Originally Posted by Dave Van Skike
If the main movement was say a Squat, the secondary movement would be a variation on the squat. So lets say we work them up to a very heavy max set of five. right at lets say 85%+
then we want to move to an accessory movement that supports that, say a pause squat. If they only had that one heavy set on the day, at 85%, I'd look at the total range for 80-90% and know that I could either have them:
stick to pauses for 3 sets of 5, (15+5=20reps, top of the range)
or that I could drop them to 3x3 (9+5=14 mid range)
or more likely they'd be asking for 5 sets of three (15+5=20reps, top of the range) but becuase the triples would be heavier (closer to 90%) this might push them too much so I'd look to curtail this. Also I base the %'s on the actual max of this secondary movement. In this case what their max or best guess max pause squat is)
Now to be fair, most of this stuff, I do on autopilot but if one of my trainign partners asks...what should I do now? for an accessory movements, I almost always prescribe a range and % right out of the chart for 70-80% or 80-90% in terms of sets or reps.
Also, if say, (as I often do) "Go do doubles" I almost always tell them to start at about 90% and expect to get maybe 4 to 5 sets. If they are getting much more, it was too light and we move up.
This to me is just saying that you're training based on feel, which can be very effective, but just tells me that you're still going more on intuition and experience than the chart. I understand that you're using the chart to help you determine what kind of volume to be shooting for at a given weight. But you have to still decide on that weight within a 10% range (huge) and then decide what kind of reps are appropriate for what you're trying to accomplish (in no way shown in the table).
To stay with your 85% x 5 example, you show that you can adhere to the table's guidelines in at least 3 different ways (and it's more than that really), but the decision is entirely up to you to make based on what you understand about how each one will affect a given athlete taking into consideration the nature of the previous and following training. Again, none of this comes from the chart, it comes from your brain (and maybe a bit from your heart).
Additionally, you have to decide what you're doing to begin with. How and why did you decide to do pause squats to a max set of 5? You didn't get that from the table, you did it because you understand what affect it will have on the athlete and you know it aligns with your goals for that athlete at that time.
So again, all I'm seeing the chart being used for is to know if you're possibly doing too much volume. To me that's "limited utility". It's not useless. It's just a very small piece of the puzzle. Seems to me that you're really relying more on your understanding of what works and what doesn't and then taking a moment to see how much more work you can squeeze in.
Originally Posted by Dave Van Skike
It tunes people's expectations of reasonable and gives them a sense of how much work they should be planning for at about what effort.
This I will concede, as I did earlier - but again with the caveat that it's still very vague and broad, and it can serve as some very loose guidelines, but it's certainly not going to dial you in, and it's certainly not going to tell you how to develop a training program (or even plan in your case).
Honestly I think you're not giving yourself enough credit for your understanding of programming. It's not the table, it's your experience and knowledge that's guiding your decisions on what to have people do.
And as I think I said earlier, if you find it helpful, by all means, use it. I won't tell you not to. But the OP was hoping the table would be the "holy grail" of program design. I'm just breaking the bad news.