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  1. #1
    Registered User mikeatnscc's Avatar
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    Speeding up central nervous system recovery

    When training, sometimes the recovery of our muscles isn't the biggest concern because increasing our calories usually aids in the recovery of our muscles. Sometimes we run in to issued caused by a slow central nervous system recovery. Does anyone know ways to increase the recovery time on our central nervous system, besides adequate sleep of course. I was thinking increasing calories may also help with this but I don't know if food consumptions really helps with the CNS. Is there any way to speed this up besides R&R?
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  2. #2
    Registered User wrestle445's Avatar
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    Hell yeah man cns recovery is ALL about the calories and sleep. Upping your calorie intake will definitely help.
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  3. #3
    Is a Turtle Torrtrefireto's Avatar
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    Calories, rest, and the overall living of a relatively stress free life will speed it up.

    If you have a gun to your head everyday, and live in a stressfull place like that, I doubt your SNS will really feel much like squatting the next day.
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  4. #4
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    This is a very interesting question. Here are some expert insights on the subject.

    From Bompa, 1994 [1]:

    The location of fatigue is in the CNS. Since the regeneration of a nervous cell is 7 times slower than the muscle cell (Krestovnikov, 1938 [2]), much attention should be paid to neuro-psychological recovery. [...] The preventative mesures of fatigue through psychological means has to consider: the foundation of motivation, understanding fatigue as a normal training outcome, coping with stress and frustration, model training to adapt to various competitive stressors, and the importance of a sound team atmosphere. As far as the therapy of fatigue is concerned, suggestion, self-suggestion, and psychotonic training are efficient means which the coach may consider.
    Now, a big thing to consider is to avoid overtraining in the first place, in which case CNS fatigue is less of a concern. Here are some examples of "activities which may cause or facilitate overtraining":
    Training faults:
    - overlooking recovery higher than athlete's capacity
    - abrupt increase of load in training following long pauses
    - high volume of high intensity stimuli
    Athlete's lifestyle:
    - insufficient hours of sleep
    - unorganized daily program
    - smoking, alcohol, coffee, stimulatory substances
    - inadequate living facilities
    - quarrel with peers
    - poor diet
    - over excitation / agitated life
    Social environment:
    - overwhelming responsibilities
    - frustrations
    - professionnal dissatisfaction
    - overstressful professional activities
    - excessive emotional activities

    More from Bompa on methods of weight training affecting CNS:
    Mardsen et al (1971) [3] demonstrated that, as compared to the start of a 30 second maximum voluntary contraction, the end firing frequency decreased by 80%. Similar finding were reported by Grimby et al (1992) who stated that as the duration of contraction increased, activation of large motor units decreased, lowering the firing rate below the threshold level. Any continuation of contraction beyond that level was possible through short bursts (physical firing), but not appropriate for a constant performance.

    The above finings should send a strong message of caution to those who promote the theory (especially in football and bodybuilding) that strength can be improved only by performing each set to exhaustion. The fact that as a contraction progresses the firing frequency decreases, discredits this highly acclaimed method.
    More on recovery methods, which was your main question, but which I purposefully delayed until after the introduction of other concepts (this is part of my didactic style ).
    As you mention, R&R is one of the main methods of nervous system recovery. Relaxation through soothing music, massage, sleep is always beneficial. Supplementation in vitamin B, especially B2 and B12 has been shown to help.

    Here's more on balneo-therapy (hot bath, hot showers, sauna, etc.):
    3. BALNEO-THERAPY means are applied with a prophilactic scope. Hydrotherapy (shower, bath) has a reflex effect on the nervous and endocrine systems (Zalessky, 1977 [4]) as well as a local effect on organs and tissues. Hot shower (38-42 Celcius) for 8-10 minutes, hot bath (36-40 C) for 10-20 minutes, where medical plants may be introduced, relaxes the muscles and improve blood circulation, thus speeding up recovery. In addition , because of their relaxitory effects, hot baths, sauna and showers reduce the likelihood of neurotic reactions, improve sleep, and normalize the metabolic processes, thus promoting faster removal of wastes (Serban, 1979 [5]). Thermotherapy (sauna, hot bath and shower) of higher temperature (40-80 C) ought to be used once a week for 10-15 minutes. Thermotherapy allows for vasodilatation and perspiration which facilitates recovery by eliminating toxins from the muscle cell. If the toxins are not eliminated fatigue lingers o nand affects CNS stimulation (Dragan, 1978 [6]). As Wickstrom and Polk (1961) [7] claim such thermotherapy produces physiological effect which would ordinarily require two hours of rest to achieve.
    1- Tudor O. Bompa, Theory and Methodology of Training: The Key to Athletic Performance, Kendall Hunt Pub Co, 381 pp

    2- Krestovnikov, A. N. Sports Physiology, Moskow, Phyzkutlura i Sport, 1938

    3- Mardsen, C. D., J. C. Meadows, and P. A. Merton. Isolated single motor units in human muscle and their rate of discharge during maximal voluntary effort, Journal of physiology London, 217: 12P-13P, 1971

    4- Zalessky, M. Coaching, medico-biological, and psychological means of recovery, Legkaya Atletika, 7: 20-22, 1977

