other 2011 workout as prescribed, but it didn’t matter. Possibility had already been born.

2. It Gets You Competing Again.

Many of us competed as kids whether on an organized team or just racing siblings to the car. Some of you may have competed in college. When we become adults, we often feel like we need to retire that side of us. Sure, we compete for jobs and accounts and other “grown up” things, but more often than not, we have forgotten the thrill of physical competition. We may not be a win-at-all cost type – and this certainly is not the only kind of competitor – but there is something about putting yourself on the line that sparks inspiration.

I remember feeling so nervous and unsure before my first heat of the 2012 Open – asking myself, “What the hell am I thinking doing this?” I was confused by how fearful I felt because as an adult we shouldn’t be that terrified, right? Doesn’t this mean it’s time to bail? We didn’t grow up so we could fail at things, but what I eventually realized is that we did feel this nervous as kids before competition, we just didn’t recognize that the stakes were so high. As adults, we suddenly believe that we are not allowed to fail at anything especially things that are supposed to be fun, so we avoid the risk of putting ourselves out there. Without that risk, we might not experience the biggest thrills. The 2012 Open ended up being some of the most memorable moments of my adult life. Get in the game. It’s worth it.

3. It Gives You an Appreciation for the Best of the Best.

During the Open workouts, you get a rare opportunity to do the same exact workouts during the same week as the best CrossFitters in the world. If you are a fan of the top CrossFit athletes, it’s exciting to match your stats to theirs – until the stats start rolling in. It’s one thing to be stoked you finally hit fifty double unders in a row and quite another to find out that not only can the top athletes do way more, they have figured out ways to do it faster and more efficiently. Yay, we personally smashed a prescribed workout (chest thumping ensues), until you see the times or the number of rounds at the top of the leader board. The progression of the sport of fitness has grown to superhuman levels. Seeing their scores miles above mine only deepens my appreciation for their dedication, skill, and strength. I humbly bow down to their greatness.

4. It’s Fun.

No, really, it is. At our gym, we dedicate every Saturday afternoon to the Open workouts for all registered members. We assign heats, we print score sheets, we assign counters – we make it a big deal. But we also keep it fun. We chant unintelligible songs and we dance goofy, choreographed dances. It immediately bonds us because it feels like we’re going to battle together in a light hearted way. We’re all nervous, but when we put our hands in the circle and yell at the top of our lungs, it is our buy-in to the team. It roots us deeper into our community. I know they’re willing to give it their all and possibly fail or possibly triumph and man, if they are, so am I.

You’ll never know if what I’m writing is true unless you’re willing to throw your name up on that leader board, too, and go for it. Be open to exploring the best you have to offer right now, in this moment. More often than not, you’ll surprise yourself. And there’s no time like the present to find out.

FOLKS – I cannot explain to you the energy and camaraderie that takes place during these Friday workouts.  The Open brings out the BEST in our community.  If you have any questions at all, are unsure, or just need a quick kick in the yarbles to get motivated, talk to any of the coaches.

YOU CAN REGISTER FOR THE CROSSFIT GAMES OPEN HERE!  Shout out in the comments if you have already or are about to register.  


  • Free Intro class tomorrow (Saturday) at 8am
  • LOTS of Ververs competing this weekend in the Winter Wodfest.  If you have time, go and cheer them on!
  • Kacey will be leading you in a fabulous yoga session Sunday @ 11am