T Nation

Difficulties Getting a Good CNS Activation

Hey CT,

I never used stimulants over the last years to keep myself sensitive to dopamine and adrenaline(besides tyrosin), but today I used caffeine for the first time in years to get my rate coding up for a training phase and directly jumped 4inches higher and sprinted 3 tenths faster on 40yards than last week without caffeine. Besides that I really felt hyped and had energy.

I know I have very high serotonin levels, so I never eat carbs before workouts and thought thats enough, but it looks like the level is still too high for me to get into an activated state without the use of stimulants. Already start with plyos for better CNS activation.

Would love to hear your take on that

Nice increase. Could have been placebo. I’d bet that you tried extra hard and believed you’d jump higher and run faster. If it wasn’t, and you continue with caffeine, you’ll eventually lose the hypersensitivity that you have right now.

So, using a few sets of plyos in your warmup will help with CNS activation. I’d take away the caffeine and try to hit those numbers again.

Thought about that as well, but it sounds a little bit crazy that a placebo-effect provides a 4inch increase and 3tenths faster time in an advanced athlete. Went from a 38inch(which I hit many times troughout the year, never increasing or decreasing much) to a 42inch approach jump and from a 5,2sec to a 4,8sec time. Tried to hit these numbers for two years, so today simply was a crazy experience for me.

Is that really possible through a simple placebo-effect?

It’s like pretty much every “drug” out there. When you don’t use it regularly, you will get a huge effect from it.

That doesn’t necessarily indicate that you have a lot of “natural activation room” though because caffeine, especially in those who are sensitive to it, have performance-enhancement capacities outside of just optimizing activation.

Now, I know it’s tempting to use it at every workout to get the same performance increase, but if you do that you will become less and less responsive. It’s better to keep it for the super important workouts.

As for activation, besides what I mentioned tons of times about sprints, jumps and throws there is little else to do when it comes to exercises.

Thanks to both of you for your answers. Never thought it could have that much of an impact.

It felt like Im in competition mode, so I will regard the workouts in which I use it as such and limit myself to 1-2 per week.

For people reading this having similar ideas/thoughts about supplementing with caffeine -> https://thibarmy.com/how-to-avoid-supplement-tolerance-over-time/