T Nation

THIB'S TIP: Workout regulation

Here’s something I’ve been doing recently. I use Dan John’s tapping test to establish my CNS level of activity/capacity.

To give you a quick explanation the tap test has you “tap” on something as many times as possible in 10 seconds. The number reached indicate the level of CNS capacity.

One of our own created a cool web-based apps for this: http://jsfiddle.net/duffmaster33/ZwzpJ/1/embedded/result/

Now, the way I use this is that I actually record my “pre” workout tap test and my “post” workout one.

There are two things to learn:

  1. The higher the “pre” number is, the more my CNS is activated… this tells me that if it is high, I will need less activation work and will be able to increase the intensity of work… if there is a sudden drop, then I need to lower the intensity a bit.

  2. I always said that a workout is a great workout if (1) your performance was good (2) you feel stronger better AFTER the workout… if the “post” tap test is higher than the “pre”, that was accomplished, because it means that the CNS is more activated that at the start. If the “post” is lower than the “pre” it means that you did too much intensity work and drain the CNS (the bigger the difference the bigger the drain).

This morning my PRE was lower than yesterday so I ramped a bit slower (sometimes doing 2-3 sets with a weight before going up) but the POST measure was lower than the PRE, indicating too muc neural fatigue… and not surprisingly during that session, after my planned work was done, I decided to do some snatching even though I was starting to feel fatigued. So the difference between pre and post indicate that this was a mistake, and it will help me avoid it in the future.

EDIT/ADD-ON: Calculating on 10 then 20 seconds can also be a cool tool… if your first 10 sec is much slower (e.g. you get 80 in 10 seconds and 190 in 20 seconds) it means that your nervous system takes some time to fire-up/get activated, so you either need more sets to ramp up or to use slightly higher reps for yoru sets (e.g. 3RM instead of 1RM)… if it’s the opposite (e.g. you get 100 in 10 seconds and 170 in 20 seconds) it means that you activate very fast, but lose CNS efficiency very fast (so sets lasting more than 12-15 seconds are a bad idea).

Interesting, I might actually have to get around to trying this one of these days.

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:
Here’s something I’ve been doing recently. I use Dan John’s tapping test to establish my CNS level of activity/capacity.

To give you a quick explanation the tap test has you “tap” on something as many times as possible in 10 seconds. The number reached indicate the level of CNS capacity.

There are actually iphones apps for that, but since I’m zero in technology (and still have a flip phone… when I carry it) I use an old school method: I use an online timer (or chronometer) and a calculator… I press 1+1… then when the chrono start I try to press “=” as often as I can in 10 seconds… the number on the screen is the number of tap I was able to do.

Now, the way I use this is that I actually record my “pre” workout tap test and my “post” workout one.

There are two things to learn:

  1. The higher the “pre” number is, the more my CNS is activated… this tells me that if it is high, I will need less activation work and will be able to increase the intensity of work… if there is a sudden drop, then I need to lower the intensity a bit.

  2. I always said that a workout is a great workout if (1) your performance was good (2) you feel stronger better AFTER the workout… if the “post” tap test is higher than the “pre”, that was accomplished, because it means that the CNS is more activated that at the start. If the “post” is lower than the “pre” it means that you did too much intensity work and drain the CNS (the bigger the difference the bigger the drain).

For example yesterday I was at 51 pre and 55 post, I had a very stimulating session and kep the volume on the low end.

This morning I was at 45 pre… so I ramped a bit slower (sometimes doing 2-3 sets with a weight before going up) and 41 post… and no surprisingly, after my planned work was done, I decided to do some snatching even though I was starting to feel fatigued. So the difference between pre and post indicate that this was a mistake, and it will help me avoid it in the future.[/quote]

Wow, I really gotta wake up - only got 38 using your old school method.

[quote]Mutsanah wrote:

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:
Here’s something I’ve been doing recently. I use Dan John’s tapping test to establish my CNS level of activity/capacity.

To give you a quick explanation the tap test has you “tap” on something as many times as possible in 10 seconds. The number reached indicate the level of CNS capacity.

There are actually iphones apps for that, but since I’m zero in technology (and still have a flip phone… when I carry it) I use an old school method: I use an online timer (or chronometer) and a calculator… I press 1+1… then when the chrono start I try to press “=” as often as I can in 10 seconds… the number on the screen is the number of tap I was able to do.

