Saturday 140712

Partner “Lumberjack 20″

20 Deadlifts, 275# (185#)
Run 200m w/ med ball 20# (14#)
20 Kettlebell swings, 70# (53#)
Run 200m w/ med ball 20# (14#)
20 Overhead squats, 115# (75#)
Run 200m w/ med ball 20# (14#)
20 Burpees
Run 200m w/ med ball 20# (14#)
20 Chest to bar pullups
Run 200m w/ med ball 20# (14#)
20 Box jumps, 24″ (20″)
Run 200m w/ med ball, 20# (14#)
20 DB Squat cleans, 40# (25#)
Run 200m w/ med ball 20# (14#)

In a team of 2, one partner runs, while other partner completes 20 reps of task. Switch before moving on to next task.

Post time to comments and BTW.

IMG 0141 475x712 Saturday 140712

Eddie hitting his post WOD accessory work hard on a beautiful summer day.

Free Saturday Intro class at 8am.  Next Foundations Program begins Monday, July 21 at 7pm.  Looking to get started with us?  Email to get signed up or with any questions.

Friday 140711

Hang snatch 2-2-2-2-2
Bench press 3-3-3
Snatch grip deadlift 3-3-3

Post load to comments or BTWB

IMG 0233 475x712 Friday 140711

Aleidis still working on her fitness whilst growing a young one!

 The Other Side of Grip Strength

Harkening back to a couple of weeks ago, there was a post regarding how to build better grip strength.  There is a whole other side to having a strong grip….. your forearm extensors.  The forearm extensors help to open the hand, extend the wrist, and move the fingers.  How does this relate to grip strength?  If we work so much on working the muscles to close the hand and don’t work conversely to work on the opening of the hand, then we create an imbalance.  This imbalance can lead to tight and overworked muscles, wrist pain, and elbow pain.   What also contributes to that weakness/fatigue is that we live in a land where computers consume a lot of our daily time, we type our reports, update our status’, act like we are working when the boss is looking.  Little do we realize, our forearm extensors are doing lots of work continuously holding our wrists up and moving our fingers to type those words.

A great exercise to work on the muscular endurance of your forearm extensors and help with wrist and elbow pain is Banded Hand Opening.  All you need is a thick (about 1/2″) rubber band.

Step #1 – Place the band around the tips of the fingers including the thumb.
Step #2 – Open the fingers, fighting the tension of the rubber band.
Step #3 – Repeat for 2 – 3 sets for 15 reps.

Watch the following video for a GREAT stretch to do throughout the day and before workouts that will help to loosen the forearm extensors.


JULY 19TH – HINSHAW SEMINAR: A few spots are still available.  Go to the Events page for more details and registration.
JULY 26th – VERVE POOL PARTY: 2pm – 5pm @ the pool @ Exdo Center
AUGUST 2ND – IN-HOUSE OLYMPIC LIFTING COMPETITION – e-mail for all of the fun details!

Thursday 140710


3 Rounds for time of:
21 Deadlifts, 185#(125#)
15 Pull-ups
9 Front squats, 185#(125#)

Post times times to comments and BTWB

IMG 0192 475x316 Thursday 140710

There’s never a bad time for a “Gun Show”. Just ask these guys.

That was intense. Continued musings by the one and only C-Shep, #whatsupwiththat

If you have been paying attention then you have possibly picked up on a theme for the past several Thursdays. Mechanics, Consistency, and . . . wait for it . . . wait for it . . . INTENSITY!! I covered the importance of mechanics, poor movement leads to injuries. Then I addressed consistency, we have to do it right a lot of times to create good muscle memory and help us achieve our goals, again, pain/ injury free. And now here we are, at the last word in a short motto used to promote  the understanding behind why we do what we do, intensity. Intensity is described in the CrossFit Level 1 training guide as “the independent variable most commonly associated with maximizing favorable adaptation to exercise.” Simply put, we train hard because we want to see the results of our efforts, be it heavier lifts, improved gymnastics abilities, decreased body fat, etc. Intensity is our results. As our adaptation to exercise changes over time, our level of intensity changes. Which is why we say that CrossFit is for anyone and everyone. 

