Saturday 150425

Every minute on the minute x 10 minutes:
10 KB Swings, 70#(53#)
Rest 3 minutes
Every minute on the minute x 10 minutes:
10 Toes to bar
Rest 3 minutes
Every minute on the minute x 10 minutes:
Row 15 calories

Post results to comments and BTWB

Joel cruising through some double unders.

Joel cruising through some double unders.


 Lots of Verve happenings coming up:

*Over the next few months we will be alternating class times for Sunday yoga between 8am and 11am. Here is the upcoming schedule:

Sunday May 3 — Molly 8am
Sunday May 10 — Kacey 11am
Sunday May 17 — Molly 8am
Sunday May 31 — Kacey 11am
Sunday June 7 — Kacey 11am
Sunday June 14 — Molly 8am
Sunday June 21 — Molly 8am
Sunday June 28 — Kacey 11am
Sunday July 5 — Kacey 11am

Please continue to sign up on MBO to reserve your spot AND bring your own yoga mat.

*#teamverve is heading to the South Regionals in Dallas, TX May 15th-17th. To help raise money to send the team we will be hosting a Verve Night Out Saturday May 2nd, 4pm-8pm, at Lucky Pie Pizza in downtown Denver. We will have raffle prizes, a silent auction, and a portion of the event’s food/ drinks sales will be donated to #teamverve. Come down and mingle with the team and possibly win some pretty cool stuff.

*If you want more information about the South Regionals (location, ticket sales, and places to stay) click here.

*We also have a Regionals shirt designed with the help of Danielle Dangoia and her company Barcode Fit. These shirts are available through pre-order only and 100% of the proceeds will go to #teamverve. Click here to order a shirt, all orders must be in by Sunday April 26th, 6pm. Local pick-up will take place at Verve before Regionals. Any shipped orders will go out after Regionals. 

Order a #teamverve Regionals shirt while you can!! Wear them to support the team.

Order a #teamverve Regionals shirt while you can!! Wear them to support the team.

Friday 150424

5 Rounds for time of:
Run 400 Meters
30 Box Jumps 24″(20″)
30 Wall Balls 20#(14#)

Post time to comments or BTW

POSTURE... I barely even know her!  (maybe that was only funny to me?) – Anna Mattson

Recently I wrote a post regarding smiling and the effects it has on your mood and general disposition.  While listening to the Tim Ferris podcast, he referenced a TED talk that discussed the hormone cascade that happens in certain postures.  I was interested by this topic, so I watched the TED talk by Amy Cuddy then followed it up with some research.  In this post, I will try not to sound like you mom and tell you to stand up straight, rather show you how you hold yourself can lead to big gains in the gym OR work against you and your goals.  Here are some of the key takeaways I got from my research:

#1 – Holding yourself in a “power position”, whether you believe it or not, will instantaneously increase your Testosterone levels.  Scientists conducted a study in which they had participants hold power positions and non-power positions; then they would have them spit into a test tube.  The results showed the participants, while in a power position, had doubled their testosterone levels.  Increased levels of Testosterone can lead to strength gains, increased energy, and stronger muscles and bones.

#2 – Holding yourself in a “non-power” position will INCREASE your Cortisol levels.  This bit of information was found in the study reference above.  Cortisol is a stress hormone and has very negative side effects such as weight gain, depression, and very negatively effect your memory.

Reference the picture below to see the postures I am speaking of:

Top=Power Positions

Top = Power Positions

Please follow this link to read a key article about the information discussed above.

So, here is what I want you to do when you walk into the door @ Verve – Strike a power position the minute you walk in the door, #gainz are sure to follow!


Mark your calendars for Saturday, May 2nd!  Verve is hosting a get-together / fundraiser at Lucky Pie Pizza.  There will be more details to follow!



Thursday 150423

Power Snatch

Overhead Squat


Then, every minute on the minute x 5 minutes:
1 Snatch @ 75% of today’s 1 rep max

Post loads to comments and BTWB

#teamverve Regional shirts, get 'em while you can!!

#teamverve Regional shirts, get ‘em while you can!!


It’s official!!! #teamverve is heading to Dallas, TX for the CrossFit Games South Regionals!!!

As of 6pm Wednesday night #teamverve got the email inviting the team to Texas May 15th-17th to compete at the South Regionals. It was quite the nail biter over the last few days but we held on to that 15th spot and now it’s go time. We understand that this now gives the members of Verve 2 1/2 weeks notice to think about joining us down in Dallas to cheer the team on, and that’s just not a lot of time. But we want as many people there for support as we can get, so here is all the info:

* The Regional event will be held at the Dallas Convention Center in Dallas, TX. Regional events will be going on Friday May 15th – Sunday May 17th.

