Wednesday 140626

21-18-15-12-9-6-3 reps for time of:
Wall ball shots, 20#(14# )
Toes to bar
Row for calories

Post time to BTWB.

paleo chx tetra e1403550435774 475x475 Wednesday 140626

Mine never looks quite this good, that’s for sure. Thanks Robyn!

Paleo Chicken Tetrazzini

- borrowed from and modified to zone quanitity


  • 1260 g (~8 large) zucchini, peeled and spiral sliced {zoodles} (5CHO)
  • 2 lbs chicken tenders/breasts  - chopped into chunks (32PRO)
  • 1 Tbl kosher salt
  • 1 Tbl black pepper
  • 252 g (~1 large) yellow onion, finely chopped (3CHO)
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 176 g sliced mushrooms
  • 1 Tbl fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 12oz chardonnay {or any other white wine/vinegar} (3CHO)
  • 8 TBSP coconut cream or (full-fat coconut milk, use just the thick cream off top) (16FAT)
  • 268 g bagged frozen peas (4CHO)
  • 48 g almond flour (16FAT)
  • chopped parsley for garnish
  • optional thickener: 1 Tbl – ¼ cup arrowroot (I used ~1 tsp in 2 TBSP water)
  • chicken or veggie broth


  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a large sauté pan over high heat, add a little broth. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and cook in broth until lightly browned. Set aside to cool.
  3. In the same sauté pan using a little more broth or spray oil, wilt the onions, garlic, and mushrooms together. Add the thyme, wine, and coconut cream and let simmer for about 5 minutes, or until thick.
  4. Optional: If the gravy doesn’t thicken to your liking, whisk between 1 Tbl and ¼ cup arrowroot flour with a small amount of water and add to the pan.
  5. When gravy is at desired thickness, add the frozen peas and take off heat.
  6. Mix the zoodles with the chopped chicken and gravy until well combined. Pour into a large casserole dish (I had to use a lasagna pan, or use a 9 X 13 cake pan).
  7. Sprinkle almond flour on top of mixture (to make a better crust on top you could cut fat blocks with grassfed butter to make a dough like topping that would back a little more crispy)
  8. Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes.
  9. Let cool, plate, and top with the fresh parsley.
  10. Prep Time: 30 minutes
  11. Bake Time: 30 minutes


Zone Quantity: Dish total = 32PRO, 16CHO, 32FAT (total weight around 2,680grams)

84g = 1PRO/0.5CHO/1FAT

252 g = 3PRO/1.5CHO/3FAT

Competitors Class Days and Times.

Thank you to everyone that has signed up for the Comp Program.  For those of you that are still considering joining, the class times will be;

Wednesday 6:30 am and 7:00 pm 

Friday 6:30 am and 6:00 pm

As discussed, we will have our first group meeting “chalk talk” next Wednesday evening, 7/2/2014, to fill out the assessment sheets so we have everything ready to go for the following week after the July 4th holiday weekend.  

Email questions to

Tuesday 140624

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

Post weight to BTWB.

The Long Game Part 2: the missing chapter from Delve on Vimeo.

In this day and age we are always looking for instant gratification.  When we see complex movements being performed in CrossFit most of us feel that we should be able to master said movements quickly.  We get frustrated and down, but the truth is that much practice is required.  I found the above video really interesting.  Now it’s not everyday Leonardo da Vinci is a topic on a CrossFit Blog, but the video tells the story of some of the great artists of history, including da Vinci, and how they struggled for many years before being recognized for their greatness.  The title is a little misleading but the video is very good and worth a watch.

Do you see the correlation with CrossFit as well?   Some of the more complex movements and skills take months to figure out and years to become fluid in.  Many of us have been trying to get butterfly pull ups, muscle ups, or handstand push ups but haven’t quite mastered them yet.  Or how about double unders?  Seems like a simple task but takes a lot of practice to get really efficient at them.

