Wednesday 160629

As many rounds as possible in 12 minutes of:
10 Shoulder to overhead 115#(75#)
10 Alternating front rack lunges 115#(75#)
50 Double unders

Post Result to BTWB.

We ate Verve want to wish Brent good luck as he moves to Iowa - hope to see you back soon!

We at Verve want to wish Brent good luck as he moves to Iowa – hope to see you back soon!




















Today, I propose you a question. I want you to ask yourself “Why?”. I want you to ask yourself why is important to you to make it part of your routine to come to the gym. The beautiful thing is that there is no wrong answer. Your why could be in the list below (or maybe it’s not – no big deal):

  • It’s important to you to perform high intensity, constantly varied, functional movements to improve upon your base fitness levels. 
  • There is a social aspect to Verve that you very much enjoy. 
  • You want to be in the best aesthetic shape as possible. 
  • You want to be fit enough to enjoy your other hobbies. 
  • You want to be able to hold your grandchildren. 
  • You want to one day be a part of the competitive Sport of Fitness. 

Whatever your “Why” is, it will help you achieve your goals. Understanding the reason you want something will help your prioritize all of the other things that will get in the way. For example, if the reason you are coming into the gym is to be fit enough to enjoy your other hobbies, the odds are that you don’t need to be training for 2-3 hours per day – which will inevitably take away time from your other hobbies. On the other hand, if your goal is to in the best aesthetic shape of your life, then perhaps spending a little extra time here and there in the gym could help bring you closer to your goals. So here is a little step process I like to give out to people when they are having trouble conquering goals:

  1. Define your “Why?”
  2. Based on your “Why?”, what are your priorities?
  3. What are you willing to give up or add in to your day to achieve your goals. 
  4. Make sure your actions bring you closer to your goals, rather than further from them. 

From here it will give you a better understanding of why your are doing the things you are doing, why you make some of the choices you make and how you can help yourself become more successful in and out of the gym. 

Tuesday 160628

Bench Press

Post weight to BTWB

myatherapylogo compex


Today we are going to have an impromptu recovery center at Verve.

Jason Thompson from Mya Therapy will be at the gym with his table from 5 – 7 PM.  Many of you are already familiar with Jason but for those of you that aren’t, here is a little information about his company.

Mya Therapy is a mobile massage company operated and owned by Jason Thompson as the massage therapy specialist serving the Denver area and its surrounding neighborhood. Mya Therapy is mobile, that means we come to you where ever you need our massage we will be there.  Mobile massage with Mya Therapy allows you to relax, feel rejuvenated, and maintain a healthy lifestyle in the comfort of your own home. One massage with Mya Therapy has been proven to reduce your stress levels by 53%. Your source for wellness, relaxation and a better quality of life.

Also tomorrow, The Compex traveling trailer will be at Verve with some of their units so that our members can test them out and see how the Compex stimulation units work.  If you’re not familiar with the electric muscle stimulation here’s a brief introduction to the benefits.  

Electric muscle stimulation trains your muscles in a way that traditional workouts alone can’t. A “best kept secret” that many elite athletes and fitness enthusiasts use to enhance their workouts and training programs, electric muscle stimulation (EMS), also known as neuromuscular electric stimulation, muscle stim or e-stim, is delivered through a small device that sends electronic pulses to your nerve fibers in order to create involuntary muscle contractions.

Your normal workouts (voluntary muscle contraction) activate as many as 30% of your muscle fibers. But when you add Compex electric muscle stimulation to your training, you maximize your muscular effort by reaching up to 100% of your muscle fibers-both Type 1 slow twitch muscle (endurance) and Type 2 fast twitch muscle (power and explosiveness). That means maximum efficiency with maximum results.

Should be a really fun day tomorrow with of these great companies on hand.  

Monday 160627

For time:
50 Wall balls 20#(14#)
Run 200 Meters
50 Ab Mat sit ups
Run 200 Meters
35 Wall balls 20#(14#)
Run 200 Meters
35 Ab mat sit ups
Run 200 Meters
20 Wall balls 20#(14#)
Run 200 meters
20 Ab mat sit ups

Post time to BTWB

Joannie pulling a new deadlift PR on her birthday!

Joannie pulling a new deadlift PR on her birthday!

Starting in July we are going to be taking a break from Rowing class.  After talking with Maddie we have decided to take a couple months off from rowing to reevaluate the programming and come up with a whole new progression which we will implement after the summer.  This week will be the last week of rowing class but fear not as we have plenty of rowing planned as part of our daily WOD’s so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to get in some meters on the erg during our regular workouts.

