Saturday 140913

1 – 1 – 1 – 1 – 1

Then, every minute on the minute for 15 minutes:

20 Double unders
1 Snatch @ 70% of 1RM

Post weights to comments and BTW.

P1010913 475x356 Saturday 140913

Mas throwback to 2011 at the Games with Verve support crew…good times.

**Parking note**  The Snowboard on the Block event will be taking place down the street Saturday at EXDO Event Center, so street parking will be at a premium.  Please be aware and choose your parking carefully all day.

Good luck to all our Verve athletes competing this weekend!  Both at the NoCoast Lumberyard Throwdown and the Granite Games, we know you all will do awesome!  Send us your pics to post.

Upcoming Athlete Interest Clinics:

  • Gymnastics Skills with Zink, Wednesday Sept 17 at 5PM
  • Gymnastics Skills with Zink, Thursday Sept 25 at 5PM

Our next free Community WOD is Saturday, September 20th at 8AM.

New Foundations Program begins Monday, September 22.  Email to get signed up or for questions.

Verve friend Jason Thompson of Mya Therapy is offering current members in good standing $25 off massages Monday, Sept 15–Saturday, Sept 20.  Check out to get scheduled.  Current trainers and athletes alike have been very happy with his work, so schedule yourself some recovery!

Friday 140812

2012 Open Workout  12.1

As many reps as possible in 7 minutes of:
*Must two hand touch a target 6″ above max reach

Post reps to comments or BTW

IMG 0174 475x316 Friday 140812

Elizabeth “Lillie” Glaws has been working on her snatches in preparation for the Granite Games this weekend. Good luck Lillie!!

There is a lot of info in this post, so hunker down and get to reading!

Follow this link to check out the workouts

Here are the heat times for our athletes so you can go cheer them on!
-Team Vicious and Delicious and Team Lazy Has-Beens @ 9AM and 12:45PM
-Team Hall’n Lumber Duo and Team M as in Mancy and Team Swingers @ 9:25AM and 1:03PM
-Jay Cain @ 11:05 and 2:05PM
-Colby Knepp @ 11:30am and 2:18PM
-Chris Zienkievicz @ 11:55am and 2:31PM
**BASICALLY there is action going on all day, come and support the many Ververs!!!




As coaches, we see almost all of your smiley faces throughout the day.  In our conversations, we hear about any issues or frustrations you may be having about your training at the gym.  Here are some common frustrations we here:
**”My knee is hurting, but I think I will just wait to see if it goes away”
**”I am very frustrated, my numbers aren’t going up and some of them are even going down”
**”I have been following …(insert name here)….. training program, doing 2 WOD’s a day and I don’t see myself getting better”
The next thing we ask as coaches is when was you last rest day?  Very often, we get a bewildered look and reply of “I really liked the workouts this week” or “I had some drinks this week and I need to work them off”.

I want to take a moment to emphasize the importance of programming rest in your routine.  Rest is not only for the weak or the old or the deconditioned, it is the only opportunity your body has to fully recover from the damage we do to it during our intense workouts.  Here is outake from a similar post by CrossFit Roots:

“Rest days allow for physiological and psychological benefits that are vital to athletic progress.

Physiologically, rest allows the body to learn from and adapt to the recent physical stress, repair muscles, rebuild, and be stronger and better adapted for the next physical challenge (in our case, a workout). In CrossFit we believe in relative intensity and work to dial in our athletes’ workouts to an intensity level that hovers in the “hard but doable” realm. The result is an adaptation that continuously tips the athlete toward stronger, more skilled, faster, you get the point. But the CRAZY PART is that this adaptation takes place during the rest and recovery phase, not during the workout! Too much intensity or too little recovery blunts the adaptation creating an athlete that is headed toward plateau rather than continuous improvement.

Psychologically, and when viewed correctly, rest days give us a mental edge in workouts. When an athlete embraces the time off they come back stronger and work harder in workouts. I say “when viewed correctly” as many athletes feel guilty about their rest days and instead waste tons of mental energy worrying about not working our rather than reaping the benefits.

As athletes (and not just CrossFit athletes) we constantly chase performance and for many, appearance too. We’ll do anything for a better run time, a faster Fran, or a heavier deadlift. Change my diet? Sure, tell me what I can and can’t eat. Buy the right shoes? Sure, where do I pay? Take a day off? NO WAY.”

