Well, here are some of my comments, interspersed with the comments some posted by Delphi. His comments provide a good context for my own experiences. Everyone is gonna react to things a bit differently.
Now, if you're using big weight increments, the first 2 sessions are going to be VERY easy. But if you slow down your cadence(You don't need to go anywhere near SuperSlow, though), and really focus on feeling every fiber in your muscle contract, rather than just moving the weight, I think you can make them slightly difficult. The thing is, you really have to focus. I'd definitely NOT consider these blow-off workouts. Workout 3 was generally my favorite, because although the weight was starting to get heavy, it was still light enough that I could really focus on feeling the muscle being worked and not just lifting the stupid thing.Originally posted by Delphi
2) Consider doing weekly cycling instead of the 2-week cycles. The first 3 workouts of each cycle are a blow-off, unless you like doing Super Slow workouts.
I'd say do just one set throughout. The only place I might alter this, due to my experiences, is in the 5's(I didn't feel I was quite getting the stimulatino I was in higher rep ranges.) In the 15s and 10s, the reps are high enough IMO that even though the weights will be submaximal, if you're focused and slow down your cadences, some exercises are going to be fairly difficult anyways.3) Only do one set of each exercise, especially during the second week of each cycle.
Again, I originally had thought I'd drop volume once I got to the 5s but I was feeling a bit understimulated so I actually really liked having the extra isolation work since it provided a bit more volume.4) Consider dropping any isolation exercises (except calf work) during the 5rep cycle.
I'm still not decided myself on whether the negatives are worthwhile or not.6) Consider NOT doing the negatives cycle. Just start over.
I know you probably zeroed in on this, thinking "Hey, he says it's okay to skip deconditioning." since that's what you want to hear, but you've been going to failure at every workout. I'm sure your CNS is fried. Take a week off. This week, test your maxes. Get a feel for the exercises you're gonna use. Maybe some don't work the way you'd envisioned. Then take a week off, do so more reading, reevaluate things to see whether there are any minor adjustments you want to make, and come back with some fire in your belly. I really think the week off, which I couldn't bring myself to do on my own, made a huge difference.7) I also doubt the use of Strategic Deconditioning. If you're not working to failure, then there's no reason to lay off, IMO.