Sunday 160403

For time:
75 Power Snatches 75(55#)
At the 10:00 minute mark
Double Unders
Ab mat sit ups

Post times to comments or BTWB

We want to wish Ted all of the best in his future endeavors and we will miss you!!

We want to wish Ted all of the best in his future endeavors and we will miss you!!

This easy dish is inspired by Sarah who brought something similar to the EOP party.  You can see the full recipe here

Avocado Chicken Salad Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: Enough filling for two sandwiches or salads


  • 1 cup finely chopped cooked chicken
  • 1 ripe avocado, seeded and peeled
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored, and finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped cilantro or parsley
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice or a tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
    Sandwich bread or salad greens

1. Place the chicken, avocado, apple, celery, and red onion in a medium bowl. Gently mash the avocado with a fork and stir it around so that everything gets well mixe

2. Add the cilantro or parsley, lime juice or lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Add more lime juice or salt to taste. If the mixture seems a little dry, you can stir in a teaspoon or two of olive oil.

To store, place in a bowl and cover completely with plastic wrap so that no part of the chicken salad is exposed to air. Will keep a couple of days in the fridge.

Serve on sandwich bread, toasted bread, or salad greens (I recommend arugula or watercress for extra zing).


  • Thank you so much to everyone who came out yesterday and made the party awesome!!  It’s always fun to suffer together AND party together!


Saturday 160402

In teams of 2 complete the following for time:
100 Kettlebell swings, 53#(35#)
400 Meter run together
20 Rope climbs
400 Meter run together
50 Strict handstand push-ups
400 Meter run together

Post times to comments and BTWB

Wise words from a wise Yoda.

Wise words from a wise Yoda.

It’s party time!!

Verve is hosting the End Of The Open Party today starting at 12pm. Bring your favorite food, bring your favorite booze, and bring your favorite games. The BBQ will be running out back and the shenanigans will be running inside. It’s your opportunity to pat yourselves on the back, high five your buddy, and toast to a rough, yet fun, 5 weeks of the CrossFit Games Open. Open gym will be cancelled for the day. . . mingle instead. . . you know, without barbells.

**Verve Updates**

Starting Saturday April 16th Verve will be changing it’s Saturday schedule. Everything will be pushed back an hour:

8am WOD
9am WOD
10am WOD
11am-12:30pm open gym

We intend to try this for an entire month. Based on feedback during the month we will decide whether to continue or return to our previous schedule.


Starting April 18th Verve will be introducing Verve Sprint. For 2 weeks this new program will be open to current Verve members to test run. Starting the first Monday in May the Sprint class will have it’s own membership. For additional details please click here.

Sprint schedule:
Monday- Friday 5:45am
Monday- Thursday 5:15pm and 6:15pm

Each class is 45 minutes long.


Verve will be hosting a Level 1 Seminar the weekend of April 16th-17th. Verve will host a 7am WOD Saturday and Sunday morning, Verve will then be closed the remainder of the day. 




Friday 160401

As many rounds as possible in 21 minutes of:
1 Clean 185#(125#)
10 Toes to bar
15 Burpee box jumps 24″(20″)

Post reps to comments or BTWB

Paul getting in some overhead work on Thursday!

Paul getting in some overhead work on Thursday!

What is your year going to look like? – Anna Mattson

The Open is officially over; for some of us we are left wondering what is next?  Whether you are a competitive athlete or just like showing up, working out and going home, setting goals throughout the year is paramount to staying engaged and invested in our fitness.  Whilst trolling the interwebs for some of my favorite CrossFitters and their take on the Open, I came across a brilliant blog post from Miranda Oldroyd.  This post contains gems about goal-setting and staying focused, both inside and outside of the gym.  You can see the post in its entirety here

Serious question – what am I supposed to do now? – Miranda Oldroyd

On Saturday I completed the final workout of the 2016 CrossFit Games Open.  Every year until this one all that meant was that the stressful 5-6 weeks of the Open were over and I could get into focusing just on Regionals.  The past two years my “season” lasted basically January thru July.  It’s not even April yet!!!

