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MikeWilliams
01-12-2011, 07:37 PM
I see this so often in strength forums where they mention "I taxed my CNS" seems like a common phrase

I assume it stands for Central Nervous System...but I don't know what fatigues your CNS...what are symptoms of CNS being exausted..what can prevent it, if at all...how to recover?

just looking for some info ..thanks

kingns
01-12-2011, 08:11 PM
I didn't really understand how you can overtrain for a long time. Not muscularly but with your CNS, you can go in to the gym and the weights just feel terrible even if your aren't sore. I can tell based on how 135 feels if its gonna be a strong day or not, that is how I can tell if my CNS is overtrained. If you train really hard for long enough you will tax your CNS. It might take longer for some people than others and but if you train heavy week in and week out without deloading you will eventually overtrain your CNS. As long as you rest enough, take some down time and dont kill yourself in the gym this won't become an issue. I can't speak on how drugs will delay this or whatever, but this is my experience.

Travis Bell
01-12-2011, 08:35 PM
In my honest opinion the majority of people way over think this stuff when referring to CNS "overtraining" or "burnout" whatever you call it.

I've only seen it truly happen to one guy and he ended up having some bad nervous system infection or something. Got pretty serious.

But for the rest of us, we should probably spend more time thinking of better ways to get stronger.

Just my 2 cents though

Dan Fanelli
01-12-2011, 09:09 PM
To echo on what Travis said. Very few people probaly actually have an issue with "overtraining" or "CNS fatigue". Its usually just poor training programs, poor recovery, and poor nutrition.

Im sure there is some medical diagnosis of CNS fatigue, but I highly doubt any of us are going to need to worry about that. People confuse lack of progress, or an off day with CNS fatigue and overtraining.

Simple solution.... Train better, rest better, and eat better. Case closed!

chris mason
01-12-2011, 10:16 PM
I have to disgree.

A HUGE component of increased strength is neural. Training at a high intensity can quickly overly tax the nervous system thus stagnating progress.

One method of combating it is the conjugate method. Continuous alternation of compound movements for a given group of muscles (bench, squat etc.) helps to keep the nervous system somewhat fresh as even minor tweaks in a movement make for a very different effect on the CNS.

Deload weeks are also another manner of refreshing the CNS.

So, it is real, but variations in intensity and or conjugate variety can help to keep it at bay.

vdizenzo
01-12-2011, 10:41 PM
Chris, I agree, but I too often see guys with little experience discussing their deloads. Many guys have not trained long and hard enough to worry about delaods. I used to schedule them every three weeks then I noticed Travis hardly ever deloads. So, I started to deload less without any problems. I also think guys need to bring up their work capacity to combat stressing their CNS. Powerlifters can often get lazy. Believe me, I know.

mastermonster
01-12-2011, 11:29 PM
I think it's possible to do. Either by actual over training, or under eating or under sleeping/resting. Or, especially all of the above. I tend to think of it as under recovery more than over training and usually has nothing to do with the CNS. BUT, I think even this is not as often the case as many think. I think a lot of people just get bored easily. And that's O.K. But I think those are the people who benefit from mixing up the movements often. Not really for any real physiological reason, but to avoid boredom. Bored people are not going to keep putting the same energy into their training as someone who is excited and enthusiastic about their workout. There are some people (me included) who are truely addicted to the feel of doing the comp lifts and can stay excited by that year in and year out. I'm actually bored when I'm doing about anything else in the gym. Before taking this time off for my shoulder surgery, I'd done basically the same workouts with little variation for 3-4 years at least. I think it's just how your mind is geared and you have to train accordingly. If you crave variety, it's probably your best way to go in avoiding burnout, overtraing, boredom...whatever you choose to call it. If you get fired up over squats, benches and deadlifts every week, then I think you should keep your workouts based around those all year. Physically we're all very similar. But, mentally and emotionally we're all quite different. I think that's the key to putting your training program together.

RhodeHouse
01-13-2011, 05:09 AM
It's a load of crap. There are so many other things we can do to make sure this isn't an issue. Michael Jordan would've been better if he didn't work so hard. Walter Payton would've been better if he didn't train so hard in the off-season. Jerry Rice...

People need a reason to suck, and this CNS fatigue thing sounds like a great excuse for why you aren't getting better.

I wonder if the caveman worried about this as he hunted everyday for food to stay alive. "Hey guys, I'm taking the day off from hunting for a tiger to eat because my CNS is fried. I'm gonna hit the hot and cold springs and catch me a contrast bath. Then I'll foam roll so I can be recovered for the big hunt that my life, literally depends on, tomorrow. Happy hunting, boys."

As he went through this regimen, I bet he was looking forward to getting a good night's sleep on his memory foam dirt floor later that night.

CNS fatigue my fat ass.

Ryano
01-13-2011, 05:54 AM
I rehab my CNS every Sunday watching the NFL and drinkin' some BUD. It works great.

vdizenzo
01-13-2011, 07:21 AM
Angry Rhodes is in da house! Thanks for the cameo big boy.

Mike Tuchschere
01-13-2011, 08:11 AM
I can appreciate the opinions on here, but as a guy that has studied this stuff pretty extensively over the last couple years, maybe I can offer a bit of a different perspective.

While lifting heavy weights can be tough on the CNS, it's nowhere near as tough as things like jump training or sprinting. Those things are way more CNS intensive than lifting is. Now, that doesn't mean that CNS fatigue doesn't happen. It's just like someone else pointed out, not every bad workout is "because your CNS is fried, bro."

But things like nutrition, training, and especially sleep do affect it quite a bit. And days when your CNS is ready for heavy work, you have a better chance of hitting a PR than you do on days where your CNS is not ready for heavy work. So you can definitely improve your performance by paying attention to it. Some really basic ways of telling if your CNS is depressed are if you're unusually tired, if your thinking is slow or foggy, or if you can't concentrate. But it's not easy to assess because those are all subjective. And what do you use to assess something subjective like that? Your CNS. So it's better if you can use something objective instead.

And I might catch flak for this, but I hate the caveman analogies. Cavemen were worried about survival and never developed themselves above their natural levels. If you're pursuing anything athletic and you're trying to improve, then you're attempting to push yourself beyond your natural levels. If the caveman analogy was correct, then you should just max out everyday because cavemen didn't take a day off from hunting. They hunted everyday. But we know that's not an effective training strategy.
Now if your point was that people need to quit being such wusses, then I'll agree with you in some cases. There's lots of guys that could use to toughen up and work hard. But most of the guys I've seen who have been around competitive sports for more than a couple years tend to understand that. I guess the advice really depends on the individual. Some guys work too hard and others use Powerlifting as an excuse to pound some double cheeseburgers.

But back to the CNS question, if you're interested in some more info, check out this article (http://www.reactivetrainingsystems.com/articles/training-articles/2117-cns-support). Hope that helps some.

Travis Bell
01-13-2011, 09:11 AM
Solid post Mike!

I think Mike raises a fair point about CNS depression vs CNS fatigue and CNS depression can be greatly effect by being smart about recovery. Nutrition, proper rest and smart training really have a huge effect into this.

I suppose my problem with CNS fatigue is more that it's ambigious. You can't measure it so people are very cavalier with throwing that term out as an excuse for weakness.

9 times out of 10 when I've seen someone get flattened by a weight it was more a technique issue. Or sometimes it's just heavier than you are strong. So work harder.

