T Nation

Workouts for Strength

Hi everyone,

I was thinking about a new concept of workouts for strength.

Let’s say you work each bodypart with 8 sets.

Would it be a good idea to use one of the exercices to test if we gained some strength. We do one set at the beginning of the workout to test if we got stronger and we adjust the rest of the workout depending of whether we got stronger or not.

The measures that could be taken would be:

  • stop the workout and wait a few more days to let the nervous system supercompensate. This is based on the premise that we didn’t get stronger because the cns did not have the time to supercompensate. We have to let it supercompensate RIGHT NOW, otherwise we loose the previous workout.
  • change the exercises, tempos right away during the same exercise. So we would go to the gym with 2 alternate routines, one for the case where we got stronger, one if we don’t.

Has anyone ever tried something like that? What approach do you think would be the most likely to work?

Any idea?

I don’t think that testing one exercise at the beginning of your workout is an accurate test to determine whether or not you will be stronger for all of the other exercises in your routine. It is unlikely that you will be able to continually get stronger on every exercise of every workout. I think it would be better if you picked one or two core exercises each workout and try to make as much progress as possible on those lifts. The remainder of your routine should consist of assistance exercises to help increase those core lifts. Once you reach a plateau, change your routine (exercises, tempos, rep ranges, etc.) and priortize something else.

I hope that helps.

Mmmh… you may be right.

But could it be possible for instance to do something like that: when you do the first set of an exercise, if you realize that you’re not stronger, you don’t do any more sets for that exercise and you do another one instead, or you do it with a different tempo - say explosive strength.

The question is: would doing another exercise at this point increase the probability of gaining strength?

are we talking about DB Hammer’s stuff? It’s basically auto regulatory training system where you rely on how you feel or your progress in the workout session to determine when you’re done. Blah blah blah…

Never heard of that.

In any case, I’m gonna try what I said for some time, just to see how it goes…


I think that’s very interesting. Report back to us with your results, if you don’t mind.

Read CT’s modern strength newsletter #6, he talks about something very similar called Bulgarian loading for strength. Basically they determine their 1 RM for the day, then do the workout based on that.


You may also want to read about autoregulatory training. I think that’s what it was called.
Anyhow, do a search for Behind the Iron Curtain by CT and he discusses it.
It basically rates how you feel on each day on a number scale. If you feel positive or high on the number scale, you can increase the weights or add sets or exercises.
If you feel average or on the middle of the scale, you should not increase the weight or the amount of work.
If you feel low on the scale, you should actually decrease the work in either the weights or the sets.

Read the article for a more in depth look. It really is a good way to plan your workout for the day.