My point is that many difficult movements take time and practice to master as many great artists of the past struggled for many years, so to do we with CrossFit exercises.  Keep practicing and working on your technique have patience and they will come!  Even da Vinci struggled for many years before becoming the da Vinci we know today as one of the greatest artists to have ever lived.  

Watch the video and leave comments if you enjoyed the video or have some thoughts of your own.  You can also navigate to part one of the video series as well to watch the beginning. 

Competitors Program Note:

We’ve had a great response so far and many people have signed up.  If you have any questions, please email  If you are interested in signing up, please do so by Thursday June 26th.  We will have our first chalk talk the following week to hand out assessment sheets and talk about filling them out.  Time and date to follow.  

Monday 140623

In teams of two, complete as many rounds as possible in 30:00 minutes of:
Run 200m
15 Thrusters, 95#(65#)
3 Rope climbs, 18′

Only one partner may work at a given time, while the other partner rests.

Post scores to BTW.

lee zink ohs 475x315 Monday 140623

Verve’s Own Lee Zink – 2013 MLL Defensive Player of the Year – Using his fitness outside of the gym. Pretty solid overhead squat.

8 Things You Can Do Outside the Box to Become a Better CrossFitter

Check out the original post here.

I’m all about striking a balance between training and life. And I LOVE training.

From the thrill of checking the WOD the night before, anticipating the workout all day, and then finally the feeling of immense accomplishment once the madness is finished, I really enjoy investing my physical and emotional energy into training.

But, like all things, it’s possible to do TOO MUCH. The blog post linked above shares some great insight into obtaining some much needed balance in our lives.

Check out the blog post here - #6 is a piece I think we could all use a little more of!

Sunday 140622

Off-site WODs today at 9am & 10am only today, see directions below.

For time:

5k trail run
Matthews/Winters Park — Open Space

Post time to comments and BTW.

 Sunday 140622

Swim WOD fun on a beautiful Saturday. Next Swim WODs on July 5th.

Directions here to meet us  1103 County Highway 93, Golden thumb img exit disclaimer Sunday 140622
From I-70 or U.S. Highway 40, go south on State Highway 93 approximately 0.1 mile and turn at the park entrance on the west side of the road. An alternative is the Stegosaurus Park-n-Ride Lot on the east side of the road, south of I-70, allowing access to the Dakota Ridge Trail.

Next Foundations Program begins this Monday, June 23 at 7pm.  Questions on how to get started?  Sign up on MBO or email  We can’t wait to meet you!

July 4th Denver Outlaws game, with an awesome fireworks show.  Purchase tickets here.  Promo code: Verve 
Only 40 tickets reserved, all tickets must be purchased by midnight on Sunday, June 29th.

Next Verve Happy Hour is June 27th @ 5:30pm at Interstate Kitchen and Bar.  

Saturday 140621

Off-site WODs today at 9am and 10am, see directions below.

Swimming drills, then for time:

Swim 200 yds
50 Push-ups
100 Squats
Swim 100 yds
25 Push-ups
50 Squats
Swim 50 yds 

Post time to comments and BTW.

IMG 0093 475x712 Saturday 140621

Welcome Amy! She’s very “hoppy” to be here.

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.  See map below.  This is an outside pool, so bring your swimsuit, goggles, swim cap, and enthusiasm for vitamin D with friends.  You are welcome to hang out after the first class and enjoy some pool time as well.  Next Swimming Workshop and WOD will be Saturday, July 5th.  Sign up on MBO.  

Outside WOD on Sunday will be at Matthew Winters Open Space Park.  See blog Saturday evening for directions and fun.  

Friday 140620

For load:

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 9446 475x316 Friday 140620

Look at those beautiful clean organized wall balls!


We love our gym, we are comfortable here, we have friends, and this is our home away from home for many of us.  Just like in our home with roommates, we can create some habits that are less than desirable like leaving dirty dishes in the sink, random socks jammed in the couch, dried toothpaste in the sink, etc.  The same bad habits can happen at the gym but now we are talking about equipment, cleanliness, and bodily funds.  Verve has some great equipment (some of the best available) and prides itself on being one of the more clean and organized boxes out there.  Boxlife Magazine recently posted a great article on some general guidelines for keeping friendly with our housemates.

