Scott Panchik: Rest Days and Getting Out of the Gym to Avoid Burnout

October 31, 2023 by
Photo Credit: @beyond.the.script/
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Scott Panchik is a household name in the CrossFit community. 

Since starting his competitive career in 2012, he has competed as an individual at the CrossFit Games nine times and recently competed in the 35-39 division, where he grabbed a fourth place finish. His incredible success on the sport-side makes it easy to forget that he’s owned a successful affiliate for over a decade. 

In a recent post on his instagram, Panchik addressed the topic of burnout in CrossFit. This is something that is relevant to both elite competitors and everyday affiliate members. To dive deeper into the post, Morning Chalk Up’s Managing Editor, Joe Genetin-Pilawa spoke with Panchik to learn more about what he does to help his affiliate community stay healthy, motivated and passionate about training. 

Rest Days are built into the schedule at CrossFit Mentality.

At Panchik’s affiliate, they don’t program workouts on Thursday or Sunday. They use HybridAF, which allows members 24 hour access to the gym. This gives people the opportunity to come in and make up a day they missed, but the gym only puts out five workouts per week. 

  • Having those rest days is what drives intensity,” Panchik said. 

Panchik has tried it both ways and rest days led him to a healthier body and better results. 

  • “In 2021, I was pushing the boundaries of what my body was capable of doing and I didn’t quite make it to the finish line. I had some injuries there that kept me from finishing the way I would have liked.” 

Focus on moving well, not the leaderboard.  

  • “If you’re coming in and the only reason you’re showing up is to beat the time to beat on the leaderboard, then that’s not a good driving factor to show up everyday. It’s about keeping integrity in your movement, and moving extremely well.” 

Get out of the gym. 

Panchik encourages people to dedicate a day each week to things like hiking, swimming, biking or pickleball. These activities will all lend to overall fitness development, but get you out of the gym and doing things you can’t do in a class. 

  • “It gets you motivated to get back into the gym to get after it.”

Get the community together for workouts outside of the gym. 

Panchik also recommends that gyms organize or participate in workouts outside of the normal class schedule. CrossFit Mentality has done track workouts, which helps get different class times together and cultivate a stronger community. 

They’ve also done things like a “Pump and Run,” where members did bench press followed by a 5K. The possibilities are endless, but the message is clear — break the monotony of regular training and celebrate the fitness you’re building in the gym. 

The bottom line: Panchik has his hands in all aspects of the CrossFit community, being one of the world’s fittest athletes for over the last decade, while simultaneously running a successful affiliate in his community. His advice is so valuable because he is able to pull from his personal experience as an elite professional, while also drawing from his background as a coach and gym owner. 

It’s very easy to blur the lines between CrossFit the fitness program and The Sport of Fitness, so this is an excellent reminder to keep priorities in check. Get outside, play sports, hop on a bike or go for a swim. Take rest days and bring your best on the days you are coming to train at the gym.

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