To broaden the scope of this discussion a little, a lot of times guys are picking the wrong exercises to try and impove upon. I see a lot of time spent upon things that are fun to do, or you are good at, but little time at what challenges a person. So when a person goes for a new PR, look back at your training in my opinion, not your central nervous system.

Mike Tuchschere
01-13-2011, 09:40 AM
I think you're right on the money to a great extent, Travis. I'm not much for blaming missed lifts on CNS fatigue either. It usually distracts people from what really needs to happen -- tough training.

About not being able to measure CNS fatigue... actually you can. Me and some of the other guys at RTS really went through a lot of research and practical trials to come up with something called TRAC. One of the things it does is give you an assessment of your CNS potential. It works pretty well and it's helped me guide my training quite a bit. It really helps to know whether your body is ready to get stronger from the work you're doing or whether it's just hanging on for survival.

You can read about it here (http://www.reactivetrainingsystems.com/store/custom-training?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=84&category_id=4). The first month is free if you want to try it out.

RhodeHouse
01-13-2011, 10:00 AM
Mike, my point about the cavemen was that guys aren't tough enough, in most cases. I've never heard big time athletes, and I've been around/played with more than a handful of NFL players, talk about CNS fatigue. I've been around a lot a big time lifters and that's not something that comes up in discussions about improving. What comes up is working your ass off and doing the necessary things to recover. As you've said, when you've been around for a while, you get a feel for when you're really beat up and when you're just not feeling good. HUGE difference. There is a time when the CNS gets fatigued, but not nearly as often as people like to make excuses for. As I said, it's one more reason people can blame for lack of success.

Mike Tuchschere
01-13-2011, 10:23 AM
Ok, Matt, I see what you're saying. I'd disagree that it's "most cases", but I think we're mostly on the same page.

Question for you though -- among those high level athletes, how many are responsible for their own training? To me, it's like there's two separate mentalities. There's the athlete and the coach. To the athlete, it doesn't matter what he has to do, he's got to get the job done. It's a kill or be killed mentality. But a coach's mentality has to be more strategic. A coach has to think in terms of the right work in the right dosage at the right time to get his players where they need to be.

From what I know, a pro athlete, Olympian, etc... most of those guys get to just be athletes because someone else is in the coach's role. The thing they need to do more than anything else is work their asses off. But most of us are self-coached, so we have to be both coach and athlete. Obviously that presents some problems because some guys are too much coach and not enough athlete. Other guys are too much athlete and not enough coach. Would you agree with that?

BloodandThunder
01-13-2011, 10:25 AM
True story, I once had a lifter, who the day after his first day training with us, told me he couldn't train because his CNS was "fried." The kid was a know-it-all and just spent one day on depth and technique work with a broomstick and doing some volume on GHRs and ab work. I see where many come from on this front and not working hard.

I love reading about Oly lifters and the dedication it takes in their training to obtain gold, regardless of any extra-curriculars it takes to get there. You'd read about lifters being picked up to be brought to a cot to sleep, only to wake up and do snatches in the AM. I'm around college-aged lifters, and one thing I notice, is the complete lack of structure in their daily life (I went through the same thing). SO I try to work around things like all-nighters and workload with regards to programming. I think your environment and daily life can affect your lifting just as much as how much squatting volume you're doing.

Travis Bell
01-13-2011, 10:28 AM
I think you're right on the money to a great extent, Travis. I'm not much for blaming missed lifts on CNS fatigue either. It usually distracts people from what really needs to happen -- tough training.

About not being able to measure CNS fatigue... actually you can. Me and some of the other guys at RTS really went through a lot of research and practical trials to come up with something called TRAC. One of the things it does is give you an assessment of your CNS potential. It works pretty well and it's helped me guide my training quite a bit. It really helps to know whether your body is ready to get stronger from the work you're doing or whether it's just hanging on for survival.

You can read about it here (http://www.reactivetrainingsystems.com/store/custom-training?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=84&category_id=4). The first month is free if you want to try it out.

Very interesting stuff Mike! I'm sure that took quite a bit of work to put together.


I spent a lot of time in college researching stuff like bio feedback (not exactly what you are using, but similar) one project in particular that took me two years.

What I eventually decided was that while something might tax the CNS for a period of time, if it's kept at the same pace for a given period of time, the body will adapt to it.

So what I mean is that a little bit of CNS fatigue isn't always bad because if you don't push it much further, but allow yourself to keep straining, many times your body is going to adapt and your work capacity is going to really increase



Mike, my point about the cavemen was that guys aren't tough enough, in most cases. I've never heard big time athletes, and I've been around/played with more than a handful of NFL players, talk about CNS fatigue. I've been around a lot a big time lifters and that's not something that comes up in discussions about improving. What comes up is working your ass off and doing the necessary things to recover. As you've said, when you've been around for a while, you get a feel for when you're really beat up and when you're just not feeling good. HUGE difference. There is a time when the CNS gets fatigued, but not nearly as often as people like to make excuses for. As I said, it's one more reason people can blame for lack of success.

The large mammal speaks truth!

Travis Bell
01-13-2011, 11:03 AM
Just to clarify though, I don't think that means your assessment program isn't very beneficial

RhodeHouse
01-13-2011, 11:51 AM
Ok, Matt, I see what you're saying. I'd disagree that it's "most cases", but I think we're mostly on the same page.

Question for you though -- among those high level athletes, how many are responsible for their own training? To me, it's like there's two separate mentalities. There's the athlete and the coach. To the athlete, it doesn't matter what he has to do, he's got to get the job done. It's a kill or be killed mentality. But a coach's mentality has to be more strategic. A coach has to think in terms of the right work in the right dosage at the right time to get his players where they need to be.

From what I know, a pro athlete, Olympian, etc... most of those guys get to just be athletes because someone else is in the coach's role. The thing they need to do more than anything else is work their asses off. But most of us are self-coached, so we have to be both coach and athlete. Obviously that presents some problems because some guys are too much coach and not enough athlete. Other guys are too much athlete and not enough coach. Would you agree with that?

I would absolutely agree. I think that the guys who are too much coach, need to just lift. Let your experience be your guide more than your knowledge. Sometimes the science doesn't always add up. I think if those guys spent more time under the bar figuring out what the science is, they'd do much better. (hope that makes sense)

Those who are too much athlete, seem to do better. If there's even a little bit of science in the programming, just getting the work done will do so much for their progress. I think Vincent Dizenzo is like this. I've trained with Vincent for 6 years. He's benched World Records using Westside, Block Periodization, Metal Militia... It doesn't matter. He has some solid, basic programming with a lot of simple lifting.

As for the pro athletes, they were definately coached. They just did what they were told. To compare this to powerlifting, we may not all have the ability to be around a Louie Simmons type coach. That';s just fine. There are countless powerlifting programs on the internet. Yet, these guys will take a program that has worked and change it for their needs. This never makes any sense to me. Do it exactly as it's written. Do they know better than Louie? I think the coach type does this. If they were in front of Louie and he said "Do this..." they'd do it. Why not follow what he wrote in his articles?

I may be getting off topic here. I tink guys need to just train hard for years before they worry about some of this CNS fatigue stuff. Myself included.

joey54
01-13-2011, 11:54 AM
What a thread! Rhodes returns and maybe just as big, Mike joins the board. Great to read things like this.

