Today’s tip of the day is really useful. Its cool to have a quantifiable test for overtraining.
I’ll post it again below. Thanks Chad!
Today’s training tip comes from Chad Waterbury:
Test your CNS
When training for limit strength or power (as most athletes and powerlifters do), the state of the central nervous system is of paramount importance when planning a workout.
For example, if your CNS is drained, you’d be ill-advised to resort to CNS-demanding methods such as heavy load training, explosive lifting, maximum speed sprinting and plyometric drills. On the other hand, if your CNS is in overdrive. it might be time for a CNS intensive session, even attempting new maxes!
One simple way of assessing CNS state is a method I learned from former Soviet coaches. It doesn’t require any special equipment.
What you want to do is test your vertical jump before every training session (first establish a baseline: test your VJ after at least 2-3 days of rest–this is your base value). If your VJ is down by 10-15% compared to your baseline, your CNS is not in optimal working state. You can still perform some relatively heavy lifting (not over 90%) and some explosive lifts, but keep the volume very low and use longer rest intervals.
If your VJ is down more than 15%, your CNS is drained and I suggest taking at least one day off from training. Don’t train again until your VJ is at baseline or at the most, 5% below baseline. If your VJ stays in the minus 10-15% range for a few days in a row, it’s time to move on to less intensive training technique: one week of lower intensity/higher volume training (bodybuilding type training) might be a good idea.
On the other hand, if your VJ is 10%+ above your baseline value, your CNS is revved up and it’s time to go all out! Either do more high intensity work (more sets of heavy lifting or explosive lifting) or test your max on 1-2 compound lifts (warm-up properly though!).