Tuesday 150630

For time:
Row 2,000m
30 Clean & jerks, 155#(105#)

Post time to BTWB.

Sam getting a lift around the block from James

Sam getting a lift around the block from James

Here’s a question for you all.  Does anyone know why the work day is 8 hours?  Before we start yelling about how 8 hours is half my day and how we all work longer than that, just remember 8 hours was long considered a normal work day for most Americans.  It actually dates back to the Industrial Revolution:

In the late 18th century, when companies started to maximize the output of their factories, getting to running them 24/7 was key. Now of course, to make things more efficient, people had to work more. In fact, 10-16 hour days were the norm.

These incredibly long work days weren’t sustainable and soon a brave man called Robert Owen started a campaign to have people work no more than 8 hours per day. His slogan was “Eight hours labour, eight hours recreation, eight hours rest.”

So why the hell am I talking about the Industrial Revolution in a blog?  I found the blog found HERE very interesting and actually thought it might be a little controversial so I decided to post some of it and hear your thoughts.

Did you know that the human mind can focus on any given task for 90 – 120 minutes and then a 20-30 minute break is required.  This break allows us to renew our focus so we can give our full attention for another 90 – 120 minutes.  It’s referred to as the Ultradian Rythym.

optimal work time, ultradian rhythm

The idea with this understanding is to think what can be done in a 90 minute session versus an 8 hour work day.  I know many of us work way longer than 8 hours each day.  I’ve been applying this 90 minute session technique today as I write programming and attend to other business.  When I get to about 90 minutes I stop and take a little break with the intent being to renew so that I can come back and work for another 90 minutes and stay focussed on what I have to get done.

The blog by the CEO of buffersocial has so many more interesting points that I highly recommend you click the link above and give the entire feature a read. Post your thoughts in the comment section.

Monday 150629

Shoulder press

Bench press

Post weight to BTWB

Shale pulling 500 off the ground!

Shale pulling 500 off the ground!

Alright folks tonight start the next 6 week cycle of our 5 PM specialty hour.  We are bringing back an oldie but goodie,  Hot Dogs and Cupcakes.   Classes will be Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday at 5 PM.  The workouts will  be up on the HD&CC whiteboards should any of you want to do the programming but be unable to make the 5 PM class time.  Remember, we ask that you have at least a year of CrossFit under your belt and know your 1 rep maxes for back squat, front squat, deadlift, and bench press.  The classes will be structured  in a way so that we can fit all the programming into an hour.  This means that most of the major and accessory lifts are going to be going off on send offs.  This just means that you’ll have to be lifting on the 2:00 or 3:00 minute.  Don’t worry, we’ll explain it all to you in class and for those of you doing the programming on your own, grab a coach if you have questions.

This coming Friday we will have an abridged schedule.  Due to the fact that most companies will be observing the 4th of July Holiday on the 3rd, we are going to shorten our schedule like we do with most major holidays.  Below are the class times we will be offering.

7:30 WOD
9:00 WOD
10:00 – 11:30 Open Gym
11:30 WOD
12:30 WOD
1:30 – 3:00 Open Gym

Saturday and Sunday will be our normal schedule except we won’t have Yoga at either 8 am or 11 am.

Remember we have a bunch of upcoming events happening at Verve in the coming months and Saturday posts are your go to for things that will be happening soon.  Here’s an extra reminder that the O2X summit challenge sign up sheet is at the front of the gym.  If you’re interested in participating please fill the sheet out and I’ll email you information on how to sign up.  We have been given some discount codes as well, but I’m not quite sure how many more uses the codes have so if you’re interested please sign up soon.

Sunday 150628

5 Rounds with a 4 minute running clock:
Run 400m
With remaining time row as many calories as possible
Rest 2 minutes between rounds

Post calories to comments or BTW

Curry is delicious and good for you!

Curry is delicious and good for you!

Many of us had the opportunity to sit with Clara on Saturday and discuss detoxifying the body for better energy, sleep, and skin!  One of the items discussed was the benefit of curry on the liver and detoxification, so I thought a recipe including curry would be prudent.  BONUS:  It is a cold salad recipe for the hot days coming up!