I’ve had friends tell me CrossFit looks “intense”. They tell me they’ve seen it on TV and there is no way they could do that. I know immediately they are referencing the CrossFit Games, and I would agree, it definitely looks pretty intense. But that is when I am quick to the charge to tell them that CrossFit is infinitely scaleable, and it’s intensity is proportionate to their abilities. There are two kinds of intensity, relative  and absolute. Absolute intensity refers to the numbers behind the work being done. Every time you perform an air squat you move your body weight a set distance. I can plug the numbers referring to your weight, your height, and the number of squats performed in a given amount of time into an equation (force x distance/ time) and come up with a number. That number represents the amount of power you produced doing air squats. Cool. So what’s that mean to me? Do I get to walk around and brag about that number, “Hey guys, check it out. I just produced 21,000 foot pounds per minute. Jealous much?” Well, actually, you can. It’s pretty cool to sit back and plug the numbers in and have that perspective, but as I feel like I’ve dazzled you enough with my giant math brain, let’s move on to relative intensity. 

Relative intensity is just like it sounds, it’s relative to each individual person. Relative intensity is different from one person to the next. CrossFit HQ quoted Matt Chan in a tweet saying, “Should grandma do CrossFit? Absolutely grandma should do CrossFit.” That tweet gave a link to an article in which Matt describes how grandma doing CrossFit may not look like a twenty something year old doing CrossFit, but they will both walk away getting the fitness they needed. We do this everyday. We scale WODs, we cut reps, we decrease weight, we modify movements. All of this is to give each individual athlete their relative intensity for that given WOD. Sometimes it’s hard to do those scales, to make those modifications. We tend to think doing that will rob us of our intensity. We are only as intense as we are powerful and we are only as powerful as we are intense. We can get the results out of anything if we put power and intensity into it. Maybe one day we lighten the load too much, we cut the reps too much, we scale the WOD too much. No such thing. We simply move faster and we create a different intensity, one where we do unbroken sets of reps, we never take a break and stop moving, we hold on to the bar the whole time. And then we walk away knowing we can do more for the next time. 

CrossFit is intense. But that intensity is relative to each person needs. Grandma needs to be able to sit down and stand up without help. I need to be able to front squat the equivalent of a small pony so I can be the fittest woman in the world. When a workout with front squats shows up I’m working out right next to grandma, she may be doing air squats to a box and I may be doing 125# front squats, we are both experiencing intensity and increasing our fitness relative to our needs. 

So why is intensity last? Because if I don’t have good mechanics consistently then I can’t increase my intensity. I can’t increase the load or add in more reps. If I focus on intensity first then it goes back to the idea of poor mechanics over time leading to injury. Mechanics, Consistency, Intensity, it’s not just a catchy phrase, it’s a guide to getting results safely and efficiently.

*In-house Oly Meet Saturday August 2nd @ 2pm. $10/ athlete. Sign up by emailing me @ Never participated in an Oly meet before? No better time to give it a shot. 

Wednesday 140709

10 rounds for time of:
5 pull-ups
5 push-ups

5 rounds for time of:
10 GHD sit-ups
10 hip extentions

2 rounds for time of:
25 wall-ball shots, 20-lb. ball
25 box jumps, 24-inch

**Rest as needed between couplets.

Post time for each couplet to comments or BTWB

IMG 0219 475x316 Wednesday 140709

Those who workout together, mobilize together.

Here is a delicious chicken salad that I found on The CrossFit Kitchen.  You can add some apples or artichoke hearts or put your desired amount into a halved pepper to get some extra carb blocks.

Chicken Salad


1 lb. 14 oz. chicken
4 bell peppers, chopped
6 cups celery, chopped
1 1/2 cups onion, chopped
2 eggs
2 limes
~ 1/4 cup mustard (to taste)
2 tbs. curry powder

1 cup slivered almonds


1. Grill chicken in a skillet.

2. Chop peppers, celery and onion.

3. Dice grilled chicken into bite-sized pieces.

4. Mix chicken, peppers, celery and onions together in a large bowl.

5. In a separate bowl, squeeze limes and mix in eggs, mustard and curry powder.

6. Stir dressing well.

7. Add dressing and slivered almonds

to the chicken and vegetables.

