Thursday 160414

2 Rounds for time:
25 Toes to bar
15 Front squat, 155#(105#)

Post times to comments and BTWB

Emily is heading to the South Regionals!!

Emily is heading to the South Regionals!!


Verve’s own Emily Yates is in need of some major high fives and chest bumps.

After competing in the 5 weeks of the 2016 CrossFit Games Open, Emily finished in 17th place in the Southwest Region. This placing has earned Emily a spot at the South Regionals in Dallas, TX this May.

For those of you that may be new to the CrossFit Games, allow me to go into further detail. During the Open, the world in divided into 17 regions, CrossFit Verve is in the Southwest region. During the Open Emily was competing against approximately 7,100 other women for a spot in the top 20 to earn an invitation to Regionals. Yeah. You read that right. Emily came in 17th out of 7,100 women. 

During Regionals the 17 regions are combined together to make 8 super regions. The South Regional will take place the weekend of May 13th-15th in Dallas, TX. There Emily will compete against the top women from the Southwest region, Latin American, and the South Central region for a top 5 finish earning her an invitation to the CrossFit Games in Carson, CA in July. 

Emily was a regional competitor in 2014 but just missed the cut off in 2015. We are so very proud of her hard work and dedication that has helped her get back to regionals this year. To help support her on her trip Verve will be doing 2 things: 1) we will be making Verve regional shirts available through pre-order only, with proceeds going to Emily, 2) Saturday April 30th Verve will be hosting a fun in-house team competition all day at the cost of approximately $20 per person, again with all money going to Emily. This team competition will involve the pre released regional team workouts, giving Verve members an opportunity to see what it’s like to do that level of workout (we will of course have a scaled version of workouts). It is meant to be a fun filled atmosphere with tons of enthusiasm and encouragement, so stay tuned for more details. 

In the mean time, the next time you see Emily. . . high fives and chest bumps. She has 100% earned them.

Congratulations Emily!!!!

Wednesday 160413

For time:
Row 100 calories
*Every minute on the minute, perform 5 burpees

Post Results to BTWB.

The Swiss Bar, also known as the Multi Grip Bar.

The Swiss Bar, also known as the Multi Grip Bar.

Alright, after a week hiatus from “What are those?!”, we are back with Week 4. This edition will be with a focus on the Swiss Bar, which is also commonly known as the Multi Grip Bar. If you haven’t seen or used the Swiss Bar, you truly are missing a great training tool.

The Swiss Bar is great for all lifters who are looking to increase explosive strength. The neutral grip on this bar allow the athlete to both lower and lift the bar at a higher velocity do to the fact that the neutral grip ensures that the athlete doesn’t have to take as much time setting the shoulders in the correct position on the eccentric portion of the lift.

The other amazing benefit is that it takes a ton of stress off the shoulders during upper body pressing and can actually be another great tool to start adding back in after a shoulder injury. For this, I would recommend starting with your hands on the most narrow set of parallel handles to best mimic a close grip bench press. 

Due to the nature of the build, three sets of parallel handles, it’s an ideal tool for dynamic training. Having the option to switch your grip width, add chains and/or bands will allow you to customize the bar to your specific needs or rotate through your Max Effort and Dynamic Effort waves. The Swiss Bar is one of the quickest ways to bust plateaus with improved muscle recruitment.


Tuesday 160412

Back Squat

Tabata bottom to bottom air squats

Oh, Wheelie? Bike shop next to Verve.

Oh, Wheelie? Bike shop next to Verve.

Post weights to BTWB

The cool thing about moving into a new space is now we have some new neighbors.  I’m going to use the blog to spotlight some businesses that are near our location that I think might be useful to our members.

The first business I’m going to talk about is the bike shop Oh, Wheelie?.  They are located at the end of Larimer St  across Downing.  Just walk out the front door of Verve and look to your left and you’ll see their big metal sign featured in the picture above.    

