Thursday 150101

As many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of:
8 Strict pull-ups
8 Box jumps, 30″(24″)
12 Kettlebell swings, 32kg(24kg)

Post rounds to comments and BTWB

Row coach Maddie just dropping some row knowledge bombs and possibly some jive beats.

Row coach Maddie just dropping some row knowledge bombs and possibly some jive beats.


Happy New Year!! The sweet, sweet ramblings of Courtney Shepherd. The sweet, sweet AND very important ramblings. 

We are ready to get 2015 started off right. We’re not talking about resolutions to lose weight, or stop eating sugar for a month, or not cussing any more. I mean seriously, who the f@%k gives up cussing any way? We are talking about starting the year off with good personal habits that will guide us throughout 2015. Starting January 7th Verve is kicking off it’s “Change your habits, change your life” Challenge. This 5 week long challenge is just that, a challenge for you to find those habits which you need to change or create and do it. Losing weight is not a habit. But buying whole foods, prepping and cooking them to create healthy meals ahead of time is a habit which will help lead to the weight loss you seek. Maybe the habit you want to create is no cell phones after 7pm, perhaps you are interested in removing your night time cocktail from your daily routine and instead going for just 3 nights per week only. These are all good habits and more. And what better way to be accountable for working on these habits then by having an accountability buddy, an “accountabilibuddy”, to answer to every week? So that’s it, that’s all you need to get 2015 started on the right foot, a couple of nasty habits that need be broken and a person to fess up to when you do or do not break them. When you find said person, get yourselves signed up on the sheet at the front counter and let’s get this party started. 

To officially get this party started though, we will be hosting two meetings, 1) January 2nd @ 7pm, and 2) January 5th @ 7pm. These meetings are to fill in any gaps with what this challenge is all about, talk about the habits or changes we want to make, and how to go about making them, and lastly we will dive briefly into the paleo/ zone diet should nutrition be a part of any of your habits. You only need to attend one of the two meetings, if by chance you can’t try to at least make sure your buddy does and they will fill you in. If you don’t have a buddy yet, sign up anyway, we’ll get you taken care of. 

Please remember the Body Fat Truck will be here all day January 7th, click here to get signed up for a time to get dunked. 

You may also have noticed that Verve has been hosting Level 1 Seminars fairly regularly. During some, but not all, of these seminars we are fortunate enough to be able to send Verve’s athletes in a scholarship spot. If you have found yourself interested in attending one please email AND with a short essay answering these two questions:

1) Why do you want to take the Level 1 Seminar?
2) What do you plan to do with your Level 1 once you have it?

Please note that sending an email of interest does not guarantee a scholarship spot. Eric and I choose the spots based on the needs of Verve, it is not based on seniority or time as a member of Verve. Please feel free to email us with any additional questions you may have. 

Lastly get ready for us to shake up the whiteboard. Starting January 8th it is “No RX January”. What better way to focus on your own goals then to see a workout with no RX weights. Now is the time to focus on our own mechanics, consistency, and intensity. Don’t fret my pet, all the coaches will be fully informed and prepared to guide you through the workouts so that you may continue to get the most out of them. 

So that’s it. Now let’s go out there and kick 2015 in the teeth!! I mean that in a totally wholesome and productive way, I’m not necessarily condoning violence. 



Wednesday 141231


Then, every minute on the minute x 10 minutes:
2 Snatch @ 75% of 2RM
20 Double unders

Post scores to BTW.

Charles contemplating the meaning of life.

Charles contemplating the meaning of life.

It’s That Time of the Year Again – The New Year!

The following is a post from – you can check out the original article here.

The year is quickly coming to a close and we get to sit and reflect on the way the last year turned out. We think of the triumphs and joys. We think of the failures and short comings. We think about our families. Mainly, we think about what we want to be different. Most of the population sets out to make a grand New Year’s Resolution. Sometimes we make more than one, but somewhere on the list, we usually resolve to get in better health. Maybe we want to exercise more. Maybe we want to lose weight. Maybe we just want to be healthier. Maybe we want to be stronger. Nevertheless, health is generally on the list. Let’s talk about resolutions, and what you need to be aware of before January 1st hits this year.