Cold Curry Chicken, Veggie, and Grape Salad


  • 24 oz (24P) chicken – cooked and shredded in crock pot – or use rotisserie chicken
  • 504 g (10CHO) red grapes cut in half or smaller if you’re feeling ambitious
  • 252 g (1CHO) celery diced
  • 429 g (3CHO) red, yellow, orange bell pepper diced
  • 240 g (2CHO) sweet yellow onion diced
  • 2TBSP Curry Powder
  • mayo
    • 3 egg yolks (3PRO)
    • 2 lemons juiced (2CHO)
    • 3 TBSP avocado oil – or any oil (27F)
    • yellow mustard to taste


1) Cook chicken in crock pot and shred or use a rotisserie chicken to speed up the time.

2) Chop and dice all veggies

3) Throw all ingredients in a large bowl

4) mix up mayo – put egg yolks in a bowl that you can whisk while adding the avocado oil and lemon juice slowly to emulsify a little bit (I used a hand immersion blender), add yellow mustard to your taste, add curry powder at the end.

5) Pour mayo over salad and enjoy.


Zone Quantities: 27P, 18CHO, 27F

77.8g = 1P, ⅔ CHO, 1F

233.3 g = 3P, 2 CHO, 3F

Saturday 150627

In teams of 2 complete the following for time:
100 Kettle bell swings, 32kg(24kg)
100 Goblet squats, 32kg(24kg)
100 Meter handstand walk
400 Meter partner carry

*Only 1 person can work at a time. Must finish all reps at one station before moving to the next.

Post times to comments and BTWB

Mick working through a nice little snatch EMOM earlier this week.

Mick working through a nice little snatch EMOM earlier this week.


This weekend is chalk full up with stuff to do. And so is the rest of the summer at Verve.

**The Taco Festival is going on Saturday, there will be lots of traffic and some road closures around Verve, so plan accordingly. No worries about parking though, the landlord does an awesome job of making sure no one takes Verve parking spots. So come in, workout, grab a taco, and then learn about nutrition. 

Saturday stick around after open gym and listen to Clara talk all things detox at 2pm. This lecture is open to everyone interested in getting their learn on. The cost is that of your attention span and willingness to learn.

Sunday Verve is hosting an i99 gymnastics clinic. . . that appears to have sold out!! It’s will be running from 12pm-3pm, for those signed up, have an awesome time. If you missed this one, stayed tuned, there may be more. 

Verve is hosting the CrossFit Football Trainer Course Saturday and Sunday July 11th-12th. Spots are still available. For more information and to register, click here.

The O2X Summit Challenge will be August 15th at Winter Park Resort. All the Verve trainers are doing it, which means so should you. You can sign up at the front desk at Verve.

Front Range CrossFit is hosting the first annual Do More Charity Challenge October 3rd-4th. It’s a 6 person team competition. Verve will put $600 towards registering a team. There are several of you that have expressed an interest, please put comments on the blog so we can help get you guys together to form a team. Click here for more info and rules.


Friday 150626

Three rounds of 1:30 to complete as many burpees as possible:
10 Push jerks, 155#(105#)
Max burpees over bar
Rest 1:00 between rounds

Rest 5:00

Three rounds of 1:30 to complete as many box jump-overs as possible:
15 Push press, 135#(95#)
Max box jump-overs, 24″(20″)
Rest 1:00 between rounds

Rest 5:00

Three rounds of 1:30 to complete as many toes to bar as possible:
20 Thrusters, 75#(55#)
Max toes to bar
Rest 1:00 between rounds

Post reps of each round to comments or BTW

Dan showing us how it's done!

Dan showing us how it’s done with a smile on his face (or a grimmace?)