*Click here for more information regarding purchasing tickets to the Regional event.

*CrossFit has teamed up with HBC Event Services to offer hotel accommodations for the South Regional in Dallas, Texas. These special discounted hotel prices are only available via their website. Click here to find a place to stay in Dallas. 

*We will be hosting a Verve Night Out Fundraiser to help send the team to Dallas. This event will be Saturday May 2nd, 4pm-8pm @ Lucky Pie Pizza. There will be raffle prizes, a silent auction, and the guarantee that for every dollar raised #teamverve will do a burpee. 

*With the help of Danielle Dangoia and her company Barcode, we have designed a Regional shirt to help support #teamverve. This shirt will only be available for pre-order and will be available prior to the team leaving for Dallas. Buy the shirt and wear it in support of the team. Proceeds from the shirt sales will also go to helping send the team to Dallas. 



Shipping details: Verve athletes should choose “local pickup” and they can be picked up at the gym. If anyone from out of state wants to order one and have it shipped to them, they can do so – however, they will need to pay for shipping via the website and the shirts will not be shipped out until AFTER regionals weekend.

We know this is happening fast. We are super excited and we want you to be too. Over the next few days stay tuned to Facebook and Instagram as we begin introducing you to the 4 men and 4 women who will be representing #teamverve.

Wednesday 150422

As many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of:
50 Double unders
40 Ab-mat sit-ups
30 Pull-ups
20 Burpees

Post rounds to comments and BTWB

Jason nailing his box jump overs.

Jason nailing his box jump overs.


Are you prepared for this. . . mentally? By Courtney “mental toughness is my middle name” Shepherd

I’m certain you’ve heard this said before but, sometimes the hardest part of the workout is the mental part. That part during a workout when your mind is telling you to quit. A few weeks ago we had a workout with 150 wall balls. Every break in the wall balls meant you had to go do a 400m run, I’m certain many of you remember this workout. I had a game plan when I approached it, I wanted to get a solid set of 50 wall balls right off the bat. Somewhere around 20 things didn’t follow the plan, I got about 7 no reps in a row with no sign of recovery. So I dropped my ball and went for a run. . . 25 reps into this workout. As I ran out the door I cussed. . . a lot. I said a lot of negative things about the stupid WOD, the stupid run, a lot of things were stupid to me. But about half way through the run I started to tell myself that I needed to turn this around, I can’t get back to the ball this angry. When I walked back in the door, I had a smile on my face, I laughed, and said “I see a lot of running in my future.” I got another 25 reps in before I headed out the door for my next run. I won’t lie to you, I was still pretty angry and frustrated. But, as I ran, I simply repeated to myself “this does not define you”. Sounds silly but it’s very true. That horribly defeating workout does not define me as a person. In 20 minutes I did not get through 150 wall balls. . . this does not make me a failure at life or CrossFit or anything else. I wanted to quit that WOD sooooooo many times, at one point I even looked at Anna and said “I don’t want this anymore”. I didn’t. I did not want to keep going after I realized early on how unsuccessful I would be. But I didn’t quit. I finished that workout no where near achieving what I set out to or adhering to any game plan I set for myself. That is what defines me. That workout helped build my mental game. Quitting is easy, changing a mindset to push through is the hard part. 

In an article title “Are You Mentally Tough?” by Scott Barry Kaufman, in Scientific American, he discusses mental toughness as a necessary character trait needed in athletes:

“Mental toughness” is a phrase that is commonly used in sports to describe the superior mental qualities of the competitor. Most elite athletes report that at least 50% of superior athletic performance is the result of mental or psychological factors, and a whopping 83% of coaches rate mental toughness as the most important set of psychological characteristics for determining competitive success.

People who are mentally tough have a psychological edge that enables them to cope better than their opponents with the many demands that sports place on a performer, and they are also more consistent and better than their opponents in remaining determined, focused, confident, and in control under pressure.”