Regardless of whether you are a competitor in some capacity or just like to train to stay in shape – I believe it’s always important to have some sort of goal with a date or a measurement to keep you motivated.

I’m a planner. I am one of those people who constantly makes lists, but then never looks at them. I get really excited when I get an opportunity to re-set like this because I can literally write down the days of the week and decide how I am going to fill them. Don’t worry, I already did that on the plane today.

On my little schedule I still made time for CF 4-5 days a week, where I will take class or join my crew of friends in some fun at CrossFit Chalk. Nothing like the hours of training that I was putting in the past few years. (Except for Saturdays when I will be up with Julian at Training Yard).  I will also hit some of my favorite programming whenever I get a chance from both CrossFit Linchpin and Icon Athlete.  I will definitely be adding back in more Hinshaw Aerobic Capacity and gymnastics training from Sean Lind.

I want to learn how to stand up paddle board and make a weekend hobby out of it.  I made time for boxing, yoga and swim training – all once per week.  I will definitely need to get back to the salsa lessons.

Eventually I plan on signing up for a few smaller competitions, potentially trying to rope some of my friends into teaming up with me just for fun. I mean…who wouldn’t love to see the girls from the 2015 NorCal Team show up together somewhere?!

I think for me, I need to pick some numbers, goals to reach for to keep me excited about training, but realistic with my new “less time to train” lifestyle. My goals will definitely include non CrossFitty things now because I have been having such a good time doing stuff outside of the box.

With that said, and even with the little schedule I made, I still wanted something measurable.  Some goals to shoot for.  When competing it was always about improving EVERYTHING as far as it would go.  Run faster, lift more, lower times!  I decided I would make a small list of pretty significant times and numbers and decide what I wanted to get back to and try to MAINTAIN for as long as possible just basically in my life.

So here is a list of a few things just off of the top of my head.  I feel like this will give me something to measure progress and success at least, without giving myself the pressure of trying to get all of the way back to where I was.  If it happens, cool, if not…these new numbers are the goal and I think are just fine.


BACK SQUAT 295 215 265
FRONT SQUAT 255 205 225
DEADLIFT 345 315 315
SNATCH 180 150 165
CLEAN 220 185 205
JERK 220 185 205
CINDY 25 25 25 +

Could definitely add a few more, but it was fun for me to kind of think about where I wanted to be and assess what I thought was a level that pushed me, but didn’t stress me out.  And some numbers where I could still be proud of the fitness I had gained after all of this time and would have to continue to work hard to maintain.

If you participated in the Open and aren’t going to Regionals, right now is an important time. It’s time to be proud of what you accomplished and then decide where you want to go next. There is literally no right or wrong answer. The only way you can go wrong is to not make an assessment. Whether it’s to improve on a weakness that you found, or take your fitness in a completely different direction – make sure you are headed in the direction for the life you want to have.  Also make sure that somewhere on that list is to have a really, really good time while getting fit.

What are your goals for this upcoming year?  Have you set goals outside of the gym?  If we have no measure of progress and no vision of where we want to go, how do we know how far we have come???

– Party tomorrow (Saturday) from noon to whenever you get tired of us!  We will have utensils, plates, napkins, and some brews.  Bring whatever you would like or nothing at all!


Thursday 160331

20 Minutes to work to a heavy complex of:
1 Shoulder press
1 Push press
2 Push jerks

Every minute on the minute for 5 minutes:
1 Push press + 1 push jerk @ 75% of todays complex
30 Double unders

Post loads to comments and BTWB

Josh and Jen really want to know what Barb thinks of Titos and Tasty.

Josh and Jen really want to know what Barb thinks of Titos and Tasty.


That’s a wrap!!

The 2016 Open has come to a close and if you were here on Friday you may have cheers to it’s end with some Titos and Tasty. If by chance you did not experience this amazing concoction, I highly recommend the next time you need to cheers to anything, you do so with Titos vodka and Kill Cliff Tasty. Barb would agree, it’s pretty. . . uhhh, what’s the word I’m looking for. . . tasty. 

Well this week also brings to a close my last shot out to two pretty inspiring Verve athletes and their pretty noteworthy performances in 16.5. 