RhodeHouse
01-13-2011, 12:21 PM
What a thread! Rhodes returns and maybe just as big, Mike joins the board. Great to read things like this.

Ha! I heard someone was hoping I wouldn't come back to the board because I'm "controversial" and I hurt people's feelings. I have not gone to sensitivity school, so I'm sure I won't stay around long.

But, thanks for the love, bro.

Kiff
01-13-2011, 12:23 PM
Very interesting thread, thanks to the guys that contributed!

Tim K
01-13-2011, 06:15 PM
Ha! I heard someone was hoping I wouldn't come back to the board because I'm "controversial" and I hurt people's feelings. I have not gone to sensitivity school, so I'm sure I won't stay around long.

But, thanks for the love, bro.

B'ah, people need to toughen up, grow a thicker hide, and get the f' over themselves. C'mon... its the damned internet. If you get your feelings hurt over the internet, you need to step away from the keyboard and reevaluate your life.

As for frying your CNS - your more likely to do that wading through all the crap bro-advice found on the internet. That stuff is enough to cook anyone's nervous system! Solid training backed up by decent nutrition with good sleep will be all most of us need to avoid CNS burnout.

The guys that work hard enough long and enough to french fry their CNS - they are usually the same ones with the experience to recognize it.

CNS is real, but I doubt it occurs with the frequency that many people claim. (see BloodandThunder's post)

Mike & Rhodes are always more than welcome here in my book. Especially Rhodes... he's funny.

MikeWilliams
01-13-2011, 06:22 PM
lots of good info..thanks!

ScottYard
01-13-2011, 06:36 PM
I deload every 4th week. I do it for a mental break though. I dont use the term cns. No point lol. Why cant people just say they are taking it easy.

NickAus
01-13-2011, 07:12 PM
So long as your lifts are going up who cares?

Tough guys or so called wimps.........are you hitting PR's?

If backing off sometimes means you hit PRs more then do it, I do agree that skipping training all the time will not get you stronger though.

I think people forget progress sometimes, guys thinking they are hardcore for training non stop do not always make faster progress.

colinS3
01-13-2011, 08:00 PM
Everyone is a little bit different when it comes to CNS stuff and "burning out." I can do a full body workout 4x a week and feel fine. I've modified mine so it doesn't have more than 2 sets, which makes it much easier on my body, and I don't even get sore from it. You've just gotta find what's right for you.

ehubbard
01-14-2011, 07:11 AM
Anyone else feel like their CNS is fried after reading this thread?

Travis Bell
01-14-2011, 08:07 AM
So long as your lifts are going up who cares?

Tough guys or so called wimps.........are you hitting PR's?

If backing off sometimes means you hit PRs more then do it, I do agree that skipping training all the time will not get you stronger though.

I think people forget progress sometimes, guys thinking they are hardcore for training non stop do not always make faster progress.

That's a little bit simplistic, but the reason is just because you are hitting PRs, doesn't mean something else might not work better.

For instance about 9 months ago I realized I was hitting PRs very slowly. Weekly, yes, but they were all super grinders and comming very hard. the lesson learned for me was to work twice as hard (double heavy bench sessions every Wednsday)

But if I'd have said "hmm well I'm hitting PR's so I shouldn't change anything" I'd have never gotten to where I'm at currently

martin
01-14-2011, 09:09 AM
I think most people's comments echo one thing - you gotta train hard. You really got to bust your ass to make gains.

The problem only comes with CNS fatigue (burnout or whatever) when someone is pretty advanced, and is that good at busting their ass in the gym it becomes too much.

All the programs that Rhodes mentioned before all work very well - they all contain different ways of monitoring or controlling CNS fatigue I think, be it Westside, Texas, or whatever method. They are all good programs as a result, and all require hard work.

Most people shouldn't worry about deloads or burnouts until they are strong lifters - it's used as an excuse to take it easy way too often amongst lazy trainers. These are normally totally the other end of the spectrum to those who DO need to delaod or back off regularly.

It's a case of applying the right methods at the right time at your training level I think. Do what the good guys did to get there rather than what they do now as a 1000 pound squatter needs more careful training than a 100 pound squatter.

KarlMarx
01-14-2011, 11:16 AM
Ok, Matt, I see what you're saying. I'd disagree that it's "most cases", but I think we're mostly on the same page.

Question for you though -- among those high level athletes, how many are responsible for their own training? To me, it's like there's two separate mentalities. There's the athlete and the coach. To the athlete, it doesn't matter what he has to do, he's got to get the job done. It's a kill or be killed mentality. But a coach's mentality has to be more strategic. A coach has to think in terms of the right work in the right dosage at the right time to get his players where they need to be.

From what I know, a pro athlete, Olympian, etc... most of those guys get to just be athletes because someone else is in the coach's role. The thing they need to do more than anything else is work their asses off. But most of us are self-coached, so we have to be both coach and athlete. Obviously that presents some problems because some guys are too much coach and not enough athlete. Other guys are too much athlete and not enough coach. Would you agree with that?

I think this is a great point, and I think a lot of people miss. I get hit for 'overthinking' but I have to act as my own coach--bouncing back and forth between kill or be killed mentality and trying to be more strategic....Of course, its easier to bend the rules when you are your own coach and let yourself slide but its all a matter of mental toughness in the end.

Dan Fanelli
01-14-2011, 12:23 PM
Would you guys agree that IF CNS fatigue were a more common problem that it would be the result of too much heavy near max lifting, and not so much volulme work???


I remember when I was starting out, I had myself convinced CNS fatigue was a problem for me. And like most new lifters, I wasn't lifting with intensity at all. But I was lifting with a ton of volume. My body was physically/mentally tired, and I wasn't making progress. The only difference now, is that im making progress. But my body still gets physically/mentally tired.

Also, as a side question. Some people say at the end of a workout you should feel "energized" and not "trashed". Any truth at all to this?

JK1
01-14-2011, 02:09 PM
This thread has some very good information in it. I may be wrong with what I'm about to write, so feel free to disagree.

I personally think CNS fatigue does occur---we used to lump it into the idea of "overtraining" and before that it was called "being real tired". I also think it has ALOT more to do with things happening outside the gym--ie nutrition, rest, stress from work/family/job, general health. I also think it doesn't occur in the way that so many people claim to experience it. IE someone who thinks they can't do a 5th rep of a 3rd set and they use it as an excuse.

I think CNS Fatigue is a generalized entity too, not something that can be determined by one missed set. I have to laugh at the people I've heard make the statement "My CNS is fried"... BS, you just pushed yourself a little bit and you are tired. You rest some and youíll probably be able to do it again.

To me CNS fatigue is the bodyís way of protecting itself from injury during a time when the body has reached a state of exhaustion where injury is probably imminent. Because they body has been pushed to its limit, the brain basically shuts things downóthus the CNS component. This is different from 'stagnation' where an exercise has been repeated over and over without variation and the body has accommodated to it, so the brain loses focus. This can occur due to repeated intensive exercise or outside influences, but it is always a cumulative effect, where it just doesn't happen because of 1 or 2 hard training sessions.

