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Which is harder on the nervous system?

I’m currious. Which is harder on the nervous system, a low load with very slow concentrics (like the 10RM at 1-0-3 n Alessi’s Meltdown I) or the same load at normal speed, say a 15RM? Anyone know? Brian

Ok, nobody’s answered this, so I’ll take a shot. I would surmise that both of the aforementioned protocols would elicit a fairly low neural drain. The 1030 tempo causes an increase in intermuscular tension, but probably not any higher demand on the nervous system. I recall Alessi stating that this type of protocol causes an increased activation of the type IIB fibers, but physiologicaly I do not see eye to eye with his reasoning. If he is correct (which he very well could be) than that tempo would be more demanding on the nervous system in order to activate higher threshold motor units. Either way, both protocols you mentioned would be significantly lower neural drain than a strength/power protocol.

From what I know, the eccentric is much more draining on the nervous system. And Lower reps, I find, drain me more.

Marc, I think Alessi’s argument was that the IIB fibers grown when oxygen is deprived at a signficant enough load.

Your first example would likely be more intense. Deliberately lifting this amount of weight slow concentrically requires quite a bit of neural intensity. Doing the same thing eccentrically would not be as intense as one is so much stronger ecentrically vs concentrically.