8. Stir well. 

 A rounded 1/2 cup of Chicken Salad contains approximately 1 block of protein, a 1/4 block of carbohydrate and 1 block of fat. Simply eat an additional 3/4 block of carbohydrate for a complete 1-block meal.


Tuesday 140708

Hang clean below knee 2-2-2-2-2
Back squat 3-3-3
Clean pull 3-3-3

Post weights to BTWB

IMG 0205 475x712 Tuesday 140708

If this doesn’t scream America, then nothing does. James taking care of business during the July 4th partner WOD.

How in tune with your breathing are you?  If you are someone that practices meditation or yoga then the answer is probably better than most.

Controlled breathing is a great way to keep the mind and body functioning, can lower blood pressure, promote feelings of calm and relaxation, and help us get rid of stress.

Here are six breathing techniques to try if you are feeling stressed, looking for a way to get rid of negative feelings, or simply want to look cool.  I tried all six before deciding to include them in the post and trust me I looked cool, but also say positive results.  The full article, which contains a more detailed explanation, the below is referenced from can be found here, 6 Breathing Exercises to Relax in 10 Minutes or Less.

Sama Vritti or “Equal Breathing”  Inhale for a count of four all through the nose then exhale for a count of four through the nose.  This technique is great before bed.  

Abdominal Breathing Technique:  With one hand on the chest and the other on the stomach, take a deep breath in through the nose making sure the diaphragm inflates with enough air to fill the lungs.  The goal is 6 -10 deep slow breaths per minute for 10 minutes.  

Nadi Shodhana or “Alternate Nostril Breathing” Close off the right nostril with the right thumb and inhale through the left nostril.  At the peak of inhalation, close the left nostril with the ring finger and breathe out through the right nostril.  Continue the pattern inhaling through the right nostril, closing it off and exhaling through the left.  

Kapalabhati or “Skull Shining Breath” Begin with a long, slow inhale.  Exhale quickly from the lower belly, both through the nose.  When comfortable, up the pace to one inhale-exhale every one or two seconds.  

Progressive Relaxation: Tense and relax each muscle group for 2 – 3 seconds, start at the bottom with the toes and work your way up all while maintaining deep and slow breaths.  

Guided Visualization:  Breathe deeply while focusing on pleasant, positive images to erase negative thoughts.  

If you have other techniques that work post them to comments.

Monday 140707

10 rounds for time of:
3 Weighted ring dips, 45 lb.
5 Strict ring dips
7 Kipping ring dips

For a round to be counted, all 15 rings dips must be completed before resting.

Post scores to BTW.

Willpower Monday 140707

Stop Sabotaging Your Gains by Colby Knepp

The topic of motivation interests me. More specifically, the topic of staying motivated and making continual progress in life, and in the gym (because all we really want is GAINS).

I’ve struggled with self-sabotaging my progress for as long as I can remember. For example, I would train very hard and consistently for three or four weeks at a time, making great progress, and then would TOTALLY fall off the wagon for the next two or three weeks. During these two or three weeks of “down time”, my eating habits went to crap, and I would beat myself up daily, saying things like, “You’re better than this! Get back in the gym you lazy POS!”, or “I am doomed to always be lazy and fat!” That, of course, isn’t productive behavior what so ever. Learning to eliminate this negative self-talk has been super beneficial in my life, but that wasn’t the biggest change for me.

What I eventually learned, through lots of trial and error, is that our willpower is limited. I was burning through my willpower like dollar Miller Lites on Ladies Night, and when it ran out, I was doomed.

The biggest change for me came after learning (and accepting) that our willpower is limited. That we LITERALLY only have so much willpower on a given day. Don’t believe me? Consider this:

  • Your co-workers brings in some delicious looking pastries to work. You opt out, exercising the power of your will (willpower minus 5)
  • Your boss sends you a nasty e-mail that makes you pissed! You type up an angry reply, only to not send it, again, exercising the power of your will (willpower minus 50).
  • Your buddies invite you out for beers on a Friday night, but that doesn’t really fit with your health and performance goals. You decline, exercising the power of your will (willpower minus 6).

That could be a typical Friday afternoon in your life.