I saw this article recently from Lisbeth about scaling and thought it was spot-on for some of the things I see as a coach.  I can’t tell you how many times I am getting times or rounds at the whiteboard (yes, Mike C. – whiteboard) and the reply I get is “I got 9:26 NOT rx”, as if the hard work you just performed is sub-par because you did not do the heaviest load or movements.  Lisbeth has done a much better job articulating how I feel when I hear those replies. (*pardon the lprofanity)

Scaling Is Not An Apology

Scaling is an adjustment of the workout to your individual needs. Scaling is not an apology or an excuse. And it’s not some bullshit way to talk down to yourself or anybody else.

The ubiquitous use of the term scaled is kind of unfortunate in our fitness world because it’s an ill-fitting term, but it’s too late now to go back and change the word.

If I could, I’d call it something more apt like “tailored” because everybody understands that clothing off the rack doesn’t always fit right, so you go to the tailor and get it fitted to your body. What good scaling does is tailor the workout to you.

But in our fitness world, as we increasingly geek over data, we seek to find more ways to make everything uniform so that we can measure who is the fittest or the fastest or the strongest or the best.  So we make one super-human standard and everyone else has to adjust off that standard. I get it. Makes sense. I used to be into that, but most of the time now I really don’t care for dick-measuring contests, but that’s just me.

See, I’m just me and I do my thing. Do I want to beat the person next to me in the workout? Oh hell yeah, sometimes I do. And sometimes I don’t give a flying frisbee. Sometimes I just want to still be breathing at the end of the workout. A little stronger, a little smarter, a little sexier, right?

Nor should you ever make anybody else feel small for scaling. It’s just a workout. There will be another one tomorrow. If you’re smart, you’ll scale that one to your abilities too.

Don’t lower your eyes or shrug your shoulders or mumble something about “not doing it RX.” Scaling is not an apology, so don’t talk like it is. You’ve offended no one and you have nothing to apologize for.

You were here. You did the work as hard as you wanted or needed to on this day. And life went on. Go out and kick ass.


GOOD LUCK to all of the Ververs participating in the BIKE MS ride from Westminster to Fort Collins!!  We are hoping for many great pics of the over 100 mile ride.  You can still donate to the team they have put together at this link.

Thursday 150625


Then, 3 rounds for quality:
20 Barbell good mornings, 45#(33#)
15 Meter overhead walking lunge, 45#(33#)
Rest 2 minutes

Post loads to comments and BTWB

Jeremy repping Verve and his sweet handstand skills while traveling through the Arctic Circle. We love seeing Verve athletes enjoy life outside of the gym.

Jeremy repping Verve and his sweet handstand skills while traveling through the Arctic Circle. We love seeing Verve athletes enjoy life outside of the gym.


Verve is kicking off it’s Summer Nutrition Series with a nutrition lecture this Saturday afternoon from 2pm to 3pm. Verve’s own Clara Wisner will be talking about a topic chosen by you. . . “Keys To Detoxification”. What does that even mean, you ask. Well here is a brief outline of what you have in store for you:

What Is Detoxification?
• Removal of toxins
• 4 primary toxin removal systems

• The processing of toxins by your liver, most of which go into the bile and then into your digestive tract for final clearance)

How do we get Toxins in the first place?
• Scientists estimate that every human has at least 700 contaminants in their bodies
• Symptoms: headaches, joint pain, bloating, digestive upset, fatigue, poor sleep, depression, anxiety, etc.
• Our bodies do a lot of stuff that creates toxic by products, from creating energy to cellular reparation. An example is lactic acid formation during anaerobic exercise.

How detoxification affects our sleep?
• Sleep helps “detox” our brains

How detoxification affects the skin?
• The skin is your largest organ.
• If your detox systems are working properly your skin will be glowing and clear
• Acne is not about your body trying to push toxins out through the skin
• When the body is inflamed, it cannot detox properly and the skin will become irritated, and the compounds that are needed to repair and replenish the skin will be

How detoxification affects the your energy?
• If your detoxification systems are working properly you will have good energy, if not you feel sluggish, have brain fog.
• 80% of all the energy in your body is devoted to detox processes.
• If you eliminate foods that contain the most toxins: gluten, grains, dairy, and legumes then your body will have more energy to use for you!