CNS fatigue doesn't just affect maximum effort, but also repeated efforts and dynamic efforts. In most cases it is usually observed and quantified in the max effort exercise because the lifter will be significantly weaker. We all notice a 100 lb miss from a previous max. In repeated efforts there will be a decrease in number of repititions with a given weight and in dynamic work there will be a decrease in speed. The other important thing that needs be realized is those values may not actually change significantly, but the degree of skill with which a lifter performs a lift may be significantly altered. In other words, a person may only be off by 20 lbs in their max squat, but instead of being tight and controlled with the lift, they are loose, leaning forward, and heaving weight. This is what happens right before things shut down completely to prevent injury. This is also the key point to look for if you are trying to assess your training. Just be aware, that its very, very difficult to assess at times. It's also not just being tired at this point, itís the body not working like its been trained to do. A novice lifter probably will never be able to notice this unless they've got very experienced lifters working with them who will pinpoint it first. An intermediate might, but probably won't. Its only at the advanced levels that it becomes really apparent.

The best way to explain what I'm trying to say is probably by example. And the best example of this I can think of for a powerlifter is my wife and what happens with her with her training. She's an experienced powerlifter competing as a 148 in single ply. She works as a university professor as a veterinary emergency surgeon with one of the craziest, most screwed up schedules for the money that she makes that I've ever seen a person have. Its not uncommon for her to be up most of the night with a surgery, then have to teach or be in meetings a big part of day, then teach her class in the evening and then come home, down two cups of coffee and go out to train for an hour or more.

There is no lack of drive or determination on her part. On those days she's tired, her lifts may be slightly off, but its due to being tired, not a CNS issue. She's still pretty much tight with her form, she still executes the movements correctly and she will at least tie previous PR's. She's grumpy and cusses me, but thatís OK, that gets adrenalin going and she trains harder. There have been times like this (like last night) where things start off slow, but as she moves and trains the focus gets better. She did it last night with a PR conventional deadlift against choked minibands after a pure **** beginning to the workout with her squats. Again, that to me is being tired, not CNS fatigue.

Now if this occurs 3 or 4 or 6 days in a row--which I've seen during foaling season---and she continues to try to train she hitís a point where things just pretty much shut down. She literally can't correctly execute a squat. The bar when benching drifts all over the place. She canít setup correctly to deadlift. She basically cannot stay tight no matter how hard she tries. She can set up well, but she can't hold it. And she is slow in execution of the lift, even with warmup weights. When I see this, these are the workouts where we just shut things down and she doesnít train. There is no reason to push it, the brain is going to make lifts be missed to prevent further exhaustion. And no matter how hard she tries or the others lifting with her try to get her focused, it doesn't happen. She can also take a rest day after the long string of nights and sleep, but still be significantly off with her lifts, showing the signs I listed above. That to me is CNS fatigue. Thatís a sign to shut the workout down, take the next day off and SLEEP and EAT.

JK1
01-14-2011, 02:15 PM
Would you guys agree that IF CNS fatigue were a more common problem that it would be the result of too much heavy near max lifting, and not so much volulme work???


I remember when I was starting out, I had myself convinced CNS fatigue was a problem for me. And like most new lifters, I wasn't lifting with intensity at all. But I was lifting with a ton of volume. My body was physically/mentally tired, and I wasn't making progress. The only difference now, is that im making progress. But my body still gets physically/mentally tired.

Also, as a side question. Some people say at the end of a workout you should feel "energized" and not "trashed". Any truth at all to this?

I think its more of a product of what you do outside of the gym than what you do in the gym. Sleep, diet, work and stress play a bigger role. I don't know about the others, but a ton of volume with light weights is what I call cardio. You want to get stronger, you are going to have to push it to a near max or beyond. Its that simple. to me you were inexperienced and you were making excuses.


I think the energized thing is bull**** perpetuated by bodybuilding and health and fitness rags. You are working when you are in the gym, you should feel like you have worked. After a DE workout, I generally feel good. tired, but good. after a ME workout, I generally feel like a bus hit me. Some days its a big bus, some days its a small bus, but its a bus. I've been known to lay on the gym floor and sip a protein shake just laying there.... because of that got my ass ran over feeling. Thats a good workout in my book. Walking out of the gym skipping and feeling energized means you didn't lift heavy enough.

mchicia1
01-14-2011, 02:38 PM
Road house!

http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQGbHQfesyLLXMnYWg6fFEcUncZelSYDVHJdvIMoLtkMD_9SLCR

tuna4me
01-14-2011, 07:01 PM
I'd love to copy each of the above responses and post them on a sign board large enough for the world to read!... this is awesome stuff..................it really shows that power lifting, lifting to be strong and to be the best you can be is so much using your 'gray matter'..........it is really an art , damn near close to a science!!.

This would be such a treat to plaster on the next person who labels 'weight-lifters' or power lifters as 'Meat-Heads who can lift heavy things but can't think!'.....

LOVE THIS SITE!... some of the best inellect exists right here.. why buy books when the forum is full of knowledge-bound individuals!!!! KILLER!!!:omg:

NickAus
01-15-2011, 02:16 AM
That's a little bit simplistic, but the reason is just because you are hitting PRs, doesn't mean something else might not work better.

For instance about 9 months ago I realized I was hitting PRs very slowly. Weekly, yes, but they were all super grinders and comming very hard. the lesson learned for me was to work twice as hard (double heavy bench sessions every Wednsday)

But if I'd have said "hmm well I'm hitting PR's so I shouldn't change anything" I'd have never gotten to where I'm at currently


If backing off sometimes means you hit PRs more then do it, I do agree that skipping training all the time will not get you stronger though.

What I mean is whatever works best do it!

Can you explain double heavy benching for us?

martin
01-15-2011, 06:44 AM
Can you explain double heavy benching for us?

Does it require being twice as strong as everyone else?

vdizenzo
01-15-2011, 08:43 AM
Years ago I was less in shape than I am now. I worked less and delaoded regularly. I was only good for two attempts at a meet. Now I work more, deload less, and am good for four attempts a meet. Working harder works! If you can marry that with working smart you are golden. I agree with many in that you need to do what is necessary to recover with thinks like active recovery, nutrition/supps, and sleep.

Travis Bell
01-15-2011, 10:09 AM
Can you explain double heavy benching for us?

I bench once in the morning down at Westside, then about 10hrs later bench heavy again at my own gym with a different group.

Wouldn't recommend it for everyone but it worked well for me. Took my body about 3 months to adjust to it though.

Kiff
01-15-2011, 10:30 AM
I bench once in the morning down at Westside, then about 10hrs later bench heavy again at my own gym with a different group.

Wouldn't recommend it for everyone but it worked well for me. Took my body about 3 months to adjust to it though.

Wow. Just wondering, did you find your evening session was worse/better/same?

Ryano
01-15-2011, 02:33 PM
I bench once in the morning down at Westside, then about 10hrs later bench heavy again at my own gym with a different group.

Wouldn't recommend it for everyone but it worked well for me. Took my body about 3 months to adjust to it though.

I'm still icing my shoulders 10 hours after a heavy bench session.

Mike Tuchschere
01-15-2011, 03:04 PM
I think this is a great point, and I think a lot of people miss. I get hit for 'overthinking' but I have to act as my own coach--bouncing back and forth between kill or be killed mentality and trying to be more strategic....Of course, its easier to bend the rules when you are your own coach and let yourself slide but its all a matter of mental toughness in the end.