Stan Sloan

Stan has been a consistent presence in the evening classes for over 2 years. And over those 2+ years Stan has worked hard, pushed himself through many grueling workouts, practiced his form and increased his weights. . . Stan has been working his way into being a bit of a CrossFit badass. Proof is that Stan put up a time of 14:46 in 16.5. Now before you ooh and ahh over a very impressive time, I want you to know the most impressive part about it. . . in 2014 when Stan performed this workout as 14.5, his time was 21:29. Now you can ooh and ahh. Stan was only 5 months into CrossFit when he signed up for the 2014 Open. Stan entered a score for all 5 workouts that year and considering there was no scaled division that year, being able to, in only 5 months of CrossFit, put up at least 1 rep for every workout is awesome. Now we fast forward 2 years. . . 2 years of mechanics, consistency, and intensity, and Stan has absolutely proof through a benchmark workout that he is without any doubt, stronger and more fit. Congratulations Stan on getting more and more badass every year!!

Connie Luu

I never sat down with Connie and talked with her about her goals for the 2016 Open, but I feel like I may have a good idea of what they were. I’ve had the privilege to train with Connie and work along side her during some pretty intense training sessions. I’ve seen her push herself to finish long after I’m certain she wanted to quit. I’ve seen her struggle and work through things that were an obvious weakness until she made them a strength. My guess was that Connie wanted to attack the 2016 Open with some fury and she wanted to crush it. I know for a fact she did not want to be injured right before it started. Which is unfortunately what happened. Several weeks before the Open Connie had an injury she was certain would effect her performance in the Open. She still signed up. From day 1 Connie has come in to Verve on Friday nights, looked at the workout, pieced together what she could and could not do, and then she attacked it. She did what she could to enter a score but continued with what would allow her to work hard and complete a whole workout. The first week she entered a score of 1 rep, but I watched her sweat it out for 20 whole minutes. Every Friday she came to Verve with an amazing attitude of “I will do what I can and I will work hard doing it”. And when she was done, she helped judge the next person, and would often stick around even longer to cheer on even more people. Connie came to open gym times to help judge and cheer, even when she had no plans of working out. After 16.5 I asked Connie her time for the workout, she told me “1”. I had to unfortunately remind her she could not turn in a score of 1 rep for this workout as it was a time based workout. As far as the Open was concerned, she would not be able to enter a time. She simply smiled, said oh well, and moved on to cheer on her partner. I know this Open did not go the way Connie would have liked but she is one of the most inspiring performances for the whole Open. I’m so proud of how involved Connie was in something she could have let be a big personal disappointment. You are one strong lady!!

Nate Rader, Eric Clancy, Walter Lopez, Sean McAleenan and more all improved their scores from 2014. Sarah LeGasse (Lev) did every Open workout while approx 9 months pregnant. Over the past 5 weeks we have highlighted some great athletic moments and some inspiring moments of pure heart and spirit. Everyone that signed up for the Open and came back every Friday ready to tackle the next WOD deserves a high five. . . and a party to celebrate all that hard work. 

Saturday April 2nd, starting at 12pm, Verve is opening it’s doors to an Open themed BBQ. Didn’t sign up for the Open or do any of the workouts?? We don’t care, we still want you there. Come on down and get inspired to sign up for it next year. Did the Open and got some things you want to brag about?? What better place to do it then surrounded by people who will actually understand your brags. For details about what to bring, please see the FB event page or check out any one of the many flyers posted around Verve. Drink and eat up, laugh and be merry, you all deserve it!!

Till next year. . . . #Open2017


Wednesday 160330

For Time:
Deadlifts, 225#(155#)
Chest to Bar Pull-ups

Post Results to BTWB

Adam utilizing the Trap Bar.

Adam utilizing the Trap Bar.

In the Week 3 edition of “What are those?!?”, we will be going over the Trap Bar. The Trap Bar has a number of uses and specializations.

What is a Trap Bar?
The trap bar, which is also known as the hex-bar, is a hexagon shaped barbell that allows the lifter to stand in the center of the load being lifted rather than behind it. 

