CNS fatigue q's

I understand the basic concepts of central nervous system fatigue and what to look for if you’re in an overtrained state(concentration problems, poor sleep, blurry vision, performance drops). But, I’m assuming these problems are from being in an ongoing state of overtraining?

What would happen if I put 2 CNS intensive days back-to-back? Would I just be a disaster in the days to follow, and how would it affect the next week of training?

It all depends is the short answer.

You’d need more detail than just 2 high intensive cns days to get a lot better answer. What I can say is the closer together you put high intensive days or a series of high cns intensive lifts, the better your game plan needs to be, the better your knowledge of your athlete needs to be, the better your understanding of recovery needs to be, etc you get the point.

With that being said 2 days of high cns work can be one of the greatest things for your athlete or one of the worst depending on how you structure your schedule, but the overriding concept should be: why am i changing my routine in a way that i do not know the consequences and what do the benefits of this outweigh the costs?

Yes you can have more than 1 high cns day in a row, without sounding like james colbert (though there is nothing wrong with that) I have performed 2 to 3 high cns workouts per day over the span of 2 to 3 days and have had great success, but you must know why you are doing the workouts and if they will benefit the athlete, if you know the answer to these, then look at your athlete and if you know in proximity how the athlete will respond to the workout then you have your answer.

If you need more help you should probably put down the sample workout, what you are trying to accomplish and the basics of other surrounding workouts.

this may give some insight.

Use the CNS Fatigue as a general concept,NOT necessarily related to none of the phenomena you talk about above but the level of performance .
And use it to purposefully establish training PATTERNS which are repeatable and repeatedly allow you to improve over time.
If you find that what you define as “two CNS intensive days back to back” allow you to progress first hand,and plan,and repeat the same progress trend over time,then,just forget about CNS etc,and go for it!

Quite often I have felt like doing a “high c.n.s” day the very next day after previous intense training day. The neuro muscular excitation from intensive exercise often carries over to the next day, and you are tempted to “ride the wave”.
At first, I assumed you were supposed to take the day of or go light (which dis-gruntled me a bit - as I wanted to train.), but I have sinced decreased the differance between one day and another in terms of intensity. I sometimes do 3 intensive days in a row now. (well, ALLMOST max, just v.slightly under.)

I have sometimes done a sprint workout one day and then heavy weights the next day. This would qualify as two CNS-days in a row.

The trick is to simply be careful with the volumes and monitor how you are feeling, but doing such a scheme does not automatically guarantee that you will trash your nervous system.

This is where you can blur the lines between Peripheral and Central CNSF

Interesting thoughts.

After following Charlie’s work for quite a few years, I took for granted that you need to periodize your work as high/low/high/low. This is probably a workable plan for most sprinters but difficult to achieve in team sports due to the scheduling of games.

I am trying to periodize my workouts around a sport where the games are placed randomly about the week. Sometimes there will be 5 days rest between games and other times there will be games on back to back days. Therefore, it is a very complicated balancing act between the different training elements.

I guess the best I can do is take pakewi’s advice and tinker with my training elements to allow for constant improvement, not worrying if a day is CNS intensive or not.

Very interesting. Has anybody tried a routine like this with any success?

Blinky, the trick to training at a high intensity daily is to be able to quantify just how far you’ve put yourself in the hole. For instance, if you know that you can fully recover from 8 sprints at 100% in four days time then you could structure your training like this:
Day 1: 3 Sprints
Day 2: 1 Sprint
Day 3: 3 Sprints
Day 4: 1 Sprint

This will allow you to train daily with the same volume as before but with greater motor learning due to increased frequency. This can be done with any type of training if you know how to properly measure and assign work and fatigue.

You can read further into the past discussions on about Abadjeev for what concerns the weightlifting side of it,and about Tzekos,Kenteris,Thanou for the same approach modified for the sprints.
And they are not the only ones.Just the most (in)famous so far.Too bad…

Greatest insights!

Training is still considered too much primarily a physical conditioning event,when it has to happen as a LEARNING event first and foremost,if any progress is expected out of it.

What about other elements such as med ball, plyos, weights? Would you spread those at lower volumes throughout that time as well?

Yes, they would be spread out through the training schedule as well. I just used sprints to get the basic principle across.

If you’re considering an approach like this, it would be beneficial to know just how well you’re recovering from your current work load. A slight reduction in overall volume may be required at first.

Do you actually train like this or are you just using this as an example?

No, I don’t currently train like this, but it’s more of a time constraint thing than anything else. As soon as the semester ends in 2 weeks I will be training daily.

Hopefully someone can assist with these questions - maybe CHarlie:

I understand the concept of CNS and understand the tea cup analogy, but how does a coach or athlete know.

  1. what does a coach have to look for to know that their athlete’s cup is over flowing and things need to be cut back for a couple of days?
  2. what does an athlete have to look for (feel) to know the cup is over flowing?

And is recovering a simlpe matter of cutting back the next couple of sessions in order to ensure the cup isnt overflowing?

Thanks guys

  1. Other than noticing a decrease in performance, there’s little a coach could do to observe CNS fatigue. If the athlete’s performance in power related (speed-strength and strength-speed) activities is lagging, then they are probably fatigued. If their MaxS abilities are lagging, then they are definately fatigued.

  2. An athlete can probably better evaluate CNS stress through how they feel. Sensitivity to light, a feeling of sluggishness, and lack of enthusiasm can all signal CNS fatigue. Also, an athlete can test himself on something like the Dan John Tap Tester to use as a loose guide of CNS preparedness. I’m just experimenting with this myself, but it looks to show promise. If your number of taps over 3-5 seconds is down, your CNS is fatigued.

As far as recovery goes, that depends on how far you are in the hole. If you’re not overtrained or anything, a few days of light or nonexistant work should set you back to around 100%. Also, sleep is important. It will do more than anything else as far as recovery methods go.

Hope that helped.

Also, unrelated to the post above, I have begun training on a near daily basis, as in the examples I gave earlier in this thread. I’m sprinting, jumping, and lifting weights, all while monitoring CNS fatigue through the Tap Tester, as mentioned above. So far things appear to be going well, but only time will tell if training like this is as easy in practice as it is in theory.

What exactly is the Dan John Tap Tester - i cant find anything about it.
So from the explanation, it is kind of difficult to determine the difference between CNS fatigue and simple sleep deprivation (or tiredness).

Can something like a couple of good training sessions at better times than previous cause an onset of CNS fatigue - or is it something that comes on after a couple of weeks overy intense training? ie is it immediate or slowly creeps up