What drove me to post on this foolishness is that we have been obeying a very simple set of rules ourselves, and the results show. Of course the execution of these rules is far from simple. It requires dedication, a little suffering, and sometimes teriffic discipline. But one of the simplest rules of all is TANSTAAFL.
I'd like to start the discussion with One Simple Rule that I obey... I invite others to add theirs. History teaches us that lists of Simple Rules tend to number about ten. (As in, commandments, and the Bill of Rights) However, even the greatest ten-rule lists could use some editing. (Quartering troops? Come on. And we could maybe have been told not to covet only once. But let it be as Thou wilst.)
My rule: (OBEY!)
"The physical training regimen must make the body fit for combat, because that is the most relevant evolutionary pressure recognized by the human genome."
Going on from there... the body optimized for combat is capable of delivering explosive power in bursts, enduring for long enough to kill or critically injure another human being. If you watch a knockout in boxing or mixed martial arts, you'll see that it takes several seconds of mayhem to finish off a trained fighter. That defines the time window in which your exercises should be developing full power at full speed. You'll also notice that this knockout sequence does not usually happen right away. A fighter will see an opening, attack, and if the defense is successful he will have to create or wait for another opening later. So your body needs to make full power at full speed several times until the attack is successful. Boxing rounds are 3 minutes long because if they were much longer then we would only have one-round fights. (one fighter would get exhausted enough to fail to defend.)
And this brings us to exercises like the tabata: 4 minutes total, 8 sets of 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off at full power and speed - whether you do it for front squats, thrusters, or wailing on the heavy bag.
I invite your One Simple Rule. OBEY!