Everyone Needs a Resolution

The first thing we need to discuss is the fact that resolutions are for everyone. There is something that every individual needs to work on. Come on now, we aren’t all perfect. Believe it or not, there is a flaw somewhere in our gym lives. You may be thinking right now, “I work out everyday. I am in great shape. I eat clean and train hard. I’m good.” Great! You are right, that is not something that needs to be on your resolution list, but let’s take this a different way. Instead of calling them resolutions, let’s call them goals. Is there anything you want to accomplish in 2015? How is your clean and jerk? Do you have your butterfly pull ups? Can you overhead squat 1.5 times your body weight? Now, is there anything you need to work on?

Set a Time Limit

The reason we fail at resolutions is that it takes too long to complete. We look at what we want to change, stare down the long and winding road, and don’t see an end in sight. What if we broke it up into segments? If you want to lose weight try this: instead of saying I’m going to lose 40 pounds in 2015, try losing 10 pounds every 3 months. Write on a calendar that by March 1st you will have lost 10 pounds, and then on to June 1st, and by the end of December you will have lost 40 pounds! Don’t have weight to lose, make a list of things you want to accomplish and set a date to them. I personally want to increase my clean and jerk by 20 pounds, so I have set up a calendar. I have it broken down into manageable chunks, so I can tackle it effectively and safely. If that isn’t moving fast enough for you, be more aggressive, but make sure it’s doable. Don’t set yourself up for failure. You are not going to be able to complete RX’d handstand push ups by February if you are still struggling with kicking up to a handstand. Break it up, make it manageable, and then kick it’s ass.

Don’t Diet

Those of us in the CrossFit world spend a lot of time talking about eating clean. We are very leery of the “D” word. For good reason. Diets don’t work. Diet’s also have an end. A healthy lifestyle doesn’t have an end date. You don’t eat clean for 6 weeks and then go back to fried foods and Cheetos. Cheat days happen, sure, but when you change the way you eat, you change it for the rest of your life. Diets do not work. Ever. You can’t ever get off the merry-go-round. Once you start the ride, you are on it forever. Sure, you can pause the ride and make lots of stops at Cheeseburger World, but don’t make a big deal out of it. Enjoy your meal, and get back on your ride. Don’t diet, change the way you eat.

Health is important. We need good health to be able to function in our daily lives. Most of us reading this are already living the lifestyle; however, that doesn’t mean we don’t have things we can work on. I certainly can clean up my eating. I certainly can get stronger. By focusing on our health, we are making ourselves better. Pick some things you need to improve on, and crush it.

Tuesday 141230

Bench press

Then, every minute on the minute for 8 minutes:
You’ll see when you come in.

Post weight to BTWB.


Breathing during workouts has been a topic of late so I figured I’d use a post that our former coach Luke wrote that explained it. Please disregard the jokes, he thinks he’s hilarious.

Breathing ~ Luke Palmisano

I get a lot of people asking me when or how to breath during exercises. I really like this question, because rarely do I think about this topic. Come to think of it… I think I should think about it more. Which, again, is why your questions are good. I mean, why think if you don’t have to think, right? 

Forget I said that. I ALWAYS think. All right I really don’t. But I should. 

I digress.

Let’s go over why this matters. If you were to take the biggest breath you could before performing a really big lift (think one-rep-max deadlift or squat), a number of things happen inside of you. Because air cannot escape your body, the pressure in your thoracic cavity (involving your rib cage and your lungs, generally speaking) spikes. This pressure squeezes the vein that returns blood to the heart. Therefore, the blood returning to the heart decreases. Therefore, blood going back out to the rest of the body decreases. Because the amount of blood going through the heart decreases, the heart rate will compensate by spiking. In addition, your blood pressure spikes. In a bad scenario, this decreased volume of blood leaving the heart can result in brain anemia and a loss of consciousness (this has never never never never never never never never never ever happened to me, by the way). The good news is, after you pass out, your vital signs all gradually return to normal. But not before some scariness occurs. Point is, it’s good to know how to breathe, and to avoid passing out while working out (again, I do not know this from personal experience). 

So, some tips.