*10 things you can do to support you body’s detoxification this week and get better sleep, more energy, and glowing skin.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is only a brief glance into the bundle of information Clara has planned for you. This lecture is open to Verve athletes, family, friends, and pretty much anyone reading this blog and wants to get some info. So finish up your open gym sweat session Saturday afternoon, then grab a seat and be prepared to get learned. 

**This Sunday is the i99 clinic from 12pm-3pm. The cost is $50 and there are only 1 spot left!! Get signed up now and work on some basic gymnastics. Think you are beyond the basics? Just remember, for those of you who have been in the hunt for a muscle-up, if we don’t even have an efficient, refined kipping pull-up how can we expect that to translate to a more skilled gymnastics movement? Perfect the basics!! Click here to register.

Wednesday 150624

For time:
50 Hang power clean, 155#(105#)
150 Double unders
50 Chest to bar pull-ups

Post times to comments and BTWB

Margot working on her push-ups. A soon to be mom working on her fitness during pregnancy.

Margot getting in some push-ups. A soon to be mom working on her fitness during pregnancy.


Got pull-ups? By Courtney Shepherd and the fine people of Eat To Perform

We all have goats, weaknesses, that we are constantly trying to improve. A common one is the pull-up. I have had a lot of people come to me lately asking for advice on how to improve their pull-ups. Body weight movements can be hard in  general, so when I came across an article in Eat To Perform titled “7 Reasons Why You’re Struggling With Pull-ups!”, by James Barnum, I thought the context could be helpful towards movements other than the pull-up

I will preface, the very first reason given I’m not the biggest fan of, however I didn’t feel comfortable giving this article a new title of “6 Reasons Why You’re Struggling With Pull-ups!”. 

1) You’re too heavy.

I can appreciate the point the author is trying to make. Body weight movements can be easier with less body weight, however, I don’t want anyone to think they cannot get a pull-up until they weigh a certain amount. In a blog post I wrote several weeks back I made mention of 1 of CrossFit’s mantras, which is that strength is the productive application of force. Meaning doing a pull-up is doing a pull-up, no matter what you weigh. 

2) Your grip strength isn’t up to par.

If your grip strength isn’t sufficient to hold your body weight, there’s only a slim chance that you’ll be able to do a pull-up. To improve your grip strength, you need to perform exercises that involve static contractions of the hands, forearms, shoulders and upper back. Hang from the pull-up bar for time, carry heavy dumbbells for distance, load up a barbell and do timed holds for 30-60 seconds.

3) Your back needs to get stronger. 

Although pull-ups are one of the best ways to develop back strength, the fact of the matter is that staring at the rig isn’t building a single ounce of muscle. Whether you can’t do a single pull-up or you can only bust out a few ugly reps before you’re gassed, you should add a few upper body pulling movements into your routine to help build strength. These can include, but are not limited to, pull-up negatives, ring rows, and lat pull downs.

4) Your form needs work.

Pull-ups are like any other exercise or movement – there’s a right way and a wrong way to do them. Here are some tips on maximizing your leverage and getting your back into it:

-Take a shoulder-width grip
-Keep your head up.
-Pull Up and back. Don’t think of the pull-up as a strictly vertical movement. Instead, lean back and pull the bar to your upper chest, not your chin or neck. Your lower body will be slightly out in front of you and your back will remain neutral – the classic hollow gymnastics position)

5) You don’t stay tight. 

If you can’t maintain relative body position throughout the pull-up and you flop around like a mudkip, you have what we call an energy leak. What this means is that instead of using your entire body to pull, you’re relying on whatever muscle will do the work – most likely your rotator cuff. (Hint: that’s bad.) Everything should stay tight when you pull.

6) You aren’t practicing often enough.

You are what your repeatedly do. If your form is on point, but your specific work capacity sucks and you have to jerk your body around to get your chin over the bar after the first repetition, you’re just teaching your body to express an inefficient movement pattern. It’s much more difficult to unlearn bad form than it is to teach it. 

Last week I wrote a blog about volume training, this would be a perfect time to incorporate it.

7) You’re over-reliant on assisted pull-ups.

