Monday 170724

3 Rounds for time:
15 Bar facing burpees
15 Shoulder to overhead, 135#(95#)

Post times to comments and BTWB

Frank Moore, founder of CellCycle, and Verve's favorite daily late arrival to class.

Frank Moore, founder of CellCycle, and Verve’s favorite daily late arrival to class.



This Sunday Verve is excited to show some love and support to Frank Moore and his non profit company CellCycle. Frank founded CellCycle last year when his 6 year old niece was diagnosed with childhood leukemia. To raise donations and support for this company, last year Frank rode his bike 200 miles across Switzerland over 4 days, climbing a little over 20,000 vertical feet through the Alps. 

In this, it’s sophomore year, Frank and CellCycle continue to work hard to raise funds and support, with 100% of the money raised going directly to individuals affected by blood cancer.

Patient’s with blood cancer (or leukemia and lymphoma) are important to me for a few reasons. Foremost, a member of my family was diagnosed with leukemia a little less than a year ago. And not just any member of our family, but one of the youngest members of our family. My brother’s daughter Etta, our niece, was diagnosed on December 23rd 2015 with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (B-ALL) at 6 years old. I struggled finding ways to be useful during this time given my brother, his wife and their 2 children live in Portland Oregon. It took some time, but I came to realize there is so much that can be done to help this community and patient’s and their families are often too busy with treatment to fundraise in earnest for this cause. Furthermore as a medical doctor who specializes blood cancer, I had diagnosed this same disease 100 times before it became personal and this has changed me forever. I am not happy that a family member has life-threatening illness, but I am not going to miss the lessons it will teach.”

This Sunday will be an opportunity to join Frank in his cause. We are opening our doors to anyone interested in joining us and showing their support. 

When: Sunday July 30th

Class time: 10am and 11am

Class cost: $0, instead we ask that you consider a donation to CellCycle. Any donation over $30 earns you a shirt.

Who: Anyone and everyone is welcome to join us. Bring your friends and family. The workout is a partner workout suitable for all experience levels. We simply ask that you and your friends please sign up in MBO so we have a head count. 

After: Whole Foods will be providing snacks and refreshments following the 11am WOD. 

So stop by Verve and support one of it’s members in his amazing cause to fight blood cancer. For more information about CellCycle, click here. 


Sunday 170723

As many rounds as possible in 12 minutes of:
15(12) Calorie row
15 Box jump, 24″(20″)
15 GHD sit-up

Post times to comments and BTWB

Corbett and Austin getting some accessory work in post WOD.

Corbett and Austin getting some accessory work in post WOD.

Saturday 170722

6 Rounds for time:
3 Power snatch, 135#(95#)
2 Rounds of “Cindy”
(5 Pull-ups, 10 Push-ups, 15 Air squats)
1 Rope climb

Post time to BTWB


Urban Paleo Chef’s Portobello Bacon Avocado Breakfast Sandwich


1/2 lb Bacon (Only the best!)
Avocado, 2 thick slices
Lettuce, several leaves (or some other greens)
2 Portobello Mushrooms


1. Cut the bacon strips in half, and cook them, covered, as you like them.

2. Remove the bacon and let it drain on a plate.

3. Pour off most of the bacon grease (for use some other time!) and put the pan back on the heat to keep hot.

4. Slice the stem of the Portobello mushroom caps off, so that the whole cap is flat and level.

5. Cook the Portobello mushroom caps in the bacon pan for about 2 minutes on medium heat.

6. Put the caps on a plate, stack the lettuce, avocado, bacon, and the top cap on. In that order.


Friday 170721

Take 15 minutes to establish a heavy single shoulder press

Then, every 2 minutes x 7 rounds:
3 Push jerks @ 90% of heaviest shoulder press

Post results to comments or BTWB


This question / issue has been brought to our attention recently.  An athlete only experiences shoulder pain when pressing or exhibits extreme weakness in one shoulder while trying to press.  Amazingly, the one and only Dan Pope of Fitness Pain Free, recently posted a GREAT article on the mechanics of why that happens along with a video containing recovery exercises you can do on your own to build that strength back up and ensure it doesn’t happen any more.  You can see the full article here.  Here are some of the excerpts:

In the past article series on why shoulder injuries are occurring in the gym we talked a bit about the rotator cuff and it’s importance for shoulder health.  The rotator cuff serves as a dynamic stabilizer of the shoulder joint.  In other words, as the shoulders moves around to perform things like push press, bench press and pull-ups the rotator cuff helps to stabilize the humeral head (ball) into the socket (glenoid)…. Now, when people are having shoulder pain (and more specifically subacromial impingement syndrome) you may have noticed that pressing exercises generally increase pain levels, where as rowing exercises won’t.  Patients will say they can’t bench press or press overhead but pull-ups and other rowing exercises are generally well tolerated.  What gives?

