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Central Nervous System (CNS) Training

A Potential Key To Breaking Through Strength Plateaus!

Posted by TimeIsMuscle - September 4th, 2016

The implementation of CNS training into one’s weekly regime can be the difference between achieving a new PB, or failing at attempting one. I believe all weightlifters should incorporate CNS training into their weekly routines as part of any strength based programme.

What Is CNS & How Does It Work?

CNS otherwise known as the ‘Central Nervous System’ is the part of the nervous system that consists of the brain and spinal cord. The CNS is one half of the nervous system. The other half is known as the Peripheral Nervous System (PNS).  The PNS connects the CNS to the organs that make up our human anatomy, which include the muscles, blood vessels, glands and sensory organs such as our eyes and ears.

The Connection Between CNS Training & Strength Training

The CNS is involved every time you exercise. To train your CNS to respond faster when lifting weights, you must use the correct form and repeat that form/technique over and over again to strengthen neural connections. The heavier the weight, the greater the ‘receptor/effector’ effect and the more your brain will learn to further control the muscles being engaged. This practise and approach will strengthen that Mind-Muscle-Connection, and in time enhance your strength gains. This can be achieved through partial or forced reps with the aid of a spotter. However, this is not the only way we can activate our CNS.

Activate Your CNS Through SPEED!

When someone is faced with stagnation in their strength gains, they often turn to a spotter to aid them through forced/partial reps as a means to overcome them. Don’t get me wrong, this tactic has its place, but have you ever zoned in on the physical component that is speed? I couldn’t exceed plateaus for years, simply because I never really considered how important speed was for lifting heavier weights.

The most common benefits from plyometric and explosive movements are that they help you produce faster and stronger muscle contractions.  For example, the faster you perform a box squat or the faster you do a clap push up, the better results you may discover when you go back to doing the traditional Olympic lifts such as the barbell back squat or bench press. These kinds of explosive movements help you recruit more muscle fibres, and in time this will enable you to lift more weight.


Either alongside, or overlapping, a weight lifting programme, frequent CNS training can provide you with that catalytic edge that could help you to overcome those strength plateaus.

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Good stuff!


Interesting stuff @time_is_muscle! Goes to show why you should mix heavy strength training with volume!