Now, the way I use this is that I actually record my “pre” workout tap test and my “post” workout one.

There are two things to learn:

  1. The higher the “pre” number is, the more my CNS is activated… this tells me that if it is high, I will need less activation work and will be able to increase the intensity of work… if there is a sudden drop, then I need to lower the intensity a bit.

  2. I always said that a workout is a great workout if (1) your performance was good (2) you feel stronger better AFTER the workout… if the “post” tap test is higher than the “pre”, that was accomplished, because it means that the CNS is more activated that at the start. If the “post” is lower than the “pre” it means that you did too much intensity work and drain the CNS (the bigger the difference the bigger the drain).

For example yesterday I was at 51 pre and 55 post, I had a very stimulating session and kep the volume on the low end.

This morning I was at 45 pre… so I ramped a bit slower (sometimes doing 2-3 sets with a weight before going up) and 41 post… and no surprisingly, after my planned work was done, I decided to do some snatching even though I was starting to feel fatigued. So the difference between pre and post indicate that this was a mistake, and it will help me avoid it in the future.[/quote]

Wow, I really gotta wake up - only got 38 using your old school method.[/quote]

I actually got 56 when I first tried it, after a day off to establish a baseline.

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]Mutsanah wrote:

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:
Here’s something I’ve been doing recently. I use Dan John’s tapping test to establish my CNS level of activity/capacity.

To give you a quick explanation the tap test has you “tap” on something as many times as possible in 10 seconds. The number reached indicate the level of CNS capacity.

There are actually iphones apps for that, but since I’m zero in technology (and still have a flip phone… when I carry it) I use an old school method: I use an online timer (or chronometer) and a calculator… I press 1+1… then when the chrono start I try to press “=” as often as I can in 10 seconds… the number on the screen is the number of tap I was able to do.

Now, the way I use this is that I actually record my “pre” workout tap test and my “post” workout one.

There are two things to learn:

  1. The higher the “pre” number is, the more my CNS is activated… this tells me that if it is high, I will need less activation work and will be able to increase the intensity of work… if there is a sudden drop, then I need to lower the intensity a bit.

  2. I always said that a workout is a great workout if (1) your performance was good (2) you feel stronger better AFTER the workout… if the “post” tap test is higher than the “pre”, that was accomplished, because it means that the CNS is more activated that at the start. If the “post” is lower than the “pre” it means that you did too much intensity work and drain the CNS (the bigger the difference the bigger the drain).

For example yesterday I was at 51 pre and 55 post, I had a very stimulating session and kep the volume on the low end.

This morning I was at 45 pre… so I ramped a bit slower (sometimes doing 2-3 sets with a weight before going up) and 41 post… and no surprisingly, after my planned work was done, I decided to do some snatching even though I was starting to feel fatigued. So the difference between pre and post indicate that this was a mistake, and it will help me avoid it in the future.[/quote]

Wow, I really gotta wake up - only got 38 using your old school method.[/quote]

I actually got 56 when I first tried it, after a day off to establish a baseline.[/quote]

Maybe I was just too fast for my Looney Tunes Tasmanian Devil calculator…

[quote]Mutsanah wrote:

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]Mutsanah wrote:

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:
Here’s something I’ve been doing recently. I use Dan John’s tapping test to establish my CNS level of activity/capacity.

To give you a quick explanation the tap test has you “tap” on something as many times as possible in 10 seconds. The number reached indicate the level of CNS capacity.

There are actually iphones apps for that, but since I’m zero in technology (and still have a flip phone… when I carry it) I use an old school method: I use an online timer (or chronometer) and a calculator… I press 1+1… then when the chrono start I try to press “=” as often as I can in 10 seconds… the number on the screen is the number of tap I was able to do.

Now, the way I use this is that I actually record my “pre” workout tap test and my “post” workout one.

There are two things to learn:

  1. The higher the “pre” number is, the more my CNS is activated… this tells me that if it is high, I will need less activation work and will be able to increase the intensity of work… if there is a sudden drop, then I need to lower the intensity a bit.

  2. I always said that a workout is a great workout if (1) your performance was good (2) you feel stronger better AFTER the workout… if the “post” tap test is higher than the “pre”, that was accomplished, because it means that the CNS is more activated that at the start. If the “post” is lower than the “pre” it means that you did too much intensity work and drain the CNS (the bigger the difference the bigger the drain).