I think you're exactly right. I also think that's why it's really important to have a system in place to help you manage that. I know I keep plugging my own stuff, but that's just because I believe in it. This kind of system is what RTS tries to create. It tries to facilitate that switch between coach and athlete. I'm sure there are other systems out there as well. The important thing is to have a system for doing it so you don't let yourself slide or push it too hard.

That brings something else to mind... does anybody else think that maybe high level athletes and super strong guys don't think about stuff like CNS fatigue because the don't need to? Maybe their CNS, or just bodies in general, are resistant to that kind of fatigue. Maybe they don't have to worry about it until they are an elite level athlete. But maybe an average lifter could make better progress if they pay attention to their body's responses NOW rather than banging away until they squat 1000 or whatever other arbitrary number is put in place. That has been true in my experience, at least.

Mike Tuchschere
01-15-2011, 03:18 PM
@ Dan Fanelli: In the testing I've done, fatigue for the CNS (or just over-stressing the body in general) can come from too much of either volume or intensity. People normally associate it with intensity, but if you're lifting weights, the intensity is high enough to qualify.

@ JK1: I totally agree that the whole, "oh, I missed a PR... my CNS is shot" whine is just an excuse. I'd also agree that what happens outside the gym is huge. Sleep seems to be a very big factor, but again, some people are more sensitive to sleep deprivation than others.

I think most everything else you said is right on the money, too. One thing though -- with reference to your wife and the differences she experiences. What is the difference between "being tired" and CNS fatigue as you differentiate them. To me, they seem like different degrees of severity of the same issue. And my bet would be that there is some level of CNS depression in both situations and that it's just a difference in how bad it is. Not that I'm criticizing the way you adjust training -- I have no issues there. But I think both are the same issue fundamentally.

Travis Bell
01-15-2011, 08:10 PM
Wow. Just wondering, did you find your evening session was worse/better/same?

As far as performance? I'm definitely tired, sometimes it's quite difficult to get motivated, but I have a very solid group of guys who make the difference.

I don't repeat the same exercise I did in the AM, rather I do a different one, often triples, so it's got it's own PR. It doesn't matter necessarily if I hold the same amount of weight so long as I hit a PR.


I'm still icing my shoulders 10 hours after a heavy bench session.

Definitely beats my shoulders up. I have to spend a lot of time rolling on a lacrosse ball, rehab sessions the following day. In the first few months, my body would literally ache starting that evening and not let up til the next day. But I just really kept up on the rehab stuff and now, they really don't bother me at all post session. No aches, no tendonitis. In fact I think this is probably the best my shoulders have ever felt.

Way I figured it, if the rest of my team at Westside can beat their bodies to a pulp TWO days a week. Least thing I can do is kill it once a week. Louie agreed so I just went with it.

JK1
01-16-2011, 02:21 AM
@ JK1: I totally agree that the whole, "oh, I missed a PR... my CNS is shot" whine is just an excuse. I'd also agree that what happens outside the gym is huge. Sleep seems to be a very big factor, but again, some people are more sensitive to sleep deprivation than others.

I think most everything else you said is right on the money, too. One thing though -- with reference to your wife and the differences she experiences. What is the difference between "being tired" and CNS fatigue as you differentiate them. To me, they seem like different degrees of severity of the same issue. And my bet would be that there is some level of CNS depression in both situations and that it's just a difference in how bad it is. Not that I'm criticizing the way you adjust training -- I have no issues there. But I think both are the same issue fundamentally.

Mike, I think you are correct in reading things that way (I wasn't really clear how I wrote it trying to avoid medical jargon and mumbojumbo). The key point is degree of fatigue and physiological effects from that degree of fatigue. As I see it, the only time an individual will see true "CNS fatigue" is at the point of physical exhaustion that has neared shutdown. Because of the nature of neurotransmitter production (its "easy" from minimal changes on simple compounds, it occurs quickly and there is a degree of recycling of existing neurotransmitters) you don't see it with other levels of fatigue. I think the best way to look at it is to break physical fatigue up into acute fatigue, acute exhaustion, and chronic fatigue. and chronic exhaustion. They do have cumulative effects. Now obviously there are not clear cut boundaries to these definitions, but if you think of them in terms of general concepts I think they apply. Itís also important to consider measurable factors which influence exercise performance such as glycogen stores and lactic acid accumulation--simply because they are relatively easily measurable physiologic parameters compared to quantitation of neuromuscular transmitters.

With acute fatigue an individual has engaged in physical activity intense enough to have depleted body energy stores (ie glycogen) and developed a degree of lactic acid accumulation. Recovery from acute fatigue is generally quick, both physiologically and mentally/psychologically. This is the point where many people complain about "the CNS being fried" or other terms I think we've all heard in commercial gyms. The thing is the body is no where near that limit. They have exerted themselves and are a little tired. With minimal rest and recovery (ie food) they will again be able to perform the physical activity to a near or beyond max effort.

With acute exhaustion, the body has been pushed to a momentary failure point where further activity is not possible. This isn't just the point of failure when performing maximal lifts but the point of collapse after an intense workout/athletic event. At this point there is significant depletion of glycogen stores and significant lactic acid accumulation. I do agree there is a definite degree of CNS depression with this, but that effect is more a product of the "central governor" (if you believe in that idea) due to excessive lactic acid accumulation, ammonia accumulation, glycogen depletion and anoxia and the brain shutting down nerve function to protect from the heart/brain from damage. This is a point where CNS fatigue may be argued, but the CNS itself is not functioning at a decreased level, it is functioning to protect the body from damage due to physiologic parameters secondary to exertion. Given a period of rest and fuel (ie glucose, supplemental oxygen, etc) most individuals can recover sufficiently to again perform the exercise, although due to depleted resources their performance may be somewhat under their previous peak. This is also a point where many people talk about "pushing past barriers'. The key with that arenít physical barriers as much as it is mental barriers. The brain is always the great limiting point with any physical exertion, but this is a point that can be improved/altered with time. The body does everything in its power to protect the brain and as a result almost always works under the absolute physical limit. Now that changes a bit with highly conditioned athletes because they are conditioned to push past those barriers, but even they almost always hold back slightly subconsciously because absolute physical exertion significantly increases the risk of injury. No one wants to get hurt. Thatís also a whole different topic that we could probably go on for pages about.

Chronic fatigue is the events that occur as an accumulation of multiple acute fatigue and/or acute exhaustion episodes. This is what people are often thinking about when they talk about 'over training" but the reality is that it is often confused with acclimation, where an individual has become used to a physical activity and as a result does not perform it with the same degree of mental focus. The decrease in mental focus leads to decrease in performance. There is also a depletion in physical resourcs that the body takes time to replenish---ie again glycogen stores, etc. Chronic fatigue is, in my mind, better described as an inability to recover from physical exertion. There is a decrease in level of exertion necessary to achieve exhaustion too because of decreased recovery ability. Their performance of the activity as an individual event is not altered--ie they can still squat, bench and deadlift to a max. The other thing is this can be corrected by adjusting sleep, food intake, and even training approach relatively easily and the athlete is able to again perform at maximum effort. This is the period where a "deload" week is of utmost importance in powerlifting. That week allows the replenishment of those resources so that exercise performance can be pushed past the previous maximum and the body can recover from that exertion.