Rule 1: Put. Your. Crap. Away.
Seems obvious enough, right? I assume you all clean up your own dishes when you’re done eating at home—you wouldn’t wait for someone else to do it for you. There’s nothing more infuriating for a box owner and coach to see plates left out or a stray band tied round a pull-up bar after class. Space and time is often a premium for a CrossFit class, and no one wants to waste it by cleaning up someone else’s shit. So do everyone a big favor and take pride in your box by putting your gear away. It’s really not that hard. If you want to take it a step further, help your fellow athletes clean up too. Many hands make light work.

Rule 2: Don’t drop the barbell when you’re stripping the plates.
When you are cleaning up, save your coach from a brain aneurism and strip down your barbell properly. This means you should lift the barbell and slide the plates off of it, then place it back on the floor—don’t just let it crash to the ground. This is how they get damaged, and as your coach will tell you, they’re not cheap to replace. The bars in our gym range from $200 to $500 per bar.  Each bar has it’s own intricate bearing system that allows it to spins easily and when dropped naked on the ground, will seriously decrease the life of the bar. IF YOU GET NOTHING ELSE FROM THIS POST, PLEASE LET THIS BE YOUR TAKE AWAY!!!

Rule 3: If you’ve sweated on the equipment, bled on the equipment or cried on the equipment, wipe it down.
Aside from being on obvious point of hygiene, it really isn’t a pleasant sensation to grab a wall ball that’s wetter than a new born baby, or sit your ass down on an abmat that might as well have been placed against the bare skin of the person before you. Grab a paper towel and disinfectant, and take the 30 seconds to wipe down your equipment. Please do it—for everyone’s sake.

Rule 4: Don’t steal other people’s equipment.
When you’re setting up for a chipper (or any WOD that requires numerous pieces of equipment), you try to set up your area with the gear in such a way to make everything easily accessible as you switch from movement to movement. And this can even extend to the pull-up bar—especially if you need to attach a band. So when some fool takes your wall ball or steals your bar in the middle of a WOD, you have every right to feel upset. It’s a CrossFit faux paux that should NEVER, EVER happen.

Rule 5: Don’t be late.
Maybe a minute or two is ok for some boxes, but I know there are some gyms that have burpee penalties for a late arrival, and others that simply turn an athlete away if they turn up 5 minutes after class has started. Remember, the box isn’t a globo gym—you can’t turn up whenever you please (unless it’s Open gym). Classes run in a box, and people pay good money to attend them and get their hours’ worth of fitness and instruction. There are few other things more annoying than watching a straggler turn up and think they can just jump into class as if nothing has happened. Hell no, son. Go home, and have enough respect for your classmates and coaches to arrive on time.

Rule 6: Check in/Sign up for class.
This applies both to drop-ins and regular box attendees. If you are a member of a popular gym, and you know that classes get pretty full, give your coach a heads up by signing up online. We’ve all been through WODs that have had to been altered significantly because there wasn’t enough equipment/space to go around, and it’s not fun. There are class caps for a reason, so save your coach the trouble of having to change the WOD around and just sign up. If you do not sign up or are wait listed and cannot join a class at another time, please be prepared to have a modified workout as people that were able to sign up have priority for equipment.  If you can’t make a class, please don’t forget to cancel so your fellow gym mates can take your spot.

Rule 7: Pay attention when the coach is giving instruction.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve been doing CrossFit for 1 month or 5 years, it’s disrespectful to have your own private conversation or do your own thing when the coach is trying to give instruction to the class. You may know how to perform each movement off the top of your head, but not everyone does, so just be patient and quiet and let everyone get the full benefits of the coaches’ knowledge. Besides, you might learn something new about the lift that you would have otherwise missed!

Rule 8: Don’t have a conversation with someone in the middle of a workout.
If your “short” conversation is going to force me to warm up again, then you might want to save it till after the workout.