  1. Don’t hold your breath doing light weight reps. Breathe at the beginning and ending of the movements. Thrusters are a good example of this. You want to breathe at the top and the bottom of the movement. Holding your breath too much stresses the lungs unduly while working out. Oxygen is good.
  2. If you’re a beginner at lifting, your exposure to heavy loads should be limited.
  3. You do not want to take the biggest breath possible before performing a maximal effort lift. Repeat: do not. You want just enough oxygen to increase pressure in your abdominal cavity. 
  4. When lifting heavy, try exhale forcibly, but slowly. This will decrease the pressure in your thoracic cavity, which should decrease the risk of blacking out. 
  5. If you’re a beginner, you should inhale and exhale during lifting reps, especially when the weight is held on the chest. This will help keep your weight lighter, which is good; you’re still getting used to the movements. 
I hope this helps. Bottom line: during light weight reps, breathe. During heavy weight reps, don’t hold your breath too hard, and don’t inhale too much. Fill your belly, not your lungs.

The information for this post was heavily referenced from the book Science and Practice of Strength Training, by Vladimir Zatsiorsky and William J. Kraemer.  

Monday 141229

For time:
50 Medicine ball cleans, 20#(14#)
25 Box jumps, 24″(20″)
800m Run
40 Medicine ball cleans, 20#(14#)
20 Box jumps, 24″(20″)
400m Run
30 Medicine ball cleans, 20#(14#)
15 Box jumps, 24″(20″)
200m Run

Post times to comments and BTWB

Howard, Kacey, and Joe getting some quality family time in at the gym during the holidays.

Howard, Joe, and Kacey getting some quality family time in at the gym during the holidays.


 Let the season of rowing commence!!!

Apparently January is the month of resolutions and…rowing! We have grand things in store for the rowing program over the next month, and who knows, maybe one of your resolutions was to vehemently hate that machine a little bit less. An admirable, and completely attainable goal if I do say so myself. So what’s in store: we have TWO different rowing competitions in January, The Denver Indoor Rowing Championships and Row’d Royalty.

The Denver Indoor Rowing Championships: January 31st @ 2:30PM

We competed, and dare I say, kicked some serious ass in this team competition last year, and now it is time to defend our title! This is a four person, cumulative 4K row event. Super fast. Super fun. You won’t feel your legs when you’re done. But it will be glorious. Registration: $50/team.

Row’d Royalty: January 7 – February 2

New on the competition scene this year, this online comp will post 1 rowing WOD per week for 4 weeks. It’s an affiliate competition with the top four scores in every WOD counting towards the team total. The WODs will be all different lengths and will be the programmed workout in our rowing class during the competition. Welcome to some great CF Open prep, as you become a cool cucumber (who happens to row extremely fast) under pressure. Registration: $10/person.

If you aren’t already part of the rowing program this is a great time to jump on in and see what it’s all about, improve your rowing technique, and meet some pretty cool peeps. If you’re sitting there thinking that jumping in when there are two competitions in the mix might not be the best plan: FALSE! This month will be a blast and you will emerge a better rower and competitor (hey, maybe even person) on the other side.

I do believe there is a brand spanking new Concept 2 involved with the winning of both of these competitions, just to throw that out there…

Please email if you are interested in one or both of the competitions (aka: rowing shenanigans) or if you have any questions!

Sunday 141228

3 Rounds for time:
10 Deadlift 225#(155#)
30 Meter handstand walk

Post time to comments or BTW

Turkey Egg Drop soup!

Turkey Egg Drop soup!

What do we do with all of the leftover Turkey that we may have from our Holiday meals?  Here is one delicious idea that switches up the profile of flavors you have been eating the past few days.



  • 4 cups turkey stock
  • 1 cup leftover turkey meat
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon minced ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoons xanthan gum (you can substitute with Cornstarch or Arrowroot for thickening)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 avocado


  1. Reserve ¾ cup of turkey stock in a small bowl and pour the rest in to a saucepan. Add turkey meat to the saucepan and stir in garlic, ginger, salt and pepper. Bring to a gentle boil.
  2. Take the bowl with the reserved turkey stock and whisk in xanthan gum until smooth. Xanthan gum takes a little longer to thicken than cornstarch or arrowroot, so bear that in mind.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the two eggs.
  4. Once the turkey stock is boiling, slowly stir in the xanthan mixture until soup thickens. Using a fork, drizzle the egg in to the boiling soup a little at a time until it is all in. Take off heat, pour in bowl, and top with avocado slices.
  5. For more details, go to THIS SITE.



