As you go about your workout program you should always safeguard yourself against overtraining. Overtraining can happen to almost anyone—fit or unfit, young or old—who develops an imbalance between training and recovery.
programming can go a long way towards helping to prevent overtraining.
However, in many cases, issues outside of the gym can also tax your
nervous system, leading to subpar results in your workouts and a general
feeling of malaise. If that describes you, it's time to take stock and
What is CNS Overtraining?
people don't understand the difference between muscular and CNS
overtraining, and this confusion can allow them to fall prey to the
overtraining occurs when the muscular system is not given sufficient
downtime to repair broken-down tissues. For instance, if you were to
work your quads intensely
on Monday and then go
back into the gym on
Tuesday to work them,
you could run the risk of
Working the same muscles incessantly can negatively impact your
muscular development, but it normally impacts one muscle group
the other hand, central nervous system overtraining is a systemic
issue. It doesn't just impact the quads, chest, or back, but rather the
entire body. Your CNS is responsible for generating muscular
contractions in all types of training, so when you stack workout upon
workout, eventually it can tire out.
a result of this general fatigue, you will be weaker and slower in all
of your movements. You may find you don't have the force generation
capacity that you normally do, or that you are unexpectedly
uncoordinated at times.
What Causes CNS Overtraining?
the gym, the main culprit is a program that has too much volume, too
much intensity, and too little rest. Remember: Even if you've planned
your program properly to allow for enough rest between each session for a
given muscle, your central nervous system is still being stimulated.
all forms of stress can combine to tax the system beyond its capacity,
from a financial crisis to a breakup. At that point, the workouts that
normally sustain you may just be adding fuel to the fire and making you
feel worse. If you suspect you are suffering from CNS overtraining, try
to take a comprehensive look at potential contributors.
So how do we tackle this problem?
Simple Solutions to Combat CNS Overtraining
CNS is a core element of who you are and how you approach your life,
and preserving it requires action both inside the gym and out. Here are
five ways you can save your CNS.
Rework Your Workout Program
good workout program has adequate down time between sessions working a
particular muscle group, but also down time between workout sessions
period. The amount of time off you need is directly proportional to the
intensity and volume of the program. The more work you are doing, the
more rest you will need between sessions. Good programming includes
periods of lower intensity and exercise variation.
is the body's prime tool for repair, so make sure that you are getting
at least eight hours each night. If you fail to do so, you won't recover
as quickly from each workout session, and the next one could hit you
even harder. In time, this could push you over the edge.
too many people jam-pack their schedules, when really they should just
say no to that additional task. Rather than trying to take it all on
yourself, take advantage of opportunities to pass off responsibility to
can only do so much. If that sounds simple, it's because it is. The
sooner you realize this, the sooner you'll be back on your way to your
year brings another study touting the physical, emotional, and
psychological benefits of meditation. Meditation, or even just deep
breathing, is an excellent way to reduce your stress level, thus
reducing the chances of CNS fatigue.
you've never tried it, meditation can sound a lot more daunting than it
is. Luckily, there are hundreds of books, podcasts, and web sites that
give clear, practical guidance on where to start and how to build a
regular practice. All you need a few minutes a day and an open mind.