Who should use a Trap Bar?
Anyone could benefit from using the Trap Bar. Whether you are rehabbing from an injury or just looking to get stronger, the trap bar could play a role in helping you reach your goals.

What are the benefits of the Trap Bar?
“The trap bar deadlift is considered far superior to barbells for power and strength training as it transfers the load more to the knees than to the hips of the lumbar spine, ideal for those suffering from lower back problems.

The trap bar provides a safer version of deadlift than the straight bar version as it produces significant levels of peak force, power and velocity while allowing more weight to be lifted over a longer period of time. It reduces the potential for injury and at the same time maximizes power. The upright torso position used in the deadlift improves posture and corrects weightlifting techniques.

The technique used in a this deadlift is more advantageous for beginning weight lifters who require a greater amount of upfront coaching in their mobility work. The one thing coaches find challenging is to prevent the over-extension of the back muscles which can be avoided with the right type of execution.

For most weight lifters, getting into the correct deadlift position using a straight bar is quite challenging without lots of coaching and mobility work upfront. This is especially true for those who are desk bound for 8 hours per day and do not have the same flexibility as serious lifters who practice their lumbar flexions and posterior pelvic tilt postures for hours. The trap bar design allows a more upright torso position where the knees move forward, allowing the hips to sit lower, which avoids scraping the shins as sometimes happens with a straight bar movement.

This strength training exercise is a good one, as you can see here. It helps to prevent injury, utilizes your full strength, and is a great exercise for your legs and back.”*

*Taken from:


Tuesday 160329

4 Rounds:
With a 3 minute clock:
Row 30(22) calories
With remaining time
As many reps of as possible of:
Shoulder to overhead 115#(75#)
Rest 2 minute between efforts

Score is total shoulder to overhead reps

Post to BTWB

Phil is either having a good time here or having a really bad time here...

Phil is either having a good time here or having a really bad time here…


CrossFit Verve introduces:  VERVE SPRINT
Now that we are in our new space, we want to continue the excitement by introducing a brand new class.  Verve Sprint is a class designed for athletes who want the high-intensity, constantly-varied, functional movements of CrossFit but don’t share the same excitement as some about the complex barbell movements. Classes will include body weight movements, rowing, running, jumping/plyometrics, medicine balls, kettlebells, dumbbells, and whatever other things we can come up with, in longer metcon formats. Verve Sprint is still CrossFit and we will continue to develop the 10 general physical skills: Cardiovascular Respiratory Endurance, Stamina, Strength, Flexibility, Power, Speed, Coordination, Agility, Balance, and Accuracy, there will simply be limited barbell involvement. 
What will a Verve Sprint class look like? 
The classes are 45 minutes long and will include a warm-up, movement review, and an intense workout ranging from 15-30 minutes.
Who would be interested in Verve Sprint?  
– Any experienced CrossFitter that has a preference for the the longer, higher-intensity workouts on a more regular basis
-Those new to the CrossFit methodologies looking for some consistency in the foundational movements
-Anyone, veteran or new, that cherry picks those heavy lifting days or Olympic lifting days and just wants to sweat
When will Verve Sprint be offered? 
MondayFriday at 5:45am, MondayThursday at 5:15pm and 6:15pm.  Verve Sprint will be taking the place of our current Skilz class.  
*We will be starting Verve Sprint April 18th.  From April 18th through the end of the month of April, current Verve members are welcome to join Verve Sprint classes to see what they are all about. Starting Monday May 2nd, if you are interested in continuing to participate in Verve Sprint, current Verve members can add unlimited Verve Sprint classes to their membership for $15 per month.  If you are interested in taking ONLY Verve Sprint classes you may update your Verve membership to a Verve Sprint Only membership for $80/month. 
-Access to unlimited WODs, open gym times, and unlimited Sprint = current Verve membership + $15 per month 
-Access to unlimited Sprint only (no WODs and no open gym) = $80 per month
Please email for questions regarding couple’s membership pricing and/ or any additional pricing questions.
What if I am not a Verve member and I have never done CrossFit before but I want to do Verve Sprint?  
No problem at all!  First, just to ensure you are familiar with the movements, we will schedule a 1 hour movement review and assessment session with you to prepare you for the workouts.  After that session is completed, you can start a Verve Sprint Only membership for $80/month for unlimited Verve Sprint classes.
Please email for questions regarding the set-up, design, and structure of the new Sprint classes.

