Here is an example:
John has been working out for about a year and has recently made a workout chart and an eating plan to follow. He already knows what he is going to eat the next day and how many sets and reps he is going to do for each exercise. John is on the last set of his last exercise for back and he has easily repped out eight reps. His program sheet tells him to only do eight reps, so he stops. John could have easily used the ITP to allow himself to do more reps.
Application Of The ITP
This principle applies to much more than just the number of reps you are to complete during a given set. This rule applies to everything that applies to bodybuilding from what you eat for breakfast to how many hours of sleep you get during the night. Throughout the day, I personally use this principle more than any other one.
Every time I put food into my mouth I think about why I am eating it, if I should be eating it, and how it is going to help me. I can make split-second decisions and change what I am doing if I think it will have a positive impact on me.
During my workouts, I never know how many sets or reps I am going to do for a given body part. I let my instincts control this. My mind is constantly thinking about my next meal and what I should be doing at the moment to better my physique.
The ITP can also be used to determine what exercises work best for you personally. Many people rely on lunges during their leg workouts and will stand by them until the day they die.
I personally feel that they do not help me in any way. I instinctively took them out of my exercise archive that is memorized in my mind. I know the feelings that I get from each of the exercises that I do. If my workout is not feeling how it should or I am just not responding the way I want my body to, then I will do my exercises in a different order or try new exercises in an attempt to shock my body.
ITP And Workout Splits
One of the most important ways in which I apply instinctive training to my life is for my workout split. Sometimes I have an excellent day in the gym and the days following the workout, I am extremely sore and tired. At the end of my split, it is time to work the same muscle group that I did the previous Day 1 for example.
If I am still sore or worn down from the last workout targeting the muscle groups that I will be working that day, then I will take the day off and start Day 1 the next day. I never skip over a day that I don't feel like doing or make reasons to skip it.
After reading many posts and threads in the forum section of Bodybuilding.com, I realized that this article would have to be written by someone soon. Too many problems were caused by people listening to words written down on a piece of paper instead of listening to their own body. Bodybuilding's major obstacle is connecting your muscles with your mind.
When you are completing an exercise, the objective is not to just complete the reps. The objective is to get the most out of every rep that you can. The ITP, if used properly, will help create a better connection with your mind and your muscles. Pretty soon your body will be running off instincts.
Picking and choosing exercises to fit into your training split should be centered around instinctive training. Following a pro bodybuilders routine from a magazine is not necessarily the best choice. You should choose exercises that you feel would benefit you the most individually.
One of the ways you can learn which exercises work best for you is through trial and error. If you feel that an exercise does not benefit you in any way, simply throw it out of your list of exercises.
Should You Use ITP?
Some of you are thinking right now that the ITP is not for you. You feel as if it is too complex to comprehend and you are better off without it. Instinctive Training is actually performed by every person who picks up a weight in some form or another.
Like it or not, even if you recorded a workout from somewhere, followed it exactly as it said, and used and followed a diet to a "T", you still used instinctive training to decide to do the workout and the diet in the first place. The ITP is a part of bodybuilding that no one can avoid.
Give It A Try!
I feel as if the ITP the most important training principle ever, period. I urge everyone who reads this to try to apply some Instinctive Training Principles to your current routine. Develop a new connection between your mind and your muscles, and you will be on your way to the greatest gains of your life!