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    SchModerator ZenMonkey's Avatar
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    Texas Method

    Texas Method and Getting Unstuck from Progression


    Disclaimer: This is meant to be a supplement to the Starting Strength Sticky(http://www.wannabebig.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=124795 ) It is best to understand that routine and the information in the Starting Strength sticky before moving on to this routine. Consider it a prerequisite for Texas Method. This is not meant to be a substitute for the book, which is an invaluable resource for form descriptions and troubleshooting. I highly recommend that your purchase a copy of Practical Programming for your personal library.






    Get your copy here:
    http://atlargenutrition.com/nutritio...df20087639d41c









    Getting Unstuck from the Linear/Novice Progression in SS


    This is the next step to take after SS. Rippetoe and Kilgore go on to write Practical Programming for Strength Training to address the needs of the intermediate trainee. I think it is important to qualify the Rippetoe discussions with a thought or two on linear programming and why you should be doing it.

    The basic idea we are all chasing is to see our numbers go up. We can use this as a springboard for hypertrophy training, strength training, etc… To achieve this we use various routines and progressions that sell us short. Most routines work, some just better than others. The key here is to start with simplicity (i.e. SS) and slowly add complexity, as our bodies need more diversity in training. This means a couple of things for us trainees. First, if we want to make the most out of what we do in the gym we need to start our bodies off on something simple. When that simple routine stops working we add complexity. By taking this stepwise approach we can eek every pound that we can from each step and be as efficient as possible. But, before changing routines you need to evaluate what has happened to make you level off in your current routine (SS).

    When using basic linear programming, like that of SS, there will come a time when you reach a plateau and start seeing your numbers stop increasing, miss reps, or a combination of both.

    To get unstuck the possibilities are endless. At this point in the training game the trainee should be getting well acquainted with his own recovery periods. As the trainee approaches his genetic potential and moves past it the more precise the needs are when getting unstuck. A very high level Olympic Weightlifter who is stuck may only require a few weeks of 20rep squats to get unstuck. Likewise, he may also need a break or less volume or intensity. The more advanced the trainee the finer the line of “too much/too little.”

    The most common and efficient approach when stuck from SS is to deload. Loosely, this means drop your working sets by 10% and bring it back up to the sticking point and continue to move past the point. This is the simplest tactic that will not put you too far behind. If you get stuck 3 times then it is time to find something more complex and you are no longer a novice and need to find an intermediate program. Again, this needs to be qualified. If you get stuck it is only a genuine stick if, and only if, the following are all in check: diet, nutrition, rest, consistency, and effort/intensity.

    Texas Method and Intermediate Programming

    The very next step of complexity comes in the form of Texas Method (another Rippetoe gem). Here is the basic setup:

    Monday: Squat 5x5 across
    Wednesday: Front Squat 3x3 across OR Squat 2x5 across @ 80% of 5RM
    Friday: Squat Work to 5RM

    A full week may look like this:

    Monday: Volume
    Power Clean 5x2 Across
    Squat 5x5 across
    Bench Press 5x5 across
    Deadlift 5RM

    Wednesday: Recovery
    Front Squat 3x3 across
    OH Press 3x5 across
    GMs 3x8


    Friday: Intensity
    Squat Heavy 5
    Bench Press Heavy 5
    Pendlay Row Heavy 5


    This is a mere template. It can be used the way it is shown or with changes. For example, I think dips would be a suitable substitute for bench press. Also, dumbbells can be used in place of barbells along with many other movement variations. Many people like to use RDLs or GMs instead of DLs too. The options are many.

    The following rendition of TM is something Ive used in the past and have had great results. This one is specifically focused on increasing the olympic squat and the full snatch. It is the result of an evolved TM. This is a bit more complex due to the way one must load the olympic lifts but it is built upon the same principles as above. There is no problem getting creative but make sure everything has a carefully weighed purpose and meets your recovery needs. If you cannot recover from workout to workout you need to back off of the weight and reevaluate what went wrong and where. Recovery is of the utmost importance.