Monday 160328

Front Squats

Then 3 rounds for quality:
10 Alternating front rack lunges @ 40% of todays heaviest 1 rep

Post to BTWB

Lev + 1 crushing 16.5.

Lev + 1 crushing 16.5.

Well the 2016 CrossFit Open is now in the books.  Our first in our new space and I for one really enjoyed Friday’s around here for the past 5 weeks.  I’m not going to lie, the 5:30 am class was sometimes like a bad dress rehearsal but the 5:30 am members know what to expect and always help make an otherwise stressful situation a little less, so cheers to you guys.  Thanks to Ali for getting everyone buzzed up this past Friday morning as well.  

The PM classes had great energy and a strong sense of community.  Always great to see others stick around and cheer on your friends while they are painfully working through some pretty grueling workouts.  Big thanks to Kill Cliff and Josh Haskins for coming by this past Friday night loading us up with some Kill Cliff and Kill Cliff gear as well making our beverages a little more adult.  An adult beverage was much needed after Open workout 5 too so the timing was perfect.

Reminder that we are celebrating the end of the Open this coming Saturday, April 2nd.  We will have the grille going as well as some different games for people to play.  If you have any type of BBQ game that we could borrow for the afternoon, please feel free to bring in by.  I know we need some corn hole boards and bags so if you have those lying around your garage please bring them.  We are to start at 12:00 PM but we are still planning on having open gym from 12 – 1:30.  

The 7 PM Friday class will be going away again until next years Open.  We will be bringing back Yoga on Sundays so stay tuned to MBO and the blog for updates on when classes will be starting up again.  We are also going to be introducing some new classes to the Verve offerings.  In the next few days we’ll start rolling out some information about our first new class, Verve Sprint.  We are still working out the details but should have some information for you in the near future.  

We will no longer be following Mainsite for programming.  We are going back to in house programming, so it will be nice to know what the workout is ahead of time versus having to wait until 6 PM.  

Thanks again for a great Open season and please feel free to post any memories or comments to the comments section.   

Sunday 160327

In front of a clock set for 12 minutes:
1 minute of box jumps 30″(24″)
1 minute of sumo deadlift high pulls 115#(75#)
2 minutes of box jumps 30″(24″)
2 minutes of sumo deadlift high pulls 115#(75#)
3 minutes of box jumps 30″(24″)
3 minutes of sumo deadlift high pulls 115#(75#)

Post reps to comments or BTWB

It doesn't get much easier than this!

It doesn’t get much easier than this!

Here is an easy salad that is great for END OF THE OPEN parties (wink wink).  This recipe comes to us courtesy of Ava’s Kitchen.  If you are not familiar, this page was started by Jason Khalipa’s wife, Ashley and it chronicles the meals she makes for her family.  They are primarily paleo with some exceptions.  If you want to see full recipe details or check out her page, go here.

Greek Salad with Salami


1 cucumber diced
1 cup of chopped romaine
3/4 cup of feta diced (I like the kind in the brine)
1/2 cup of kalamata olives
4 thick slices of salami diced
Olive oil to taste
Dried oregano to taste
Juice of 1 lemon
3/4 cup of cherry tomatoes cut in halves

Mix everything up and enjoy!

*Thank you Ali for the great recommendation.

Saturday 160326

5 Rounds for time:
100 Meter farmers carry with kettlebells 53#(35#)
20 Hang power cleans with dumbbells 40#(25#)
50 Meter overhead walking lunge with plate 45#(35#)
20 Pull ups

Post time to comments or BTWB

Walter ensuring no bro reps are happening with Stan on 16.5.

Walter allowing no bro reps with Stan on 16.5.

What’s happening at Verve?