Given all the construction around our new location and this construction being directly in my and many others bike commutes, it was inevitable that I was going to run over something and end up with a flat tire.  It took me less than 2 weeks of riding my bike to Verve for this to happen.  I decided that I would take my bike over to Oh, Wheelie? and have them take a look and fix whatever needed to be fixed.

Leeman, the owner of the shop, was super pleasant and had time to take care of my repair right when I walked in. He has a great set up with bike parts as well as bikes for sale.  There are also some vintage pinball games too!  I would have been perfectly fine with a simple fix of the tire, but Leeman took the time to look over my entire bike and basically gave my bike a tune up it so desperately needed.  In complete transparency, I bought the bike online and put it together myself, so I’m pretty sure it was only about 80% correct. Leeman made adjustments to the bike that make the bike seem like it’s brand new.  

I know the weather is beginning to get nice and many of us will be riding our bikes to the gym.  If you have any issues with your bike and need a friendly local shop to take a look, I recommend walking over to Oh, Wheelie?  and having Leeman work on your bikes.  

As a side note, we are also working on getting more bike racks in front of Verve.  I know there isn’t really a great spot to lock your bikes up but we are working on having some racks installed.  

If you have a local business that you think should be spotlighted, please email me,

Monday 161104

3 Rounds for time:
30 Double unders
4 Shoulder press, 135#(95#)
Rest 3 minutes

3 Rounds for time:
30 Double unders
8 Push press, 135#(95#)
Rest 3 minutes

3 Rounds for time:
30 Double unders
12 Push jerk, 135#(95#)

Post to BTWB

Throw back to Katie doing wall balls during the "It Takes a Team Competition."

Throw back to Katie doing wall balls during the “It Takes a Team Competition.”


*Reminder that this coming weekend we are hosting a Level 1 seminar at Verve so we will have 7 am classes on Saturday and Sunday and then the gym is closed for the remainder of the day.

On Saturday May 7th we will also be having an abridged schedule.  Starting at 10:00 am Verve will be hosting the “Mom and Me Self Defense Course.”  

There will be two sessions of the course.  

The morning session from 10:00 – 12:30 pm will be for younger children and their mothers.  Ages 6 – 11 are welcome.

The afternoon session from 1:30 – 4:00 pm will be for kids ages 12 and above.  

A little about the trainers teaching the course:

Chris Natzke, owner of his own studio, is volunteering his time to teach children ages 6 through 11 techniques to protect themselves from danger on the street to bullying in the classroom. Chris Natzke has been a dedicated student and teacher of martial arts, achieving the rank of 7th Degree Black Belt/Master Instructor, ranking him in the top 1% of all martial artists in the world, earning him the US National Taekwondo Championship.

CrossFit Verve member Dr. Kent Seidel, a Top Ranking instructor with Tracy’s Kenpo studio, is volunteering his time to teach children ages 12 and older how to be wise against Sex Trafficking approaches on the street! He will focus on avoiding and de-escalating dangerous situations as well as how to physically defend using easy to master moves.

Sessions are limited to 100 per class.  

Cost: $50 for 2(Mother and Child) and $15 for each additional child attending with their mothers!

Location: CrossFit VERVE, 3545 Larimer St., Denver CO 80205


Sunday 160410

Grace meets Isabel
For time:
30 Clean and jerks 135#(95#)
at the 10:00 mark
30 Snatches 135#(95#)
Score is time to complete C&J plus Snatches not including rest

Post time to comments or BTWB



Well, this looks awesome.  If you haven’t tried these Flatout ProteinUP flatbreads, they work with pretty much anything!! Here is a pizza recipe to try out with them.  You can see the whole recipe here 

BBQ Chicken Flatbread Pizza


  • 2 Flatout ProteinUP CORE 12 Flatbreads
  • 1/2 cup BBQ sauce
  • 1/3 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/3 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 6 oz. grilled chicken breast, torn into pieces
  • 1 tablespoon red onion
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro
  • non-stick baking spray
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a large baking sheet with non-stick baking spray. Put 2 tablespoons of BBQ sauce on each flatbread and spread evenly on the flatbreads. Sprinkle both cheeses over the flatbreads. Mix the remaining BBQ sauce with the grilled chicken and place on pizzas. Top with the diced onion. Bake for 5 minutes. Sprinkle the cilantro on top and serve.
– YOGA IS BACK!!! Come and visit Kacey at 11am!!!

