Avoiding Post Open Burn Out: The DELOAD Period

crossfit open thruster deload week

The Open at CrossFit Central Houston is one of my FAVORITE times of the year. It’s 5 weeks of excitement and yelling and cheering and workouts and sometimes re-doing workouts, and judging, and yelling and cheering some more….


Think about a similar situation that happens around Christmas time/Hanukkah/December holidays. We spend the entire month of December (or longer) going gift shopping, spending time with family, cooking big meals, getting the house ready, going to holiday work parties, going to holiday kids’ parties, spending MORE time with family… Most of us would agree that we love that time of year, but after it’s over, what generally happens? You take a second to SIT DOWN. You take a little BREAK. Why? Because we all need it! Maybe it’s a few days off of work. Perhaps it’s sending the in-laws back on their way home, or ordering in food delivered instead of cooking the next few meals. Whatever it looks like, most of us take some time to relax as much as possible before getting back to life full force at the beginning of the year with our new year’s goals and a renewed sense of motivation.

It’s called a DELOAD. And it’s not just for the holidays, it’s normal for fitness too.

It’s ok that you feel like you need to take it easy for a week following the Open. No one wants to be in Christmas-time hustle and bustle-mode year round. It’s just not sustainable physically or psychologically. The same goes for the Open.

So what does a DELOAD period look like? It’s usually a few days, or even a week, where you lower volume and intensity of workouts. Perhaps instead of one of your regular CrossFit workouts, you spend that time going on a long walk. Or rather than doing a bunch of extra work after class, you spend that time working on mobility. Maybe it looks like scheduling 20 minutes after class with your friends to work on something FUN together (handstand holds? Playing with our yoke? Medball toss sit-ups?).

We’re also helping you out by designing the next four days of programming as deload workouts. In other words, workouts that won’t absolutely SMASH you. Or some of them are fun partner workouts! You’ll also notice that the “Optional Extra Work” for those days looks like “Spend 15-20 minutes working on mobility/stretching.”

The point is that we’re in this for the long haul, and no one can go full speed ahead for an extended period of time without feeling burnt out - whether that’s physically or mentally. Just know that it’s OK to take a few days off, or come in and just HAVE FUN with a workout….and then jump back in in a couple of days, even more motivated than before!