Neural Fatigue


Brown Belt
May 11, 2005
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I squatted pretty intensely yesterday. After the normal session of squatting, a buddy and I being very stupid decided to 20 rep squats for back and front squats. I got 20 reps for back but only 12 for front.

Due to my poor scheduling, I had back to back sessions of lifting meaning I had to lift today.

Although there were totally different muscles were involved, I crapped out pretty bad tody on my push workout.

So did I just have a bad day or is it neural fatigue that crapped me out?
just seems like you overworked yourself on the 1st day and your body is still recovering from it the next day. and isnt a bad day just fatigue anyway??
peanut butter said:
just seems like you overworked yourself on the 1st day and your body is still recovering from it the next day. and isnt a bad day just fatigue anyway??
I guess.

But sometimes I have bad days when I feel fine with good amount of rest.
I few indicators I've read about over the years. You can tell your overtrained when:

1. Dialation of the retina is slow with light stimulation
2. Resting heartrate is elevated
3. Hands very sensitive when touching metal

I can tell right away when I get into the gym and I grab that first weight and my hands feel real cold and clammy....
neural fatigue is usually just a sore person quitting
OpethDrums said:
neural fatigue is usually just a sore person quitting

I tried to power through the workout, but the weight I lifted with relative ease last week seemed so much harder today.
maybe you just didnt want to be there and your mind was somewhere else
it's called your body trying to protect itself. you body is screaming "no more! Let me rest! i'll waste away if i continue at this rate! and if you keep it up i'll make you sick so you have to take it easy!" best way around this is give you body what it needs in the nutrition department, or atleast change the intensity of your workouts for a week.
yomon has a good point. i know you do feel weaker and i'm sure you are after a lot of intense exercise. but i don't think that means you should stop exercising. just do what you can. working out hard for a few days in a row isn't going to kill you.. if you try it. i'm sure you'll be pleased with the results.
In my case, whenever I get sick and I mean actually sick not just the sniffles or a sore throat, it almost always happens when I've been training a lot. Case in point, I've been training hard and more often than I normally do and last week I could almost feel myself getting sick, sure enough I got the flu last friday and felt like shit all of this week So I agree with Opeth in that training frequently is alright just don't try to go balls out every session.
Finally. After being here at sherdog for many years I can explain one quote in my signature. "Every day is a kidney day." This came from way back when I started posting here and was really looking into how to split up my routine. I read that many people go for a different muscle group a day and think they can do that and never rest. You know, monday/arms, tuesday/legs, wednesday/back, thursday/chest, friday/shoulders, sat/abs,calves, sunday/repeat. The author of the article said my quote meaning that every day you work your kidneys (or any muscle group), so you still need overall rest.

There is neural fatigue, hence why you can't lift 95% once a week. Even though your muscles are fine your CNS isn't. That also goes for working out the next day. Hence westsides routine.

As far as a mechanism I dunno. Mental stress can wear you out and not make you think as well, so I would assume physically the same thing would happen. I dunno if the cell takes time to recycle Ach, or if all the exo and endocytosis has an effect. I don't think anybody really knows what "neural fatigue" is.

As far as what openthdrums says, it might be better to wait. If you cannot fatigue the muscles enough because of a neuronal problem you are not working out efficiently. Similarly if you are distracted (hypothetically) with the 24 hour flu or a big stress it may be better not to go to the gym and get a 50% workout for your muscles (even with 100% effort). If you are always fatigued a certain day in your routine split I would change it for sure since I bet you are not getting those muscles the same workout you are getting other muscle groups.