Effecient and lesser nervous system

Effecient and lesser nervous system, and how that it will influence programming of sets/reps.?

Question is, how do you determine you are which?

What is an efficent and lesser nervous sytem? Can you give more explanation?

Chris Thibaudeau has a lot of references on the topic in His books that I think are still sold on this site. Also other interesting information in there!

The faster and stronger you are and the less endurance you have the more efficient your nervous system.

The weaker and slower you are and the more endurance you have the less efficient your nervous system.

It’s all about muscle recruitment so it can change. A beginner may only be able to use, or recruit, 50% of their available muscle motor units whereas an advanced athlete can recruit 90-100%. The more motor units you can recruit, the more efficient your nervous system is, and the better you’ll be able to display absolute strength, power, speed, explosiveness etc. The less efficient your nervous system is at recruting motor units, the more volume you need to do to induce a set amount of fatigue, which is why this is often used when making recommendations for bodybuilding training but can be used for anything really.

For example, someone with a very efficient nervous system may be capable of running themselves into the ground with a low volume of sprint work simply because they’re recruiting and fatiguing up to twice the number of motor units than a beginner.

Take 85% of your max on any given exercise and see how many reps you can do. Use 7 as a cutoff point. Less than 7 indicates more neural efficiency and more then 7 indicates less efficiency.

Use a vertical jump test. Less then 30 inches indiciates less efficiency and higher then 30 indicates more efficiency.

Take a look at your relative strength on exercises like bench press, pullups, squats, deadlifts, press etc. The stronger you are per lb of bodyweight the more efficient your nervous system.

Thanx COACH!!!

Nice post Kelly, good info. Regarding this test, isn’t it influenced more by training history than nervous system/fiber type. For example, max strength vrs traditional hypertrophy training will change the rep outcome of this test.

The other day I did 27 jumps, about half of which were on a 30 - 34 inch box (not sure, I was actually jumping into the back bed of my truck.) Number 26 I made the jump. Number 27 I broke down completely and didn’t make it even halfway the distance. I almost cracked my head coming back down. :smiley:

Needless to say I terminated the session. My nervous system had broken down completely, all at once. Very odd.

I was sore for a week afterwards, mostly in the hamstrings. I felt like a weenie, to tell you the truth.

It happens to the best of us, we all have those days…

Nice post Kelly, good info. Regarding this test, isn’t it influenced more by training history than nervous system/fiber type. For example, max strength vrs traditional hypertrophy training will change the rep outcome of this test.

Yes it definitely will which is why I think it’s better to use several different markers like 1rm relative strength testing and vertical jump test etc.

That makes me feel a bit better! Thank you.

I took the liberty to translate and propose Your nice and clear post as a possible discussion point at a Swim Coaches “technical” (!!) meeting last night,while trying to illustrate possible “paradoxical” effects of training options…

A funny,sad, story: they all looked kind of astonished, and the general answer was:
" Nervous System…? We never heard of it… In the last 30 years no course taught us about nervous system… ! " :eek:

This is a true hopeless case of state of the art “lesser nervous system” I guess…

How must itself be trained(for Limit Strength ,Power,Sprint 3-35 mt,…an athlete with Efficient Nervous System?And Inefficient?

What are the differences?

Using DB Hammer’s terminology, you would first determine whether your abilities are dominant on the Rate end of the spectrum, Magnitude, or on the other end Duration. Rate-being speed/speed strength dominant, Magnitude being somewhere in the middle (power/strength speed) and Duration being strength speed max strength dominant

Next, you must identify the primary motor requirements of the sport in which you participate.

Train accordingly.

Regardless of what level of MU recruitment and fiber type composition you have (eg intramuscular coordination and genetics), the bottom line is to identify your abilities and train accordingly and specifically relative to your weaknesses and the sport.

Does this depend on the lift?

Take deadlift for instance
I have done a max of 420 on deads before. (In the past year)

By that rationale I should be able to do 357 for seven reps. I’d be lucky to do it for 3 if that.

Same with bench or other compound exercises. Does this mean I have good neural efficiency or is it dependant on excercise selection?


So James, bottom line, does the athlete focus most of his energy working his strengths, or weaknesses?

For example, does the slender, quick, high-jumping, twitchy athlete pump his limited resources into his area of natural competence, which is moving lighter weights really quickly and plyometrics, or limit strength where he moves heavy weights not so quickly?

Yes, we could all use more limit strength, but should this be the MAIN focus of this type of athletes’ training?

Using Carl Lewis as an example, and seeing his body type responding so well to speed and plyo based training, should we be taking any lessons from his example? Or was he just a complete anomaly?

I dont think he was an anomaly. If you have natural strengths in certain areas they should be exploited imo :slight_smile:

The answer to this is relative to the sport or training goal and the explosive strength deficit factor.

Consider the motor requirements of the sport in question, and then, within that specific context of motor abilities along the F:V curve, and after assessing your own abilities, you may determine which components of strength you would be better served by developing.

I am of the opinion that the strengthening of a weakness will bring up the sum total of abilities. This does not mean that a particular ‘strong suit’ must go untrained, see linear periodization, but rather developed and or maintained as part of a conjugate/concurrent periodization scheme.

Now, for a very elite/advanced athlete, the concurrent development of abilities is not the optimal route, the Soviets showed us this. Accordingly, a conjugate sequenced program is the optimal route.

Remember, a weakness is only a weakness if it is relative to the training goal or sport.

Gotcha. Thanks man.

CT was mentioned so I looked at what he uses to work out what type of twitch fibre dominance you have.

Effectly for the this question it appears the following could be applicable.

No. 1 80% reps test - The > no. of reps the slower the twitch fibre dominance

No. 2 Vertical Jump test, you are actuallly testing the speed & depth of the dip.

No. 3 Maxes of Bench Press & Back Squat

Evaluating strength deficit is (Max Bench Press + Max back Squat)/Bodyweight.

Basically the smaller the difference the less efficient your nervous system is.

Check out Chapter 3 of the black book of strength training secrets.