Saturday 160409

10 Rounds for time of:
3 Weighted pull ups, 40#(25#)
5 Strict pull ups
7 Pull-ups

Post times to comments and BTWB

May the force be with you. . . during your pulling extravaganza today!!

Verve has A TON of events coming up, so get your calendars out and start writing this down.


Saturday 16th/ Sunday 17th– Verve hosts a Level 1 Seminar. We will have a 7am WOD Saturday and Sunday mornings. Verve will then be closed the rest of the day.

Monday 18th– Verve Sprint starts it’s 2 week trail run for current Verve members!! Sprint classes will be available Mon-Fri 5:45am, Mon- Thurs 5:15pm and 6:15 pm. Please see MBO and sign up for classes.

Saturday 23rd– Verve starts it’s new Saturday class schedule. WODs at 8am, 9am, and 10am. Open gym 11am- 12:30pm. Please check it out on MBO.

Saturday 23rd/ Sunday 24th– EXDO Event Center will be hosting Denver Flea from 10am-6pm. This will have an effect on Verve member’s abilities to get to our normal parking lot across from the front door. We will keep you updated as to the best places to park. For additional info about the event itself, click here.

Saturday 30th– Verve will be putting together an in house competition involving the Regional workouts. It is an event to help raise money to send Verve’s own Emily Bird to Dallas, TX for the South Regionals.


Saturday 7th– Verve is hosting Mom and Me Self Defense Course. It is brought to you by Mile High Women’s Outreach Center. For additional info and to get signed up, click here.

Mom and Me Self Defense Course

Mom and Me Self Defense Course



Friday 13th/ Saturday 14th/ Sunday 15th– South Regionals will be taking place in Dallas, TX. We will be streaming it at Verve to cheer on Emily Bird!!

June 18th-19th– Verve will be hosting the CrossFit Football Seminar. Stay tuned for more details.

August 13th– Verve will be hosting the Femme Royale women’s only partner competition. There will be 3 divisions: For Fun, 50/50, and RX. Stay tuned for more details. 


Friday 160408

For time:
Row 2000 meters
50 Wall balls 20#(14)
Row 1500 meters
40 Wall balls 20#14)
Row 1000 meters
30 Wall balls 20#(14#)
Row 500 meters
20 Wall balls 20#(14#)

Post time to comments or BTWB

Trevor is no match for Nat's tight adductors!

Trevor is no match for Nat’s tight adductors!

GOALS – What are they good for?  Absolutely nothing unless you have a plan to get there – Anna Mattson

Nothing makes my heart happier than seeing that Goals board FULL of peoples’ hopes and ambitions relating to their personal and CrossFit goals for 2016.  Now that you have set your goals, have you also made a plan to achieve them.  While CrossFit will make us naturally stronger and better movers by sinply following the programming, if your goals are pretty BIG, you will probably need more of a plan than just showing up to the workouts.  Some examples of big goals would be “I want to take my Clean from 180# to 225#, “I want to go from no handstand walking to 10 feet of handstand walking”,  “I want to go from zero pull-ups to 4 pull-ups”, more muscle ups, faster mile, etc.  The aforementioned goals, while some are achievable, they will not happen just by doing the normal daily WOD.

When making your plan, you don’t have to add a whole other program and 8 more hours of training to your repertoire to get gains.  Here are some of my suggestions for creating a plan to get to your goals:

#1 – If you goal is gymnastics-based, GO TO DAN POPE’S CLASS TUESDAY NIGHT!! Dan has so many great progressions and drills that will build the kinesthetic awareness, proprioception, and strength to get you closer to your gymnastics goals.

