T Nation

CNS Fatigue: Myth?!


Free Lyano!


His CNS should be fully recovered after the time off. “Hopefully” he comes back to continue the discussion while playing by the rules that have been in place forever.


bump @lyano


My wife has a degree in neuroscience, and teaches it at the undergrad level in college. She is new to lifting though, so maybe she doesn’t understand the connotation.

She rolls her eyes when lifters talk about “CNS fatigue” or “CNS damage”. She told me CNS Fatigue would be really bad, and it would really mean your brain starting shutting down. She said CNS Damage would occur if the brain and/or spinal cord were actually physically damaged or through a disease like ALS. So unless the barbell crushed through your torso and severed your spine, no CNS damage from training.


I think it’s fair to say that CNS fatigue is likely a misnomer in general, and really isn’t a thing at all for most beginner lifters, but I also think that when we say CNS fatigue, we are talking about a real phenomenon that is indeed separate from just ‘regular’ muscular fatigue. It may not be, specifically, that the CNS is actually damaged or even tired, but we’re describing SOMETHING that feels like that to us. Some sort of cumulative fatigue that transcends generic muscle soreness that we all experience.


Yeah definitely. Would be nice to know what’s actually going on there scientifcally.

Maybe its more accurately adrenal fatigue? But that could be bro science too


Probably is a misnomer but we know that to much stress long term can lead to general fatigue. For example, it’s been shown that long term anxiety can show as depression. So why not a similar mechanism for other types of stress such as lifting very heavy? Might be adrenal fatigue, but we know stress can affect many mechanisms in us.


Yeah but she’s obviously never tried to make a living as a fitness author :wink:

CNS fatigue/damage , metabolic damage,… I’m sure there’s plenty more catchy terms.



I’m sure she could come up with some catchy terms haha

There was this 21 year old kid on instagram claiming to be a “Genetic Trainer” or something like that. He prepared a a “Diet program” which was shared by his client and it turned out be 200g of protein a day, almost exclusively from protein shakes.