For example yesterday I was at 51 pre and 55 post, I had a very stimulating session and kep the volume on the low end.

This morning I was at 45 pre… so I ramped a bit slower (sometimes doing 2-3 sets with a weight before going up) and 41 post… and no surprisingly, after my planned work was done, I decided to do some snatching even though I was starting to feel fatigued. So the difference between pre and post indicate that this was a mistake, and it will help me avoid it in the future.[/quote]

Wow, I really gotta wake up - only got 38 using your old school method.[/quote]

I actually got 56 when I first tried it, after a day off to establish a baseline.[/quote]

Maybe I was just too fast for my Looney Tunes Tasmanian Devil calculator…[/quote]

Actually, I am too fast for that little devil:

I just did a test and I hit the = button 10 times but only 6 counted on the screen.

I guess I need a bigger calculator…

I added this to the original post:

EDIT/ADD-ON: Calculating on 10 then 20 seconds can also be a cool tool… if your first 10 sec is much slower (e.g. you get 40 in 10 seconds and 95 in 20 seconds) it means that your nervous system takes some time to fire-up/get activated, so you either need more sets to ramp up or to use slightly higher reps for yoru sets (e.g. 3RM instead of 1RM)… if it’s the opposite (e.g. you get 40 in 10 seconds and 75 in 20 seconds) it means that you activate very fast, but lose CNS efficiency very fast (so sets lasting more than 12-15 seconds are a bad idea).

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:
I added this to the original post:

EDIT/ADD-ON: Calculating on 10 then 20 seconds can also be a cool tool… if your first 10 sec is much slower (e.g. you get 40 in 10 seconds and 95 in 20 seconds) it means that your nervous system takes some time to fire-up/get activated, so you either need more sets to ramp up or to use slightly higher reps for yoru sets (e.g. 3RM instead of 1RM)… if it’s the opposite (e.g. you get 40 in 10 seconds and 75 in 20 seconds) it means that you activate very fast, but lose CNS efficiency very fast (so sets lasting more than 12-15 seconds are a bad idea). [/quote]

37 in 10
70 in 20

But I know there are more taps than that according to my 10 taps but only 6 total on the screen…

[quote]Mutsanah wrote:

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:
I added this to the original post:

EDIT/ADD-ON: Calculating on 10 then 20 seconds can also be a cool tool… if your first 10 sec is much slower (e.g. you get 40 in 10 seconds and 95 in 20 seconds) it means that your nervous system takes some time to fire-up/get activated, so you either need more sets to ramp up or to use slightly higher reps for yoru sets (e.g. 3RM instead of 1RM)… if it’s the opposite (e.g. you get 40 in 10 seconds and 75 in 20 seconds) it means that you activate very fast, but lose CNS efficiency very fast (so sets lasting more than 12-15 seconds are a bad idea). [/quote]

37 in 10
70 in 20

But I know there are more taps than that according to my 10 taps but only 6 total on the screen…[/quote]

Get a better calculator! Ideally one with big plastic keys.

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]Mutsanah wrote:

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:
I added this to the original post:

EDIT/ADD-ON: Calculating on 10 then 20 seconds can also be a cool tool… if your first 10 sec is much slower (e.g. you get 40 in 10 seconds and 95 in 20 seconds) it means that your nervous system takes some time to fire-up/get activated, so you either need more sets to ramp up or to use slightly higher reps for yoru sets (e.g. 3RM instead of 1RM)… if it’s the opposite (e.g. you get 40 in 10 seconds and 75 in 20 seconds) it means that you activate very fast, but lose CNS efficiency very fast (so sets lasting more than 12-15 seconds are a bad idea). [/quote]

37 in 10
70 in 20

But I know there are more taps than that according to my 10 taps but only 6 total on the screen…[/quote]

Get a better calculator! Ideally one with big plastic keys.[/quote]

OK

I just used another device as stopwatch and used the calculator on my iPhone.

I got 80 taps in 10 secs.

What does that tell me?