Some people over rely on the bands to assist in pull-ups. Yes, using bands is a great idea, however constantly varied is what gives us the best opportunity to build multiple muscle groups involved in pulling. During WODs sometimes we use ring rows, sometimes we do rope pull-ups, some of you scratch your heads and wonder why? Because to rely on one thing solely makes that one thing our crutch. It’s hard to progress beyond our trusty crutches. 

As I said before, I could remove the word “pull-up” and exchange it for the word “push-up” or “dip”. The points remain the same. In a nutshell, practice doesn’t make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect. For full article, click here.

**Big business this weekend!!

1) Nutrition Lecture this Saturday the 27th, 2pm-3pm, @ Verve, presented by Clara Wisner. Stick around after open gym and get your learn on. Open to family and friends.

2) i99 clinic is this Sunday from 12pm-3pm. The cost is $50 and there are only 4 spots left!! Get signed up now and work on some basic gymnastics. Think you are beyond the basics? Just remember, for those of you who have been in the hunt for a muscle-up, if we don’t even have an efficient, refined kipping pull-up how can we expect that to translate to a more skilled gymnastics movement? Perfect the basics!! Click here to register.

Tuesday 150623

As many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of:
20 Calorie row
20 Wallball shots, 20#(14#) to 10′
400 Meter run

Post rounds to BTWB.

Jason busting out some weighted dips.

Jason busting out some weighted dips.

Another great post from the beautiful mind of Dan Pope.  Remember check out his website HERE and sign up for his newsletter.  

9 Reasons Why I Like Tempo Lifts by Dan Pope

Tempo lifts require a certain speed during your lifts. Let’s use squats as a example. A prescription of 31X0 for a back squat means:

3 seconds to lower into the bottom of the squat
1 second pause at the bottom of the lift
X means lifting as explosively as possible
0 seconds pause at the top of the lift.

Obviously you can change the speed of the lifts for whatever goal you’re trying to accomplish. For the sake of this article we’ll be discussing a slowed lowering (eccentric) and pausing at the bottom of the lift.

I used to hate tempo lifts. I first tried these back when Charles Poliquin was espousing their use back in the late 90’s. The reason for my hatred was simple, I just couldn’t lift as much weight during tempo lifts. I thought they were dumb. Anything that made me look weaker then I was, was immediately thrown in the trash. Now after about 15 years of training I’ve come around to using it quite a bit more. Here’s why in no particular order.

1) Technique

Slowing down the movement allows you to practice performing the lift correctly. You build strength throughout the entire range of motion ultimately helping to promote exercise mastery.

2) Tendinopathy

james speckIn the realm of physical therapy, high tension eccentrics have been shown to be an effective treatment for many forms of tendinopathy. Once we get to a certain age and have had pain for several months it is more likely to be a result of tendinopathy then generic tendinitis. If we’re slowing down the eccentric phase of our lifts then we may also be improving the health of our tendons along the way.

3) Checking Our Ego at the Door

Tempo lifts require you to lower the weights you normally use for a given exercise. This may be an ego check for many but learning to back off from extremely heavy work from time to time can help you make better progress and potentially decrease injury risk. It also teaches not to be as concerned about weight on the bar and more concerned about technique.

4) Decreased Stretch Reflex Use

Stretch reflex uses the elastic properties of our muscles to lift weight and produce power. It’s an important part of performance but if you’re relying purely on this phenomena for strength improvements then you might find yourself having difficulty at the bottom part of lifts (Dips, squats, etc.)

Tempo work allows you to build strength and confidence in the bottom portion of the lift. Having difficulty in the bottom portion of a squat or a dip? Try a few weeks of tempo work with a pause at the bottom of the lifts and I bet you’ll feel more confident down there.

5) Control

To borrow a quote from Gray Cook, tempo work allows you to “own the movement”. What this means is that you’re using proper technique without compensation to complete a given movement. This is excellent from an injury prevention standpoint but can also be very useful for performance. Gymnastics skills come to mind here. Having control of your body during the movement is a mandatory component for performance here.

