Friday 160909

Back Squat
1 x 10 at 60% of 1 rep max
1 x 8 at 70% of 1 rep max
1 x 6 at 75% of 1 rep max
1 x 4 at 80% of 1 rep max
Front Squat
1 x 5 at 60% of 1 rep max
3 x 5 at 70% of 1 rep max

Post loads to comments or BTWB

Nobody tells Joannie which way she faces!

Nobody tells Joannie which way she faces!

We have so many new faces at the gym and some may wonder what they should bring with them on a daily basis to avoid those *face palm* moments in which you forget socks for rope climbs or tape for lifting days.

WHAT’S IN YOUR BAG? – reposted from 9/5/14

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.  Verve does have goat tape available for purchase and can be rang in through the Square system.

#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 160908

For time:
Strict muscle ups
Strict deficit handstand push ups
*15 Minute time cap

Post times to comments and BTWB

Were you a regular attendee of Dan's Tuesday gymnastics class? Then you might be ready for today's gymnastic workout.

Were you a regular attendee of Dan’s Tuesday gymnastics class? Then you might be ready for today’s gymnastic workout.


Thursday September 15th Verve is hosting a Beginner Nutrition lecture. This lecture is open to Verve members and non-Verve members at no charge. As I prepare to offer up the necessary information to those in attendance, I am sitting referencing World Class Fitness in 100 Words By Greg Glassman. Sound familiar? Well, if you’ve never had the opportunity to read this, now you can:

“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. Practice and train major lifts: Deadlift, clean, squat, presses, C&J, and snatch. Similarly, master the basics of gymnastics: pull-ups, dips, rope climb, push-ups, sit-ups, and presses to handstand, pirouettes, flips, splits, and holds. Bike, run, swim, row, etc., hard and fast. Five or six days per week mix these elements in as many combinations and patterns as creativity will allow. Routine is the enemy. Keep workouts short and intense. Regularly learn and play new sports.”
– Coach Greg Glassman, CrossFitFounder and CEO (Courtesy of CrossFit Inc.)

The first sentence is CrossFit’s nutrition prescription. Eating for both health and wellness and eating for performance. For the lecture in 2 weeks I will be diving into this sentence even more and hopefully answer all your nutrition questions. But what about the other 74 words? CrossFit Redding did a great job of breaking down Glassman’s World Class Fitness in 100 Words for us to truly see his vision of health, wellness, and fitness. 

Practice and train major lifts: Deadlift, clean, squat, presses, C&J, and snatch. The health benefits of functional weight training have been proven time and time again. With poor nutrition and the inevitable factor of aging, our bones lose density and osteoperosis becomes a legitimate threat to our wellbeing. But have no fear because lifting weights has been proven to increase bone density and keep away this painful disease.

Not only are we concerned with the strength of our bones, but muscles will strengthen and body fat will decrease as well as coordination, agility, and flexibility – all being the benefits of throwing some weight around. Remember that the functional movement we train and use promote compound movements that use multiple joints, including your hips which are prime movers. Another benefit of strength training is, yes you guessed it,….strength!

Similarly, master the basics of gymnastics: pull-ups, dips, rope climb, push-ups, sit-ups, and presses tohandstand, pirouettes, flips, splits, and holds. We all let out a curse or two when a gymnastic workout is released. But pull-ups, dips rope climbs, and the other basic moves are not only a great conditioning tool, but help you to become more mindful of your overall body awareness. Learning to control your own body is important. As a child we learn basic motor recruitment skills and as we age, it is up to us to continue practicing new skills. Basic motor skills should be developed and used daily which is what we try to do daily in the class WOD’s. Don’t take your basic motor skills (or fined tune ones, either) for granted.

Bike, run, swim, row, etc, hard and fast. Five or six days per week mix these elements in as many combinations and patterns as creativity will allow. Don’t worry this is our part -we’ll make sure you run…and row…really hard and really fast. But you’re the one responsible for the time commitment: five to six times a week. Swim if you haven’t been swimming in a while, jump on a bike and pedal or go for at trail run and learn what it feels like to run on an uneven surface at speed and for distance – vary your training. Can you still lift your legs when you’re tired, fatigued, and your heart rate is elevated? Challenge yourself and if you think you can’t, do it anyway. 

