And that's the CrossFit Open done for another year........

Now what?

Easy week.

Just move.

Have fun.

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....??

Easy days, and easy weeks are an important part of our training cycles.  Each year we run 4 blocks of 9 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.

The thing about a deload day/week, is that you can still push hard, just bring the overall amount of work down.  The key is reducing volume, but often intensity can still be right up there.  And thanks to the variation in our programming, and the sensible progressions, it's actually rare that we need to back off anywhere near the same way a single sport, elite level athlete would have to.

Also remember to make it FUN!  A deload or easy week doesn't have to be frustrating, but rather a chance to remind yourself about the simple pleasure of exercise.

All the above aside, here are a couple of reasons to enjoy your training this week, but perhaps not try to set any records on fire.

1. We'll be finishing up this week of training with an early Girl Friday Benchmark;  Grace or Isabel is your benchmark for April!  As we celebrate our 9th birthday, here's an old video to watch and reminisce on the good ol days at CFNZ V1.0, where our 2nd birthday competition included a Grace final, with handicap stagger starts, similar to the 2008 CrossFit Games.

2. Next week is PR Week!!  That's right, Block 1 is done.  And now it's time to see how the last 9 weeks of training has gone.  Always interesting, if you've broken the block up with The CrossFit Open, to see how you've fared out the other side!

3. Speaking of fun, and just moving to enjoy it, who's up for a walk out on the Hillary Trail this Sunday?

Darren Ellis