    5- Serban, M. Aspecte psihologice ale formei sportive (psychological ascpects of peaking), Educatia Fizica si Sport, 6: 38-46, 1979

    6- Dragan, I. Refacenea organismuliu dupa antrenament: o necesitate (organism recovery following training), Bucharest, Sport-Turism, 1978

    7- Wickstrom, R. L. and C. E. Polk. Effect of the whirlpool on the strength-endurance of the quadriceps muscle in training male adolescents, American Journal of Physical Medicine , 40: 91-92, 1961
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  5. #5
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    Take a gram or two of tyrosine before training. It is the precursor of neurotransmitters dopamine, epinephrine and norepinephrine and can definitely help with that 'burnt out' feeling.
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  6. #6
    Registered User mikeatnscc's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by The_cannibal View Post
    This is a very interesting question. Here are some expert insights on the subject.

    From Bompa, 1994 [1]:



    Now, a big thing to consider is to avoid overtraining in the first place, in which case CNS fatigue is less of a concern. Here are some examples of "activities which may cause or facilitate overtraining":
    Training faults:
    - overlooking recovery higher than athlete's capacity
    - abrupt increase of load in training following long pauses
    - high volume of high intensity stimuli
    Athlete's lifestyle:
    - insufficient hours of sleep
    - unorganized daily program
    - smoking, alcohol, coffee, stimulatory substances
    - inadequate living facilities
    - quarrel with peers
    - poor diet
    - over excitation / agitated life
    Social environment:
    - overwhelming responsibilities
    - frustrations
    - professionnal dissatisfaction
    - overstressful professional activities
    - excessive emotional activities

    More from Bompa on methods of weight training affecting CNS:


    More on recovery methods, which was your main question, but which I purposefully delayed until after the introduction of other concepts (this is part of my didactic style ).
    As you mention, R&R is one of the main methods of nervous system recovery. Relaxation through soothing music, massage, sleep is always beneficial. Supplementation in vitamin B, especially B2 and B12 has been shown to help.

    Here's more on balneo-therapy (hot bath, hot showers, sauna, etc.):


    1- Tudor O. Bompa, Theory and Methodology of Training: The Key to Athletic Performance, Kendall Hunt Pub Co, 381 pp

    2- Krestovnikov, A. N. Sports Physiology, Moskow, Phyzkutlura i Sport, 1938

    3- Mardsen, C. D., J. C. Meadows, and P. A. Merton. Isolated single motor units in human muscle and their rate of discharge during maximal voluntary effort, Journal of physiology London, 217: 12P-13P, 1971

    4- Zalessky, M. Coaching, medico-biological, and psychological means of recovery, Legkaya Atletika, 7: 20-22, 1977

    5- Serban, M. Aspecte psihologice ale formei sportive (psychological ascpects of peaking), Educatia Fizica si Sport, 6: 38-46, 1979

    6- Dragan, I. Refacenea organismuliu dupa antrenament: o necesitate (organism recovery following training), Bucharest, Sport-Turism, 1978

    7- Wickstrom, R. L. and C. E. Polk. Effect of the whirlpool on the strength-endurance of the quadriceps muscle in training male adolescents, American Journal of Physical Medicine , 40: 91-92, 1961
    This is a very imformative response, Thanks man
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  7. #7
    Registered Abuser endpoint's Avatar
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    I find contrast baths and sauna to be good.
    Sleep. time out
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  8. #8
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    I have read that a high-fat diet helps speed up CNS recovery. Also, supposedly the Biotest product Power Drive, taken after a workout, has that effect as well.
    My workout log as I progress towards a world-class raw powerlifting total:
    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=118490371
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  9. #9
    Registered User gbg's Avatar
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    Great question, this is something I'm trying to improve now. started Olympic lifting and this seems to be my biggest down fall MY CNS gives out fast!

    Cannibal great reply thanks.
    Being a real lifter is not about a number, or a medal, or somebody else telling you that you are a real lifter. It is about commitment to the iron and strength of purpose.
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  10. #10
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    Some things I do:
    Plenty of dairy throughout the day. Calcium ions are very important to muscle contraction and milk, cheese, greek yogurt, cottage cheese all help restore what's been used.
    9 hours of sleep every night. Seems like a lot but it's worth it. Not to mention, extra sleep increases testosterone levels.
    A banana every morning is a great way to get the potassium ions your nervous system needs to function.
    I train intensely every day and have had no overtraining issues thanks to proper diet and sleep.
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  11. #11
    NorseManPowerlifter BigJon55's Avatar
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  12. #12
    Back at square one wakechica's Avatar
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    Sleep, eat and appropriate recovery i.e. small things such as reducing muscle inflammation after a workout; if you have a wheelie bin, load it with ice and water and stand in it, or fill your bath tub. I can't stand it but the times I do it I just feel so much better and sleep better (strangely?). I guess it's one less thing my body has to 'deal' with in the recovery process thus aiding everything else.
    Magnesium and calcium are important for CNS/neuro function so I supplement with this if I haven't had enough through food in the day. But not eating enough is my biggest let down with lack of sleep.
    Had this last week; stress = bad nights sleep = tiredness = loss of appetite and craving for sugary food = not proper energy/sugar spikes = failed workout.

    Massively recommend the ice thing though. Even a freaking cold shower helps.
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