Reminder that the T-shirt pre-sale will be ending one week from today.  If you’re interested in the new Verve shirts make sure you get your order in within the next week.  On Tuesday, July 5th we will be sending our order to the print shop for production.  We won’t have any additional t-shirt inventory in the retail room so everyone and anyone that wants a shirt will have to place their order through the square system in the retail room or through the Verve website.  You can order your shirt by clicking HERE.

Thanks to everyone that came to the park on Saturday.  It was nice to get outside and enjoy the weather and play some sports that didn’t require a barbell or any other gym equipment.  Next weekend we are hosting a Level 1 Seminar at Verve.  We are planning on having an early class on both Saturday and Sunday, but are also looking at other options including adding in a pool WOD on one of the days.  Stay tuned to the blog for more information about the upcoming schedule for the weekend.  

A week from today is the 4th of July and we will have an abridged class schedule.  We will have 2 WOD’s and an Open Gym.  The WOD’s will be at 9:00 and 11:30, and Open Gym will be from 10:00 – 11:30 between the 2 classes. This schedule is also subject to change so be sure to pay attention to the blog and MBO for any changes that may happen.  

Sunday 160626

6 Rounds
With a 3:00 minute clock
8 Dumbbell power cleans 40#(25#)
10 Push ups
15(12) Calories on the rower
Rest remainder of the time
*Score is slowest round

Post score to comments or BTWB

A little breakfast update!

A little breakfast update!


These are simple ingredients and easy to eat because they are contained in a delicious naturally gluten-free corn tortilla (you could easily substitute a paleo version).  You can see the full recipe here


  • 3 eggs or 4 egg whites, whisked
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup zucchini, chopped
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 2 corn tortillas
  • 1 Tbs. cotija cheese (can sub parmesan cheese)
  • 2 Tbs. salsa verde (we like the one from Trader Joe’s)
  • 1/2 small avocado


  1. Coat a nonstick pan with olive oil cooking spray and place over medium-high heat. When hot, add the green onions and zucchini. Let saute 3-4 minutes. Add the spinach and cook an additional minute. Add the eggs and let the bottom set. Flip over and let other side set.
  2. Heat the tortillas over an open flame to get a little char on them. Fill each tortilla with half of the egg mixture, followed by the salsa verde, cotija cheese, and avocado.

Macronutrient breakdown (recipe yields 2 servings)
Calories: 407 (whole recipe using egg whites)Fat: 21g
Pro: 21g
Carb: 36
Fiber: 12g


Thank you to everyone that made it out to the Outing!! We have such a great community and we are continuously reminded of that every time we get together!


Saturday 160625

For time (20 minute time cap):
Partner A: 9-28-14 Reps of:
Thrusters, 95#(65#)
Pull ups
Partner B: 5-20-12 Reps of:
Thrusters, 95#(65#)
Chest to bar pull ups
As a Team Complete:
60 Clean and Jerks, 135#(95#)

Post times to comments and BTWB

Huston Park

Huston Park


Folks!! Finish up your workout this morning and head on down to Huston Park for some fun in the sun with all your favorite fit friends.

The party starts at 10am at Huston Park:

850 S. Bryant St. Denver, CO 80219

Verve has reserved the picnic area nearest the soccer field (Kentucky and S Vallejo).

There will be a volleyball/badminton net, football, spike ball and cornhole. Unfortunately there is no grill (unless a fine Verver has a portable one) so please feel free to bring some delicious RTE food and DRINKS!!! There will be park benches but if you would like to bring a blanket to sit on or a chair, please do so.

Family, kids, friends are all welcome. Bring your hats, sunglasses, sunscreen, and a burning desire to beat the entire Afraimi family at hoops. . . Cause they called everyone out. See you there!!

Friday 160624


Then 5 rounds for quality
5 Romanian deadlifts @ 40% of todays 1 rep
:30 second L sit
rest 90 seconds between rounds

Post load to comments or BTWB


Injuries unfortunately happen.  They mess with our mind and set back our training, but you can find a dim yet bright light at the end of the tunnel.  The following article discusses some things you can focus on when you are feeling down and out about being banged up. (see full article here)

When you’re dealing with injuries or pain it’s important to take care of your body, but you also want to focus on staying motivated through injury. Aches, pain, discomfort and soreness, are not that fun. You surely don’t want to get caught comparing yourself to where you were before your injury or to everyone else around you. You are you, today, a person who is fully capable of greatness.