By the time Friday night comes around, your tired, your willpower is null, and your hanging on for dear life. And in that moment, when you’re willpower is empty, is when the destructive behaviors begin. Bring on the Doritos, baby, because I don’t give a shit!

So, accept that your willpower is limited, and learn to strengthen your willpower through proper stress and recovery cycles, and you’ll be well on you’re way to “Gainsville”. (Get it? GAINS-ville? See what I did there?).

And, just for the record, sometimes it’s better to just eat the freaking pastry and get on with life.


Sunday 140706

As many reps as possible in 8:00 minutes:

2 Clusters,135# (95#)
2 Burpees over the bar
4 Clusters, 135# (95#)
4 Burpees over the bar
6 Clusters, 135# (95#)
6 Burpees over the bar

Post reps to comments and BTW.

zinkUSA e1404611642946 Sunday 140706

Team USA member and Verve athlete Lee Zink

Thank you to everyone who came out and joined us at the Colorado Outlaws game Friday evening and the Swim WODs on Saturday.  We’d like to give a shout out to Lee Zink who plays for the Colorado Outlaws and has been a longtime athlete at Verve.  He’s not only been the MLL Defensive Player of the Year the last two seasons, but also made Team USA for the upcoming 2014 FIL World Championships that are being hosted here in Denver over the next 2 weeks.  If you get a chance to check out the action either in person or on TV, cheer loudly for him!

Below is the USA game and TV schedule for the round robin games. The semi-finals will be Thursday, July 17 and Finals Saturday, July 19. The games will be played at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.


Thursday, July 10 7 p.m. Canada ESPN2
Saturday, July 12 5 p.m. Australia ESPNU
Sunday, July 13 5 p.m. Japan ESPNU
Monday, July 14 5 p.m. England ESPNU
Tuesday, July 15 5 p.m. Iroquois ESPNU


Many of you may have heard that Matt sustained a severe leg injury but is expected to make a full recovery.  Please continue to keep him in your thoughts and prayers throughout this process.  Thank you for all the love and positive vibes thus far.  Here’s to coming back stronger than before!

Saturday 140705

Swim WODs 9am & 10am only today at Berkeley Park Pool, see below.

Swim 50yds every 2:00 for 30:00 minutes

Be prepared for more instructions from trainer on site, have fun!

Post rounds to comments and BTW.

Swimming Workshop and WODs off-site of Verve today.  9am and 10am classes held at Scheitler Recreation Center at Berkeley Park.  Address is 5031 W. 46th Ave., 80212.  This is an outside pool, so bring your swimsuit, goggles, swim cap, and enthusiasm for vitamin D with friends.

Aerobic Capacity Seminar with Coach Chris Hinshaw  –  Saturday, July 19  2014 at CrossFit Verve

Sign up here!

This seminar is centered around developing your resistance to fatigue. Coach Hinshaw will lecture on understanding the sources of fatigue, how it develops and limits performance. He will also cover pacing – athlete on-boarding, assessing your aerobic efficiency, manipulation of workout variables, threshold training, dynamic vs static warm-up, and personalized interval programming. Another lecture will discuss muscle recruitment and development – the transition from CrossFit to endurance and the space in-between. The last lecture will cover developing aerobic capacity – programming endurance workouts (volume verses intensity, general to specific).

There will be two practical application workouts, including a run workout that focuses on the importance of pacing based on the standard list of programming variables (interval distance, workout distance, amount of rest, type of rest) and a row / ballistic team workout.  You will leave this one day seminar with a better understanding of the development of aerobic capacity and resistance to fatigue, as well as how to apply this knowledge to a workout scenario for CrossFit athletes.

A little about Coach Chris Hinshaw:

A former All American swimmer and an experienced professional triathlete with top international finishes including a 2nd place overall finish at the Hawaiian Ironman World Championships, 2-time member of Team USA at the Hawaiian Ironman, 2nd place overall finish at the Ironman World Championships in Canada, and a 1st place overall finish at Ironman Brazil.

