Currently, I approach my strength training (as in heavy, low rep work) in a 3x3-6 style preceded by an “activation” exercise and a moderately loaded warm-up set.
Using my deadlift as an example, I will start with a frog glute bridge followed by a few reps with 80-90 kg (~180-200 lbs; a comfortable weight), stopping before fatigue starts to set in. Then I’ll take a short rest (active or not) and move on to my working sets using 110 kg (~242 lbs), with which I can currently do 3 sets of 3-5 reps (depending on the energy on a given day).
However, as my lifts increase, I’m getting worried that my current approach might with time cause me to move too abruptly to the goal weight, increasing my risk of injury.
Therefore, I’m getting curious about the approach of building up to the working sets with sub-maximal loads for a few reps each, staying clear of fatigue.
The thing is that when I’ve experimented with this approach, I do feel as if my body moves smoother and my body feels better. Yet, I usually do 1-2 reps less than with my usual approach, and at times, I feel too fatigued (despite plenty of rest) to do more than one set with my goal weight.
So I would like to hear your experiences with the build-up approach and get some help in planning such a build-up, my main question being “how many sets with sub-maximal and goal weight should I do?”.