Tuesday 150519

4 Rounds with a 4 minute running clock:
Row 500m(400m)
With remaining time, as many kettlebell swings as possible, 32kg(24kg)
Rest 2 minutes between rounds

Post reps to BTWB

team verve

Team Verve. Trey saw a butterfly right as the photo was taken.

Every now and again we all experience little bumps and tweaks.  Given the type of movements and exercises we put our bodies through, it’s only natural that sometimes our joints are going to feel sore.  The good news is that remaining active is one of the best things we can do to promote healthy joints especially the knees.  

Multiple muscles overlap the knee joint, including the calf, thigh, hamstrings, and quads.  Given that all those muscles overlap at the knee, taking care of the muscles will also promote healthy knees.  If you are experiencing tweaked knees consider adding these mobility exercises into your routine.  

Wall Calf Stretch: heel on the ground and toes up high on the wall.  Keeping your leg as straight as possible, lean toward the front leg and hold at the deepest point of the stretch for 5 seconds, during the relaxing period try moving closer to the wall.

Calf Smash With Lacrosse Ball: Instead of simply placing a lacrosse ball under your leg that is lying flat on the ground, bend your knee and place the lacrosse ball between your calf and hamstring.  Pull your shin in and rotate your foot in different directions to create space in the knee joint. 

Quad Foam Roller Stretch:  Pretty straight forward and done quite often in our classes.  It’s good to know that the quad roll out also benefits other parts of the body than simply just making our quads more supple.  

Wall Hamstring Stretch: Lying face up, prop one leg flat against a wall with your foot flexed, you can also use a band if you don’t feel like propping up against a wall or don’t have a good space that works.  Contract and relax in alternating 5 seconds periods.  We should feel this all down the leg beginning in the knee and working towards the glutes.  The hamstring can cause and alleviate knee pain more than we think so make sure to try stretching them if your knee is feeling less than perfect.  

Make sure to take care of all the leg muscles if you are having knee pain.  The knee is intersection for a lot of leg muscles so give them all some attention and see which works best for you. 

Monday 150518

Supine ring row

Then, tabata, :20 of work, :10 rest, alternating between exercises:
Bent over row, 75#(55#)
Good morning, 75#(55#)

Post weight to BTWB


Shale looking good with some weight overhead.

Shale looking good with some weight overhead.

You know what’s better than a hot cup of coffee or a glass of iced coffee?  Nothing!  Sorry to all my friends and readers that don’t indulge, but the below is going to be about the benefits of drinking coffee.  I love coffee.  At night when I’m falling asleep in bed, my last thought is sometimes about the morning and the wonderful nectar I’ll be consuming when I wake up.  Fresh coffee plus heavy whipping cream equals a great start to my day!

There are tremendous benefits to consuming coffee as well.  Use the comments to dispute any of the below but tread lightly, that’s coffee you’re disrespecting and it’s friends are many.

Coffee can help you reduce muscle soreness and recover faster:

A study had women consume 5mg of of caffeine, about 2.5 half cup of coffee, at the 24 and 48 hour time frame after a muscle damaging workout.  They also had a placebo group involved in the study as well. The group that consumed the caffeine reported between 26 and 48 percent less muscle pain than the placebo group.  Maximal strength recovery was also faster.

Coffee can increase your metabolic rate:

According to evidence, coffee can increase your metabolic rate by anywhere from 3 – 10 percent.  Coffee can also modulate blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity.  This doesn’t mean that coffee is the magic weight loss solution most of the world is in search of.  If adding coffee is the only difference made in a diet, body composition is likely to not change.  

Coffee can be used for a great endurance performance boost:

In a time trial of elite 1500 meter runners, the runners that consumed coffee ran an average of 4.2 seconds faster than the placebo group in the study and the best time was 17 seconds faster with coffee.  

So how do we get the best results from coffee?  Well most people become habituated to coffee, this means you’ll get the greatest performance boost if you don’t consume it daily.  If you’re going to use coffee as a performance booster for a competition, it is recommended that you stop consuming it 5 days prior to the day of the competition.  That sounds like a difficult 5 days to this trainer, but perhaps it’s worth a shot.  

