• If you’re reading this article, I am pretty darn sure that you are interested in making your body healthier, fitter, stronger, faster, leaner, better.
  • I am also pretty sure that you work really, really hard trying to improve your body.
  • I am even more sure that you arrived at this article in the hopes of finding a new tool to make your hard work even more effective.

Luckily for you, I am even more sure that neural activation training can help improve the efficiency of your current workouts and take your training to a whole new level.

Neural activation training is designed to:

  • eliminate nervous system fatigue,
  • help you recover from workouts faster,
  • improve your workout performance, and
  • see better results…faster

tazmanian devil

 

In today’s article, I am going to explain:

  1. the goal(s) of Neural Activation Workouts
  2. how to design your own Neural Activation Workouts, and
  3. how to incorporate them into you overall training program.

The Goal(s) of Neural Activation Workouts

There are three main goals to these workouts.

  1. recover faster from your “regular” workouts
  2. prevent neural fatigue / overtraining
  3. improve neuro-muscular co-ordination, speed & power

The Basics of Neural Activation Workouts

  • Compound exercises only – squats, lunges, presses, pulls, jumps, throws, etc
  • The focus is on speed & power – light weights – between 10-30% of 1 RM
  • Focus on movements instead of muscle groups – horizontal push v.s. dumbbell fly
  • Circuit training
  • 3-5 exercises per workout
  • 3-5 reps per set

Note – Neural activation workouts are very short. They are never longer than 10 minutes and most often quite a bit shorter. As soon as your body starts feeling good and ready to go….STOP THE WORKOUT.

I know it sounds weird, but that’s the deal.

DIY Neural Activation Workout

As I mentioned above – choose 3-5 exercises from the list below. Choose a nice variety – some upper body, some lower, some push, some pull.

Perform them in a circuit – moving quickly between sets – focus on the speed of the movement without sacrificing proper form – 3-5 reps maximum

UPPER BODY

HORIZONTAL PUSH

  • Push-Up – flat, incline, decline, wide grip, narrow grip, staggered grip, etc…
  • Plyo Push-Ups
  • TRX / Suspension Trainer Push-Ups…
  • Band Chest Press
  • Med Ball Chest Throw
  • Barbell/Dumbbell Chest Press – this is my least favorite

HORIZONTAL PULL

  • Bodyweight Row – various grips, angles, etc
  • Band Rows

VERTICAL PUSH

  • Med Ball Overhead throw – straight up, up & back, up & forward
  • Barbell/Dumbbell/Band Push Press
  • Barbell/Dumbbell Clean & Press

VERTICAL PULL

  • Kipping Chin-Ups (only for the very strong trainees – remember 10-30% 1RM)
  • Jumping Chin-Ups
  • Band Pulldowns
  • Straight Arm Band Pulldowns
  • TRX/Suspension Trainer – Straight Arm Horizontal Pulldown
  • Band Pullovers

LOWER BODY

  • Vertical Jumps (single/multiples)
  • Broad Jumps (single/multiples)
  • Side to Side Jumps (single/multiples)
  • Shuffle Lunges/Scissor Lunges/Dynamic Split Squats
  • Bulgarian Squat Jump
  • Speed Squats
  • Box Jumps
  • Depth Jumps

A LITTLE BIT O’ EVERYTHING

  • Power Cleans
  • Power Snatches
  • Power Clean & Press
  • Swing Snatch
  • Snatch Jumps
  • Weighted Sled Push / Weighted Sled Pull
  • Sledge Hammer Slams
  • Med Ball Slams

When to do a Neural Activation Workout

As long as you keep them short & the resistance low (10-30%), you can do this workout every single day if you want.

  • Do it a few hours before your scheduled workout and you will improve your athletic performance.
  • Do it on off days to improve recovery & prevent overtraining.
  • Do it 2-3 times in a single day in lieu of your “normal” workout.

Give it a try & let me know what you think.

Sample Neural Activation Workout

 

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