T Nation

Auto Regulated Training


How would you go about doing this and actually make progress?

Just something like:

Squat/bench/deadlifts, heavy triples, adding 10-20 pounds each set until there is a form break down, grinded last rep etc, back off down to something like 70% of the triple set for rep work.

Then go do assistance.

Day 1 heavy squat, deadlifts reps
Day 2 heavy bench
Day 3 heavy deadlift, squat for reps
Day 4 upper body assistance, light bench

Is it really that simple? Just track a log, eat enough, sleep enough, and do assistance for sticking points for 3-4 weeks, re-evaluate sticking points and adjust accordingly?


Here's what I suggested in the past:

Week 1 - work 5's starting at 50% adding 20lbs/set
Week 2 - work 3's starting at 60% adding 20lbs/set
Week 3 - work 2's starting at 70% adding 20lbs/set

When you get to a weight that you know the next set won't get you the required reps, do that weight for two more sets and call it quits.

Ex: 275x3 295x3 315x3 335x3 355x3 - won't get 375x3 so do two more sets at 355.

When you go to do doubles the next week, you should be able to get 375x2 and maybe more.

It works extremely well and very very simple. I've used it w/ success. You'll get plenty of volume so don't do any drop sets. Just go to your other work or don't do any - it's up to you.


Look into RTS if you're interested in auto-regulation.


I strongly 2nd this. And it's not an either you are or aren't doing an autoregulated program, it's more of a spectrum. What's great about learning and applying principles related to RPEs and fatigue percents is that it gives you a great chance to chart out how your body works.


There's a "Generalized Intermediate Program" over at the RTS forums that can serve as a great starting point. But I highly recommend getting Tuchscherer's book and reading about autoregulatory principles altogether. They'll become second-nature in your training.


Sorry if I seem ignorant here but what exactly is Auto Regulation Training? I wont lie being incredibly last by nit googling it but just don't wanna. Sounds alot like the old Instinctive Training where you essentially just go off how you feel for the day guessing solely off the name. So if I'm wrong let me know.


Pretty much. Just some people take it a step further by measuring their perceived effort per set and how much fatigue has been accumulated through out a workout, a week, a couple weeks, and so on and methods to measure this are laid out very well in Mike T's book.

Since you have Sam Byrd taking you under your wing and a crew to help push you and tell you when it might be better to back off you probably don't have to worry about it much would be my guess.

Examples of a couple programs with auto-regulation built into them would be 5/3/1 with the AMRAP set and the Bulgarian method with the un-psyched daily maxes. Westside as well with the ME efforts since that's a max for that day and not a prescribed percentage.


Kinda drawn out but it explains just about anything you'd need to know


Thanks for all the information. I've looked into extensively now. I'm a pretty good gauge of how my body is feeling after a couple warm up/ramp up sets, so this seems like it could be useless and productive.

I don't know what it is about 5/3/1, but I'll get 5 months into it where you're taking basically your first month 1+ set and supposed to do it for 5+ and suddenly I can't get even 5 reps with a weight I hit for 6+ reps. My muscular endurance goes up with lighter weights, but I'm not developing strength.


You might want to try Wendlers 5/3/1 for powerlifting template or throw in some joker sets if you want to continue 5/3/1.


Thanks makes sense now.


The problem is that I was already doing that and regressing on squats. Deadlifts always respond great to 5/3/1, but squats regress even with joker sets.


The thing that I like about true autoregulated training vis-a-vis 5/3/1 (or any other percentage-based program, for that matter) is that I come into each training session without a concrete number in my head in terms of what I need to lift for my top set.

So if my program says I have to work up to a deadlift double at RPE 9, I'll go through my normal warm-up (60 kg x 5, 100 kg x 4, 140 kg x 3, 160 kg x 2, 180 kg x 1, 200 kg x 1) and then see how I feel. If the last warm-up single felt easy, I'll do another single at 210 kg and then go for 220 kg. If that felt too easy, I'll do another double at 225 kg or something. If the last warm-up single felt hard, though, I'll do my double at 210 kg and move on.

I found myself being too bound up in thought prior to each workout on a percentage-based program, knowing that I had already hit a particular number of reps at the programmed weight and that I would need to hit at least that many reps if I wanted to continue to make "progress". But autoregulatory work really teaches you that linear progression isn't always possible or even desirable.


Well, I started auto regulated training doing weeks of 5/3/2 deload.

For squats I worked up to 5RM at RPE9, I had maybe one or two left in the tank at max. Unracked 10lbs heavier, felt to heavy. Done squatting. Did GHR 3x5 for the first time and glutes-hamstrings-lower back is the weak link in the chain. My hamstrings have been on fire since. I could only do one without pushing myself back up. Going to hit these 3x a week along with core work and back extensions.