Routine is the enemy. Keep workouts short and intense. This is why it is never the same when you walk into the door, the daily whiteboard is always a surprise. We may program in a short strength routine or progression, but never the same workout over and over again. Burpees every day?… No thanks (you’re welcome)! Our bodies learn to adapt to the physical activity that we put it through, so a constantly varied program is needed for continued results – to burn fat, strengthen the muscles and mentally speaking, to never get bored with the same routine. Our physical work varies from short and intense to longer “grinders” that test us both mentally and physically across a wide spectrum.

So what to do with all this fitness?

Regularly learn and play new sports. Go out and try something new, whether it be stand-up paddle boarding, mountain biking, tennis, volleyball, or fencing. Whatever the sport, we urge you to challenge yourself to something you never thought possible. The tools are there so go use them!

For full article by CrossFit Redding click here.

Wednesday 160907

3 Rounds for Max Calories:
10Deadlifts at 40 percent of 1 rep max
2 minutes max calories on rower
Rest 2 minutes between rounds

After the third round rest 5 minutes then:

3 Rounds for Max Burpees:
8 Hang power cleans at 40% of 1 rep power clean
1 Minute as many reps as possible of:
Burpees over the bar
rest 2 minutes between rounds

Post Results to BTWB.


Check out the video posted above of our own, Paul, talking with Emily Schromm about the changes you should expect to see in the beginning stages of adapting a new diet. In the video we break down some common myths and try to give realistic expectations. Below are 3 common myths and 3 things you should expect with starting a new diet:


  1. If I don’t see the scale change that means my body composition isn’t changing. 
  2. The number on the scale is the only thing that matters. 
  3. The less food you eat, the more weight you will lose. 

Expectations of new diet:

  1. More energy in the morning and throughout the day. 
  2. Better sleep. 
  3. Less need for the afternoon coffee, which is another reason you may have trouble with sleep. 

Check out the video and let us know what you think. Also, this is the last week of our two week free trial for our new Barbell Class. This week we will run classes on Wednesday and Friday at 7p and Saturday at 12:30p. Everyone should come on out this week to check out what the program has to offer. 

Tuesday 160906

As many rounds as possible in 10 minutes of:
60 Double unders
30 Alternating dumbbell power snatch

Post reps to BTWB

Paul always knows when a camera is about to take a photo.

Paul always knows when a camera is about to take a photo.

A while back we did a squat program that was based on German volume training.  The first week most people were very sore and there was even a Facebook page dedicated to the program where people could vent.  By the end of the program most had seen a gain in muscle endurance for their squat which was the overall goal.

Starting this Friday and continuing for the next 3 weeks, I’m going to program another squat program with the overall goal being two fold, muscle endurance but also strength gain.  The program will include both the back squat and the front squat.  The program I based our programming on is The Hatch Squat Program.  Some of you might be familiar with the Hatch program, which calls for 2 days a week of squatting.  I’m modifying ours to benefit our overall general physical preparedness.  

Over the next 3 Fridays we will be using percentage of our 1 rep back squat and front squat and be doing multiple sets at varying percentages.  The overall volume ranges from 48 total reps to 56 reps total for both squats and the percentages range from 60% – 85% depending on the number of squats.  Everything will be explained in greater detail in class, but I wanted to program a consistent squat program for those of us that are looking to make gains in our squat or have more exposure to the squats.  The purpose of the advance notice is to give you plenty of time to plan accordingly.  The goal with the 3 week program will be consistency so try and make Friday WOD’s for the next 3 weeks.  Don’t worry if you are new and don’t know what your maxes are.  The program will make you comfortable with the 2 squats and we will have a plan for everyone. 

To make things a little easier on you, you’ll be using the following percentages for the lifts:

60%, 65%, 70%, 75%, 80%, 85% of  your back squat max and 60%, 70%, 75%, 80% of your front squat.  Sets and reps will vary, but if you know the above percentages, you won’t have to spend too much time with a calculator in class.

If you have any questions, you can email me at

Monday 160905

In teams of two complete the following for time:
200 Wall Balls 20#(14#)*

*Every 50 reps team must run 400 meters with medball. Partners have to switch who carries the medball every 200 Meters during run including a 400 meter run after the 200th wallball.

