Sometimes the weight is too high and I drop it to a random number that I am able to do as my warm-up. Most of the time, the weight is too low and I simply use that weight as a warm-up. After the warm-up, I choose another random number for the weight and do the number of repetitions that I feel comfortable with while making sure I achieve some kind of intensity. And I choose another random number and put the peg higher or lower. Then I do it again. Then I move off to another randomly chosen station and do the same thing over again. It is wonderfully simple and fun with a different challenge every time I enter the gym. I have both theoretical and practical reasons for following this approach and I enjoy my workouts immensely.
I do not have to count repetitions which have no meaning in the evolutionary context, nor do I set goals. You'll find it somewhat difficult to not count reps because we have been taught for so long to do that. You will also find it difficult to select a random weight when you have been taught to carefully select the weight you use. You may also find it difficult to choose your exercises randomly. But, in the end evolution doesn't care how many reps or what weights you use. It cares about your adaptive capacity and your ability to complete a sequence of tasks that ultimately lead to your survival and your opportunities to reproduce.
This exercise method is a non-method method if you know what that means. My approach has been to approach an exercise session in the gym, where it is safe, as a complex task. That is to say, my exercise session is a series of things I must accomplish in order to complete a task. The task itself is not specific with respect to how much weight I lift or how long I exercise or how many repetitions I do. The idea is to approach exercise in the gym as though it were a complex task to be completed in the real world.
That means the entire exercise session is composed of a series of interrelated tasks that one might do in the real world to complete a task of significance. Thus, I treat each exercise as an element of complex series of tasks that lead to the overall achievement of some goal. This goal would be one that one might face in the natural world where the sequence of events has to be successfully completed to ensure acquisition of food, moving, combating threats, or simply surviving. In this context, repetitions and repetitive movements are actually redundant and have little meaning unless they relate to the successful completion of a complex task. A complex task is a sequence of smaller tasks that lead to the eventual successful completion of something that might ensure survival in the evolutionary environment. Of course, success is never assured because the random events that intrude in the world may be more complex than our actions.
So, it in a theoretical sense, the complexity of our tasks must somehow be adequate to cover the complexity of the world we live in.
One of the many features of the complexity of the world that we live in is that there are nested levels of complexity within the overall pattern itself. This is the inherent self similarity of a fractal world. We may may enter a valley in the landscape of fitness and not be capable of escaping to a higher level. Or, we may hit a peak that may be approximately the best we can expect to do in the local area of this complex landscape. The only way we can move from a local optimum is to explore the landscape and climate a hill we find toward greater fitness.
In this view, there is no optimum. Our capacity to adapt must match the complexity of our world.
To be locked onto an optimal in the local landscape may leave us maladapted and incapable of reaching a higher optimum. So, I toss out any notions that we can achieve optimal fitness except with respect to a purely localized, non-globally adapted fitness level. This is elementary optimization in a complex system. What is optimal now may prove to be fatal later when the landscape changes. What we seek is the ability to adapt efficiently and to explore in a way that leads search to superior optima.
So much for theory. From a practical point of view, we seek adaptive capacity as well as the capacity to function within the random environment that the world throws at us. So, what have I been doing in the gym lately that follows the theoretical and evolutionary-based model?
First, from a practical point of view, I do not plan my exercise session, I do not count reps, I do a sequence of randomly chosen exercises, and I choose a random. weight at which I do the exercise. I consider that I can accomplish the goal of the sequence of tasks within 10 to 20 minutes. So my exercise session is no longer than that. I may have 4 to 15 maybe more tasks within the overall framework.