T Nation

Maximum Nervous System Activation, How?


Perhaps this is suited to both Powerlifters and Bodybuilders - The question: Tips, techniques, exercises and protocols to maximise the activation of the Nervous System.

I wondered if others like myself are experiencing the contrasts of being fully "activated" and not fully "activated". Certain workouts are PR breaking, others are at a stalemate. I feel if a trainee could activate themselves to an optimal level more frequently they could progress at a better rate.

Currently I'm experimenting with different exercises, techniques etc. With mixed results - time in the gym is good, so I can spend 20 minutes preparing. Heavy, deadstop, partials are kicking my *** when I move on to the full R.O.M exercise. Very light speed work however is in some part effective on some days.

Perhaps those who have a favourite/effective technique, tip, whatever would like to share their experiences? The experiences could benefit us all....


Ill include this one now: Can't really explain it but on Wednesday I went to my first snooker match - played for approx 2 hours - a sport which good concentration is required in - that day after I had an arm workout planned - the best mind muscle connection arm workout I've ever had.

I practice often and have never experience anything like it - perhaps the added intensity of a match improved concentration all day long...


partials from pins are great. I tend to do cleans for activation or med ball work. also I've found that 1,3-dimethylamylamine really gets me in the mood when im tired or need a bit of a push. Does nothing physique wise, but gets me amped up just enough without being too stimulated.




Postactivation potentiation is very real and incredibly powerful. Getting into that state does not requires any wacky exercises nor will any specific exercise guarantee that your in the zone. It is a skill gifted trainees will develop after a certain time under the bar. For now just focus on the task at hand and make sure that every activity done in the weight room is done with maximum concentration and purpose. Be aggressive and truly dominate the weight and use explosiveness if the exercise permits you to do so.




if you jump off the squat rack and absorb the shock through your body....you achieve god mode



a chemical stimulant,
a sexual motivater,
a training companion,
an anger catalyst.

average version -
you drink a coffee, scream right before pressing your 80% 1RM bench in an explosive fashion, your spotter screams "it's all you, bro!" as you stare at the tittie poster at lockout -> nervous system is up!

luxury version-
have a Spike, compete against a friend and your archenemy (who slapped you right before the start) in a 100m dash. Your dream girl has promised to frenchkiss the winner -> nervous system is supercharged!


Start with a proper warm-up.


Sooooo... drink coffee, bring wife to gym... got it!


Your wife makes you angry ?_?


You're not married... are you?


Wedding cake, one of the greatest forms of contraception


Oh, no, it's not that!

I think she LIKES to piss me off because I take it out on her in the bedroom. It's kind of a little game we play.


Is that with a belt or just your fists?


Dude, that's brutal.

A little hair pulling and grudge fucking is more than enough.

/pointless threadjacking



Sooo, on that note lol, I'll contribute something I guess...

I feel that to be able to do your best (i.e. maximum NS activation), being "fresh" is more important than technique during your training. Doing 2 brutal workouts in a row (e.g. 4+ big compound movements/session), and then expecting to get a good session in on your 3rd brutal workout in a row is probably going to lead to disappointment, and no amount of "activation" will work...it's simply a case of recovery

Which is why powerlifters don't usually train more than 4 days a week (to be more "fresh").

The most obvious way of activating your NS or whatever, is ramping. You simply save all your energy while ramping up with low reps until your final and best set. 9 times out of 10, you'll reach a higher peak than you would doing only 2 or 3 higher rep warmup sets. Utilising this method, it's not surprising to be able to lift 10-15% more weight than if you hadn't ramped.

Another way of looking at it is this - say for a lift you usually manage 6 reps at 300lbs. Instead of warming up to 6 reps at 300lbs and then doing it, you'd do a heavier, lower rep set first (e.g. 3 reps at 325)...then when you drop back down to 300lbs, you likely will manage more reps than if you hadn't done the heavier set first.

This is all assuming that you are not in an over-reaching state, or under-eating. If that is the case, "activating" your NS or whatever, at the end of the day, is simply an intensifying technique and is going to make you dig even further into a hole