Have you ever warmed up and felt great, everything feels really light and easy and then when it comes to the big money sets, everything falls apart?
Or have you gone into the gym feeling like crap and then pushed up some crazy numbers?!
What the hell is happening on these days?
It’s all about the central nervous system (CNS) and less about your mood or level of motivation.
You gotta stay on top of your CNS, keep checking in to see whether its ready to go for a big session or if it should be an easier workout day, and here’s a big tip:
HOW YOU ‘FEEL’ OR HOW MOTIVATED YOU ARE DOESN’T MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE
If the CNS is fried, it’s fried! Go home cos you won’t be lifting anything decent today.
What you must learn to do is monitor the CNS and learn to work up correctly during your warm-ups. There are a few good ways to do this but this is my favourite:
Each time you go into the gym test your vertical jump. Do this for 5 straight days to establish a baseline score. Now every time you go into the gym and jump 2cm or more above your baseline, we can safely say that the CNS is firing well and it’s a good day to go heavy.
But, if you jump 2cm or more below your baseline score you might just need another day or two of lighter recovery work before hitting the heavy strength work again.
This is really important for younger athletes and should be given a much bigger emphasis than the zero level of attention it gets now. I train young rugby players at my gym and each week they can have 3-4 team training nights for 2-3 different teams plus 2-3 games! This can be anywhere from 10-30+km of running done each week!
You better realise that’s gonna have an effect on how these young guys play. Try running 10km then squatting heavy, it’s not gonna happen, yet we expect our young athletes to do it week in week out. Wouldn’t it make sense to monitor recovery and CNS readiness?
Well it’s not hard. Just get a ruler and mark a vertical jump scorer on the wall and test it every time you train. Takes 2 seconds to get some important info!
Try this out and let me know how you do! If you want any advice or have any questions just put them in the comments section below and I’ll do my best to help.