In overhead pressing exercises the deltoids are very active.  They help propel the load overhead.  Not only do the deltoids help raise the arms overhead but they also impose an upward force on the shoulder joint based on their origin and insertion from the shoulder blade to the humerus. On the flip side of the coin the rotator cuff  helps to pull the ball into the socket during an overhead press.  If the rotator cuff is overpowered by the deltoid or if the timing of the rotator cuff is delayed the ball will be pulled upwards (superiorly) in the socket.  Unfortunately this ends up compressing the rotator cuff, subacromial bursa and long head of the biceps.  Too much of this is theorized to cause tendon problems like tendinitis, tendinopathy and tears.  This is the term known as subacromial impingement syndrome.  With these concepts in mind it makes total sense that pressing overhead hurts when you have this condition.

**As with all of these articles, this should NOT supercede you obtaining a medical professionals’ guidance such as a physical therapist.  If you have pain and the pain is not lessening, go talk to someone.




Thursday 170720

For time:
21 Thrusters, 95#(65#)
400m Sprint
Rest 2 minutes
15 Thrusters, 95#(65#)
400m Sprint
Rest 2 minutes
9 Thrusters, 95#(65#)
400m Sprint
Rest 2 minutes
6 Thrusters, 95#(65#)
400m Sprint
Rest 2 minutes
3 Thrusters, 95#(65#)
400m Sprint

Post times to comments and BTWB

Sarah showing off her very pretty squat.

Sarah showing off her very pretty squat.

Want to get up off the toilet by yourself when you’re 80 years old? Start squatting below parallel when you’re 30 years old. Trust me. By Courtney Shepherd

In my coaching career, I have on occasion, been accused of being mean. That’s right, you heard me, mean. Following a workout once an athlete actually came up to me and said, “Dang girl, you’re mean today.” You would think this might have upset me or at least caused concern about what it was I did to this athlete to earn the distinction “mean”. Well I was not upset, and I knew exactly what I did. And I’ve done it many more times since.

I relentlessly made this athlete, along with the whole class, for the entirety of the workout, squat below parallel. Yeah, that happened.

Now, I hope at this point you realize that, while this really was said to me, it was said with humor. This athlete may have disliked me in the moment for lovingly reminding them often to get lower in their squats, but they know my constant nagging is out of a desire to see them get stronger, healthier, and live a longer, more productive life. Wait a tic. What’s that you say? Squatting below parallel isn’t just something CrossFit Games made up to help establish guidelines for a “no rep” during a workout? Nope, they sure didn’t. (Yes, I realize I’m having a conversation with myself. . . publicly, for all you to enjoy) Long before the Crossfit Games came to light CrossFit was teaching the air squat as one of it’s foundational, functional movements. A point of performance for this movement is that the hip crease gets below the knee crease, also known as getting below parallel.  Why does CrossFit teach it this way? Because that is what life demands of us. Life demands at times that we set our butt down on something that is lower to the ground, and I’ll be darned if at some point in time later life asks us to get our butts up. We want to be able to do this without the help of someone or something else. So CrossFit is preparing us for life. 

The squat is my favorite foundational, functional movement because you see it in so many other things. You see it in the thruster, snatch, clean, overhead squat, wall ball, and more. We do a workout with 150 wall balls in it, and after it kicks our butt we rack our brain trying to figure out how to get better at wall balls, but very few of us will actually say, “I bet if I worked to improve my squat I would also improve my wall balls.” I’m not talking about throwing weights on a bar and squatting our brains out. I’m talking about sitting back in our heals, driving our knees over our toes, and keeping our chest upright as we squat below parallel. Taking time to perfect the air squat translates to those sexier movements we all want so bad, like a heavier snatch or clean. 

The squat is also my favorite for it’s presence in everyday life. My Nana use to live in an assisted living facility. When I would visit, I couldn’t use her private bathroom because it had a 2 foot booster seat on top of the toilet. The facility put this there for my Nana because she had long ago lost the ability to sit down and stand up without assistance. She lost her functional ability to squat. CrossFit was not in my life at a time I could have helped make a difference in my Nana’s. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t wish it would have been. I would have loved to have visited Nana and done silly things with her like sit down and stand up, now do it holding this phone book. She wouldn’t have known it at the time but she would have been working on doing squats with a little bit of weight. She would have been doing CrossFit. 

Today you are going to be doing a lot of squats. When I coach I’m going to expect that each of these squats gets to the proper depth, something I will be continually reminding some of you about. I know it seems “mean” to hear my obnoxiously loud and raspy voice booming across the room, “get lower in that squat for me”, but I obviously don’t see it as mean. I see it as keeping you healthy and functional, so that when you are 80 no one puts a 2 foot booster seat on your toilet and it freaks out your grandkids. 

In short, you’re welcome.

Wednesday 170719

With a 12 minute running clock:
1 Minute max double unders
1 Minute max DB snatch, 40#(25#)
2 Minute max double unders
2 Minute max DB snatch, 40#(25#)
3 Minute max double unders
3 Minute max DB snatch, 40#(25#)

Post results to comments or BTWB


WOW, Katie has been a member at Verve since 2009!! She has seen many iterations of Verve and probably has many great stories.  Katie always has the best attitude, the greatest smile, and makes you feel like she genuinely cares how you are doing which is why she is going to make a GREAT teacher to those lucky preschoolers.  Happy to have you in class every day Katie and best of luck with your new adventure!

