Are you saying I need to rest? I’m only just hitting my straps here! I'm so fired up from The Open, that I'm raring to get started on a double day, conjugated, periodised, strength bias, gymnastic focused, Olympic lifting program, with extra aerobic base work!!  Oh and can I join in on the next Strongman specialty class too....??

A deload is an important part of our training cycles.  Typically we run blocks of about 8-10 weeks of training, where you are encouraged to increase loads lifted, reps performed and intensity every week.  But progress is not a continuous linear thing.  You can only go on for so long before you lose momentum and start to plateau.   A back off week is a simple way to refresh body and mind for another upwards progress push. It’s all too common for some of you to feel that either you’re not ready to take a break, or that you will go backwards if you take it easy for a week.

But if you’re playing the long game (which you should be), and setting goals for short, medium and long term, a week is nothing within that time line. Thanks to decades of brain washing from companies pedalling ineffective fitness methodologies and gadgets, it’s all too easy to think that one easy day means a squandered chance to burn fat, build muscle and improve fitness.

Perhaps a shift in thinking will help.....if you CAN undo the work that you've done thus far on your fitness, in just one day, then what does that say about the work that you've done thus far????   It's unlikely that it's been a waste, but if that's where your head is at, either chat to a coach about your progress, or decide to go a little easier on yourself.

We're going to use this week to devote more energy to technique practice, we've also got some midline/shoulder/posterior chain work for you and plenty of mobility.  You can still push hard, we’ve just brought the overall volume down.  The key is reducing volume, so don't go searching for a bunch of extra work this week. What you SHOULD go searching for is FUN!

A deload doesn't have to be frustrating, but rather a chance to remind yourself about the simple pleasure of exercise.  And we've got plenty of 'fun' for you this week, with the end of March Movement, and then his Friday Ape-ril is kicking off.  Not only an incredibly clever play on words (if I do say so myself...), but our hanging focused block of training is going to give your shoulder mobility and stability a new lease of life. And we'll also finish up the week with the benchmark, Grace/Isabel is our Girl Friday workout for April!

As our 8th birthday approaches, here's an old video to watch and reminisce on the good ol days at CFNZ V1.0.  Our 2nd birthday competition included a Grace final, with handicap stagger starts, similar to the 2008 CrossFit Games, and incidentally, the documentary behind that event, Every Second Counts, has just been re-released on iTunes.  Amazing to see how far the sport has evolved.

Darren Ellis