Post Results to BTWB.

Management at Verve wants you to enjoy your holiday weekend!

Management at Verve wants you to enjoy your holiday weekend!

First off all – Happy Labor Day! Second of all, we at Verve are looking forward to seeing you all tomorrow on hopefully a day that you don’t have to go to work. Monday, 9/5, we will have class at 9a and 1130a with Open Gym between 10-1130a. Come get your workout on before heading out to the barbecue. Below are three easy steps to take to make sure a holiday barbecue doesn’t get in the way of your goals:

  1. Choose a lean, unprocessed protein.
    • It very easy to head over to Whole Foods and pick up a lean cut of ground beef or ground turkey to turn into patties to throw on the grill. 
  2. Stock up on fresh veggies.
    • Instead of going for the hamburger and hot dog buns, buy some peppers and onions and make some kebobs to put on the grill as a healthier option. 
  3. Keep count of the alcohol. 
    • No, a 1-2 drinks on a special occasion will not completely throw your goals out of line. However, 6+ in one sitting can easily do that. Go in with a plan for how many drinks you will allow yourself to have and stick to it. You will definitely thank yourself on Tuesday. 

Sunday 160904

5 Rounds for time:
3 Power snatch, 165#(115#)
10 Burpee pull-ups

Post reps to comments or BTWB

Never let go of summer!!

Never let go of summer!!

Summer isn’t over yet people!!! There is still time for BBQ!!! This recipe is from one of my favorite new macro-based blogs The Epicurian Bodybuilder.  This recipes’ macro breakdown includes BOTH the meat AND the slaw.


Macros for whole recipe: Protein 141g/Fat 14g/Carbs 14g/Calories 745


1 tablespoon light brown sugar

1 ¼ teaspoons salt

black pepper to taste

1 teaspoon paprika

1 lb skinless chicken breasts

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon ketchup

2 large cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon Sriracha (optional)

2 cups kale coleslaw mix or cole slaw mix


1. Preheat the oven to 375 F degrees (190 C). In a small bowl, mix ½ tablespoon brown sugar, salt, pepper, and paprika.

2. In a large baking dish, place the chicken breasts and rub with the spice mixture; cover with foil. Roast until cooked through, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let cool slightly (keep the baking dish with the pan juices). Reduce the oven temperature to 275 F (135 C) degrees .

3. In a medium bowl, whisk the vinegar, ketchup, garlic, Sriracha and the remaining brown sugar and  about ¼ tsp. each salt and pepper for the sauce.

4. Shred the chicken and then add ½ of the sauce and coat chicken. Cover with foil and place in the oven until the chicken is heated through, about 15 minutes.

5. Toss the coleslaw mix with the remaining sauce. Pile the chicken on buns (I used a brioche bun) and top it with the slaw or eat it with just the slaw. 


-Labor Day there will be classes at 9am and 11:30am, with Open Gym from 10am – 11:30am


Saturday 160903

5 Rounds for reps, with a 2 minute running clock:
5 Muscle-ups
150′ Shuttle sprint
Max effort push jerk, 155#(105#)
Rest 3 minutes

Post reps to comments and BTWB

Do you even mobilize bro? May be you should. All the cool kids are doing it.

Do you even mobilize bro? May be you should. All the cool kids are doing it.


What’s on the agenda this month. . . and next month. . . and the month after?

Monday is Labor Day, Verve has an abbreviated schedule. Please check MBO and sign up for the class you wish to attend.

CrossFit Games Team Series starts Tuesday September 6th. Click here for more information and to register a team. The workouts needed for the competition will need to be done during open gym hours. 

Free introductory Nutrition Lecture will be Thursday September 15th @ 7pm. We will be canceling our last class for the day to host the lecture. For 1 for we will discuss CrossFit’s nutrition prescription of eating for wellness (paleo) and eating for performance (zone). There will be time for Q&A at the end. This lecture is open to everyone, including non Verve members.