For the full article the above was referenced from as well as links to the references used in the studies, click HERE.

Sunday 150517

For time:
64 Pull-ups
8 Overhead squats, 205#(135#)

Post time to comments or BTW


Cheesy Squash Casserole ZONE!!

Cheesy Squash Casserole ZONE!!

For those of you that like to participate in MEATLESS MONDAYS and follow Zone, here is a great recipe for you!  This recipe was found on the Zone Facebook page here



  • cooking spray – olive oil
  • 2 cups mushrooms
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 large yellow onion
  • 2 lbs zucchini
  • 1 3/4 lbs summer squash
  • 1/2 cup Egg Beaters-whites
  • 3 tbsps sour cream, nonfat
  • 3/4 cup low-fat Colby jack cheese – shredded, divided
  • 1 cup low-fat ricotta cheese – divided
  • cooking spray
  • cumin – to taste
  • salt and pepper – to taste


Coat pan with cooking spray. Add diced mushrooms, garlic cloves, and onion. Sauté until tender. (Add a couple of tablespoons of vegetable stock if needed.) Cut both zucchini and summer squash into thin slices. Add to a pot with one tablespoon of water and cook for approximately 5 minutes. Remove from the stove and add onion/mushroom mixture to the pot. In a separate bowl mix Egg Beaters with sour cream. Coat baking dish with cooking spray. Evenly distribute half the squash mixture to bottom of pan. Add half of ricotta cheese, half of egg mixture, and half of shredded cheese. Layer the other half of the squash mixture on top and use the rest of the ricotta and egg mixture. Cover with foil and bake at 375°F for 35 minutes. After 35 minutes, remove foil and add the rest of the shredded cheese. Cook for an additional 10 minutes. Turn oven to broil and let broil for 2-3 minutes until cheese topping become crusty. Let cool for 10-15 minutes.

Note: 1 serving contains 7gP/3gF/9gC – 1 block per serving = 9 servings total



Saturday 150516

21-15-9-6-3 Reps for time:
Strict handstand push-up
Front squat, 195#(125#)
Bar facing burpees

Post times to comments and BTWB

The ladies of #teamverve are ready to take on rope climbs in Colorado style!!

The ladies of #teamverve are ready to take on rope climbs in Colorado style!!


What’s the Verve scoop? What’s the 4-1-1? What’s the situation? What’s the info?

*The South Regionals are entering into day 2 with #teamverve sitting in 14th place. Saturday’s team event schedule is as follows:

Event 3: Heat 3 @ 9:50am

Event 4/5: Heat 3 @ 11:35am

You can see the rest of the day’s event schedule by clicking here.

*Memorial Day is approaching. Monday May 25th we will have a limited class schedule. Please see MBO and be sure to get signed up for classes early. And yes, we are doing “Murph”. 

*Verve is hosting several CrossFit Specialty Seminars this summer:

-Level 2 Certificate Course June 13th-14th
-CrossFit Football Trainer Course July 11th-12th
-CrossFit Weightlifting Trainer Course August 29th-30th

Click here to go to CrossFit Specialty Courses for more info and to get registered.

Friday 150515

3 Rounds for time:
21 Toes to bar
15 Kettlebell swings, 70#(53#)
9 Muscle-ups

Post time to comments or BTW

Big congratulations to Lisa and Ben Dengerink on the birth of their daughter Scarlett born 5/16/15.  Both mother and baby are doing great!

Big congratulations to Lisa and Ben Dengerink on the birth of their daughter Scarlett born 5/16/15. Both mother and baby are doing great!


Last week I discussed the elbows turning slowly in the Clean leading to “droopy” elbows that land in line with the barbell as opposed to in front.  2 issues can cause this to happen: technique opportunities and mobility issues.  The following video by Roop Sihota goes over 4 quality mobilizations to help you get faster elbows and a more comfortable front rack.  This will be some of the best 30 minutes spent of you week GUARANTEED!