[quote]Mutsanah wrote:

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]Mutsanah wrote:

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:
I added this to the original post:

EDIT/ADD-ON: Calculating on 10 then 20 seconds can also be a cool tool… if your first 10 sec is much slower (e.g. you get 40 in 10 seconds and 95 in 20 seconds) it means that your nervous system takes some time to fire-up/get activated, so you either need more sets to ramp up or to use slightly higher reps for yoru sets (e.g. 3RM instead of 1RM)… if it’s the opposite (e.g. you get 40 in 10 seconds and 75 in 20 seconds) it means that you activate very fast, but lose CNS efficiency very fast (so sets lasting more than 12-15 seconds are a bad idea). [/quote]

37 in 10
70 in 20

But I know there are more taps than that according to my 10 taps but only 6 total on the screen…[/quote]

Get a better calculator! Ideally one with big plastic keys.[/quote]

OK

I just used another device as stopwatch and used the calculator on my iPhone.

I got 80 taps in 10 secs.

What does that tell me?[/quote]

80 in 10 seconds??? That is not humanly possible… that’s 8 taps per seconds!!! Maybe your iPhone is too sensitive… look for the tapmaster app… (I think that’s what it’s called)… or do a search for CNS tap test on google.

62 in 10 secs using the mouse pad on the laptop, does that count?

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]Mutsanah wrote:

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]Mutsanah wrote:

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:
I added this to the original post:

EDIT/ADD-ON: Calculating on 10 then 20 seconds can also be a cool tool… if your first 10 sec is much slower (e.g. you get 40 in 10 seconds and 95 in 20 seconds) it means that your nervous system takes some time to fire-up/get activated, so you either need more sets to ramp up or to use slightly higher reps for yoru sets (e.g. 3RM instead of 1RM)… if it’s the opposite (e.g. you get 40 in 10 seconds and 75 in 20 seconds) it means that you activate very fast, but lose CNS efficiency very fast (so sets lasting more than 12-15 seconds are a bad idea). [/quote]

37 in 10
70 in 20

But I know there are more taps than that according to my 10 taps but only 6 total on the screen…[/quote]

Get a better calculator! Ideally one with big plastic keys.[/quote]

OK

I just used another device as stopwatch and used the calculator on my iPhone.

I got 80 taps in 10 secs.

What does that tell me?[/quote]

80 in 10 seconds??? That is not humanly possible… that’s 8 taps per seconds!!! Maybe your iPhone is too sensitive… look for the tapmaster app… (I think that’s what it’s called)… or do a search for CNS tap test on google. [/quote]

Why must you doubt my skills? :slight_smile:

I think tap height also makes a big difference. I used tap counter for android and I got 75 in 10 seconds, but I was also barely lifting my finger. It did count accurately as I had my coworker count the taps he heard, but maybe the height needs to be higher for an accurate read?

[quote]Mutsanah wrote:

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]Mutsanah wrote:

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]Mutsanah wrote:

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:
I added this to the original post:

EDIT/ADD-ON: Calculating on 10 then 20 seconds can also be a cool tool… if your first 10 sec is much slower (e.g. you get 40 in 10 seconds and 95 in 20 seconds) it means that your nervous system takes some time to fire-up/get activated, so you either need more sets to ramp up or to use slightly higher reps for yoru sets (e.g. 3RM instead of 1RM)… if it’s the opposite (e.g. you get 40 in 10 seconds and 75 in 20 seconds) it means that you activate very fast, but lose CNS efficiency very fast (so sets lasting more than 12-15 seconds are a bad idea). [/quote]

37 in 10
70 in 20

But I know there are more taps than that according to my 10 taps but only 6 total on the screen…[/quote]

Get a better calculator! Ideally one with big plastic keys.[/quote]

OK

I just used another device as stopwatch and used the calculator on my iPhone.

I got 80 taps in 10 secs.

What does that tell me?[/quote]

80 in 10 seconds??? That is not humanly possible… that’s 8 taps per seconds!!! Maybe your iPhone is too sensitive… look for the tapmaster app… (I think that’s what it’s called)… or do a search for CNS tap test on google. [/quote]

Why must you doubt my skills? :slight_smile:

[/quote]

OK - so I tried a ‘manual’ method.

I don’t think it possible for this method to be too sensitive.

I used a ball point pen on paper and iPhone as timer. Tap paper with pen as many times as possible in 10 seconds.

I got 80.

Should I be talking to Guinness?

