How to Properly Manage CNS Load For Training Athletes

How to Properly Manage CNS Load For Training Athletes

The Central Nervous System (CNS) plays a critical role in athletic performance.

Overtraining can lead to CNS fatigue, which can have a detrimental impact on strength, power,
and performance in throwing and weightlifting. Here are some tips for managing CNS load and
recovery time in a training program for baseball players.

1. Periodization: A well-structured training program should utilize periodization. This
strategy involves varying training volume, intensity, and specificity over specific periods. It aims
to peak the athlete's performance for crucial competitions while minimizing the risk of

2. Programming: Split your training into different types of workouts - high intensity (heavy
weight, low reps), moderate intensity (moderate weight, moderate reps), and low intensity (low
weight, high reps). This way, you are not consistently hammering your CNS with heavy weights
and high intensity.

3. Active Recovery: Active recovery days can include lighter lifting sessions, mobility
work, conditioning, or skill-specific training (e.g., throwing or hitting practice). These sessions
should be significantly less intense than regular training sessions.

4. Rest: Proper rest and sleep are essential for CNS recovery. Try to get 7-9 hours of quality
sleep each night. Also, consider full rest days where no significant physical activity is

5. Nutrition and Hydration: A balanced diet that includes enough protein, carbohydrates,
and fats is critical for recovery. Stay hydrated throughout the day as dehydration can exacerbate
feelings of fatigue.

6. Deload Periods: Every 4-6 weeks, consider incorporating a deload week into your
training. During this time, you would reduce the intensity and volume of your workouts to give
your CNS an extended period to recover.

7. Monitoring Fatigue: Pay attention to signs of CNS fatigue, such as decreases in
performance, increased perceived effort for the same workload, changes in mood, or sleep
disturbances. If these signs appear, it might be time to ease back on the intensity or volume of

8. Stress Management: Remember that the CNS does not differentiate between physical and
mental stress. Regularly practicing stress management techniques such as mindfulness,
meditation, or yoga can help maintain a healthy CNS and improve recovery.

9. Throwing Program: For throwing athletes like baseball players, specific throwing
programs should be followed to prevent arm injury. These programs will generally have built-in
rest days and periods of decreased throwing volume to ensure the arm and the CNS get sufficient

Keep in mind that each athlete is different, and their recovery capabilities may vary.
Individualization of the training program to the athlete's needs, capabilities, and response to
training is crucial for optimal performance and recovery. Regular communication with the
athlete about their perceived recovery and readiness to train is also very helpful, as programs
need to be heavily adjustable due to varied abilities to recover and handle different workloads.