Chronic fatigue leads to chronic exhaustion over time. There is a very fine line with this because of the decreased performance my be due to exhaustion of resources (ie glycogen reserves) or due to decreased nerve function (ie inhibition of activity). This is the extreme where an athlete is significantly altered in their ability to perform the required physical activity. In other words, this is the point where the brain starts functioning to protect the body by shutting down performance as with the central governor effect, but also because there is decreased nerve function. The body is at a point where what I think is true CNS fatigue is occurring because it is at a point where it is unable to perform anywhere near maximally and the performance of even simple tasks--ie light warmups may be difficult todo. There is significant CNS depression. This is a point where recovery also is not simple... its going to take a few days of rest and nutrition at a minimum to recover.

The question you asked earlier about the degree of athlete training and the question about coaching has to be considered with all of this. As an athlete becomes more conditioned, the levels they reach each point changes. The best example of this I can think all of us have seen.... its obvious when a lifter becomes stronger and weight which were previous maxes become 'warm-up" weights. There was a point in my career as a powerlifter where benching 405 was a goal to achieve in a bench shirt, not he set I do before I put on my shirt every heavy bench workout. Back in the day, after that set of 405 I experienced acute fatigue.... now, I'm still complaining about my shoulders being tight and needing to stretch my hips a little more to get my arch up as I get tready to put several hundred more lbs on the bar.

I do think chronic exhaustion/CNS fatigue can occur in highly conditioned athlete, the thing is that athletes at that level are also much more aware of their bodies than a beginner or a novice. They often make subtle, yet significant changes in their rest, training and nutrition as physical status progresses from acute to chronic that prevent the end shutdown. This may be a deload or a change in routine for a powerlifter. An athlete with a good coach also has a distinct advantage with this too because they are not just dependant on their own thoughts/assessments as to how their body is, they have the outside observer who is also making assessments, giving them a more thorough picture of exactly what is occurring with the athletes body. The other thing is an athlete will reach a point of conditioning where they will not achieve CNS fatigue unless they go above and beyond the demands of their typical athletic event. This is a HUGE factor in my mind. Athletes perform an event to a set standard that they train for. The very constraints of the athletic event prevent true CNS fatigue from occurring because the athlete is conditioned for that specific event. If the event were changed--ie lifters had to do back to back meets with minimal rest, and then yes, it can definitely occur because they would then be performing in an event that they were not conditioned for. This limit exists, its just difficult to achieve at that level.

I hope this answered your question Mike. I apologize for the book. Again, this is my opinion, so if you or anyone else sees something they disagree with or that doesnít make sense, please say so.

Mike Tuchschere
01-16-2011, 08:06 AM
I see what you're saying. I think we're really getting at two different levels here. What you're talking about is more to do with fatigue in the post-workout sense of the word. I'm talking about residual effects.

There's no doubt that some days are better than others. Some days you do well, some days you don't. Why is that? Most guys are going to say, "well good days and bad days just happen." That's a cop out. Yes, they just happen, but they happen for a reason. The reason is that there is variance in the day-to-day functioning of the human body. Sometimes it's because of something we did (train hard, no sleep, too much beer, etc). Other times, we can't pinpoint it exactly. But the variance is there.

So if we know there is day-to-day variance in how our body is functioning, could we improve our gains by accounting for that in our training variables? In my experience, yes we can. As you mention, very high level athletes may have the ability to assess this themselves. In my experience and from the tests that I've looked at, this is not always the case. It seems that some individuals are good at it and some are not. A certain prerequisite level of experience must be attained, but some people are just bad at reading their body. Feelings lie.
And even if they are not, don't beginner and intermediate level athletes have day-to-day variance in how their bodies function too? They certainly do. And it makes no sense for them to ignore it. That's why I have all my guys do TRAC tests (http://www.reactivetrainingsystems.com/store/custom-training?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=84&category_id=4&vmcchk=1) as much as possible. It just makes good sense to account for the daily variance in how their body functions.

Whether you're at the level of a clinical diagnosis of CNS fatigue or whatever... I don't think that's as important as making accurate and timely training adjustments based on the body's functional state.

JK1
01-16-2011, 11:38 AM
I see what you're saying. I think we're really getting at two different levels here. What you're talking about is more to do with fatigue in the post-workout sense of the word. I'm talking about residual effects.

There's no doubt that some days are better than others. Some days you do well, some days you don't. Why is that? Most guys are going to say, "well good days and bad days just happen." That's a cop out. Yes, they just happen, but they happen for a reason. The reason is that there is variance in the day-to-day functioning of the human body. Sometimes it's because of something we did (train hard, no sleep, too much beer, etc). Other times, we can't pinpoint it exactly. But the variance is there.

So if we know there is day-to-day variance in how our body is functioning, could we improve our gains by accounting for that in our training variables? In my experience, yes we can. As you mention, very high level athletes may have the ability to assess this themselves. In my experience and from the tests that I've looked at, this is not always the case. It seems that some individuals are good at it and some are not. A certain prerequisite level of experience must be attained, but some people are just bad at reading their body. Feelings lie.
And even if they are not, don't beginner and intermediate level athletes have day-to-day variance in how their bodies function too? They certainly do. And it makes no sense for them to ignore it. That's why I have all my guys do TRAC tests (http://www.reactivetrainingsystems.com/store/custom-training?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=84&category_id=4&vmcchk=1) as much as possible. It just makes good sense to account for the daily variance in how their body functions.

Whether you're at the level of a clinical diagnosis of CNS fatigue or whatever... I don't think that's as important as making accurate and timely training adjustments based on the body's functional state.

I think quantitating all of the variables will be very, very hard----because we are dealing with miniscule changes that might have a significant effect. A subtle change in blood glucose levels alone can have a significant impact on athletic performance during an event and thats just one variable out of many, many more.


Just out of curiosity, with your athletes do you see a set "rhythm" associated with those day to day changes? ie, for example, every 34 days or so a given athlete may experience a down period of 3-5 days as an example....

Also have you noticed seasonal changes?

NickAus
01-16-2011, 03:10 PM
This has turned out to be a great thread guys!!

Ben F Burgess
01-16-2011, 03:30 PM
I see what you're saying. I think we're really getting at two different levels here. What you're talking about is more to do with fatigue in the post-workout sense of the word. I'm talking about residual effects.

There's no doubt that some days are better than others. Some days you do well, some days you don't. Why is that? Most guys are going to say, "well good days and bad days just happen." That's a cop out. Yes, they just happen, but they happen for a reason. The reason is that there is variance in the day-to-day functioning of the human body. Sometimes it's because of something we did (train hard, no sleep, too much beer, etc). Other times, we can't pinpoint it exactly. But the variance is there.

So if we know there is day-to-day variance in how our body is functioning, could we improve our gains by accounting for that in our training variables? In my experience, yes we can. As you mention, very high level athletes may have the ability to assess this themselves. In my experience and from the tests that I've looked at, this is not always the case. It seems that some individuals are good at it and some are not. A certain prerequisite level of experience must be attained, but some people are just bad at reading their body. Feelings lie.
And even if they are not, don't beginner and intermediate level athletes have day-to-day variance in how their bodies function too? They certainly do. And it makes no sense for them to ignore it. That's why I have all my guys do TRAC tests (http://www.reactivetrainingsystems.com/store/custom-training?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=84&category_id=4&vmcchk=1) as much as possible. It just makes good sense to account for the daily variance in how their body functions.

Whether you're at the level of a clinical diagnosis of CNS fatigue or whatever... I don't think that's as important as making accurate and timely training adjustments based on the body's functional state.

