Here's a good question that was posed to me by kobra.
The Question: CW, You're a proponent of instinctive training for experienced trainees. But how much or what parts of training should be planned beforehand? Is your suggestion to plan a workout beforehand and make necessary changes to it on a daily basis or could one even go the gym without having a plan and do everything based on how he feels the state of his body is at the moment, assuming he has enough knoweledge and understanding about training and physiology and is enough experienced with his own body? Thanks!
My Answer: Yes, I am a fan of instinctive training. Why? Because it keeps trainees motivated. After all, how many times have you gotten to the gym and thought, "Man, I wish I could perform some more squats instead of these deadlifts." Therefore, if you're always given what you want, you'll be much more likely to hit the gym.
Second, our body never lies. If you feel like you'd do best with a higher-rep, lower-load workout, you're probably right.
But some structure should be present within your plan. If it isn't, you'll be likely to build up strength imbalances since you'll probably just train the muscles you seek to improve. As you should know by now, you must train all muscle groups for the best results. If you don't, your body will limit your size/strength potential since it doesn't want any part of your system dramatically stronger/longer than its neighbors.
Even though I've never written an instinctive training article, I've written many programs that involve dramatic swings in rep/set/load parameters in an effort to keep you motivated. I think that's precisely the reason why my TBT program has had something like 90K hits - it's constantly changing.
So, to directly answer your question. I suggest you plan a program that involves training various set/rep/load ranges throughout the week. Whenever you get to the gym and feel like training an unplanned movement or set/rep/load prescription, do it. But always revert back to your original plan so you don't get out of balance.
This isn't to say that a purely instinctive plan wouldn't be beneficial. But you must keep your ego at the door. For example, feel free to train the legs for 4 sessions/week, but don't neglect your upper body.