My training over the last many months has basically been going in with some sort of plan of hitting PR's in terms of reps or weight. It has worked great. Of course, I use more sense than I probably make it sound like. Not every day has been going for a new record, or even high volume or heavy. So, I have a couple of questions, and I guess these won't have any concrete answers, but opinions are worth hearing.
1. Recovery is huge. Maybe last week I could squat 400 for several reps, but due to whatever factors, I might only feel comfortable squatting 300. Even though the resistance is dropped so much lower, maybe my technique is better, I have quicker execution, and overall, less strain put on my body. Instead of constantly pushing that 80-85% barrier(and higher) of my best lift, can weeks like this actually allow for respectable increases in strength? I'm not talking deloading, but simply not as strong on THAT day as one would like to be. Even with a. Single, dramatic loss in strength, could these prove to be beneficial?
2. To add on from the last, maybe this week the plan was to not go above a certain weight, but once the lifter has started, he realizes he can handle a lot more than he thought. So, he maybe does the same rep range planned, but with heavier weights. How important, or counterproductive for that matter, do you believe this could be in the long haul?
3. Say the lifter has exhausted himself on the main lifts, or even the first couple of planned top sets. He is starting to feel weak all over, but he knows he can do more if he starts taking very long rests and drasticalły lowers the weight on his assistance exercises. Would he be better off calling it a day and going to recover, or to exhaust his body even more and put recovery on hold just a while longer?
I know this is just auto regulation, but I've experienced and done every option presented in the questions. I just know that as the weights get heavier, my training might have to be smarter to keep progressing. I've pushed on with great success, and I've even quit during warm ups and left knowing it was a good idea to leave. Given that, I could just say that it all "depends", but I'd like to hear other opinions and answers from you all.