central nervous system...wake up part 2
As previously stated, the central nervous and peripheral systems (CNS for simplicity) function like a network of highways and byways that transfer action signals throughout the body. As it relates specifically to human performance and movement, adaptation of the CNS is crucial.
The adaptation that occurs, admittedly more for the beginner than the advanced athlete, is a fascinating process. The degree of muscle contraction depends on the physical load placed upon it. Daily activity usually doesn't require maximal contraction of muscle, and the same holds true for those who don't engage in strenuous strength training. Physiologically, the network of nerves that innervate that muscle doesn't get fully activated, rather only a portion of those nerves is called upon to stimulate the muscle belly.
When you start strength training or performing more challenging movements, the once idle pathways of the CNS wake up and stimulate more of the motor units, or engines, in the muscle fibers. As you stimulate a higher number of muscle fibers, you become stronger and more fluid in your movements. You begin to fine-tune and maximize your internal information network.
Keep in mind that this adaptation occurs more notably in the beginner, which explains the rapid increase in weight or load in the initial stages of strength training. Advanced lifters and athletes continue to improve their CNS function but at a more gradual pace.
What happens after you maximize your CNS, you ask? Well, your muscles grow in size...each muscle fiber gets bigger in order to handle more poundage, more stress. And remember this, it's not so you can look better or impress your friends, although there is nothing wrong with that, right.
Nay, it's all about primal self-preservation...to allow you to climb trees for food or safety, slay the beast for muscle-building protein and essential fats, and to better handle any physical load that you place upon your muscles. Simply amazing!
Part 3 will describe how you care for your priceless central nervous system.