Your central nervous system, like your muscular system, can become overworked. If you’re feeling tired, weak, and unmotivated in the gym, it’s possible that your sleepy CNS is to blame.
As you progress through your workout programme, you should always take precautions to avoid overtraining. Overtraining can occur in almost anyone who develops an imbalance between training and recovery, whether fit or unfit, young or old.
WHAT IS CNS OVERTRAINING?
Many people are unaware of the distinction between muscular and CNS overtraining, which can lead them to succumb to the latter.
Muscular overtraining occurs when the muscular system does not receive enough rest to repair damaged tissues. For example, if you work your quads hard on Monday and then return to the gym on Tuesday to work them again, you risk overtraining. Constantly working the same muscles can have a detrimental effect on your muscular development, but it typically has an effect on a single muscle group.
On the other hand, overtraining of the central nervous system is a systemic issue. It has an effect on the entire body, not just the quads, chest, or back. Because your CNS is responsible for generating muscular contractions during all types of training, it will eventually tyre out if you stack workouts upon workouts.
As a result of this general fatigue, your movements will become weaker and slower. You may discover that you lack the capacity for force generation that you normally possess, or that you become unexpectedly uncoordinated at times.
WHAT CAUSES CNS OVERTRAINING?
In the gym, the primary culprit is a programme that is too demanding in terms of volume, intensity, and rest. Bear in mind that even if you’ve planned your programme carefully to allow sufficient rest between sessions for a particular muscle, your central nervous system is still stimulated.
However, any combination of stressors can overwhelm the system, from a financial crisis to a breakup. At that point, the workouts that normally sustain you may simply be adding fuel to the fire and exacerbating your symptoms. If you suspect you may be suffering from CNS overtraining, conduct a thorough examination of possible contributors.
So how do we address this issue?
SIMPLE SOLUTIONS TO COMBAT CNS OVERTRAINING
Your central nervous system is an integral part of who you are and how you live your life, and preserving it requires action both inside and outside the gym. Here are five ways to protect your central nervous system.
1. Redesign Your Exercise Program
A good workout programme incorporates not only adequate rest time between sessions focused on a specific muscle group, but also rest time between workout sessions in general. The amount of time off required is directly proportional to the program’s intensity and volume. The more work you do, the more rest between sessions you will require. A well-designed programme incorporates periods of reduced intensity and exercise variation.
2. Get More Sleep
Because sleep is the body’s primary means of repair, ensure that you get at least eight hours each night. If you do not, you will not recover as quickly from each workout session, and the next one may be even more difficult. This could eventually push you over the edge.
3. Appoint delegates
Far too many people cram their schedules to the brim when they should simply decline that additional task. Rather than attempting to shoulder all responsibility alone, seize opportunities to delegate.
There is only so much you can do. If that sounds straightforward, it is. The sooner you recognise this, the more quickly you’ll be back on track to achieving your ideal physique.
4. Take time to meditate
Each year, another study touts meditation’s physical, emotional, and psychological benefits. Meditation, or even simple deep breathing, is an excellent way to alleviate stress and thus reduce the likelihood of CNS fatigue.
If you’ve never tried it, meditation may seem far more intimidating than it actually is. Fortunately, there are hundreds of books, podcasts, and websites that provide straightforward, practical guidance on how to get started and develop a consistent practise. All that is required is a few minutes daily and an open mind.
5. Add fish oil and glutamine to your diet
If your immune system is compromised, you are much more likely to be unable to meet training demands. Your immune system, like your central nervous system, is taxed by all forms of stress, which is one reason why university students become ill in the weeks leading up to exams.
Don’t wait until you’re in agony to act—be proactive. Fish oil and glutamine are two of the most effective supplements for bolstering your body’s natural defence mechanisms and enabling you to fight on.