Mike, this is pretty un-scientific, but what do you make of the idea that pushing yourself even when the CNS is fatigued can be a valid method in itself? This is a pretty vague concept based on my own experiences.

I primarily run (high volume) Sheiko cycles and therefore accumulate quite a lot of fatigue - 80%x5x3 on wk2 will generally feel much easier than 80%x5x3 on wk10 (of say a 12wk cycle). However, because there are set numbers with little allowance for on-the-fly adjustment, I often have to force myself to grind through endless sets of slow ugly work even when i feel like s1hte.

However, its my anecdotal experience that continuing training on an equal (or even increased) level once i am somewhat fatigued always seems to get the better gains at the end. Cycles where ive always felt fresh and strong i find (after a deload/peak) ive gained little. If ive felt drained and battered and pushed through it and trained hard anyway, ive often gained more.

How would TRAC deal with this? If i found i was battered would it say "take it easy today"? Because i feel like i would lose a lot of beneficial training effect if so.

Mike Tuchschere
01-17-2011, 11:09 PM
I think quantitating all of the variables will be very, very hard----because we are dealing with miniscule changes that might have a significant effect. A subtle change in blood glucose levels alone can have a significant impact on athletic performance during an event and thats just one variable out of many, many more.


Just out of curiosity, with your athletes do you see a set "rhythm" associated with those day to day changes? ie, for example, every 34 days or so a given athlete may experience a down period of 3-5 days as an example....

Also have you noticed seasonal changes?

Well, quantifying the variables for readiness (which is what you seem to be referring to) is extremely hard. Readiness would be how "ready" your body is to PERFORM a task. So high readiness = good performance, low readiness = poor performance. So, yes, readiness is very difficult to determine. In theory, the best way to determine readiness is with something that's close to the competitve movement. Vertical jump is an oft-cited readiness indicator for the squat. In theory, you could do some vertical jumps before squat training and based on how it went, you could determine how prepared you were for the squat workout. Trouble is that it doesn't work that way in real life. Even a more specific indicator -- squat warmups -- often lie to us about readiness. Most of us can remember workouts that started off sluggish, but ended with a PR. So, yeah... readiness is hugely complex -- mostly because it's a complex interplay of lots of different systems. I think it's a little easier to determine readiness for metabolically based sports like marathons and whatnot because those systems tend to be a little better understood and a little simpler than neuromuscular sports like lifting and sprinting.

Anyway... My point is that TRAC is geared more toward adaptability rather than readiness. It's supposed to tell you when your body has sufficient energy to make positive adaptive changes, not necessarily when a workout will go well. To put it more plainly, it should tell you when you can make the most progress from training, not necessarily when you'll have a good performance in a workout.

To answer your questions, no I haven't noticed any concrete rhythms, but that's probably because I've never really looked into it closely. A long time ago, I looked into biorhythms as a marker, but it didn't give much useful information. In my own testing, I have noticed patterns in my heart rates, but I haven't looked into it enough to see if it's a recurring pattern.

Mike Tuchschere
01-17-2011, 11:24 PM
Mike, this is pretty un-scientific, but what do you make of the idea that pushing yourself even when the CNS is fatigued can be a valid method in itself? This is a pretty vague concept based on my own experiences.

I primarily run (high volume) Sheiko cycles and therefore accumulate quite a lot of fatigue - 80%x5x3 on wk2 will generally feel much easier than 80%x5x3 on wk10 (of say a 12wk cycle). However, because there are set numbers with little allowance for on-the-fly adjustment, I often have to force myself to grind through endless sets of slow ugly work even when i feel like s1hte.

However, its my anecdotal experience that continuing training on an equal (or even increased) level once i am somewhat fatigued always seems to get the better gains at the end. Cycles where ive always felt fresh and strong i find (after a deload/peak) ive gained little. If ive felt drained and battered and pushed through it and trained hard anyway, ive often gained more.

How would TRAC deal with this? If i found i was battered would it say "take it easy today"? Because i feel like i would lose a lot of beneficial training effect if so.

My first question would be why would you want to do that? I guess there are reasons -- I'm just not sure what they would be or how valid they are. There are some people that seem to do well with the whole "beat myself down for 3 weeks, take a week off" rhythm. I've never coached that successfully myself. I tend to do much better without the over-work periods.

I'd bet that TRAC is going to give you good stress readings even though you feel like crap and your performance is down. I think this is because your body is still adapting to the stress of the work, even though you haven't recovered fully.

As an aside... are you running the "appropriate" Sheiko program for your classification? If you're making good gains, then it's appropriate. I'm just wondering if it's the recommended one. The reason I ask is that it seems to me that people who run the recommended program don't get really beat down. They certainly aren't fresh, but they aren't usually super-fatigued and grindy on easy weights, etc.

Ben F Burgess
01-20-2011, 03:10 PM
My first question would be why would you want to do that? I guess there are reasons -- I'm just not sure what they would be or how valid they are. There are some people that seem to do well with the whole "beat myself down for 3 weeks, take a week off" rhythm. I've never coached that successfully myself. I tend to do much better without the over-work periods.

I'd bet that TRAC is going to give you good stress readings even though you feel like crap and your performance is down. I think this is because your body is still adapting to the stress of the work, even though you haven't recovered fully.

As an aside... are you running the "appropriate" Sheiko program for your classification? If you're making good gains, then it's appropriate. I'm just wondering if it's the recommended one. The reason I ask is that it seems to me that people who run the recommended program don't get really beat down. They certainly aren't fresh, but they aren't usually super-fatigued and grindy on easy weights, etc.

As i say, i dont have any scientific data to back it up, but it is reinforced by quite a number of anecdotal experiences from training partners too - when we force our way through feeling crap and complete the programmed work anyway, we gain better. That might sound obvious, but under many programs you'd be taking a deload at that point. I guess that its exactly what you say - that when you keep grinding through the volume even when you feel terrible you're forcing your body to adapt/get stronger?

Mike im a full-on sheiko nuthugger nerd...you'd better believe ive read and researched everythign i can about sheiko training and am therefore running the appropriate cycle...im a low CMS and im currently using one of the lower volume CMS routines.

NickAus
01-20-2011, 03:42 PM
I bench once in the morning down at Westside, then about 10hrs later bench heavy again at my own gym with a different group.

Wouldn't recommend it for everyone but it worked well for me. Took my body about 3 months to adjust to it though.

Thanks!

Pretty impressive effort!

Cali4nia
01-25-2011, 07:16 AM
Doesn't it take somewhere in the region of 48 hours for your CNS to recuperate?.

Anyone know?.

Mike Tuchschere
01-26-2011, 12:24 AM
Recovery time for any system depends on a lot of stuff. Things like how big of a stressor it was, which systems it affects, and the status of the other systems in the body all play a role. Also you'd have to consider nutrition, additional stresses, restorative measures, and so on. So, no, I don't see how anyone could say "48hrs" with a reasonable level of reliability.