– The Verve team is competing today at 9am and 10:50am CDT.  You can see all of the action live @ games.crossfit.com


Thursday 1505014


Then, 2 x 20 unbroken dimmel deadlift @ 40% of 5RM
Rest 3 minutes between sets

Post loads to comments and BTWB

Trainer power hour. Maddie, Jay, and Eric getting some heavy shoulder presses in.

Trainer power hour. Maddie, Jay, and Eric getting some heavy shoulder presses in.


What do we want? Our toes to touch the bar! When do we want it? Now would be great.

By Courtney “I prefer to think of it as the bar gets to touch my toes” Shepherd, and the fine people of Eat To Perform

Toes to bar is not a technically demanding movement but yet it continues to be one that can cause many of us frustration. Whether it’s that we can’t get our toes to the bar, we can not figure out the kip to do it fast and efficiently, or maybe we simply can’t hold on to the pull-up bar long enough to get in a bunch of reps. Either way successfully completing them can be far harder than they look.

While not technically demanding, the T2B does have some demands that athletes need to be able to complete them in any capacity. We need grip strength, lat strength, and core strength. Any deficiency in one or more of these areas will impact our performance. The bonus is, if we take the appropriate steps to work on T2B, that can in and of itself be the way we build strength in the above mentioned areas. Working the right positions builds strength and capacity in the right positions, which builds a movement.

In an article by Eat To Perform titled, “Toes To Bar- 6 Tips For Beginners“, they address several steps to help build T2B (click here for full article). While the title may say for beginners, really these tips are for anyone that struggles with T2B.

1. Start at the floor. Work on perfecting the hollow and “Superman” positions. Staying tight in these positions will allow you to transfer more power into the bar so you can move more efficiently.

2. Take those two positions and put them together on the pull-up bar. Practice transitioning between the hollow and Superman positions and get into a rhythm to perfect your kip. If you start to flop around, take a break and get back to it.

-This is simply addressing the kipping swing. A shoulder initiated swing with minimal, to no, work from the legs.

3. Work on your grip strength. If your grip is giving out, you’re not going to last long. You need to work on specific grip strength on the pull-up bar. Simply hanging from the bar for time – 30 seconds is a great place to start – can address a deficiency.

4. Knees up. Work on knees to elbows. This is a remedial/scaled version of the exercise that’s great for people with mobility issues as well as folks who just want a way to make the exercise easier and work on developing core strength.

5. Activate your lats. When you come behind the bar at the top, focus on engaging the lats. Push down on the bar and descend quickly.

6. Work on small sets. To develop your technique without ingraining bad habits, keep the reps low and focus on perfect form. If you push until your form begins to break down/loosen up, or even until you fail a rep, you’re just making it harder on yourself in the long run. Quality vs. quantity!

*In addition to these tips, you might also want to work on your hip mobility during your warm-ups. Stretch those hamstrings too!

This may not look like new information, in fact it may look similar to the progressions we use in class to warm up the T2B. Again, the reminder is, breaking the T2B into these pieces and focusing our energies on these pieces can help build the movement as a whole. My favorite tip is #6, work on small sets. Some of us can find the rhythm of T2B for a few reps but eventually fall off. Rather than focusing on trying to get as many done as possible, what if we change our goal for a workout to only work in sets that allow us to maintain form and technique. And the next workout that comes along we increase that set by 1 rep only. Before we know it our working sets our in the double digits. Anything worth having needs to be worth working on and building capacity in. We can’t expect to go from zero to 60 over night.

Another article worth reading is one written by CrossFit Roots several months ago. They breakdown the T2B in pictures. . . and you know what they say, a picture is worth a 1,000 words. Click here to get to the article.

Practice doesn’t make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect. – Kelly Starrett

*We will have the South Regionals playing on the TV at Verve all day Friday. Saturday Mas and Joylyn Godinez have lovingly opened up their home to a viewing party for anyone interested in watching and cheering in a fun group. Here is the post from Facebook:

Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 7.01.18 PM

If you are not on Facebook, simply comment to this post with your RSVP. Sunday we will have Regionals playing from 12pm-3pm following yoga. Come, sit, enjoy some adults beverages, and cheer loudly. Wear your Verve shirts!!