Here are some signs that you are overtraining and need some valuable rest:

  • Decreased Coordination or performance
  • Prolonged Illness
  • Decreased desire to train
  • Soreness that lasts longer than usual
  • Feeling lethargic even after getting adequate sleep
  • Increase in nagging pains in the joints or muscle
  • Your results/progress are coming to a screeching halt

The goal is to not come to this point and ensure that you are getting rest now so you don’t have to pay later, but if you are here then take a couple of rest days.  If Verve is your escape from life, than come in and mobilize, roll out, socialize. 

*There will be a Snowboard on the Block Expo going on at the EXDO center all day Saturday, so be aware of the parking situation.

*Hinshaw Seminar is Saturday, September 27th.  The details and sign ups can be found here.  Again, I highly recommend this seminar as a way to find the ideal place for you to train your endurance without just running more and hoping it gets better.



Thursday 140911

For time:
Push jerk 135#(95#)
Front squat 135#(95#)
*3 Burpee penalty everytime the bar is dropped.

Post times to comments and BTWB

NF 475x316 Thursday 140911

In September of 2001 I was a junior in college. At midnight on September 11th I was in a bar celebrating a friend’s birthday. I spent the morning of September 11th sleeping off my hangover until one of my sorority sisters came into my room and told me I needed to get up, “why?” I asked. “Because the world is ending” she said. I thought she was joking until I went downstairs and saw what was on the television. I remember watching and feeling absolutely confused, as though what was happening was not real. I eventually went back upstairs and got ready for class. I went to class, still not sure how I felt about everything I saw. I have a hard time saying this but the truth is, it would not be until many years later that I could fully comprehend the magnitude of the events of September 11th. A 20 year old college student in Colorado left me quite removed and self focused.

I joined Cunningham Fire Protection District in August 2007. And in September of 2008 I climbed 110 flights of stairs wearing my full bunker gear. 46 of those flights were with me wearing my mask and breathing oxygen from the bottle on my back. I did this on September 11th in honor of the men and women fire fighters of FDNY that climbed the 110 flights of the Twin Towers in an effort to rescue those in the building. I was not facing fire, I was not facing scared and injured people rushing past me to exit the building, I was not facing a race against time. I was simply walking up steps, one at a time, and I almost quit. I experienced a mental fear that came from being in a small stairwell with my fellow fire fighters, few exit opportunities, and a mask on my face that made me very aware of my own breathing. It was in that moment, for me, that what happened on that day 7 years prior hit me like a brick. The fear, the panic, the bravery, the courage, the loss, all of it. Before the climb started I was handed a picture of an FDNY fire fighter who died on September 11th. I was asked to carry it as I climbed, I was asked to make the climb in his honor. I finished the 110 flights, and when I got to the top I hung my head in silence for Battalion Chief Edward F. Geraghty  and the other 342 fire fighters that died that day. To think about what they faced, to think about the chaos that was going on around them, and they climbed on. I hung my head in silence for the men and women who saw the same things that day, who were not Emergency Personnel, and dug down deep inside themselves to perform some of the most courageous acts, the most selfless endeavors to help, and even save the lives of people around them.

My reflection on September 11th has changed over the years. It went from a generalized sorrow over the loss of life to a deep appreciation for the human spirit. How we think back on 9/11 is different for each of us but I hope we all think back none the less. Today, September 11, 2014, 13 years later I will take a moment to think about those who are alive today holding on to memories of someone they lost on 9/11/01. I will think about those who gave their lives so that others could live. I will think about the 2,977 men and women who did not wake up to see September 12th:

343 FDNY Fire Fighters
23 New York City Police Officers
37 Port Authority Police Officers
8 Private EMTs and Paramedics
2,195 New Yorkers
87 Passengers of American Flight 11
60 Passengers of United Flight 175
125 Pentagon workers
59 Passengers of American Flight 77
40 Passengers of United Flight 93

IMG 0737 300x300 Thursday 140911

May you never be forgotten.


Wednesday 140910

Five rounds for time:

10 Deadlift, 225# (155#)
15 Kettlebell swings, 24kg (16kg)
15 Toes to bar

Post time to comments and BTW.

IMG 01281 475x712 Wednesday 140910

Joel making practice perfect.