Do you find it hard to stay positive when you don’t feel 100%?

 Staying Motivated Through Injury

Here are seven keys to staying mentally strong and maintaining a positive mindset while dealing with an injury.

1. Be Grateful For What You Have

Remind yourself of all that is feeling well. You may need to think of every little thing that you are currently capable of doing with your body. These might be very simple things but they are still very powerful. For example: Your left knee is sprained, you can focus on all the strength and abilities you have with your right leg, your upper body and your basic senses that are still functional. Write these down so you can come back to them when you’re feeling particularly negative and be grateful for what you have.

2. Use What You’ve Got

Focus on what you can do. Assess what physical abilities you have on each specific day, which may be different than yesterday or tomorrow. We are not guaranteed anything, so it’s important to do your best with what you have at any given moment. This is another great opportunity to write things down. Keep a logbook so you can track your progress and see how you’ve progressed from day to day.

3. Focus On What You Can Control

Prioritize being positive and focusing on what you can control. I can’t emphasize this enough.  Dial in your relationships, nutrition, sleep, hydration and mental game. These are the most important aspect of your health anyway and you will reap the benefits of putting time and effort into these factors. You can look at your injury as a chance, or a blessing in disguise you to being able to spend more time on something or someone that you’ve been neglecting.

4. Set New, Achievable Goals

Set some new goals. It doesn’t matter how small they may seem. You may want to focus on increasing your range of motion, seeing improvements in movements that you weren’t focused on before or improving in your physical therapy sessions. Write your specific goals down and share them with your support team.

5. Explore Your Other Passions

Spend more time doing your other things you enjoy. You love cooking, so get back to creating more recipes. If you love hosting parties, then plan a few. If you’re really digging photography, then start a side business. Continue to do things that bring you positive feedback, self-confidence and that relieve your stress.

6. Try New Things

Practice and get better at something different. If you’re leg is out of commission, build your upper body by working on pull-ups, dips and heavy presses. Become a better swimmer if you can. If you’re unable to use your body at all, you might want to focus on learning a new language, or picking up another new skill.

7. Share Your Experience

Find a way to share what you have learned by going through this pain, suffering or change. Before you know it, you’ll be helping someone else, and this will help you. You can do this with your social media, on a message board or just in your daily conversations with others. Open up about how you’re dealing with it, and reach out to others who could use some support and encouragement as well. This way you can also make relationships with others who have had similar injuries or setbacks.


  • Saturday classes are 8am and 9am!! We are having a fun outing around 10/11am at Huston Park @ 850 S. Bryant St Denver, CO 80219.  We have the park area near the soccer/football field.  You can bring some beverages or ready-to-eat food (we won’t have a grill) Here is a map of the park:
  • Pre-orders for Verve shirts happening NOW!! Pre-orders are available until JULY 4TH.  Go to this website and follow the instructions

Thursday 160623

As many rounds as possible in 12 minutes of:
50 Double unders
15′ Handstand walk
5 Muscle-ups

Post rounds and reps to comments and BTWB

Verve kids Ty and Noah working on a solid bro session of bench and rows.

Verve kids Ty and Noah working on a solid bro session of bench and rows.


As the temperatures rise, should I be drinking more than just water? In the wise words of Courtney “master of hydration” Shepherd. . . yeppers.

Colorado hasn’t just been hot lately, thanks to the occasional rain showers, it has also been humid and muggy. To say the sweat production has increase would be a slight understatement. At this point just walking in the gym and looking at the board can generate some sweat coming down our brows. The increase in moisture in the air increases our risk of dehydration and heat related illnesses. That’s because when the air is humid, sweat can’t evaporate and cool us as quickly as it normally does. This can lead to an increased body temperature and the need for more fluids. The question becomes what fluids should I be drinking? Water is a definite but the fluid lost via sweating may need to be replaced with more than just that.

Several ions exist in the body, referred to as electrolytes, that work in conjunction with each other to aid in muscle contraction/ movement, temperature regulation, mental thought, and more. Sodium and potassium are two major electrolytes. When we sweat, we lose body fluids, the loss of fluids causes a change in the concentration of these electrolytes in the body. We can also lose some of these electrolytes with sweat. A big enough change in the concentration of these electrolytes can cause problems such has muscle cramps, excessive fatigue, slowed reflexes, nausea, and confusion, amongst other symptoms. Staying hydrated with water helps maintain this balance but if we experience excessive perspiration during long events, or events of high intensity, this can lead to the loss of sodium which may require the consumption of additional electrolytes. This can be done by adding them to the water we are already drinking.