Rule 9: If you ask to borrow an athlete’s gear—give it back when you’re done.
Have you ever had someone ask if they can borrow your roll of tape, only to find that they keep passing it off to every single person who suddenly needs to wrap themselves up like a mummy? And you’ve always had a suspicion that someone else might have conveniently ‘lost’ those wrist straps you lent them a few weeks ago. Don’t be a jerk, if you borrow some gear, give it back when YOU are done with it—not the entire class.

Rule 10: Don’t move the chalk bucket mid-WOD.
I believe that chalk, much like PEDs, are essentially to an athlete’s success in a workout. The buckets containing this white gold are usually tactically placed so as to be easily accessible to as many people as possible in the midst of a WOD. If someone decides to move it to their area, then all hell breaks loose. At least for me. Hell hath no fury like a Brit denied his chalk.

Rule 11: Respect an athlete’s space.
This is crucial for safety purposes, as well as the focus of the athlete. If someone is preparing for a major lift, don’t walk behind them, in front of them, or anywhere close to them. If they need to bail, the last thing a coach wants to see happen is the bar strike an athlete standing too close, or worse yet have an athlete fall back on to someone else’s equipment.

Rule 12: Try to avoid ghost riding.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Ghost riding refers to the phenomenon of dropping barbells, kettlebells and all manner of equipment from overhead, regardless of the situation or weight. This is important because dumbbells, kettlebells and barbells with thin plates can bounce when dropped from overhead and ricochet into yourself and other athletes. While it is very satisfying to hear the crash of the weights against the floor, try to reserve the sensation for the strictly heavy lifts.  We got some new pretty 10# and 15# plates that are already starting to explode at the seams.  This phenomenon happens when bars are dropped from the top when only those plates are on the bar.  Make an effort to drop the bar from no higher than the hang and the coaches heads’ won’t explode.

Rule 13: Introduce yourself to newcomers.
Hopefully your coach will take the initiative and announce a drop-in or a new member when you turn up for class. That’s the first step. But you should view it as your duty as a member of your box to make sure that the new athlete feels welcome in a new environment—especially if it’s their first taste of CrossFit. Furthermore, the new member will probably give a positive review of your box to their friends, which will bring in new business for your coach and help the community grow.

Ververs – we appreciate you and everything about you that makes our gym what it is, but following these few simple guidelines make this operation smooth like butta!!!

*** The Lean & Mean Nutrition Winners Are As Follows….

Grand Prize: Kent Kansala & Amanda Parker – Pretty incredible transformations!

 Friday 140620

Amanda Parker


kent kansala before and after 475x241 Friday 140620

Kent Kansala

Most Points Scored – Individual: Danielle Dangoia

Most Points Scored – Team: “The Zone Rangers” aka Team Anna!

Most Bodyfat Lost: Kent Kansala, 7.7% in 6 weeks!

Congratulations everyone! Please come to the office in the next few days to collect your prizes!

Thursday 140619

3 Rounds for time of:
Row 15 calories
10 Burpees
*Jump over the rower on each rep of the burpee

Post times to comments and BTWB

CrossFitRoots ToestoBar 555x348 475x297 Thursday 140619

CrossFit Roots demoing body angles needed for better Toes-To-Bar.

Toes-To-Bar in Pictures By CrossFit Roots 
(Click here for link to CrossFit Roots blogpost)

The toes-to-bar is often thought of as an abdominal exercise. While the abs are definitely used in the movement, the shoulder plays a large, if not the largest, role in enabling an athlete to do toes-to-bar.

Success in the toes-to-bar is rooted in the kip. The ability of the athlete to close the shoulder angle makes it easy for the athlete to then reach their toes to the bar and allows for efficient and consistent movement.

In the first photo (left), you’ll see Nicole is at the very back of her kip as her toes reach to meet the bar. By closing the angle of her shoulder to this degree (almost 90), she shortens the distance her feet and legs must travel to reach the pull-up bar.