#2 – Break the movement down into pieces.  Let’s look at the Clean – You can break it down into a heavy Clean deadlift, a heavy front squat, and an explosive transition.  Let’s look at the pull-up – Do you have the grip strength to hold you body on the pull-up structure for 10 – 20 seconds? Can you do supine ring rows? Can you hold your chin over the bar for more than 1 second? Take any one of these pieces, especially if you know where your weakness is, and focus on it.  Take 20-30 minutes 3 or 4 times a week and incorporate this work.  Here are some great sites to go to find some good drills:
                                         CATALYST ATHLETICS (great for Olympic weightlifting drills)
                                         POWERMONKEY FITNESS (great for gymnastics drills)

GOALS ARE AWESOME!! If there are no plans to acheive the goals, they are just pipe dreams of unicorns and rainbows!




Thursday 160407

Take 20 minutes to work up to a heavy
2 Rep bench press

3 Rounds with 2 minutes of rest between:
Take take 50% of 2 rep max bench press and perform a max rep set

Post loads to comments and BTWB

Alex judging Dean as he works his way through a whole lot of burpees over the bar.

Alex judging Dean as he works his way through a whole lot of burpees over the bar.


The air squat, that’s functional. By Courtney Shepherd

Each of us, before becoming a member of CrossFit Verve, took part in a foundations class in some form or another. Just the title of the class gives away it’s purpose, to teach us the foundations of CrossFit. The very first one on the list is the air squat. The air squat is a foundational movement because we can continuously build on it, seeing new movements form like the front squat, OHS, back squat, thruster, wallball, etc. Each of these movements has it’s own working parts and pieces but the underlying components of their squats are all the same.

We put a lot of emphasis on the squat, not just because it’s a foundational movement but because it is a functional movement. That’s a lot of “F” words to describe the air squat. Your next question may be “what makes a movement functional?” There are several characteristics that make a movement functional:

1) Functional movement is natural. What I mean by that is we don’t have to be taught functional movement. When you were a kid did you ever sit down? Then moments later did you stand back up? That was a squat. Do you remember your parents teaching you how to sit down and stand up? Most likely because they never had to, we figured it out all on our very own.

2) Functional movement demonstrates universal motor recruitment patterns. Meaning it’s unavoidable movement. Try sitting down without bending at the knees, not possible. Squatting requires multiple joints, multiple muscle groups engaged to be performed.

3) Functional movement is safe. Even at post 1 rep maximal loads.

4) Functional movement is essential. You need functional movement to get through the day. Getting out of bed in the morning, sitting on to and getting off of a toilet, sitting down in a chair at our work desk. The loss of functional movement is called decrepitude and is the reason people find themselves in nursing homes.

5) Functional movement is compound yet irreducible. I can not break a squat up into pieces. I can not do leg curls, calf raises, thigh abductors, thigh adductors, and at the end have a better squat. Because of characteristic #2 in order for my squat to improve I must do squats.

6) Functional movement demonstrates the importance of core to extremity. When we warm up the squat we address initiating with out hips first. This engages our bigger muscle groups first. I want my biggest muscle groups engaged before the smaller ones, they do more work.

The most definitive characteristic of a functional movement is that it allows us to move large loads, a long distance, quickly. In the air squat that large load may first be your body weight. As we build strength we may be able to support loads for back squats and front squats.

The point is that an air squat is not just an air squat. It is the foundation for many additional movements. Building strength in the mechanics of an air squat has transferability. An air squat is also a functional movement. Performing functional movements is a necessity in life. In short, squats are good for the soul, like chicken soup.

Wednesday 160406

As many rounds as possible in 12 minutes:
50 Double unders
25 Ab mat sit ups
5 Muscle ups

Post Results on BTWB


Jordan doing a great job of scaling down his first workout back yesterday. Instead of 400m Run, we brought it down to about a 300m with 3:00 of work and 3:00 of rest.