Several athletes from a variety of sports were asked to describe mental toughness, this is what they said:

  1. Unshakeable self-belief in your ability to achieve competition goals.
  2. Ability to bounce back from performance set-backs as a result of an increased determination to succeed.
  3. Unshakeable self-belief that you possess unique qualities and abilities that make you better than your opponents.
  4. Insatiable desire and internalized motives to succeed.
  5. Remaining fully focused on the task at hand in the face of competition-specific distractions.
  6. Regaining psychological control following unexpected, uncontrollable events (comeptition-specific).
  7. Pushing back the boundaries of physical and emotional pain, while still maintaining technique and effort under distress during training and competition.
  8. Accepting that competition anxiety is inevitable and knowing that you can cope with it. 
  9. Not being adversely affected by other’s good and bad performances.
  10. Thriving on the pressure of competition.
  11. Remaining fully focused in the face of personal life distractions.
  12. Switching sport focus on and off as required.

Mental toughness is an ongoing developing process. The attitudes, cognitions, emotions, and personal values that comprise mental toughness develop as a result of repeated exposure to a variety of experiences, challenges, and adversities. The more we work our weaknesses, the more will build strength, not only physically, but mentally as well. It’s easy to cherry pick a workout. To see a 5K run and think, “I hate running, I’ll skip this one”. Maybe the next time you don’t skip it, maybe the next time you say “Running a 5K will be difficult but showing up and doing it knowing the difficulty I face, makes me a stronger person”.

Mental toughness is not only important in sports. Research has found that adolescents with higher mental toughness are more resilient against stress and depression. . . . mental toughness is important in any environment that requires performance setting, challenges, and adversities.”

Running that 5K when you don’t want to may help build a mental toughness that let’s you take on challenges at work, at school, even in our own personal lives. Funny sometimes how CrossFit and life can be intertwined. Kick that mental toughness in from the start. The workout doesn’t suck because it’s made up of everything you hate. Instead, the workout is providing an opportunity for you to work on your weaknesses. Fight for the mental toughness in the workout. Don’t think “I’ve got so much more work to do”, but rather “I’ve done so much work already, there is very little left in my way of finishing it”. When the workout is done, don’t fall on the floor thinking how awful it was but rather stand up and celebrate completing it. It’s hard advice to take, I struggle with mental toughness, these things can be easier said than done. But now is the time to try, now is the time to starting flipping our mindset and building our mental toughness, not just for CrossFit but for life. 

Click here for full article.


Tuesday 150421

4 Rounds
20 Front Squats 135(95#)
20 Box jump overs 24″(20″)

Post time to BTWB.

Chance for a second day?  You betcha!

Chance for a second day? You betcha!


As mentioned in yesterdays blog, here is some additional information regarding the new strength, Olympic, or barbell class that will begin on May 5th.  Frankly we haven’t decided on a name so I figured I’d use the three names mentioned as a way to describe the class until a name is decided upon.

We will be performing the following lifts; Monday: power position snatch, low hang snatch, snatch, overhead squat and back squat, Tuesday: power position clean and jerk, low hang clean and jerk, clean and jerk, romanian deadlift, backsquat, Thursday: power position snatch, mid hang snatch, power snatch, snatch grip lift off, drop snatch. Friday: power position clean and jerk, low hang clean and jerk, power clean and jerk, clean pull, split position press, and front squat.

There will be small sets and the percentages will be low to medium in weight to begin, moving up each week.  Ideally this program requires the participants to test their snatch and clean and jerk one rep on Saturdays. If you can make it in to Open Gym on Saturday that would be an ideal end to the weeks worth of training.

Here are the lifts you should know your one rep max for: Snatch, Clean and Jerk, Power Snatch, Power Clean, Overhead Squat, Back Squat, and Front Squat.

Percentages will be discussed during the first day of class and although you don’t have to make every class, being there on day 1 will be pretty important.  We will cap the class at around 12 people and you’ll probably be working in pairs to make sure rest is being taken.  Please email me,, if you have any questions.  Again as stated in yesterdays blog, we will try to offer a morning class for this, but that will be based on trainer availability.  

*A note about Sundays.  We have removed the 11 am class.  Attendance was far too low for both the 10 am and 11 am class, averaging around 5 – 7 people each class.  This past Sunday we had only 15 in the 10 am class.  If attendance starts to climb for the 10 am class we will consider adding a 11 am class back in, but for now 10 am is your last class on Sunday.


Monday 150420

Shoulder Press


3 Rounds for weight:
3 Shoulder Press
5 Push Press
7 Push Jerk
rest 3 minutes between rounds

Post weight to BTWB.

This may or may not have been staged for inclusion in today's blog.

This may or may not have been staged for inclusion in today’s blog.


Alright boys and girls, it’s been quite a while since we’ve had a “specialty” class at 5 PM on weekdays.  Now that the dust has settled from the Open and we sit patiently in 15th place hoping nothing changes and we get an invitation to the Regional in Dallas, we thought it was a good time to fill that 5:00 hour with a new lifting class.