Gatorade came into creation for this very purpose and back in the day Gatorade actually tasted pretty bad. It wasn’t meant to be a delicious, flavorful drink but rather a way to restore lost electrolytes. Over the years sugar was added to improve the taste. Sugar, unfortunately, has a side effect of helping cause dehydration. So when picking something to supplement our water we need to be careful not to pick something with too much sugar in it. NUUN tablets are electrolyte tablets that can be easily dropped into a water bottle, they come in many flavors, and no added sugar.

If you feel like you are drinking plenty of water, a good indication of this is pale yellow to clear colored urine, but you still feel kind of crummy, try adding some electrolytes. For me personally I alternate water bottles. The first is water, the second has a NUUN tablet, then I go back to just water. Don’t let the summer heat ruin your WODing good time, drink up.

Wednesday 160622

Every minute on the minute for 20 Minutes
Odd minutes = 5 Cleans 135#(95#)
Even minutes = 8 Burpee Box Jump Overs 24″(20″)

Post Results to BTWB


The DB Snatch doing a great job of teaching core to extremity.












Today, is a great workout to dive into the topic of scaling a workout for it’s intended purpose. On paper, this workout does not look like something that can be devastating. However, attacking the EMOM with the correct volume, loading and intensity – it is something that can leave you smoked. 

In this interval style couplet containing both a gymnastics conditioning piece and a weightlifting movement, the work will be roughly 1:1. What does that mean? It means that we will be using a blend of all three energy systems: Phosphogen, Glycolytic, Oxidative. Now, what does that mean and why is important?

1. Phosphagen System: This system uses creatine phosphate to reconstitute ATP after it’s broken down to release its energy. The total amount of CP and ATP stored in muscles is small, so there is limited energy available for muscular contraction. It is, however, instantaneously available and is essential at the onset of activity, as well as during short-term high-intensity activities lasting about 1 to 30 seconds in duration, such as sprinting, weight-lifting or throwing a ball.

2. Glycolytic: This system does not require oxygen and uses the energy contained in glucose (carbohydrates) for the formation of ATP. As an intermediate pathway between the phosphagen and aerobic system, anaerobic glycolysis can produce ATP quite rapidly for use during activities requiring large bursts of energy over somewhat longer periods of time (30 seconds to three minutes max, or during endurance activities prior to steady state being achieved).

3. Oxidative (Aerobic System): This pathway requires oxygen to produce ATP, because carbohydrates and fats are only burned in the presence of oxygen. This pathway occurs in the mitochondria of the cell and is used for activities requiring sustained energy production. The oxidative system is predominantly utilized during longer-duration, lower-intensity activities after the phosphagen and anaerobic systems have fatigued.

It is important to remember that all three of these systems contribute to the energy needs of the body during physical activity. These systems do not work independently of each other, but rather dominate at different times, depending on the duration and the intensity of the activity.

Just looking at the workout and thinking of time domains, it would be natural to think this workout would be a blend between just phosphogen and glycolytic because the intent is to be around 30 seconds of work per round. However, because the work:rest is 1:1, eventually the systems will shift towards the end of the workout making it a dominantly oxidative (aerobic workout). Below is a energy vs. time graph to help explain: 


If you look at the chart above, it shows that in the beginning of the workout we will be using the ATP-CP (Phosphogen) energy system, however towards the middle of the workout it will be a blend of glycolytic and oxidative and right as the workout ends we will be crossing the purely oxidative (aerobic) threshold. This will make a nice blend between the three. 

Now, to talk scaling. This will be a great chance for you to learn your body and see how different weights and variables work for you. If you load the squat clean too heavy, you could easily miss out on the phosphogen energy system, the one that a sprinter primary uses. If you try to go touch-and-go in the beginning of the workout and it leaves you smoked halfway through, you could miss out on the glycolytic pathway because you will work your way into being aerobic by being bent over and not moving quickly. If you don’t push the burpee box jump hard enough, you will remain aerobic throughout the entire workout and miss out on the goods the other systems bring. Remember to listen to your body and scale appropriately in order to get the intended stimulus of the workout. 

Tuesday 160621

For time:
Row 1000 Meters
50 Alternating dumbbell Snatch
Row 750 Meters
36 Alternating dumbbell Snatch
Row 500 Meters
20 Alternating dumbbell Snatch
Row 250 Meters

*Athletes choose dumbbell weight

Post time to BTWB

Urban-Luxe-Logo Headshot.2015


At Verve we have such a diverse group of professionals and we love to provide some exposure for our members that work in different industries that might be useful to our other members or their friends.    

