T Nation

CNS Recovery?

Hiya all. Two things, first the the general question, and then its application to me specifically. Because of that, this post is very long, but I hope you’ll bear with me and help with some ideas, if you can.

Okay, first part: I’ve been trying to get a greater understanding of how the CNS can burn out, so I can avoid it. Because I don’t think I always have.

Could I get some opinions from you guys on how CNS overstimulation happens, and how you can tell how much working out, life stress, whatever, is too much? Are there “warning signs,” or is this something entirely spooky that isn’t well understood? It seems giving the CNS a chance to rest, and CNS overstimulation, are only given lip service or mentioned only in passing, if at all, in the many articles and occasional book I read on fitness. And never with specific measurable parameters. So I’d appreciate some T-Nation input on this.

Second part: applying this question to me personally. A few days ago, I had a full night of sleep and woke up exhausted. I was so tired that I stayed up only as long as I had to that day, and then went right back to bed and slept straight through to the next day. I wasn’t sick and didn’t feel sick, just unutterably tired. The next day I felt a lot less tired, and the day after, I felt pretty much fine.

Starting a few months ago, I’ve been committing to getting back in shape again after a long lay-off and the loss of a lot of muscle, and been working out hard. Mostly low repetitions, and heavy weights. I do a lot of heavy deadlifts(heavy for me anyway), one-arm push-ups, one-legged bodyweight squats, military presses, and other things, including extremely harsh gripper work, as I would one day like to get certified on grippers, or at least strong enough to get certified. Also complimentary forearm work. And I’m eating like a pig to support it. I work-out four to five days a week, short strength-oriented low rep (no more than 5 reps/set) sessions, with at least two sessions a week of either the one-legged squats or deadlifts, or a mix.

Could I just be overstimulating the CNS, and could that be the reason for that one weird, non-sick day where I was nevertheless feeling completely shot even after a perfectly normal healthy sleep? If so, I didn’t notice any warning signs and would like ideas on what some of the warning signs could be – especially ones that could be easy to overlook. I want to keep training hard, but not burn myself out without knowing it.

Sorry this is so long! I wanted to give enough ammo for people to feel they had enough info to comment.

If it only happened once, I personally would just ignore it.

It did, but I’ve been wondering for a while on the subject in general. I mean, it would be good to know if there are warning signs, so I could know when to back off, and be able to optimize my progress.

The subject is interesting to me and would seem vital to proper training and general health, but I haven’t come across people saying much about CNS overstimulation besides “don’t” or “watch out for it.” But don’t how, and watch out for it, how?

I think you would do better if you researched the symptoms of “overtraining”, since that’s probably what you need to pay attention to. Unless of course you have been adding in a lot of hours of Counter Strike or something similar.

Think about your stress levels also, as the body often responds to stress with feelings of fatigue.

As far as the CNS itself as isolated area of academic study, I haven’t any suggestions.