Wednesday 150513

As many rounds as possible in 12 minutes of:
7 Hang power snatch, 95#(65#)
14 Box jumps, 24″(20″)
21 Double unders

Post rounds to comments and BTWB

The couple that rows together, stays together. Vanessa and Kenny spending an hour on the rower in support of the #RowForRoby Fundraiser.

The couple that rows together, stays together. Vanessa and Kenny spending an hour on the rower in support of the #RowForRoby Fundraiser.


Was it RX or was it not RX, that is the question. By Courtney “you may not like the answer” Shepherd

Several weeks ago a workout was posted involving rowing for calories and chest to bar pull-ups. When the workout finished, as athletes were cooling down and shouting out their scores, the trainer writing those scores on the whiteboard asked 1 particular athlete, “was that RX?”. The athlete responded back, “maybe”. I heard this exchange take place and was immediately prompted to ask the athlete, “what do you mean by “maybe”?”. Seriously, what does that mean? It either was or it wasn’t RX, there really isn’t room for a maybe. Here is the remainder of the conversation between myself and the athlete:

Athlete: Well it depends on what you guys count as RX.
Me: Did you do the calorie row and chest to bar pull-ups?
Athlete: Yes, but I don’t know if you count the ones where you told me to get my chest to the bar.
Me: Did you touch your chest to the bar 10 times every round as the workout called for?
Athlete: Well some of them didn’t quite touch.
Me: Okay. Well when your chest didn’t quite touch, did you call that a no rep and work to re-do the rep until your chest touched. . . or did you still count it as one of your “chest to bar” pull-ups and continue on?
Athlete: I just kept going.
Me: Then no. You did not do the workout RX.

This is a concept that can be hard for some of us, especially those of us that perhaps do not compete outside of the walls of Verve and may not truly understand the idea of a non counting repetition, a.k.a. the “no rep”. When we are in the middle of a workout, when we are pouring our heart and soul into moving as fast as we can, just trying to finish in a certain time, and we throw a medicine ball up in the air towards the wall but it doesn’t quite hit the 10 foot mark, it hits just below the 10 foot mark, we continue moving as though it did. We put the work in and we want to give ourselves credit for that work. When asked, we then call that RX work. The problem is, that’s not RX work. It’s really just RX effort. And to be even more blunt, there is no such thing as RX effort.

Let’s talk about a “good rep” vs. a “no rep”. Every movement we perform has a range of motion standard. Wallballs hit 10 feet or higher, toes physically touch the bar, push jerks end after we have stood up all the way and then bring the bar back to the shoulders. These range of motion standards are not random or made up on the fly. These range of motions come from putting our joints through their full ranges of motion as well as achieving the ultimate goal of the movement. The standards are addressed during warm-ups when we review the movements. These standards are constantly re-enforced throughout the workout in the form of coaching, cueing, and correcting from the trainers. If we complete the movement, through it’s full range of motion standard, then that my friends is a good rep. If we do not do the movement to the movement standard, then that is a no rep.

I don’t squat below parallel, it’s a no rep. My chin does not get over the bar in a pull-up, it’s a no rep. My chest does not touch the ground in a push-up, that’s a no rep. The workout calls for a squat snatch and I do a power snatch. . . that is a no rep. I’m certain you get the point.

Well, what do I do with a no rep? You don’t count it towards your collection of reps. If the workout calls for 10 toes to bar per round, during one of the rounds you get tired and on rep #5 your toes don’t touch the bar, you are still at 4 reps. Even if your toes are close, you did like 98% of the toes to bar, it still is not a good rep. We want a 100% toes to bar. You rest, you get back up on the bar, you start swinging, and you complete rep #5 the next time your toes touch.

Here’s the crux of the situation. . . you can count that “close enough but not quite there” toes to bar as a rep towards your total rep count but you can’t call that RX. In fact, perhaps that was a scale for the workout, to get your toes as high as you can without worrying about touching the bar. Cool. Keep on keeping on. We can change a lot of things when we scale workouts, weight, distance, reps, rounds, and even sometimes but not nearly as often, range of motion. And when we scale or modify, we already know we have taken that good old “RX” off the table. Well, how do I get it back on the table? If we complete every repetition called for of each movement, through the movement’s full range of motion standard, at the prescribed weight, height, distance, etc., then that my friends is how we RX a workout.