Today we are going to introduce you to Diona Gouker.  Diona is a staple in our lunch time classes and is also a top realtor for Urban Luxe Real Estate.  Her office is located right down the street from Verve at 3060 Larimer St.  Diona serves as the Director of Development for Urban Luxe Real Estate and specializes in land acquisition and urban infill development.  

Her firm, Urban Luxe Real Estate, is focused on Denver’s urban neighborhoods as well as surrounding suburbs. They are a boutique real estate firm with a clear vision to help shape Denver neighborhoods through residential and commercial brokerage, and community engagement.  The company is comprised of single-family luxury real estate specialists as well as a commercial and developmental sales division.  Urban Luxe Real Estate has stayed true to their vision to build a next-generation estate company, one that continually raises the bar on service, professionalism, and performance, focusing on quality not quantity.  

I can tell you first hand how dedicated Diona is to helping her clients and potential clients.  When I first met Diona and found out she was in real estate, I told her how I hoped to buy something in the near future.  Given we had just moved the gym and had many tasks to still accomplish, I told her that I wouldn’t be able to really dive in for a while. Diona asked me what I was looking for and I gave her a few ideas.  Now knowing that I wasn’t quite ready to really put a ton of effort into looking for a place, given my time restrictions, Diona still takes the time each week to send me listings.  Each listing she sends me, I provide her feedback about what I like and don’t like.  She takes this information and has developed a profile for me.  She knows exactly what I’m interested in and continues to send me listings that match my likes completely.  I can’t tell you how much I appreciate this.  She could have simply told me to let her know when I was ready to start looking and then started to keep her eye out for me, but she takes the time each week to send me listings so I can get an idea of the market and what I can expect when I’m ready to move forward with purchasing.  This type of service tells me that she is really has my interests in mind and when I’m ready to buy, she’ll know exactly what properties to take me to.  

Here’s a little information about Diona when she’s not at work or at Verve:  “My family means the absolute world to me! My husband Brandon (Also a Verve member) and I, our two young children Brody and Everly, and our not so tiny mastiff, Layla, love spending as much time outdoors as we can. Having lived in Colorado all our lives, we love to run, hike, bike, and snowboard as often as we can. Our kids share our love of music and we see as many concerts as we can. Spending time with our family and friends is the most important thing in our lives and the reason for everything we do.”

If you’re in the market or considering being in the market, please feel free to contact Diona.  I’m sure she’ll give you the same type of attention and professionalism she has shown me.  Diona’s contact information is below. 

Diona Gouker


Monday 160620

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

Then every minute on the minute for 7 minutes
2 Push press + 2 push jerks @ 65%

Post to BTWB

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Finally we are going to be getting some new Verve gear.  Starting today, we are going to be offering the above shirts and tank tops for pre-order.  If you would like to buy any of the new shirts above you will have to pre-order them. The pre-order starts today and will run for two weeks ending July 4th at 9:00 PM.  All shirts are Next Level.  We went to the printer and picked out the shirts and check sizes to make sure they run true. Click HERE, HERE, and HERE to check out the shirt specs.  

Using the pre-order model will allow us to refresh our Verve gear offerings more frequently so hopefully you won’t have to wait a long time for some new tank tops or t-shirts.  Don’t like the options above, no worries, we will have some new options in the next few months for you to choose from.  We will be choosing colors that go along with the seasons as well as shirts that fit the seasons too.  Think light weight hoodies in the fall and heavier hoodie options in the winter.  Hopefully we’ll be able to get some sweats and winter hats too. People have always asked for these and now we should be able to meet those demands.

If you like what you see above and would like to purchase any or all of them, you have a couple different options.  If you’re at Verve, you can pre-order right through the square system in the retail room.  If you’re not sure how the Square system works, grab a trainer and they’ll be happy to walk you through.  Not at Verve but still want to get your hands on some new tanks or t-shirts?  All you have to do is visit: and follow the easy to use instructions.  We will ship your gear to you as soon as the shirts are ready from the printer.  Once the pre-sale ends the turn around time to get the shirts is around 2 weeks, but this could change based on the quantity we need to order.

Again shirts will ONLY be available through the pre-sale.  We will not carry any additional inventory at the gym so you must get your order in before the July 4th deadline.