What is Central Nervous System (CNS) work?

I think one of the things that is easiest to miss understand about training is what is central nervous system work and what is not CNS work.

I went uncover so to speak to get a trainer and I tried to have an open mind. I got hurt almost in the first 30 minutes as the trainer dove right into one leg exercises which I had no history doing what so ever.

Even if I had done this exercise would I have someone do it without knowing they had done some warming up appropriate to their background and workout?

When I was competing my warm up was one full hour before the speed work or speed endurance took place. Not everyone will have a warm up that lasts that long but once the jogging has been complete and some back and forth exercises takes place then you do drills and accelerations, the time frame is not out of the ordinary. ( see the General Preparation Phase for how the warm up could look)

The trainer wanted to make sure I got straight to the high intensity cross fit type work. I liked some of how things were done but no warm up did throw me off and continuous non stop high central nervous system work was also something I had a hard time wrapping my head around.

Separating the very low intensity work with the very highest intensity work isn’t as easy for many as it seems.

Low intensity training for most really means they are taking something off high intensity but it’s not really enough to be low intensity.

High intensity training really means putting yourself at risk because to avoid injury, doing high intensity work ideally requires you get as fit as possible ( which takes a certain time commitment) before you are able to execute high intensity work. Like very fast sprinting and heavy lifting and intense medicine ball drills.

Central Nervous System fatigue in sprinting.

Coach Angé’s Blog.


The not so new discussions around CNS training have been few and far between regarding how the nervous system reacts to inflammation.

It’s been an area of interest of mine since having a great deal of pain in my right hip. I was told by each expert that I would always have problems with this area because it was my trail leg and it was my longer leg by a notable amount.

Pure frustration forced me to make any change I could think of and it was a change in my diet that made and has made a lasting difference.

Charlie knew a great deal about training but together we took for granted how youth tends to mask nutritional deficiencies. Even a well exercised and well trained athlete who looks healthy might be struggling with nutrient deficits.

If you are looking for a secret weapon for your training look to avoid overeating and under- nourished lifestyle habits.