-End of the Open party will be next Saturday, April 2nd starting at noon!  This is a pot-luck grill out, so bring your favorite treat, food and/or drink, to share with each other.  We will have awesome games, good music, and great company.  LET’S CELEBRATE!!

-15.5 Re-do for Sunday will again be from 11am – 12:30pm.  Please sign up in MindBody so we know who to expect.

-Keep an eye on Verve’s social media outlets for some exciting information coming to Verve!

Friday 160325


21-18-15-12-9-6-3 reps for time of:
Thrusters, 95#(65#)
Bar facing burpees

Post times to comments, BTWB, and Games


This workout begins with the barbell on the floor and the athlete standing tall. At the call of “3, 2, 1 … go,” the athlete will perform 21 thrusters, then 21 burpees, jumping over the barbell for each rep of the burpees. They will then perform 18 of each, then 15 of each, etc., until the last round of 3 of each. Every second counts in this workout. Your score will be the time it takes to complete all 168 repetitions. There is no time cap for this workout.

This workout ends when the feet land on the other side of the bar on the final rep. Time will be recorded in full seconds. Do not round up. If you finish in 7:49.8, your score is 7:49.

• Barbell
• Standard bumper plates (18” diameter) to load to the appropriate weight for your division
• Collars

* If you do not use standard-sized bumper plates on the barbell, you will also need a second barbell set with standard plates to jump over for the burpees, unless you are Scaled Masters. Scaled Masters will be permitted to jump over an empty barbell on the burpees.

For each workout, be sure the athlete has adequate space to safely complete the workout. Clear the area of all extra equipment, people or other obstructions.

Any athlete who in any way alters the equipment or movements described in this document or shown in the workout standards video may be disqualified from the competition.

**The official weight is in pounds. For your convenience, the minimum acceptable weights in kilograms are 43 kg (95 lb.), 29 kg (65 lb.), 20 kg (45 lb.), and 15 kg (35 lb.).

Video Submission Standards
Prior to starting, film the plates and barbell to be used so the loads can be seen clearly. All video submissions should be uncut and unedited in order to accurately display the performance. A second person with a stopwatch should be in the frame throughout the entire workout. Shoot the video from an angle so all exercises can be clearly seen meeting the movement standards.

Note: Depending on your performance, this video may be longer than previous workouts. Be sure you have enough battery life, memory and time to upload your video. You may need to increase your limit on YouTube to allow a longer video.

Workout 16.5 Variations

Rx’d (Rx’d Men, Masters Men 40-44, Masters Men 45-49, Masters Men 50-54, Rx’d Women, Masters Women 40-44, Masters Women 45-49, Masters Women 50-54, Teen Boys 16-17, Teen Girls 16-17)
21-18-15-12-9-6-3 reps for time of:

Men use 95 lb.
Women use 65 lb.

Scaled (Scaled Men, Scaled Masters Men 40-44, Scaled Masters Men 45-49, Scaled Masters Men 50-54, Scaled Women, Scaled Masters Women 40-44, Scaled Masters Women 45-49, Scaled Masters Women 50-54)
21-18-15-12-9-6-3 reps for time of:

Men use 65 lb.
Women use 45 lb.

Masters (Masters Men 55-59, Masters Men 60+, Masters Women 55-59, Masters Women 60+)
21-18-15-12-9-6-3 reps for time of:

Men use 65 lb.
Women use 45 lb.

Scaled Masters (Scaled Masters Men 55-59, Scaled Masters Men 60+, Scaled Masters Women 55-59, Scaled Masters Women 60+)
21-18-15-12-9-6-3 reps for time of:

Men use 45 lb.
Women use 35 lb.
Note: Burpees over an unloaded barbell are permitted for this division.

Teens 14-15 (Teen Boys 14-15, Teen Girls 14-15)
21-18-15-12-9-6-3 reps for time of:

Boys use 65 lb.
Girls use 45 lb.

Scaled Teens (Scaled Teen Boys 14-15, Scaled Teen Boys 16-17, Scaled Teen Girls 14-15, Scaled Teen Girls 16-17)
21-18-15-12-9-6-3 reps for time of:

Boys use 45 lb.
Girls use 35 lb.