Verve will be hosting 3 separate CrossFit trainer courses throughout October and November:

October 8th-9th- CrossFit Level 1 Trainer Course

The Level 1 Certificate Course is an introduction to CrossFit’s methodology and foundational movements. The course includes classroom instruction on these topics, as well as hands-on small-group training for the movements. These group sessions are conducted under low intensity with a focus on improving mechanics. Students’ movements are observed and corrected, and they engage in dialogue concerning effective coaching techniques. Large group CrossFit workouts are conducted as an example of bridging the gap from theory to practice. These workouts provide examples of how to:

-Conduct a class.
-Hold a standard of effective technique at high intensity.
-Achieve relative high levels of intensity for each individual.
-Scale for any ability level.

The Level 1 provides introductory education on the fundamental principles and movements of CrossFit. It is structured to meet two goals: 1) Provide attendees with the knowledge to better use CrossFit methods for themselves; and 2) Provide attendees with an initial and foundational education to begin training others using CrossFit.

Click here to register

October 15th-16th- CrossFit Kids Trainer Course

The purpose of this course is to learn specific methods for teaching CrossFit to children and adolescents. Participants learn techniques to overcome the unique challenges of teaching kids CrossFit methodology, as well as how a CrossFit Kids program can help build one’s affiliate. Attendees will also see how CrossFit Kids is changing the lives of children and teens around the world for the better. Other topics covered include neurological development as it relates to exercise, weightlifting, health and safety, programming, teaching styles, class structure, and kids games. Throughout the course, participants learn how to pair fitness with fun – which is essential in promoting a lifetime of fitness. Affiliate owners, teachers, coaches, parents, home-schooling families and others benefit from learning this unique, kid-friendly approach to teaching CrossFit.

Click here to register

November 5th-6th- CrossFit Competitor’s Course

This course is designed for athletes, and the coaches of athletes of any skill level, interested in competing in fitness competitions – be it local competitions or official CrossFit competitions such as the Open, Regionals, or the CrossFit Games. This is an advanced course that builds on the CrossFit methodology, movement technique and programming presented at the Level 1 and Level 2 Certificate Courses. The course focuses on all aspects of training necessary to best prepare for an upcoming competition: programming, nutrition, mental preparation, movement technique and workout analysis. Participants should come prepared to participate in lectures, small-group training sessions and workouts. Peers and instructors provide coaching, evaluation and feedback in interactive lectures and group work.

Click here to register

Stay tuned for more details about those weekends and workout times. 

Friday 160902

Take 15 minutes to work up to a heavy clean

Then, 3 x max effort set hang clean @ 60% of today’s heaviest
Rest 3 minutes between efforts

Post load to comments or BTWB


I posted this video because there is a great online competition starting called the CrossFit Team Series!! If you have never done a competition before, an online competition is a great way to start, especially if there are several other teams from you gym doing it; it is a safe environment along with familiar faces and equipment.  Last year we had 5 teams competing and we would meet every week and do the workouts side by side.  I would like to invite you and three of your CrossFit friends to join this competition and workout out with my team: A LITTLE MORE SHOW THAN GO (Anna M, Courtney S, Nate R, and Zink).  Follow this link to sign you and your team up and workouts start next week.  Here are some details straight from the website:

The Team Series tests the fitness of four-person teams, two men and two women.

It starts Sept. 6, with the release of multiple team workouts. Teams will have six days to get together, complete the work, and submit their scores before the deadline: 5 p.m. PT, Sept. 12. Less than a month later, CrossFit will release the final set of team workouts, which will take place Oct. 4-10.

Teams will be able to choose between two versions of each workout: Rx’d or Scaled.

There will be three divisions: Open (all ages), Teenage (14-17) and Masters (40+).

Registration is $80 for the vast majority of teams.

Shout out in comments if you plan on competing!


#1 – Keep nice with the neighbors.  Just a friendly reminder to NOT park in front of the welding shop in the driveways pictured below, they can’t get in or out.

Please steer clear of this driveway

Please steer clear of this driveway

Please don't park here either.

Please don’t park here either.

#2 – We will have an abbreviated schedule Labor day.  Group classes will be at 9am and 11:30am and Open Gym will be from 10am – 11:30am.

Thursday 160901

For time:
20 Kettlebell swing, 32kg(24kg)
30 Toes to bar
400m Run

Post times to comments and BTWB

3/4 sleeve Rogue shirt + tight grey sweats hiked up the calf="fashion", according to Stan and his twin Jay.