The class will be focused on developing the two Olympic lifts, the snatch and clean and jerk.  We will use Monday and Thursday for snatch focus and Tuesday and Friday will focus on the Clean and Jerk.  There will also be a lot of squatting involved.  We won’t have modifications for any of the movements so if you have injuries that prevent you from performing any of that days lift, expect to do what you can you do and leave the movements alone that may cause you pain or aggravate an injury further.  
We will begin the classes on Monday May 5th and in order to participate you will have to a proficient understanding of the the two movements as well as the different starting positions, such as high hang, low hang, and mid hang.  We will coach and correct but given the amount of work to get accomplished in 1 hour we will have very little time to teach movements.  This will be similar to the past “barbell club” in structure.  A solid understanding or at least practice in both lifts will be very helpful.
Tomorrow I will list the movements that we will focus on as well as the different lifts that you should know you 1 rep max lifts for.
We could potentially offer a morning class, but that is going to be based on trainer availability.  Once I have better insight into our trainers availability for next month, I’ll update you all on the morning class.  More details to follow tomorrow.

Sunday 150419

As many rounds as possible in 12 minutes:
10 Overhead jumping lunges, 35#(25#)
200m Row

Post rounds to comments or BTW

YOGA!! Always a good time!

YOGA!! Always a good time!


Orange Cashew Chicken – 3 blocks per serving.  Yields 2 servings.  Recipe courtesy of

  • 1/3 cup Orange juice
  • 2 tbsps Soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsps Olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp Fresh grated ginger root
  • 6 oz Boneless chicken breast – cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 1/2 tsps Olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsps Cornstarch
  • 1 cup Mandarin orange sections – (drained)
  • 2 tsps Cashew nuts – (12 cashews)
  • 2 cups Green beans


Stir together orange juice, soy sauce, olive oil and ginger root. Add chicken pieces, stirring to coat. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Drain chicken, reserving the soy sauce mixture. Sauté chicken in oil, turning often, until chicken is done. Stir together the soy mixture and cornstarch. Heat until mixture is thickened and bubbly, stirring often. Stir in orange sections and cashews and continue to cook until heated through. Serve over green beans.



Saturday 150418

30 Rounds for time:
5 Burpees
1 Muscle-up

Post times to comments and BTWB

Just some attempts at synchronized ab work. It's almost summer, #beachreadyabs

Just some attempts at synchronized ab work. It’s almost summer, #beachreadyabs


Q: What in the world is going on at Verve? A: A lot.

*Saturday morning @ 8am is our community WOD. Verve athletes bring a friend who’s heard you talk about CrossFit for too long and have them try it for themselves.

*The following Monday, April 20th we will start another round of foundations for the new converts.

*We will be starting a new barbell program with a focus on the Olympic lifts, Monday May 4th. The program will run for 6 weeks on Monday/ Tuesday/ Thursday/ Friday at 5pm. Stay tuned for more information in a future blog post.

*The South Regionals will be taking place in Dallas, TX May 15th-17th. Right now #teamverve is holding strong in 15th place. If you are interested in going all information regarding tickets and venue can be found on the Games site, click here.

*Verve will be hosting the CrossFit Football Trainer Course in July and the CrossFit Weightlifting Trainer Course in August. If you are interested in increasing your knowledge in a more specialized area of CrossFit then check out Verve’s event page for more information.  

Have a wonderful weekend!!!! 

Friday 150417

For time:
10 Power snatch, 135#(95#)
400m Run
15 Thrusters, 135#(95#)
400m Run
20 Clean & jerk, 135#(95#)
400m Run
25 Deadlift, 135#(95#)
400m Run

Post time to comments or BTW


Visual example of knees collapsing.

Visual example of knees collapsing.

Box Jumps continued…

 We will continue the discussion of safely incorporating box jumps into our training.  We will discuss some of the safety issues that may come up and how to tackle them.