Tuesday 170718

4 Sets of the following complex, for quality:
2 Hang muscle snatch + 2 hang power snatch + 2 hang snatch

Then, 5 x 5 overhead squat

Post weights to BTWB

In today’s workout the first part of the workout is for quality.  Quality means that we are doing light weights, working on our technique, and getting better at the movements.  The goal isn’t to do weights that are challenging, but to practice the lifts and become more confident in each of the movements.

Above is an episode from Ben Bergeron’s Chasing Excellence Podcast that I’ve listened to a few times in the past week and found really insightful.  The podcast fits perfectly with the first part of today’s workout.  The theme of the podcast has to do with training with intention.   The podcast covers different elements that are focused on during our time in the gym.  Those elements are part of the reason we structure our classes the way we do, with time allocated for explaining the  workout and the desired stimulus, proper warm ups,  skill work, movement review, the workout, and post workout exercises or cool downs.   

Verve members are great at asking questions about workouts and how they should approach a particular workout and as trainers it’s our job to provide as much information as possible to help our members work towards their long term goals.

If the podcast starts in the middle, make sure and scroll all the way to the beginning.  


Monday 170717

For time:
500m Row

Then, 5 rounds:
5 STO, 155#(105#)
7 Front rack lunge steps, 155#(105#)
9 Burpees over the bar

500m Row

Post times to comments and BTWB

Erin and Jackie making easy work of Saturday's partner WOD.

Erin and Jackie making easy work of Saturday’s partner WOD.

Speaking of partner work. . . .

Ladies, Femme Royale is coming at you fast. It’s Saturday August 19th. If you’ve been thinking about it, think no more. Grab a buddy and get signed up. If you are worried about what you may or may not be able to do physically, FR has 3 divisions you can sign up for: For Fun, 50/50, and RX. The workouts have already been announced, so find the best division and get your practice on. 

To register, click here.

To see workouts and movement standards, click here.

Gentlemen, we haven’t left you out. Verve is hosting a Bro-Down on Sunday August 20th. It will be the same format and workouts from the Femme Royale with weights adjusted for the men. We will only have 2 divisions: Open and RX. Registration for dudes is $40 per team. Because this in house competition is being put on just by Verve and just for Verve dudes, the registration money is going right back to prizes for the winners, 3 podium spots per division. 

To register, go to Verve’s square system and make the purchase. Be sure to put team members names and team name in the notes. 

*Verve will not have any classes or open gym times during the weekend of Femme Royale and Bro-Down. So if you want to get in some fitness, get signed up for one of the events. 😉


Sunday July 30th Verve is excited to host a workout in support of Verve’s own Frank Moore and his non profit charity CellCycle. Frank founded the charity CellCycle last year after his 6 year old niece was diagnosed with childhood leukemia. This is a family run operation where 100% of money raised is donated to individuals affected by blood cancer. 

We will have a free workout at 10am and 11am. Following the 11am WOD Whole Foods will be on site providing snacks and refreshments. The workout will be written for any and all to attend and be easily scaleable to meet any individual needs. We simply ask that instead of any drop in fees, you donate to CellCycle. Frank will be on hand to help take donations, and there will be a family present with a story to tell about their fight with cancer. 

All are invited, so bring family and friends and help support a great cause. For more information about CellCycle click here. 




Sunday 170716

For time:
Run 800 Meters
21 Pull ups
21 Cleans 95#(65#)
Run 600 Meters
15 Chest to bar pull ups
15 Cleans 135#(95#)
Run 400 Meters
9 Bar muscle ups
9 Cleans 185#(125#)

Post times to comments and BTWB

Put your hands up if you wish tomorrow was not Monday. Eric and Maddie getting through some DB thrusters.

Put your hands up if you wish tomorrow was not Monday. Eric and Maddie getting through some DB thrusters.


Saturday 170715

With a partner:
8 Rounds for time of:
30 Power snatch 95#(65#)
30 Burpee box jumps 24″(20″)

*1 person works at a time, can split up reps however partners want

Post time to BTWB













Blueberry Espresso Brownies from


1 Cup Coconut Cream Concentrate MELTED (and a bit leftover for drizzling)
3 Eggs
1/2 Cup Raw Organic Honey
1/4 Cup Organic Cocoa Powder
1 Tbsp Cinnamon
1 Tbsp Ground Hug in a Mug Coffee
2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
1/4 Tsp Sea Salt
1 Cup Blueberries


Preheat your oven to 325 Degrees F

Place coconut cream concentrate (coconut butter), eggs, honey, cocoa powder, cinnamon, coffee, vanilla, baking soda, and sea salt together in a mixing bowl

Use your hand mixer or stand mixer to mix all your ingredients until well blended

Once ready, fold in your blueberries by hand so you don’t crush them all
Pour your batter into a greased 9×13 baking dish (grease with coconut oil) or into greased individual mini muffin pans

Place in the oven and bake for approximately 30 minutes. At about 25 minutes, do the toothpick test and judge how much longer you need

Remove from oven, let cool

Once cool, use some melted Coconut Cream Concentrate and drizzle all over your brownies
Cut and Enjoy