We are taking a one week hiatus from “What are those?!” to talk about something I feel strongly about. 

A lot of times in the strength and conditioning world, coaches and programmers will hound athletes saying,  “follow the program” or “work through it” until it is beaten into their athletes heads that their program is the only thing that works. First of all, this is ridiculous. Yes, it’s great to follow a program, however life happens and listening to our body is the number one. 

A program is just words on a piece of paper. Even though, coaches are doing their best job of crossing their T’s and dotting their I’s while they write, even the best out their can’t account for how every single person is feeling. Yes of course, we are trying to monitor our pulls and presses and balance out everything that could go wrong. However, just like our parents told us (unfortunately) we are all unique snowflakes. The most important thing is listening to our body. If our backs are tight, maybe avoid pulling from the ground. If our knees haven’t been feeling great the past couple days then don’t go below parallel. If our shoulders aren’t feeling the best, take out the overhead work and add in horizontal pulling to get the scapula’s moving correctly again. The key to training is adaptation. We have to adapt to the way we are feeling and keep moving forward.

If you are ever feeling a lack of confidence in a movement or a workout, express that to the coach in charge, especially if something isn’t feeling right. Sometimes we have to modify for a day or two and that will get us back to normal and avoiding a bigger injury. 

The program is just words on paper.

Tuesday 160405

For max reps:
From 0:00 – 4:00
Run 400 Meters
With remaining time as many reps as possible of:
Power clean 135#(95#)
Rest from 4:00 – 6:00
From 6:00 – 10:00
Run 400 Meters
With remaining time as many reps as possible of:
Bar facing burpees
Rest from 10:00 – 12:00
From 12:00 – 16:00
Run 400 Meters
With remaining time as many reps as possible of:
Power clean 185#(125#)
Rest from 16:00 – 18:00
From 18:00 – 22:00
Run 400 Meters
With remaining time as many reps as possible of bar facing burpees

*Score is total reps each round

Post reps to BTWB

Overhead holds are tough, but a little easier with a smile

Overhead holds are tough, but a little easier with a smile

One of the websites I visit the most is  The site has everything from great healthy recipes to interesting workouts you can do away from the gym.  An article that recently caught my attention was the one by Darius Foroux title; 25 Things About Life I Wish I Had Known 10 Years Ago.  Below is a little from the introduction of the article and a few of the things discussed in the article the resonated with me.  Click HERE for the full read.  

Socrates, considered one of the founders of Western philosophy, was once named the wisest man on earth by the Oracle of Delphi. When Socrates heard that the oracle had made such a comment, he believed that the statement was wrong.  Socrates said: “I know one thing: that I know nothing.”

What you will find below is a list of the most important things I learned from other people and books. Some of the lessons took me a long time to learn—but if I had had to learn these things all by myself, it would have taken me a lot longer.

We might learn things quickly, but we often forget them at the same rate—and sometimes we need to remind ourselves of what we’ve learned. Here are 25 of those reminders that others taught me.

Struggle is good.
Never say, “I can’t take it anymore.” Instead say, “bring it on!”

Don’t complain.
Complaining is the biggest waste of time there is. Either do something about it, or if you can’t, shut up about it.

Exercise daily.
I didn’t get this until recently. A healthy body is where you have to start everything in life. If you can’t build a healthy and strong body, what can you build in life?

Keep a journal.
No, keeping a journal is not for children. It helps you to become a better thinker and writer. “I don’t want to be a writer,” you might think. Well, how many emails and texts do you send a day? Everybody is a writer.

Be nice.
I don’t mean you should be a pushover. You can be someone that doesn’t take sh*t and be nice about it. Just don’t insult people, think you’re better than them, or act like an idiot.

Learn every day.
You’ve got to train your brain to stay alert. You don’t have to read a book a day to learn every day. Learn from your mistakes. Learn from the people around you—be open to what they can teach you.