A love letter to you from JJ:

We seek virtuosity.  Coach Glassman refers to virtuosity as “doing the common uncommonly well.”  When it comes to CrossFit, it’s performing these functional movements in such a way that they often look effortless.  Watching someone perform a heavy snatch or high reps of muscle-ups with an ease that nearly takes our breath away.  You can see virtuosity all around you outside of our walls at Verve too.  

Whether a it’s an experienced co-worker who gets a big project done in half the time, without an air of stress or even your mom making an amazing breakfast for a big brood of family without so much as a bit of worry.  It comes as a result of discipline and mindfulness practiced consistently over a long period of time.  When we offer skills clinics or seminars, those are great opportunities to spend extra time improving yourself, but also not necessary if you get the most out of each class.  

We do demand perfection from our athletes.  If you can’t handle that demand for perfection, then you are in the wrong place.  You pay us for excellence and we deliver.  We demand the same excellence in coaching from ourselves too.  We study daily, we learn constantly, we offer feedback regularly.  Visitors often comment when dropping into Verve how well everyone moves and that all of our athletes must be very experienced . . .Yes and no.  Some of us have been doing CrossFit for nearly a decade, some have been at Verve only a year, and some are fresh out of Elements or Foundations like we all were at one point.  With a commitment to seek virtuosity, we all continue to progress as athletes.  We may see the broad arc of PR’s when we are new flatten some, but it still continues to average up, despite some peaks and valleys.  We may sustain an injury outside the gym, or train through a challenging life change, but if we leave our egos at the door, listen to our coaches and train consistently, our journey and fitness improves. 

It’s a special relationship between a coach and an athlete; we care about your movement and daily health.  Care so much that I don’t hear the music because I’m analyzing your torso angle in relation to the barbell your are lifting.  I care about your knees tracking over your feet on a consistent basis, from every time you squat in Verve to when you squat to pick up your child or pet.  Because we know that over time, good mechanics will consistently improve intensity which breed good results, i.e. optimal health and fitness.  

The cueing and correcting in a warm-up or skill session is your opportunity to demand that perfection from yourself.  Listen and aim to perform; please modify or scale to what your coach tells you.  If I tell you to get off the rower your last round and walk right over without a break to breathe and finish out your last round of wall-balls, it’s because I know without a doubt you can be successful.  We know your limits and aim to broaden them over time as you train.  Over time, that discipline will lead to you to move well without having to think about it, may prevent an injury or your health failing.  This leaves you the ability to focus on breathing or chatting with your child as you are carrying 18 bags of groceries in from your car in one trip . . . and that is every bit as much of a “fist-pump-in-the-air-WIN” moment as a “podium-spot-WIN” somedays.  More time with the ones we love or doing what brings us joy is the ultimate goal for all this hard work and suffering, even if sometimes it’s just squeaking by slightly faster than James OG.  I want you all to do take that success inside our walls and spread it outside as far as you want it to reach.  Thank you for being a part of our culture of community and excellence.  How are you going to seek virtuosity inside or outside today?

Tuesday 140909

For time:
Run 800 meters
20 Push press 135#(95#)
Run 800 meters
35 Push press 115#(75#)
Run 800 meters
50 Push press 75#(55#)

Post time to BTWB


IMG 0167 475x712 Tuesday 140909

Luke is having way too much fun while his partner suffers!

You know what’s better than a hot cup of 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.  

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


Monday 140908

Overhead squat 3-3-3-3-3

Then, every minute on the minute for 8 minutes:
1 Snatch balance + 1 overhead squat @ 60% of 3RM

Post score to comments or BTW.

IMG 9868 475x316 Monday 140908

Dakota looking strong in the bottom.

Small nagging injuries are pretty common among CrossFitters and a few days rest usually does the trick. Less common are some of the more serious things, like torn ligaments and broken bones.

If you’re coming back to training from a pretty serious injury, here are few things to keep in mind:

  1. Take it slow.
  2. Listen to your body.
  3. Listen to your coach (duh).
  4. Communicate with others who have had the same injury.
  5. Consult a great physical therapist
  6. Take your recovery serious

For an in-depth run down, click here to check out this great article by William Imbo at BoxLife Magazine.

Sunday 140907

Three rounds for time:

10 Deadlift, 275#( 185#)
50 Double unders

Post time to comments and BTW.