Coach Chris has been a CrossFit athlete for almost 6 years. He specializes in endurance coaching for the CrossFit athlete. Chris is a CrossFit Level 1 trainer, CrossFit Competitor Course certified, Certified Rocktape Doc, NC Lab Scientist, and coach at NorCal CrossFit. Chris is the endurance coach to more than a dozen Games athletes including Jason Khalipa, Camille Leblanc-Bazinet, Matt Chan, Lindsey Valenzuela, Alessandra Pichelli, Dan Bailey, Lauren Fisher, Neal Maddox, Pat Barber, Garret Fisher, Gretchen Kettleberger, Rory Zambard, and Cole Sager.

Hours:  9AM–5PM, lunch 12PM–1PM

Address:  3344 Walnut St  Denver, CO 80205

Cost:  $150, via MBO sign-up here.  Non-refundable, non-transferrable.

Sign up here!


Friday 140704

In teams of 2 complete the following (can break up anyway, one person works at a time):
200 Double unders
100 Wall balls 20#(14#)
20 Muscle Ups
100 Med ball cleans 20#(14#)
40 Burpee box jumps 30″(24″)
100 KB swings 1.5 pood(1 pood)
60 Handstand push-ups
200 Double unders

Post time to comments or BTWB.

Captain America 008 475x644 Friday 140704

Nothing more American than Captain America, Uncle Sam, and a bald Eagle!!! ‘MERICA!!


When you come in for the workout, wear your most patriotic outfit to celebrate America!! 


On this most patriotic of weekends, many of us will fall off of the nutrition bandwagon and partake in some less-than-favorable food items.  To lessen the blow on our systems, there are easy ways we can sneak in some green leafy veggies into our favorite naughty foods.

Green leafy vegetables are a nutrient-dense, fiber-filled, protein-packed food that you can virtually eat in limitless amounts.  They contain folate, carotenoids such as lutein and zeaxanthin (which promote healthy vision), calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin’s K, C, E, and many B’s. Here are some tips for this weekend and moving forward on how to add more of these into your daily diet that do not include eating a HUGE salad several times per day:

BLENDING OR JUICING - Who says that Bloody Mary you are going to have can’t contain freshly-juiced Romain and Kale with some tomatoes and seasoning?  Green leafy vegetables don’t pack a bunch of flavor, so it is easy to add your favorite fruit or veggie for a flavor-packed punch.  Here is a great website for juicing recipes that include green leafy veggies.

BREAKFAST SCRAMBLES – As mentioned before, green leafy vegetables don’t ruin the flavor profile of your meal, so they are really easy to add to your eggs in a scramble or a bake.  You do not need to pre-steam or pre-cook them.  Add your greens towards the end of the cooking process and they will be the perfect texture.  When you are nursing a hangover this weekend from your delicious bloody mary’s and head to IHOP, have them add some spinach to your eggs and pancakes!

STEWS, CHILIS, AND SOUPS - You can chop any of the greens and simply add them to the recipe adding more color, texture, and visual interest to your pot.  Another great idea is to juice them and incorporate them into your base broth.  When you go to your July 4th Chili Cook Off with your mom’s favorite recipe in hand, sneak in a cup or two of spinach.

WRAPS INSTEAD OF TORTILLAS – Who doesn’t love a convenient, hand-wrapped pocket of deliciousness wrapped in a flour tortilla?  Another sneaky way to incorporate some greens is to forego the tortilla and use a Collard green leaf or a piece of Butter Lettuce.  Not only are they cheaper than tortillas, they are lard-free!

BURGER PATTIES AND MEATBALLS – No matter what mashed meat product you are making, you can add some spinach to the mix and enjoy some benefits.  This may not amount to a ton of greens but any little bit helps.

For more details and to read about all of the tips listed in this post, this article was found on  If you have any more ideas on how to sneak in more leafy greens into your diet, post them in the comments below.


  • Don’t forget to join us tonight @ the Denver Outlaws game AT 7PM, tickets are still available.  If you are still looking for somewhere to take the kiddos, this is a great, family-friendly event! 
  • FREE INTRO CLASS TOMORROW at 8am @ Verve.  Invite your friends who have been wanting to try-out CrossFit to see what it is you are talking about NON-STOP!
  • MARK YOUR CALENDAR – Saturday, July 26th @ 2pm  VERVE BEACH PARTY AT THE EXDO CENTER!! More details to follow.



