Years ago, this used to be considered a training method unto itself. But what is it really? The bottom line is that it's simply a matter of "listening to your body". Everyone knows the expression, but I don't know how many people truly understand it. Your body goes through cycles and changes just like the seasons and just like life in general. You shouldn't try to fight it. I've seen so many people saying that they're listening to their bodies and all they do is just cut their reps short by 1 or 2. Often their egos get in the way and they feel they can't be seen training light. This is NOT instinctive training! There are many many ways to train (far more than I can explain here). Some of them are Heavy training, Light training, Heavy/Light Alternating training Supersets, Circuits, One And A Halfs, Twenty Ones, Intervals, 8 Sets Of 8, 10 Sets of 10, 10 Minute Killers, Ladders, I Go - You Go, Powerlifting cycles, One Exercise Per Bodypart, and a lot more!
As you can see, there are many types of training. So which one will you use and why? I'd like to say there's an easy answer but there isn't. Only years of experience can put you in tune with your body to the point where you'll truly understand what you need on a given day. To keep things simple, on higher energy days you can train heavy. On lower energy days you can train lighter. You can also think of heavy workouts in terms of short rest periods and long work periods. Lighter workouts can be thought of as a slower pace and less time spent in that target heart rate zone. I sometimes call these rhythmic workouts.
Spontaneity goes hand in hand with Instinctive Training as well. As a trainer, I often come into a client's home and see that something is off. I usually write my client workouts the day before, but I can't tell you the number of times I came in and just scrapped whatever I wrote previously. You have to see what the situation is and change accordingly. A lot of people will simply push through and go at a slower pace with easier weights and/or reps. I'm not saying this can't work. It certainly can in some cases, but there are other times when the whole thing needs to be scrapped and rewritten on the spot. Knowing when and how to make these changes is the true definition of Instinctive Training. Not only will it make you better at fitness, but it will make you better at life as well. Things don't always go the way you want them to. But in the immortal words of Van Halen's David Lee Roth "You've got to roll with the punches and get to what's real". So if we're looking at the bigger picture here, I'm not just talking about Instinctive Training, I'm talking about Instinctive Living!
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