IMG 0164 475x316 Sunday 140907

Power couple Holly and Dan coming to Verve on Friday PM before going out and enjoying their anniversary. Seriously awesome people.

Sunday Funday reading, because it’s good to learn . . . 

Anahad O’Connor’s New York Times article “A Call for a Low-Carb Diet That Embraces Fat” reinforces CrossFit’s long-standing stance on nutrition in contradiction with the NSCA and ACSM’s guidelines.

Saturday 140906

Free Community WOD at 8AM, different than posted WOD below.

Ten rounds for time:

4 Muscle-up
8 Handstand push-up
16 Ab mat sit-up

Post time to comments and BTW.

IMG 0151 475x475 Saturday 140906

Thanks for visiting us this week Scott. Happy dad, happy baby.

Upcoming Athlete Interest Clinics:

  • Gymnastics Skills with Zink, Friday Sept 12 at 1:30PM
  • Gymnastics Skills with Zink, Wednesday Sept 17 at 5PM
  • Gymnastics Skills with Zink, Thursday Sept 25 at 5PM

Free Community WODs Saturdays, September 6 and September 20 at 8AM.

New Foundations Programs begin Mondays, September 8 and September 22.  Email to get signed up or for questions.


Friday 140905

For Time:

Row 2K
50 Wall-ball shots, 20#(14#)
Row 1K
35 Wall-ball shots, 20#(14#)
Row 500 meters
20 Wall-ball shots, 20#(14#)


Post time to comments or BTW

IMG 0142 475x316 Friday 140905

Post-Labor Day WOD mobilization/not-laboring session



We sure do love accessories in CrossFit- shoes, wrist wraps, belts, hair ties, lotions, potions, and so much more.  I know I have seen some bags come into the gym weighing upwards of 40 lbs and the size of a large child!  Being prepared for anything including a long weekend locked in the gym is a great game plan, but it has its drawbacks. We also see some people take a minimalist approach and walk into the gym with just their car keys, which has its drawbacks as well.  Finding the balance between lugging a large bag from your car to the gym and breaking a sweat and flying by the seat of your pants and hoping nothing unexpected happens during the workout is important.

The benefits of being overly prepared include never having to ask to “borrow” tape, always ready for rope climbs, several options to ensure that hair will be securely tied back, and wrists will never go undecorated via wraps or tape.  The drawbacks to being overly prepared are that you carry around a small child in the form of a gym bag, and the inside of that gym bag looks like a small bomb went off making the contents very hard to find in a pinch.

The benefits of the minimalist approach are, well, minimal.  You hope a gym-mate has a pair of socks or a knee wrap to borrow for rope climbs or you WILL leave some of your shin behind.  You see 100 pull-ups in the workout, realize you need to make some tape grips and no one will let you borrow tape!! Don’t worry, there is a happy medium between lugging around a small child-like bag and not being prepared properly for the workout.  Here is a list of essentials to throw in your CrossFit satchel that you can leave in your car:

#1 – ATHLETIC TAPE – We never know when we are going to rip, or shoes need wrapping, or wrists need some support.  Just keep one roll and I am sure you will need it at some point.

#2 – WATER BOTTLE – While going to the water fountain during a WOD is a great excuse for rest:)  Staying hydrated throughout the class is important so having a water bottle on hand at all times is key.

#3 – A PAIR OF HIGH SOCKS or some other sort of creative shin protection for rope climbs! Some of us sit up at night waiting for the workout to post, hitting refresh at least 15 times around 9pm while others just go with the flow (I am not familiar with that feeling).  If you are a go-with-the-flow kind of person, always have socks in your bag just in case we sprinkle in some rope climbs to the workouts or skill work.

#4 – A PLAN FOR POST WOD NUTRITION – Whether it is a shake or actual food, at minimum have a plan.  We have approximetly a 30 minute window after working out to get some nutrients into the body to start the rebuilding process.  If you live more than 10 minutes away from the gym, I would bring something with you.

#5 – NON-BEADED JUMP ROPE – We have all forgotten our jump rope from time to time and had to use the trusty noodle ropes and vowed to never forget again!  While the noodle ropes have a good place in training, they can be challenging to use on a regular basis and finding someone else that is the EXACT same height to use their rope never seems to works out.