In the second photo (right), you’ll see that Nicole barely closes her shoulder angle in her effort to reach her toes to the bar. This means that her abdominals and hip flexors must do more work to lift her legs to the bar. She may be able to sustain this for a number of reps, but eventually her legs will be too heavy for her abdominals to lift them that distance consistently.

If you look at the height of her hips in each photo you’ll see that in the first photo, her hips are much higher and behind the bar. In the second photo, she is mostly hanging under the bar with her hips to the left of the bar she is hanging from. In the second photo, she has to close her hip more to reach her toes to the bar – again using her abdominals and hip flexors a lot!

Development of toes-to-bar starts with a strong kip (and it helps kipping pull-ups a ton as well!). When you’re tired or trying to figure out what to work on, go back to the kip and try to close your shoulder angle as much as possible.

*Toes-t0-bar is a pulling movement that requires pulling power through the shoulders and lats. As we work to build the kipping swing we can also work to build our pulling power. Examples of great exercises to increase pulling power include, but are not limited to, ring rows, supine ring rows, rope climbs, legless rope climbs, strict pull-ups, bent over rows, banded lat pull downs, bent over sled pulls, and seated sled pulls. 

Don’t forget about our swim WODs this Saturday at 9am and 10am @ Berkley Pool. These WODs are free to Verve members, it is a $20 drop in fee for non members. (Directions to pool will be posted on Saturday’s blog)

Verve’s next Happy Hour is Friday June 27th @ 5:30pm at the Interstate Kitchen and Bar. Be there or be a giant Happy Hour hatin’ square.

Wednesday 140618

For time:
100 Sit-ups
50 Pull-ups
25 Thrusters, 135/95

Post time to BTW.

bacon frittata 475x233 Wednesday 140618

Bacon Potato Sausage Frittata. Delicious. Image from

Bacon Potato Sausage Breakfast Frittata

*From adapted to zone proportions


  • 4-6 strips bacon, cut into pieces (enough for 2 PRO -varies depending on type of bacon)
  • 1 2/3 tsp bacon fat (5FAT)
  • 360 g (2 2/3c) ~ 1 medium sweet potato or yam, diced into small cubes or shredded (it cooks faster)(8CHO)
  • ½ pound italian sausage (or other ground meat) (5PRO)
  • 8 eggs, whisked (8PRO)
  • 2/3 cup green chilies (2CHO)
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon ground paprika
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Place bacon in a large cast iron skillet or in an oven safe sauté pan. Cook bacon until crispy. Remove and place on a paper towel lined plate. Remove bacon fat and add 1 2/3 tsp back to pan.
  3. Add sweet potato, coat in bacon fat and let cook for 10-12 minutes or 5-7 if shredded or until the sweet potatoes are soft.
  4. Add italian sausage to the pan with the potatoes, break apart with a wooden spoon and cook until no pink remains.
  5. Once sausage is cooked through, remove pan from heat to let cool.
  6. In a bowl, whisk together eggs, green chilies, garlic powder, red pepper, paprika and salt and pepper.
  7. Once pan has cooled, pour in eggs and add the bacon on top of the sausage and potatoes. Mix well to evenly distribute the eggs around the pan.
  8. Place in oven and bake for 12-15 minutes until the eggs are fully cooked in the middle of the pan. I found I had to cook it longer in my convection oven.

Zone Proportions

  • Makes 15 PRO, 10 CHO, 5 FAT total
  • Cut into 5 equal sections for 3P, 2CHO, 1F per piece.
  • Top with some avocado to balance fats , add in 1 block of fruit and ENJOY!!!


Tuesday 140617

Five rounds for time:
5 handstand push-ups
10 one-legged squats, alternating
15 pull-ups
12 Deadlift, 155#(105#)
9 Hang power clean,155#(105#)
6 Push jerk, 155#(105#)

Post time to BTWB.

IMG 0118 475x316 Tuesday 140617

An organized class is a happy class!

