The nervous system is important, it gives us the ability to learn, to take on more intensity pressure and give us the extremities of our abilities. It’s triggered by doing anything new, foreign and challenging. It connects and requires both the body and the brain to work 100% focus at the same time. It is the opposite of multitasking or being unfocused and yet it is not about being tense, it is about being present, engaged, focused and relaxed at the same time and it requires deep diaphragmatic and at times explosive breath. It’s seen in olympic lifts, sprints, power lifts or a gruelling new drill for a gymnast, dancer or fighter working intensity and strength in a new range.

So how do you train it? You train it with weights or bodyweight which will shock you in as little as doing 1-5 reps. I mean if 5 pull ups is your maximum you can do, then that will stimulate your nervous system so the approach to stimulating your nervous system is deep breathing, new movements and improved techniques used at a high intensity. Look at learning new movement patterns for 1 – 5 reps and sometimes take on bodyweight movements or simply holding on to a position.

Some of the best exercises I used to get my nervous system fired up would be the olympic lifting snatch for 1 or 2 reps, clean and jerk for 1 or 2 reps, because of all the motor skills required. If you’re new to the game of lifting and fitness then go for squats and deadlifts for low reps. Handstands are great, doing pull ups full range if you are not currently good at them and sprints.

Here’s an example workout designed to stimulate your nervous system:

Thoracic stretch on a roller

2 x 1 minute light runs

2 x 30 second sprints

2 x sets of snatch for 1 rep

2 x sets of clean and jerk for 2 reps

1 x squats for 5 reps

1 x set of deadlifts for 4 reps

2 x sets of 30 second handstand holds against the wall

2 x sets of 5 pull ups

Try that out to start with and let me know how you get on!