Those are just some very basic suggestions that will fit into a petite bag that easily sits in your backseat until needed.  What do you keep in your bag that you couldn’t live without?

Thursday 140904

Death by Clean and Jerk, 135#(95#)
*With a continuously running clock do one Clean and Jerk the first minute, two Clean and Jerks the second minute, three Clean and Jerks the third minute… continuing as long as you are able.

Post rounds to comments and BTWB

bloody hands e1389152455626 475x353 Thursday 140904

Friends don’t let friends share bodily fluids at the gym.

We need to get real about hand care people. I mean really real. By Courtney “#whatsupwiththat” Shepherd

Too often we post pictures like the one above with a braggadocios status to follow. Some may even see this mangled scene as a right of passage in CrossFit, “first RXed pull-up WOD, tears and all”. NO MORE. This ends here.  This is not something we should be bragging about, but rather something we should be putting work in to prevent and avoid. We are rough on our hands in CrossFit but if we take a few simple steps throughout the week, we can avoid the blood bath mid WOD. This post is about prevention with regards to hand care, I will not get into scaling a WOD and technique, both of which would fall under the category of ways to prevent hand ripping. Perhaps in a later post.

matt hand e1389153149782 300x225 Thursday 140904

If we look like this, we may be behind the eight ball. Time to catch up.


Go to your local Target, Walmart, Walgreens, etc. And go to the foot care aisle. I’m not talking about the orthopedics/ gel inserts aisle, I’m talking the mani/ pedi aisle. Go looking for the nail polish (sorry guys but that’s where the good stuff is at). It is in this aisle that you will locate two items of huge importance, 1) a pumice and 2) a callus shaver. Grab one of each and proceed to the check out counter.

tools 475x356 Thursday 140904

The tools of the trade.


Put these new purchases to work. I have a preference for using these items while I am in the shower. I would suggest pumicing your hands EVERY TIME you shower. I would add using the callus shaver to shave the calluses that build across the top of your palm 1-2 times/ week. The shaving of your hands may be dependent on your activity level or even which WODs you have recently done or are coming up in the future. The key is to avoid the raising of the calluses. The bigger they get the more susceptible they are to ripping. We want to try and keep our hands smooth and even across the surface.

hands 475x475 Thursday 140904

Before and After.


Let’s be honest though, rips/ tears happen. Then what? If they happen mid WOD, let’s call it good and proceed with a modification that allows us to keep working out without creating further damage. Then go back to your local Target, Walmart, Walgreens, etc. and go to the first aid aisle. Pick up a box of Blister Pads.

blister 300x225 Thursday 140904

Blister Pads be da bomb.

Clean the torn area thoroughly. When it’s dry put a blister pad over the area. I like to do this at night, sleep in it, and keep it on as long as I can the whole next day. The problem is we use our hands a lot so realistically the blister pad may not stay on long, that’s okay. Doing this every night for several days will help tremendously in keeping the area moisturized without exposing it to dirt/ germs. You have to shelter it, like a small innocent child, from the harsh world around us. Throughout the day put Aquaphor or Vaseline, or something akin to these items, over the uncovered area to keep it from drying out. 

 I know I said I wasn’t going to talk about scaling or technique but I lied, I do that sometimes. Life can get crazy, kids, jobs, significant others. Maybe sometimes our personal hygiene becomes questionable and we are unable to shower/ shave our hands for an amount of time we are too ashamed to say. It’s cool, I get it. I’m with you. It’s always at this time that some silly Verve trainer programs a WOD with 120 pull-ups in it. We don’t want to skip a workout because our calluses are HUGE and hand tearing is imminent. What we can do is 120 ring rows or 60 strict pull-ups or some other modification that is still an equally amazing workout. Think about it this way, maybe we get through the 120 pull-up WOD but at what cost to our personal lives, our professional lives, and our training for the next  few days. Better to do 120 ring rows today, go home and clean  our business up, and WOD again tomorrow. 

*If you are newer to CrossFit or are newer to working on kipping pull-ups, kipping toes to bar, or any other kipping bar work, remember that volume is key. We can not go from having spent little to no time on a pull-up bar to trying to rep out 100 pull-ups in a WOD. It doesn’t matter how much we can physically do the work, our hands are not ready. They need to be introduced to the workload over time to build some toughness.