Saturday 141227

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 20 minutes of:
10 Chest to bar pull ups (No butterfly)
20 Back squats 95#(65#)
30 Double unders

Post scores to BTW.



Normal schedule today.

Modified schedule on New Years Eve and New Years Day – check MBO for details.

Free Community Workout on Saturday January 10th.

Next Foundations starts on Monday January 12th.

Have a safe and wonderful weekend everyone!

Here’s a good read for your Saturday Morning – Skills Don’t Just Happen.

Friday 141226

For time:
Row, 1000 m
50 Dumbbell Snatches, 40#(25#)
Row, 750 m
35 Dumbbell Snatches, 40#(25#
Row, 500 m
20 Dumbbell Snatches, 40#(25#)

Post time to comments or BTW


Can you do this?  If not, your shoulders need some love!

Can you do this? If not, your shoulders need some love!

MOBILITY SERIES – The Shoulders!

Much like the hips, there are many ways to skin this mobility cat, so I will break this series into 3 parts: basic stretching, rolling techniques, and banded distraction.  We will first review basic stretching for your shoulders.

#1 – Working on your internal rotation – The following video goes over a great self-stretch for regaining internal rotation in the shoulder.


#2 – Kneeling shoulder stretch – This stretch is great because you can do it ANYWHERE!!!  Simply find a flat surface at least 24″ off of the ground, you can either kneel or stand in front of the object.  Place your hands, palm down on the object and extend your arms until they are straight.  You will now simply push your chest towards the ground while keeping your arms straight.  BONUS: You can recruit a super-friend to help push your head through further (as shown below):


Kneeling Shoulder Stretch

Kneeling Shoulder Stretch

#3 – WALL SLIDES!! Everyone’s favorite.  Stand against a wall maintaining the following points of contact THE ENTIRE TIME: lower back, shoulders, elbows, wrists/fingers.  Bring your arms out to a 90 degree angle.  Keeping those points of contact, slide your hands as far as you can down to your hips then slide them overhead.  If you are having issues even getting into the right position, move your heels away from the wall as much as necessary.  Perform 1 to 2 sets of quality, slow wall slides.



-Thank you to everyone who donated winter gear to The Salvation Army!

Thursday 141225

For time:
Legless rope climbs, 15′
GHD sit ups

Post times to comments and BTWB

Merry, merry to everyone!!!

Merry, merry to everyone!!!


Tis the season to be merry. . . . 

Merry Christmas Verve family!!! While I realize not everyone celebrates Christmas, I wish you all a wonderful day spent with family and friends. Today I do not choose to share any factoids about lifting weights, the right way to lift weights, or how to recover from lifting weights. But rather today I choose to spread a little holiday joy and cheer. My favorite kind of joy and cheer comes in the form of laughter. And one of my favorite go to’s for some laughter is funny things kids say. So for your blogging enjoyment today, here are the funniest things kids have asked Santa:

“I know I behaved really badly this year, but I promise to behave much better next year – so will it be okay if you still come and visit me with presents?”

“Do you just have the one set of clothes? Who washes them for you? My mum can do it if you don’t have a Mum of your own?”

“Can Mrs Santa come instead? I’m very sorry but I’m scared of you!”

“Could you make me prettier than my best friend? That’s the only present I would like.”

“Do you have to clean up Rudolph’s poo poos? My Dad uses a bag when our dog poo poos – do you have bags?”

“If I wake up please don’t go away without leaving presents – you made a lot of noise last year and I couldn’t help it, I heard and my eyes just kind of opened! But you left nice presents. Please can you do the same again even if my eyes open up?”

“Don’t worry if Jack our dog barks! He doesn’t mean to be bad. Making a bark is just what dogs do. So please leave the presents anyway. If you are very, very scared to come in if Jack barks then could you just leave the presents outside?

“I said to my Dad to put paper down for your muddy boots so that Mummy will not get cross about the dirt on the carpet.”

Happy Holidays everyone, may your days be merry, bright, and full of laughter!!


Wednesday 141224

12 Days Of Christmas

For time:
1 Deadlift, 300/205 lbs
2 Handstand Push-ups
3 Toes-to-bars
4 Burpees
5 Power Cleans, 135/95 lbs
6 Box Jumps, 24/20 in
7 Walking Lunges
8 Dumbbell Snatches, 40/25 lbs
9 Shoulder-to-Overheads, 135/95 lbs
10 Double Unders
11 Pull-ups
12 Thrusters, 135/95 lbs

Post scores to BTW.