3/4 sleeve Rogue shirt + tight grey sweats hiked up the calf = “fashion”, according to Stan and his twin Jay.


CrossFit is just as good for the non-CrossFitter as it is for the CrossFitter. Say what? By (in small part) Courtney Shepherd and (in large part) Tony Leyland

CrossFit is considered a General Physical Preparedness Program, also known as GPP. In an article by Tony Leyland, published in the CrossFit Journal in September 2012, the author explains why general physical preparedness is a good thing for everyone from elite level athletes to beginners. CrossFit is considered the sport for the non specialist. We specialize in not specializing. Which turns out to be one of the biggest criticisms from the non CrossFiting world. For those athletes that do, in fact, specialize in a sport, their argument is how can we be really good at any one thing when we are constantly working on everything. CrossFitters will never have a 4 minute mile or a 1,000 lbs deadlift. Our argument as CrossFitters would be that we don’t want either of those things. Because if I have a 4 minute mile, I probably can’t deadlift by backpack. And if I have a 1,000 lbs deadlift, my cardio for the day consists of walking to and from my car. As CrossFitters we want a happy blend of both worlds, which is entirely possible. There are some CrossFit athletes out there with 5 minute miles and 500 plus pound deadlifts. I don’t know what you think about that, but I’d say well blended my friend, well blended.

Tony Leyland states, “. . . as the understanding of CrossFit grows, two large groups of people will view CrossFit as either beyond their capability and/or not relevant to their training needs. One group comprises competitive athletes who think CrossFit workouts are not relevant to their sport. The second and larger group comprises those looking for general fitness, those who are by nature not competitive and those who believe the general misconception that aerobic conditioning is all they need.” Building a strong work capacity across broad time and modal domains will help all athletes achieve their goals. For the non-competitive persons, this broad and general fitness can help them perform their daily activities more easily and reduce injuries.

Here is what Greg Glassman, founder and CEO of CrossFit, has to say about a General Physical Preparedness Program and CrossFit:

• GPP is the most underdeveloped and neglected aspect of athletic training, especially in elite athletes.

CrossFit produces an unmatched GPP in novice, intermediate, and advanced athletes regardless of their prior training and sport.

• Every athlete we’ve worked with, from Olympic medalists to UFC legends, has some glaring chink in his/her GPP, and it takes at most two hours, two sessions, on average to find these chinks.

• Fixing these chinks, these deficiencies, has an immediate benefit within your sport and very often in ways not quite obvious mechanically and perhaps metabolically. For instance, more pull-ups make for better skiing and skiers. Upper-body pushing movements make for better rowing and rowers. Anaerobic training is a boon to endurance athletes.

There’s greater margin for improving performance in elite athletes by improving GPP with CrossFit than can be garnered through additional sport-specific training.

• “CrossFit produces a ‘ready state’ from which more advanced or sport-specific training becomes very efficient.” —Mark Twight

• CrossFit will for many sports reduce the total training volume, reduce training injuries, and allow more time for vital sport specific skills and drills.

• CrossFit is more fun and seems more athletic to experienced athletes than does traditional GPP.

• CrossFit has athletes improving their fitness for years beyond, to levels significantly beyond, traditional GPP.

• Sport training and physiology are not so well understood that highly specialized strength and conditioning routines are optimally effective.

Greg Glassman and Tony Leyland are not suggesting that to be a specialist in a sport doesn’t require a great amount of training in that sport. They are both merely stating the great benefits that come from GPP, improving over all fitness to a point that allows specialists to advance in their specialty. Can we possibly make the argument that working on the mechanics of, and mastering the kipping pull-up will have a benefit to the soccer player’s throw in? Or working on a kettle bell swing, thruster, or sumo deadlift high pull can help improve the core to extremity power for a baseball player stepping up to bat?