I will give a personal example. A recent WOD called for handstand push-ups in increasing degree of difficulty and 30 pull-ups per round. I am new to doing butterfly pull-ups in a workout and I chose this opportunity to work on them. Now I am very certain, if someone is not watching me, verifying my range of motion on my butterfly pull-ups, that many of them do not meet the range of motion standard. I did 30 butterfly pull-ups per round but because I’m not really good at telling which ones counted and which ones did not, I did not worry about it. I did not worry about no repping myself, I just focused on moving and working technique. I did all the HSPUs RXed and when the coach asked me if it was an RX workout, I said no. It was a great workout for me. I got to work on a skill and do some pretty hard HSPUs but that was not RX work. And I am okay with that. It is easy to get caught up in doing a WOD RX. We want those RXs as much as we want muscle-ups. But it’s okay to take a step back and just focus on whether or not we got a really good workout in and call it that.

Here’s the deal, it is not my job to watch all of your reps and count all of your reps. I can’t do that for every person in class. Which is why we ask you, at the end of the workout, “was that RX?”. Now it’s easy for someone to count their RX effort as RX work and get that RX by their name without fully earning it. You won’t get struck down by lightning where you stand. Here is the down side to giving yourself credit where credit is not due. . . you don’t actually know what it takes to get that work done. If you have to do 10 chest to bar pull-ups and your chest only really touches 7 out of 10 times and you still count them. . . you and your body have not built up a capacity to do 10 chest to bar pull-ups. Strength and endurance wise, you still do not know physically what it takes to do 10 chest to bar pull-ups. That’s it. In a nutshell, you only cheat yourself and cheat your progress. 

The moral of the story is this, it either is RX or it is not RX. If you get asked and your first response is to say maybe. . . the actual answer is no. But I would put money down you still got one butt kicker of a workout in. 

Tuesday 150512

For time:
30 Medicine ball cleans, 20#(14#)
30 Ring dips
30 Medicine ball cleans, 20#(14#)
30 Chest to bar pull-ups
30 Medicine ball cleans, 20#(14#)
30 Push-ups
30 Medicine ball cleans, 20#(14#)

Post time to BTWB.

Mother and son taking care of business!

Mother and son taking care of business!

Ladies and Gentlemen, the #teamverve shirts are in!!! If you pre-ordered, they are in a box in front of the office. Here is how you can get yours:
1) Find the one with your name on it. (orders under the same name were combined)
2) Sign the sheet next to your order denoting you took it. 
*Please do not pick up an order on behalf of someone else. If you pick up your order and feel it is wrong, please do not pick through any other orders, simply email me with any concerns, courtney@crossfitverve.com, and we will fix it.
Thank you!

Does everyone know what the hyper-linked acronym above, BTWB, is?  The acronym stands for Beyond the Whiteboard.  Yes I know that’s only 3 words, not four, but it just looks cleaner.  Every now and again we like to do a post to talk about Beyond the Whiteboard.  BTWB is an online tracking tool that you can use to log your workouts and lifts. It’s cloud based so if you ever lose your phone or your computer crashes, all your data is saved.

Logging your workouts is super easy and many of the workouts such as Hero WOD’s and  the “girls” are already programmed in the system.  We try to put the Verve WOD’s in, but sometimes time doesn’t agree. Most of Verve members already know how to log your workouts, but for those of you that don’t, here is a quick tutorial.  If you don’t have a Beyond the Whiteboard account and would like one, please email eric@crossfitverve.com.  The account is free to all Verve members.

Step 1

How many movements does it have?


Step 2

Which workout type is it?


You can always click on the question mark icons for help with selecting the proper template.


Step 3

Adjust the framework of the workout. You’ve selected a template, but it can always be modified to fit your needs.


Step 4

Add movements to the workout. Type in the name of the movement and select it from the drop-down menu that appears.


Step 5

Apply attributes to the movement. You can apply as many attributes as necessary.