[quote]Mutsanah wrote:

[quote]Mutsanah wrote:

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]Mutsanah wrote:

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]Mutsanah wrote:

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:
I added this to the original post:

EDIT/ADD-ON: Calculating on 10 then 20 seconds can also be a cool tool… if your first 10 sec is much slower (e.g. you get 40 in 10 seconds and 95 in 20 seconds) it means that your nervous system takes some time to fire-up/get activated, so you either need more sets to ramp up or to use slightly higher reps for yoru sets (e.g. 3RM instead of 1RM)… if it’s the opposite (e.g. you get 40 in 10 seconds and 75 in 20 seconds) it means that you activate very fast, but lose CNS efficiency very fast (so sets lasting more than 12-15 seconds are a bad idea). [/quote]

37 in 10
70 in 20

But I know there are more taps than that according to my 10 taps but only 6 total on the screen…[/quote]

Get a better calculator! Ideally one with big plastic keys.[/quote]

OK

I just used another device as stopwatch and used the calculator on my iPhone.

I got 80 taps in 10 secs.

What does that tell me?[/quote]

80 in 10 seconds??? That is not humanly possible… that’s 8 taps per seconds!!! Maybe your iPhone is too sensitive… look for the tapmaster app… (I think that’s what it’s called)… or do a search for CNS tap test on google. [/quote]

Why must you doubt my skills? :slight_smile:

[/quote]

OK - so I tried a ‘manual’ method.

I don’t think it possible for this method to be too sensitive.

I used a ball point pen on paper and iPhone as timer. Tap paper with pen as many times as possible in 10 seconds.

I got 80.

Should I be talking to Guinness?

[/quote]

No, but it seems a bit odd. I cannot say anything else if I don’t see you… maybe with the pen it’s possible, and maybe I’m going from my experience with my own calculator and the numbers I’ve read by other people.

Anyway, as long as the measure is done under the same conditions all the time, it doesn’t matter if you get 80, 30 or 10 000… the key is the daily variability in your own results.

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]Mutsanah wrote:

[quote]Mutsanah wrote:

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]Mutsanah wrote:

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]Mutsanah wrote:

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:
I added this to the original post:

EDIT/ADD-ON: Calculating on 10 then 20 seconds can also be a cool tool… if your first 10 sec is much slower (e.g. you get 40 in 10 seconds and 95 in 20 seconds) it means that your nervous system takes some time to fire-up/get activated, so you either need more sets to ramp up or to use slightly higher reps for yoru sets (e.g. 3RM instead of 1RM)… if it’s the opposite (e.g. you get 40 in 10 seconds and 75 in 20 seconds) it means that you activate very fast, but lose CNS efficiency very fast (so sets lasting more than 12-15 seconds are a bad idea). [/quote]

37 in 10
70 in 20

But I know there are more taps than that according to my 10 taps but only 6 total on the screen…[/quote]

Get a better calculator! Ideally one with big plastic keys.[/quote]

OK

I just used another device as stopwatch and used the calculator on my iPhone.

I got 80 taps in 10 secs.

What does that tell me?[/quote]

80 in 10 seconds??? That is not humanly possible… that’s 8 taps per seconds!!! Maybe your iPhone is too sensitive… look for the tapmaster app… (I think that’s what it’s called)… or do a search for CNS tap test on google. [/quote]

Why must you doubt my skills? :slight_smile:

[/quote]

OK - so I tried a ‘manual’ method.

I don’t think it possible for this method to be too sensitive.

I used a ball point pen on paper and iPhone as timer. Tap paper with pen as many times as possible in 10 seconds.

I got 80.

Should I be talking to Guinness?

[/quote]

No, but it seems a bit odd. I cannot say anything else if I don’t see you… maybe with the pen it’s possible, and maybe I’m going from my experience with my own calculator and the numbers I’ve read by other people.[/quote]

Try the pen/paper method and tell me what you get.

A poster on T Nation posted a CNS tap app for the iPhone and can graph it for you in and gives you an average line as well. You can do it with your right or left hand. I get up to 60’s with it and nothing extraordinary.

Here is a web app I just wrote so we can at least all use the same method. Hopefully that gives a more accurate basis for comparison:

http://jsfiddle.net/duffmaster33/ZwzpJ/1/embedded/result/

[quote]GeneticSynergy9 wrote:
Here is a web app I just wrote so we can at least all use the same method. Hopefully that gives a more accurate basis for comparison:

http://jsfiddle.net/duffmaster33/ZwzpJ/1/embedded/result/[/quote]

Thanks man! I looked for a long time on the web for a web-based app. But really, it’s not about comparing various people, it’s your own daily fluctuations that matter.

Man, I REALLY like what you did!!! Even have the 10 and 20 sec splits… nice!