As for the general public, the non-competator, the person who simply wants health, happiness, and longevity in their lives, “If you are not a specialized athlete, your training should be aimed at keeping you healthy and prepared for the variety of challenges life will often throw at you. Unfortunately, many individuals with no aspirations to be competitive athletes train only in one or two physical skill areas and only in the oxidative energy system. Hence, they become specialized without intending to. Many others just lift weights and are only fit to lift weights. The net result is that many of the exercising public totally ignore, or are unaware of, the need for GPP. A strong argument to make when suggesting a non-athlete try CrossFit is that there are diminishing returns when you keep doing the same thing over and over.”

Imagine, if you will, some of our daily activities. Picking up a 35 lbs bag of dog food off the ground and heaving it into the back of an SUV, tripping and falling on the ground, then having to pick yourself back up, sitting down on the couch/ toilet/ bed and then standing back up without needing assistance. These things look like a clean & jerk, a burpee, and a squat. All functional movements that if trained outside of real life applications would mean that facing them in our everyday lives would be that much easier. Or what about having to carry a crying child, several bags of groceries, up several flights of stairs, with the other child clinging to your leg as you walk. . . that’s basically a WOD, for time. Our bodies are made to be challenged, and training for these challenges makes them easier when they show up in the real world.

No matter the kind of athlete you are or wish to become, I will simply end on this, as Tony Leyland said it best, it takes a larger foundation to build a church than it does to build an outhouse. So get your GPP on my friend, CrossFit is for everyone.

*For full CrossFit Journal article, click here.

Wednesday 160830

For time:
50 Box jump, 24″(20″)
25 Handstand push-ups
40 Box jump, 24″(20″)
20 Handstand push-ups
30 Box jump, 24″(20″)
15 Handstand push-ups
20 Box jump, 24″(20″)
10 Handstand push-ups
10 Box jump, 24″(20″)

5 Handstand push-ups

Post Results to BTWB.

I want to do Barbell Class, but I can’t do a bodyweight Overhead Squat, what should I do next? Why is this one of the two only requirements for Barbell Class?

First of all, I would like to talk about the bodyweight Overhead Squat. In CrossFit it is a benchmark to be able to do 15 reps of the Overhead Squat unbroken at bodyweight, so asking for one is not something that isn’t reasonable. The main reason for this requirement is to make sure that your shoulders can support the load and volume of going overhead anywhere between 3-4 days a week. It’s to make sure that the members of CrossFit Verve remain healthy and functioning properly. It’s because we care.

Next, if you do not have that bodyweight Overhead Squat, what can you do? Well, there are two ways to attack this thing in my mind, mobility and stability. What do you need most? It depends on whether you find it more difficult to get into a position like the bottom of a snatch or if you find it more difficult holding the weight overhead. Mobility would be more of a position issue, where stability would be if you tend to shake uncontrollably the second you are at the top of an Overhead Squat, Snatch or Jerk. 

How should you address mobility issues for Olympic Lifting? There are some unique spots that really affect the positions of the Snatch and Clean and Jerk. Places that you should address are your Thoracic Spine, Hips and Ankles. Some good drills are listed below

  1. T:Spine
    1. Foam Roller T:Spine Extensions x 10 reps x 3 spots
    2. Side Lying T:Spine Rotations x 6-8 reps/side x 2-3 sets
    3. Wall Angels x 10 reps x 2-3 sets
  1. Hips:
    1. Psoas Mash x 2:00-3:00/side
    2. Banded Couch Stretch x 2:00-3:00/side
    3. Pigeon Pose x 2:00-3:00/side
  2. Ankles:
    1. Banded Dorsiflexion Stretch x 1:00-2:00/side
    2. Banded Ankle Distractions x 10-15 reps/side
    3. Bottom of Foot Mash x 2:00-3:00/side

Now what about if stability is your issue? I recommend spending some time adding in certain drills before or after your training. Some of the drills that I like to do for sticking spots such as overhead stability and the bottom of the squat are listed below:


  1. Overhead Positon
    1. Snatch/Jerk Grip Overhead Hold Carry
      1. Using Kettlebell
      2. Using Barbell
      3. Using Bamboo Bar
  2. Bottom Position (Squat)
    1. Squat Holds 
      1. Start unloaded and progress your way to holding empty barbells in the back and front squat for up to 2-3 minutes at a time. 
    2. Sott’s Press
Hopefully this answers some of your questions about the Overhead Squat requirement and what you can do to make sure that you are on board for Cycle 2!