Monday, July 02, 2007

CNS Intensive?

CNS intensive training is hot topic these days. Everybody always wants to talk about the CNS and the role it plays in your training. I have done so myself on several occasions but today I want to talk about the role that overthinking about CNS intensive training may be playing in your long term results.

For those that don't know, it is widely recommended that you do not do two CNS intensive workouts on back to back days. For example, you do not perform two max effort workouts on consecutive days or if you are training for speed, you do not do all out sprints on consecutive days. If you sprint hard on Monday, then you should back off and do lower intensity tempo runs on Tuesday. This is great advice and I will continue to stand by it as I always have.


What about all the days of old when we didn't know about CNS intensive training and concepts like this? What about when we were kids and ran hard everyday only to get faster? What about the 100 daily attempts you used to take at touching the rim for the first time only to get higher each and every week? Jumping like that can be considered CNS intensive. Those are max effort jumps. I know; I used to do it every single day all throughout high school. So what happened back then? Why is everything so different now?

What would have happened if Walter Payton took a day off after every one of his legendary hill sprint workouts? Would he have been even better than he was?

While I agree with the concept and the rule of separating CNS intensive days, you need to remember that it is only a guideline. People who don't know about this rule have ignored it for years without any problems.

If you really followed this rule you would not be able to do a max effort upper body workout the day after you played a recreational game of touch football on the beach because you sprinted on a few fly patterns and thus fried your CNS. Baseball players play several back to back games throughout the season in which they do multiple CNS activities yet they still manage to pull themselves through the next game.

Like I said, it's a great concept and should be used as a guideline to plan your workouts. But if you can't schedule your workouts and your sprinting and recreational activities optimally, don't worry about it. As long as you are training hard and eating right you will get results.

Worrying way too much about it and thinking that you are compromising your results and are overtraining will lead to all of that becoming true. Remember, nobody knew about this concept years ago and somehow we all survived as a species.