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    Nueral potentiation has been widely used by athletes from many sports before competition.

    I have used it myself when working with St. Helens Rugby League Club and it inadvertently coincided with the period of our greatest successes, winning World Club Championship, Super League, and Challenge Cup Final.


    It is worth highlighting at this stage, that our gym was approximately 10 metres from our home dressing shed, so the initiation of firing up the CNS was far more difficult when playing away. (for this we used powerbags, and occasionally brought Olympic bars and weights with our kit man, but space was always an issue)


    Once the players bought into the practice it was only a matter of the players going into the gym before the match (at home) doing 3 x 6/8 reps of cleans, jammer, squats, bench throws or whatever suited them individually. At any time between 10-25 minutes before kick off.

    The players reported (whether placebo/psychological or not ?????) they where starting and getting into the game quicker, we generally scored first (which is also down to the fact we had some class players) and the players felt they did’nt have to get ’their second wind’

    The reason for sharing this, today I had a personal experience of potentiation (although totally unplanned) and it reminded me of how it can benefit performance.

    Arranged to meet a training partner at 9.30 this morning, to do a high intensity power session, so with this in mind I got to the gym early and prepared myself, he as is usual turned up late.

    The first lift we planned to do was 100 Kg Chain Squats-1 X 6, 110 Kg -2 X 4, 120 Kg- 2 X 2

    We completed the first, second, and I managed the third set, unfortunately my training partner blew his back on set 3.
    So being the good Samaritan I helped him out of the gym, into my car and drove him home, gave him loads of anti inflamms, and some food, and being the perfect gentleman did what every good S C coach would do, went straight back to the gym to restart my workout.

    Driving back to the gym I felt I owed it to my prone (and in serious pain !) friend to dominate the big bad squat rack and chains, so I decided (rather recklessly) to kick off at 120 kg with the chains on my first squat, this was totally alien territory for me, but to cut a long story short my loadings ended up

    120 Kg X 6
    125 Kg X 4
    130 Kg X 4
    140 Kg X 2
    142.5 Kg X 2

    Where my vastly improved performance a result of potentiation ? was it a result of determination due to my mates injury ?
    Who knows, who cares ! I was delighted and was able to really push the boundaries. (the rest of my session was not too shabby either !)

    Just interested to know of any of your members experiences/knowledge of this


    Mike McGurn

    National Strength and Fitness Coach

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