The Last New Years Resolution You’ll Make

* This post is from – you can read the original article by clicking here.

Everyday you wake up, you decide who you want to be that day.”

That statement resonates greatly with me. It brings me back to myself whether my head is up in the clouds or flat in the gutter.

I know most New Year’s resolutions are about food, or working out, or a bad habit that we have put off squashing, But a new year’s resolution is just another one of those lies that we tell ourselves, wouldn’t you agree?

Think about this.

When we “put something off” till January 1st we are consciously refusing to take an action that would probably better our lives. Putting down the diet soda in 2 months is no different than putting down a diet soda now (except at that point we will have 2 extra months worth of consuming something we know hurts us).

Our lives are built from our experiences and the decisions we have made in response to them. If we keep making the same type of decision long enough it will eventually become a habit. A resolution is suppose to be different. It is a firm commitment to do something or abstain from something else. Most people’s new year’s resolutions are just commitments to make decisions that we have not made successfully in the past year.

But I will pose to you a reality that most of us ignore.

Each day, you make those decisions. Hour by hour, minute by minute, you are faced choices, whether its a new one or something you have been battling with already. That resolution your saving for January 1st isn’t lying dormant for you until next year; it’s here now, waiting for you to take action.

The problem with keeping resolutions isn’t that they are hard to keep, it’s our way of thinking about them. It’s our attitude towards the decisions we are making right now!

You have two choices; (as the glass-maker says) Break the mold, or keep casting the same bulb. You cant change the decision you are making and the habits you have now with the same mentality you have had this past year. You have to break the mold that you use to make decisions, your attitude.

You can keep trying the same thing.

You can ignore that decision staring you in the face right now and surrender your power once again by waiting until New Year’s Day, and then what happens?  Next year will come and go and you will find yourself in the same predicament you are in right now. Why? Because you haven’t changed your attitude! Not making the decisions you want and need to when they arise. They will become the next new years resolutions.


You can break the mold.

You can make the right choice. No matter how small it is, whether it’s as small as drinking a diet soda or as big as kicking cigarettes or laziness. Even if you make just a few good moves but fall back into habit again its fine. Everyone takes their own steps and has a different path. They aren’t perfect, but paths are made by walking. Not putting off the start.

So I challenge you. Don’t wait until next year to take a step in the right direction. Change how you think about your habits and see that real progress is up to you every day you wake up. Start walking where you are now and pick up tools as you go along to help you become better. That is how bad habits are broken and good ones are made. Its how good habits last. Don’t forget to give yourself a gift this season. Change.

Sign up for our Change Your Habits, Change Your Life Challenge Today!

Tuesday 141223

5 Rounds of:
Row 1000 Meters
rest 2 minutes between efforts.

Post times to BTWB.

Pete and Jake having a serious conversation about mobility.

Pete and Jake having a serious conversation about mobility.

Reminder that we have an abridged schedule for the next few days.  Please check MBO and sign up for classes so we can plan accordingly.  Let’s just say that tomorrows workout involves something like 12 different movements and much equipment.  We need a head count on how many people will be in each class to allow us to organize everything.  

With many people traveling for the holidays, here’s a few simple tips to keep you on your game while on the road.  

Try and watch what you eat.  I’m guilty of this as I’m sure many people are, but during the holidays my normally clean diet is put on the back burner.  That’s what New Years resolutions are for isn’t it?  I don’t really limit myself in what I can and can’t eat, but trust me there is some guilt after the fact. 

Drop into another CrossFit Gym.  While you’re on the road go out and see what other gyms have to offer.  We always enjoy hearing feedback about things you see on the road and anything that can make Verve a better place we are all ears.

Hit up any gym.  Bally’s, 24 Hour Fitness, Planet Fitness, they all have enough equipment for you to be creative and come up with a workout that will get your heart rate up and probably draw a few stares from people, as in what are those people doing stares.  

Do something at the house.  You’ve all done workouts on your own.  You probably didn’t have any equipment, but simply used the body and came up with something that gave you a good sweat.  Bring a jump rope on your travels and the possibilities increase greatly.  

The above is referenced from Box Life Magazine.  Check out the full article HERE.