Thursday 140703

Hang snatch 2-2-2-2-2
Bench press 3-3-3
Snatch grip deadlift 3-3-3 

Post loads to comments and BTWB

IMG 9991 475x356 Thursday 140703

Mike working on his breathing during his freestyle stroke. Yeah for swim WODs!!

The 1,000 Rep Problem, #whatsupwiththat – (Not originally by, but brought to your attention) By Courtney Shepherd

Last week I blogged about Mechanics, Consistency, and Intensity. I talked about why it is that mechanics comes first. Now I want to take this blogging opportunity to address consistency. Why do we need to be consistent? Do I really only want to be able to perform a lift perfectly once? Well, maybe, if I’m in a 1RM contest and I plan to retire immediately following that one perfect lift. But I don’t see that to be the case. Instead I foresee a WOD in which I will have to perform a lift upwards of 50 times. I want to make sure I can make that lift 50 times with good form, because as stated in the previous mechanics blog last week, we know there is a price to be paid for lifting with poor form. It is not enough to have good mechanics, I NEED to have them consistently.

There is an idea known as the “1,000 rep problem”. Matt Foreman wrote an article about this for the Catalyst Athletics website, you can click here to read the whole thing. This is what Matt has to say:

“The 1,000 rep problem is the situation that exists when a lifter has finally found the correct technique of the snatch or clean & jerk. After tons of work and coaching, they’ve done it right. But now they have to do it right another 1,000 times to memorize that correct movement.

We’re talking about things like muscle memory, nervous system memorization of a specific movement, motor learning, that kind of stuff. Some people think of this as learning correct technique and then making it a habit. I don’t really see it as a habit. I think of it as learning correct technique and then continuing to do it right until you basically don’t know how to do it wrong anymore. Habits are just recurring behaviors, like peeing in the shower. You can stop doing those things any time you want. I’m talking about a more fanatical level of performance, where your body just instinctively executes a certain movement because that’s all it knows how to do.

I think you have to do a massive number of correct lifts before you’ve got that kind of muscle memory. I picked 1,000 for the name of this concept because it emphasizes long-term development and it sounds cool. I know there’s no set-in-stone number.”

Fanatical level of performance? This article specifically targets the Olympic lifts but we can have a fanatical level of performance in anything, from the kipping pull-up to making our bullet proof coffee in the morning. It simply means taking the time to do something right and continuing to take the time to keep doing it right. What’s the rush? When we position our body correctly and move it through space maintaining that right position what results is correct form and highly efficient movement. The question becomes, how do we maintain correct form and highly efficient movement? Answer: Repetition. Even better answer: Repetition of the correct form and highly efficient movement. Anything that’s worth doing right is worth doing right a lot, like 1,000 times.

Some final thoughts:

- We only get the 1,000 rep problem after we’ve done it right for the first time. Our first correct rep is #1. There is the possibility some of us haven’t even had this rep yet. That’s okay. Our goal is to get that first good rep and work from there.

- Bad lifts don’t count towards our accumulated total. So if we’ve done 287 correct lifts and then we have a workout where our technique is lost, we make no attempts to correct it, and we wind up doing thirty sloppy snatches, we are still at 287 at the end of the day.

There is a word used in CrossFit that has become a favorite of mine, virtuosity, doing the common uncommonly well.  

Lighten the load, slow the pace, master the technique, strive to be virtuous. 

*Alright Ververs, we will be hosting a non sanctioned in-house Olympic Lifting meet on Saturday August 2nd @ 2pm. The cost is $10 per athlete. Have you been a committed VBBCer, now’s the time to show your progress. Haven’t been doing VBBC but still want to have the experience of an Oly meet and try for some PRs? Then sign up. To sign up please email me @ We will keep you posted with more details over the next few weeks. (Non-sanctioned means no worries about those singlettes, unless of course you want to wear one, we won’t judge. Well, we will judge you, on your lifts.)

*Get excited for more swim WODs!! This Saturday, July 5th, @ Berkley Pool at 9am and 10am. The WOD and directions to pool will be posted on the blog the night before. Sign up on MBO, free to members, $20 drop in fee for non members.