Do you subscribe to the Twitter updates of The Poliquin Group?  If not, you might enjoy it.  They routinely produce great content around lifting, eating, and general wellness and tweet new content quite often.  Over the weekend I read a great article about balancing cortisol levels.  Cortisol is a hormone and hormones control your metabolism.  So how do you balance cortisol levels? Here are 10 ideas from The Poliquin Group to start getting your cortisol levels balanced.  These are the bold points, but the article is much more in depth and worth the read.  Click the title below to read the full article.

Ten Simple Rules for Balancing Cortisol to Get Lean & Muscular for Life
 By Poliquin Group™ Editorial Staff

#1: Do exercise, prioritizing strength training and interval workouts.
Exercise will improve the ratio between testosterone and cortisol, and it helps to balance cortisol in people with a poorly functioning metabolism.

#2: Don’t do long workouts (more than an hour). Don’t do intervals and lifting in the same session.
A properly designed workout will fatigue your central nervous system and your muscles in 60 minutes. Go in with focus and drive and get it done.

#3: Be physically active throughout the day.
It’s super important that you avoid sitting around all day because lack of physical activity also leads to high cortisol and hormone imbalances.

#4: Eat in a way that allows you to avoid hunger and cravings.
If you’re just starting to fix your eating habits, or you’ve been living on high-carb processed foods for a while, try eating 5 to 6 meals a day for better metabolic hormone balance.

#5: Don’t fast unless you’ve got your metabolic hormones balanced.
If you’ve got your nutrition dialed in and don’t get crazy hungry from a low meal frequency, 1 or 2 meals with intermittent fasting may work well.

#6: Do eat a nutrient-rich lower carb, higher protein diet.
A lower carb, higher protein diet balances hormones because insulin response to meals is lower and insulin sensitivity improves.

#7: Don’t turn to high-sugar, junk foods when stressed.
High cortisol literally blunts your ability to make rationale food choices. When cortisol is elevated, a part of the brain is activated that desires pleasurable foods, but goal-oriented parts of the brain are reduced.

#8: Do stay hydrated.
Research shows that dehydration can elevate cortisol and lead to an unfavorable ratio between cortisol and other metabolic hormones.

#9: Don’t dose caffeine throughout the day.
If you suffer anxiety, avoid caffeine.

#10: Do fun stuff: Laugh, play with your pets, listen to music, be social.
Activities that make you happy have been found to balance cortisol.

Again the above are only the bold points, but a much more thorough explanation of each is found within the article.  Take a few minutes and click the head line above and read the entire article.

Post your thoughts or feedback in the comments.

Monday 140616

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

Post scores to BTW.

big monkey clean 475x289 Monday 140616

Are you a Big Monkey or a Little Monkey?

Are You a Big Monkey or a Little Monkey?

Have you ever watched YouTube videos of “a day in the life” of any of your favorite Games athletes? I have.

The one thing that strikes me as amazing is how many times a day these athletes train. It’s insane! I once watched a video of Rich Froning working out on EIGHT (8) separate occasions in one day. In ONE DAY. That’s more volume than most of us normal humans can handle in one week!

After watching these videos, I get really excited and think that I can do the same thing.

Then I’ll start hitting a morning and evening workout, and within about two or three weeks, I’m feeling pretty beat up. Then I remind myself a of few things.

  1. I don’t compete in CrossFit as a sport.
  2. I’m not going to the Games. Ever. Well, maybe as a fan. But not as an athlete.
  3. I’m not Rich Froning.

And that’s the moment I realize that my actions are out of line with my long-term goals of health and fitness. One intense, focused workout a day is plenty to achieve your health and fitness goals. Keep that in mind next time your hitting barbell club, and then feeling pretty tired, and then hitting a WOD (or visca-versa); intensity is king, and you simply CAN-NOT maintain 100% intensity and focus over the course of 2 hours, multiple days a week. Besides – it’s not the training that gets you better – its the recovery from the training that gets you better.

What does any of this have to do with being a big monkey? Check it out here: Is One Workout Per Day Enough?