6) Less Pain

Some people really aren’t able to tolerate high speed movement (Depending on the nature of their pain or injury). Slowing down a given movement can often help to greatly reduce pain in some individuals.

7) Hypertrophy

quadsTime under tension refers to the total period of time that our muscles are under load throughout a movement. From a muscle building perspective, increasing time under tension can be a valuable way to increase hypertrophy. Having big ol’ muscles looks really cool and can also really help you move bigger weights.

8) Offseason Change of Stimulus

We all know the importance of periodization both to decrease injury risk and promote continued improvement throughout the course of the year. Throwing in some tempo work in your offseason can be beneficial to change the stress on your body as well as promote continued improvements in strength.

9) Improving Flexibility

A little known benefit of a slowed eccentric through a full range of motion is improved length in a muscle. Having trouble with flexibility in your olympic lifts? Try some tempo RDLs with a slow eccentric and full stretch.  

Monday 150622


In 20 minutes establish a heavy complex of:
1 Snatch pull + 1 power snatch + 1 hang power snatch

Then, every minute on the minute for 10 minutes:
1 complex @ 70% of heaviest complex

Post weights to BTWB


The season of swole starts next week!

The season of swole starts next week!

Next week our 5 PM specialty hour will have no classes.  We finished our Olympic cycle last week and many people had great results.  I’m proud of everyone that was able to make it through the entire 6 weeks and saw their numbers go up, whether it was the snatch, clean and jerk, or any of the squat variations we hit day after day.  Think about the numbers you started with on week 1 and where you ended up.  If those weights come up in a WOD, now you know that you can handle that weight and feel comfortable doing so.

So what’s next?  We will be starting a new/old cycle of Hot Dogs and Cupcakes one week from today. Classes will be Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday night at 5 PM.  

So what is Hot Dogs and Cupcakes?  From the original creators of the program:

What is Hot Dogs & Cupcakes? Well, it’s a work in progress – much like we all are. HD&CC was originally started as a blog between two buddies that challenged each other to workouts that addressed their weaknesses. CrossFit.com took care of the conditioning and GPP, but certain areas were left underdeveloped… particularly absolute strength and high level body positioning common to gymnastics.

The CrossFit Verve WODs will take take care of you GPP and HD&CC will help address areas of weakness.  Now be careful it may not seem like you’re lifting a lot, but take it from someone that’s been doing the programming for the past few weeks, it is a lot of work.  No need to add extra lifting days and try to add at most 3 WODS a week.  Yeah you may lose some of your engine or capacity,  but your strength will increase.  It’s a give and take relationship.

So here’s what you need to know.  1 Rep Max for the following:

Back Squat, Front Squat, Deadlift, Bench Press, Good Morning (I used an estimate for this).  The programming will target these major lifts and then add in accessory lifts.  

We need you to have been doing CrossFit consistently for 9 months to a year.  The volume and short rest make for a really challenging hour of work and similar to the Olympic class, we will correct faults, but teaching will be limited due to time restraints.  

The programming won’t change to much week to week.  The percentage of your 1 rep max that you are lifting will change as well the number of reps performed.  The workouts will be up on the whiteboard for all to see should you want to perform the workouts during Open Gym.  

If you have any questions use the comments to ask.  Here’s to getting strong over the next 6 weeks!   

Sunday 150621

12 Minute as many rounds as possible of :
50 Double unders
30 Air Squats
15 Kettlebell swings 16kg(12kg)

Post reps to comments or BTW



This recipe comes to us courtesy of Danielle!  A great cure for you late night desire for ice cream or cake.  Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you:

FLUFF (in Danielle’s eloquent words)

1 scoop MP Birthday Cake protein powder
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tsp xanthan gum

1 cup ice
- Mix in blender first to crush up all the ice.
- Transfer to big ass bowl.
- Mix with hand blender for a couple minutes until it gets all fluffy.
- Top with chocolate chips and a dash of cinnamon (because, you know, garnishes are fancy)

 Nutritional Info – Can vary slightly based on the protein powder you select
Calories – 207
CHO – 12g
PRO – 26g
F – 7g