Planning Instinctive Training: Rep, Set, and Exercise Guidelines | The Portal

Planning Instinctive Training: Rep, Set, and Exercise Guidelines


Finding the perfect workout regimen is a unique process, different for each and every one of us. We all have different body types, levels of experience, strengths, weaknesses, and physiological make-ups, which require variations. Therefore no one routine will work for everyone. 

As bodybuilders reach the intermediate then advanced stages, they begin to rely more and more upon instinctive training to guide their daily routines in the gym. As they learn what their body needs, and how they can address these needs, they can adjust their routine accordingly. Here is a guideline for each body part that you can use when planning your routine.

Exercises: 4

Total sets: 10 to 14

Reps per set: 6 to 12

You might work 1 to 2 body parts per workout day. You might use any variation of rest days and training days. You might select any mixture of movements (although starting with compound movements and moving on to isolation movements is always the best idea).


Use the checklist above to plan your workout. Start by selecting four exercises when you enter the gym. See how you feel, what muscle groups may be aching, what machines are open, your most recent evaluation of muscle group strengths and weaknesses, and any other relevant factors. Use this information to select your movements.


Once you begin the first movement plan out your 10 to 14 sets. If you’re planning on lifting extremely heavy, then you should probably stick closer to ten total sets. If you start light, then it’s advisable to move ahead to 14 sets. Use those as your minimum/maximums, and only rarely go above or beyond.


Keep all sets in the 6 to 12 range. If you can’t reach six reps, reduce the weight. If you find yourself reaching rep number twelve and you can do more, then it becomes obvious you’re not using enough weight. Keep records, mental or written, so you’ll be better prepared next time you arrive in the gym, knowing what weights to use and to attempt to improve upon.

Follow these basic guidelines each time you visit the gym. As always, be flexible and keep in mind that the best possible routine is the one you’re not currently doing. In other words, changing up your routine to keep your body guessing is the best way to ensure progress continues. Use the exercise, set, and rep guidelines above to make sure you’re in the right starting position! 


Via BuzzFeed