Safety Issue #1 - Ruptured Achilles!  Achilles ruptures generally happen during the switch from the eccentric portion to the concentric portion of the movement, meaning when we are landing and rebounding into our next jump.  If our ankles are not ready or our calves and surrounding structures are too tight, this can lead to a nasty ruptured achilles which will put you out of commission for 3 – 9 months.  Here is a great video to show you some easy techniques you can do before a workout with box jumps to mobilize your calves.   THIS VIDEO

Safety Issue #2 - Collapsed knees!  As pictured above, collapsed knees are not only NOT pretty, they are very dangerous in an explosive movement.  Knees caving in during the box jumps can be due to many reasons, such as weak hips, glutes, or hamstrings, and/or an lack of awareness of a proper squat.  Some ways to avoid this during box jumps are: (#1 – #5 courtesy of

  • Rule #1: Be able to perform a competent un-weighted squat before trying any height box jump.
  • Rule #2: Be able to perform a bodyweight weighted squat before doing depth or rebound jumps, if you jump onto a box before you can meet this standard step down.
  • Rule #3: Never jump off of something you can’t jump onto.
  • Rule #4: Never jump off something that you can’t absorb the landing smoothly and with confidence.
  • Rule #5: Landing is more important than jumping.
  • Rule #6: Strengthen the weak structures such as hips and glutes.  Monster walks and glute bridges are a great place to start.
  • Rule #7:  Practice the landing of the box jump.  Start at a very low height and practice a soft landing, driving the knees out, weight on the outside of the feet, and making as little sound as possible.

Box jumps can be performed safely so achieve our training goals, we just need to make sure we don’t put the cart before the horse and practice good mechanics and mobility first!


-Free Community WOD tomorrow at 8am.  Come one, come all interested in checking out Verve or CrossFit!

– Molly will be teachig Yoga on Sunday at 8am




Thursday 150416

Back squat

Then, 5 good mornings + 5 reverse stepping lunges per leg x 3 sets @ 50% of 5RM
Rest 2 minutes between sets

Post loads to comments and BTWB

Glute bridges are fun for the whole family!!! And not awkward at all.

Glute bridges are fun for the whole family!!! And not awkward at all.


It’s been 3 weeks since the completion of the 2015 CrossFit Games Open. In that time we’ve had a lot of questions about Team Verve. How did we do? Are we going to Regionals? Who is on the team?

Well let’s start off with who is on the team. Along with the 5 Open WODs, every Tuesday we had a special workout written to be used as a Regional team qualifier. Any athlete interested in being on the team had to submit a score for all 10 workouts. Based on the ranking of those workouts we put together #teamverve. We are excited to say our team Verve representatives are:

Trey Kubacak
Matt Schmidt
Nate Rader
Eric Clancy

Elizabeth “Lillie” Glaws
Anna Mattson
Courtney Shepherd
Nicole Hall

Team Verve ended the Open in 20th place. For now. Regionals is a little different this year. Several regions are being combined together before the start of Regionals. Our region, the Southwest region, will combine with the South Central region and the Latin America region. Together we make up the South Regionals. The top 20 men, top 20 women, and top 15 teams from each region will be invited to compete at the Regional level. Now currently Verve is outside of this invite list, however the towel has not been completely thrown in yet. As individual athletes accept their invite to Regionals, any score they contributed to their teams during the Open will be removed. As these scores are removed, there is a shift in the team standings

Starting today those shifts have begun. The dead line to accept or decline an invite to Regionals is at the end of the week. It is then that we will have a final answer as to whether or not Verve will be sending a team to Regionals. 

We are super proud of how well Verve did during the Open. We had some amazing displays of athleticism, some fun competitive banter (aka s@#t talking), huge firsts and PRs, and an overall sense of accomplishment and progress. We are fitter than yesterday. Our hope is that, when all the dust settles, our hard work will pay off with a seat at Regionals.  However, if it doesn’t, our plan is to train on. To make team Verve even stronger for a badass 2016 comeback.  

Team Verve is currently in training, getting prepared for whatever comes our way. We will be ready to represent Verve and it’s community this year and next. While we wait make sure to high five those that competed in the Open. It’s an amazing, and often humbling experience. To get through it takes more mental strength than physical at times. Everyone who signed up and took on each workout every week deserves a congratulations. To those that fought even harder for a place on the team, another round of high fives. It is an amazing thing to love your community so much that there is a desire to represent them. To fight for them, sweat for them, and endure pain for them. Thank you for your dedication to showing how great our gym is. 

Lastly, we do have 1 athlete getting ready to fight the good fight and earn a spot at the CrossFit Games. Jim Duwve will be competing in the Masters Qualifiers next week. He will have 4 days to complete 4 WODs. He will be competing against 200 other gentlemen for a shot at a top 20 spot. You may see him in the gym doing these workouts and video taping them, if you do, give him a shout out. We are rooting for you Duwve!!

Congratulations again to all of #teamverve. The 2015 Open did not disappoint. Even if you sit back and think, “I did not do as well as I would have liked”, that just means a fire has been lit, a spark ignited, to give 2016 some hell. Here we come.