As you build your workout, the description below will be updated to reflect your current workout parameters.


Once you’ve added all the movements you want, simply hit Next and your workout has been created.  Easy stuff.

Monday 150511

In 20 minutes establish a heavy complex of:
1 Push press + 1 push jerk + 1 split jerk

Then, as many reps as possible in 3 minutes of shoulder press @ 40% of heaviest complex weight

Luke - Snatch-grip deadlifts. Building that posterior chain.

Luke – Snatch-grip deadlifts. Building that posterior chain.

Post weights to BTWB

Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat.  Greg Glassman, “What is Fitness?,” CrossFit Journal (Oct. 2002) pg. 1.  The previous statement is one that we all know very well, as the recommended diet of CrossFit.  We may not all follow it exactly but most of us have an idea of what we should be putting into our bodies.

Every 5 years, the U.S. government convenes a Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee to review and summarize everything we know about nutritional research.  The committee publishes it’s findings and recommendation in hopes of guiding nutritional programs in schools, the military, or anyone looking for some advice on what to eat.  

The Huffington Post published an interesting article; How ‘Healthy Diets’ Have Changed Over The Decade.  The author looked at what was recommended in 2005 and how things are in 2015.  

2005’s recommendation was all about counting calories.  It didn’t matter how you were consuming the calories as long as you were staying within a certain range.  The 2015 report doesn’t say that caloric intake isn’t important, but now the committee recommends getting calories from a better type of food.

In 2005 people were told to limit their fat intake to 20 – 25 percent of their total calories consumed in a day.  The 2015 report is now pro fat.  There is no limit on the recommended fat intake levels only the type of fats that should be consumed.

The link between sugar and sugar sweetened products and weight gain was only starting to become relevant.  The report states that more research is needed to be sure, but most likely sugar and sugar sweetened products are leading to weight gain.  Now in 2015 people are advised to stay away from sugar.  The committee even notes that there is strong evidence in a connection between sugar and type 2 diabetes.  Evidence also points to a connection between coronary heart disease and cavities if more than 10 percent of a persons calories are consumed via sugar.  

To us, a lot of this is falls in the Duh category, but for many it’s considered eye opening.  The title above is linked to the article.  Definitely worth a full read.  There are links to past reports as well.

Sunday 150510

21-15-9 reps for time:
Deadlift, 225#(155#)
Handstand push-ups
Box Jumps, 24″(20″)

Post time to comments or BTW

Mustard Crusted Beef with Wine!

Mustard Crusted Beef with Wine!



If you don’t currently follow member Linda Kiker Personal Chef on Facebook, GET WITH IT!  Linda posts some pretty amazing recipes.  Here is one for MUSTARD CRUSTED BEEF WITH WINE!  (only 1/2c of wine goes into the recipe, and you don’t want to waste, so you can drink the rest!)  What is great about Linda is she measures the same way we do, pinch, dash, etc.  Linda is a real, down-to-earth chef, and a generally great lady:)


2 LB Beef Roast
Coarse ground mustard (enough to slather on roast)
2 Bay Leaves
1/2c Wine (red preferably, or that’s just me)1 Clove garlic sliced
1 Sprig of rosemary
1 “pinch” of dried thyme
1 “small” pinch of salt
“lots” of black pepper – to your liking

Mustard Crusted Beef With Wine:
Rub a 2 lb. beef roast all over with coarse ground mustard and place into your crock pot.
Pour 1/2 C. wine and 1 C. beef stock around the beef- don’t pour it on top or you’ll rinse away your mustard.
Add 2 bay leaf, 1 clove garlic sliced, a small sprig of rosemary, large pinch of dried thyme, a small pinch of salt and lots of black pepper.
Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.

** You can cook these while you sleep or while at work.
** Save those juices and store the sliced or shredded meat in it for maximum flavor.
** Remember to remove your bay leaf and any the rosemary before serving.


-Yoga is at 11am NOT 8am, so you can sleep in AND get your yoga on with Kacey.

– HAPPY MOTHERS DAY to all of the mothers out there!  You’re an inspiration and setting an incredible example of health and fitness to your children.