Even if you assume nutrition, sleep, restoration, and just stress in general is good (what is "good" by the way), the big thing you have to consider is how much stress are you actually putting on a system. Think of it like this...
You've heard people talk about how long it takes to recover from deadlifting, right. Some people even say it takes them 3 weeks to recover (which is insane, by the way). But what if they only deadlifted 135 a couple times? How long does it take to recover then? Probably not very long because it wasn't stressful. So you have a full range from almost no recovery time needed to a very long recovery time. That's why I think testing is the best way to go on this. Forget all the factors involved and trying to guess at when recovery should happen. Just test it and you'll know when it actually happens, which is far more important.

pricedtosell
01-26-2011, 01:52 AM
Overtraining is real, it's happened to me a handful of times. The only times it ever happened to me though, were when I was training muay thai, submission wrestling, lifting 3-4 times a week AND trying to maintain cardio. When it did happen, I'd end up being tired all day but unable to sleep, not hungry and I'd just feel terrible for anywhere from 4 days to 2 weeks. It would usually be the result of me following my normal muay thai/grappling and lifting schedule, but then overdoing it by doing something like a ton of hill sprints one day and then a bunch've circuit training with things like deadlifts, burpees, pull ups, dumbbell snatches, etc. the next day.

My point is that every time I overtrained, it was my own doing and only because I didn't ease into some new type of training. The vast majority of people I've talked to and trained with don't train anywhere near hard enough or often enough to legitimately overtrain. A person has to practically have to be trying to overtrain for it to actually happen. Since I stopped training muay thai/grappling and now only lift as my main focus (with some extra jogging and GPP sessions a few times a week), I haven't even come close to overtraining.

This is why I think that taking an entire week long deload every month is completely ridiculous for most people. If you gradually build up your work capacity and adapt over time like you're supposed to, you won't have to constantly be taking time off. I really think a regular monthly week off is just a bad habit to get into. The idea is that it allows you to recover and that you'll be more effective in the gym when you get back, but for a lot of people, it just screws up their schedule and makes it harder to return. A ton of people I've talked to have said that after a week long deload, it can take them as long as a week of lifting before they're completely used to the schedule again. Just taking a day or two off every week and not worrying about deloading all the time is the way to go, IMO.

vdizenzo
01-26-2011, 05:50 AM
I don't think overtraining is necessarily the same as taxing your cns.

JK1
01-26-2011, 09:41 AM
This is why I think that taking an entire week long deload every month is completely ridiculous for most people. If you gradually build up your work capacity and adapt over time like you're supposed to, you won't have to constantly be taking time off. I really think a regular monthly week off is just a bad habit to get into. The idea is that it allows you to recover and that you'll be more effective in the gym when you get back, but for a lot of people, it just screws up their schedule and makes it harder to return. A ton of people I've talked to have said that after a week long deload, it can take them as long as a week of lifting before they're completely used to the schedule again. Just taking a day or two off every week and not worrying about deloading all the time is the way to go, IMO.

We are getting a bit off topic with this, but it is related. I have to say I disagree COMPLETELY with what you wrote above.

I used to think the exact same way you think. I pushed and I pushed and I pushed.. .then I'd strain something. I'd work until I pretty much broke down completely, my workouts would start sucking and my joints hurt constantly. We would never deload until we fell apart. We didn't make as consistent gains as we do now. You can't deny the fact that heavy weight lifting has a cumulative effect on the joints that you must allow recooperation time for if you want to maintain the health of that joint.

The scheduled deload is very, very important. Typically what I see myself doing is absolutely pushing myself to a limit on the ME squat workout before the deload---even if I'm feeling really beat up, I'll still almost always manage to set a big PR in that workout.-- I think because I know I can push myself and I'll have a few days to rest up. Then during the deload week, I may be completely out of the gym, I may not, it depends on how I'm feeling. This is something a lifter has to learn with their own individual bodies. Sometimes its just light accessory or band work, sometimes its nothing (i will always do "recovery work" ie foam rolling, stretching, ROM work, massage, contrast showers, etc). I then come back on the Monday after a deload and almost always get a big PR on the bench because I feel rested and focused.

You dont' have to follow the 'every 4 weeks', but I think you are missing a HUGE part of your potential if you don't take the time to back off periodically (this may be 4 weeks, it may be 6 weeks, it may be 8 weeks, depending on your level and outside stressors), allow the body to heal and the brain to refocus. A scheduled deload isn't an excuse to not train, its the recooperation time that your body needs to get stronger.

JK1
01-26-2011, 09:46 AM
Doesn't it take somewhere in the region of 48 hours for your CNS to recuperate?.

Anyone know?.

Uh? Where did you get that number from?


in terms of direct nerve function, recovery time is miliseconds. In terms of muscle contracting secondary to stimulation, the muscle, not the nerve is the limiting factor. Once the muscle is exhausted, it takes several hours to return to basic function, up to a couple of days to return to peak function (this varies a bit depending on the exercise performed and the conditioning of the athlete---obviously, a triathelon is much different than squatting 1000 lbs). Clinical CNS depletion should be directly related to the recovery ability of the individual muscle groups.

Tim K
01-26-2011, 09:49 AM
This is why I think that taking an entire week long deload every month is completely ridiculous for most people. If you gradually build up your work capacity and adapt over time like you're supposed to, you won't have to constantly be taking time off. I really think a regular monthly week off is just a bad habit to get into. The idea is that it allows you to recover and that you'll be more effective in the gym when you get back, but for a lot of people, it just screws up their schedule and makes it harder to return. A ton of people I've talked to have said that after a week long deload, it can take them as long as a week of lifting before they're completely used to the schedule again. Just taking a day or two off every week and not worrying about deloading all the time is the way to go, IMO.

Uhm.... you do know a deload week is not supposed to be a week off from training - right? If you're deloading correctly, it isn't a week off. It is a week off of heavy lifting - sure, but you're still getting into the weight room and you're still doing some light training. GPP work usually doesn't completely stop during a deload either.

pricedtosell
01-26-2011, 03:17 PM
I know what a deload week is.

Tim K
01-26-2011, 03:28 PM
I know what a deload week is.

Cool... but from what you wrote, you can understand my confusion. You mentioned a week off, when you get back to the gym, harder to return, etc. Made it sound like your idea of a deload was a week off and away from the gym. Just wanted to get clarification.

JK1
01-26-2011, 04:42 PM
I know what a deload week is.

Honestly, I'd argue with you about that based on your post above.

pricedtosell
01-26-2011, 09:55 PM
Honestly, I'd argue with you about that based on your post above.

You could argue all you want, I still know what a deload week is.

The reality is, most lifters either end up either taking the entire week off or they go into the gym with the plan of doing their scheduled deload work, but any number of factors (boredom, excess energy, training partners who aren't on a deload week, etc.) lead to them going far heavier than they were supposed to. This isn't some phenomenon that only novice lifters experience either. I've seen countless log posts made by elite lifters saying something like, "was supposed to deload today, ending up going for a rack pull PR."

pricedtosell
01-26-2011, 09:57 PM
Cool... but from what you wrote, you can understand my confusion. You mentioned a week off, when you get back to the gym, harder to return, etc. Made it sound like your idea of a deload was a week off and away from the gym. Just wanted to get clarification.

I can see how I came off that way. That's not what I think a deload week is or should be though, I just think that's what ends up happening for a lot of people.

Tim K
01-27-2011, 05:34 AM
I can see how I came off that way. That's not what I think a deload week is or should be though, I just think that's what ends up happening for a lot of people.

I'll agree with that. Let's face it, the majority of folks hitting the gym really don't put much effort into their training. They might go all out when they're moving the weights, but don't take the time to educate themselves on what they are doing or why.

It is one of the reasons why online communities such as this one are so invaluable.