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The Neural Fatigue of CNS Demanding Workouts

Written on January 14, 2008 at 6:46 pm, by Eric Cressey

Q: Why is it that training that is very CNS demanding requires such long recovery periods between workouts. I understand the need for long recoveries between sets, but not between workouts. So why is it that many coaches recommend training things like depth jumps, or speed and agility drills only 1-2 times per week?

A: The truth is that we really don’t understand neural fatigue to the extent that we’d like simply because it isn’t as easy to quantify or observe. With muscular damage, we can use biopsies in the lab and blood measures (creatine kinase, for instance). Neural fatigue is really only truly assessed by performance measures; it’s why “a decline in performance” is about the only true definition of non-volume-induced overtraining.

Here’s a very cool read on this front.

Some guys can train at a high-intensity more frequently, while others have to take more time between efforts. This is where it’s as much a science of interpretation as it is of experimentation and application; you’ve got to respond to how each athlete recovers a bit differently.

Eric Cressey

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