T Nation

The Day After Maxing Out on DLs

Recently started doing conventional DLs again and maxed out with a really tough 1rm on monday, then today (tuesday) I went in to do heavy benching and i sucked badly. Now I have heard of how your CNS can be fatigued and as such effect your strength even on exercises that aren’t of the same muscle group.

So is this what happened or was i just having a shitty day? Should i always plan to take a full rest day after balls to the wall DLs?


Heavy conventional pulls ruin me for days. On weeks where I pull heavy conventional I’ll go for rep maxes on the bench. It seems like some people are affected worse than others. I’m pretty much worthless for 2-3 days after.

I try not use fancy words like “CNS fatigue” – I prefer the more plebeian term of “losing my joo-joo” (pronounced jew-jew)

If I have a heavy squat session later in the week it really affects me. The soreness makes bench not enjoyable too.

i pull friday, then bench again monday.
the weekend off usually does me good.
give it a try.

Yeah, that’s probly what happened. You don’t have to take a day off after–I prefer less days off in the week than more because I hate doing nothing–but don’t do heavy shit of any kind the next day. Rep work or light bodybuilding style work is a go though. Just don’t put all kinds of drop-sets and crap in there, because that can wear on you too. Just basic rep work leaving a couple in the tank.

Or hell, you could do conditioning/sled work the next day.

Long term I’ve noticed that the CNS/joo joo thing is a function of overall work capacity. There is a way to train yourself to handle and respond to more frequent heavy pulling or just heavy work in general–if there wasn’t there would be no way we have guys snatching or squatting heavy 6x a week for Oly lifting or whatnot-- but you have to do it slow. Frequency can absolutely work…but only provided you’re prepared physically for it.

That being said, if you’re pulling 700 lbs or something, you’re still going to be wiped most of the time. The closer you are to “elite” the more drain everything has on your CNS (that’s the 5 second version of the story).