    Volume
    Snatch High Pull 3x3 @ 85-110% of Max Snatch
    Snatch + OH Squat 5x2 @ 85% of Max Snatch
    Olympic Squat 5x3
    OH Press 5x5
    BO Row 5x5

    Recovery
    Snatch Balance 3x3 @ 85% of Max Snatch
    Snatch High Pull 3x3 @ 85% of Max Snatch
    DB Press 3x8

    Intensity
    Snatch to a heavy single
    Squat to a heavy 1-3
    RDL 3x3/ 20 Rep Squat (every other week)
    Pullups 3x8



    As you can see in the above template each day follows volume, recovery, and intensity respectively. This is a stark delineation from SS. This is where we begin to see individual recovery coming into play, the next step after linear progression for every workout session. Volume is enough to stimulate growth, recovery is, well, recovery and intensity is a chance to move up to the next highest poundage. Each factor augments the other factor extremely well.

    How to progress:

    You progress by adding weight to the bar on Monday to the net week's Monday, Wednesday to Wednesday, and Friday to Friday. The amount of weight you add to the bar will vary depending on a number of things including: sex, age, weight, diet, experience, etc. General guidelines for a healthy man would be to add:

    • 5-10lbs to the deadlift
    • 5-10lbs to the squat
    • 2.5-5lbs to the bench press, overhead press and powerclean (Most gyms do not have weights that allow you to progress in 2.5lbs increments, so you will have to experiment with microloading. Visit you local hardware store and get creative with chains or washers in order to make smaller weights.)

    You will be progressing linearly but rather linear from workout to workout (like in SS) if will be Monday to Monday, Wednesday to Wednesday, and Friday to Friday.

    M:Week1/ Week 2
    225 x 5x5 / 235 x 5x5

    F: Week / Week 2
    315 x5 / 325 x5



    Briefly, before concluding, I would like to say a word or two about volume on Intensity day. When aiming toward hitting a max it is ever so important to be sure to have enough high end, heavy volume to induce the ability to move to the next weight. Here is an example of a Squat Intensity day's working sets with the goal of doubles:

    Max Effort Squat Session

    325 x 1
    335 x 1
    365 x 2, x 2 - Max
    355 x 2, x 2
    345 x 2, x 2

    As a result of the high-end volume the next Intensity session will have a much better chance at hitting a higher PR than if there was less of the high-end volume. This has to do with everything from blazing neuro pathways to being able to hold a certain amount of weight on your shoulders/traps.





    This is a great style of progression and should keep things going for sometime. Getting stuck in this progression calls for the same back off period as SS. One great way to avoid getting stuck is to vary the RMs on Friday. You could work on a 4-week cycle working to 5RM, 3RM, 2RM, 1RM, or a 2-week cycle of only doubles and triples, etc… You can also work in speed work/ dynamic effort on a max day instead of hitting a max. Working for 10 sets of 2 reps at 50-75% as fast and perfect as possible is highly efficient and worth consideration. Notice, that this method is used by the powerlifters at Westside Barbell and is known as conjugate programming rather than linear programming. Also take note that SS uses linear loading, Westside uses conjugate or two loading phases and Texas Method uses three, sometimes four if speed work/dynamic effort is done. The possibilities are vast and the Texas Method progression should continue for a while.

    Remember, this is all about gauging and working with your individual recovery. Extra additions and editions should be looked at very closely and should be weighed as to the benefit it will lend to your major lifts. Doing dips on Wednesday may prove to be detrimental to Friday’s workout, so be wise in choosing you movements and your assistance movements, if any.

    Most importantly, take things slow and listen to your body. Track you progress in a journal so you can watch and see what worked and what didnt. You will need this knowledge and experience to move to the next level.


    --------------------




    Rippetoe Form Videos

    Squat
    Video


    Deadlift
    Video


    Press
    Video




    Olympic Lift Technique/Form Videos

    The section is dedicated to getting your clean and snatch in check. Check em out and use them as a tool.

    Weightlifting Lecture by Tommy Kono

    Video

    Video


    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Slide Presentation by Tommy Kono


    Video

    Video

    Video

    Video

    Video

    Video



    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Here is some more stuff on clean/snatch form.



    Snatch Demo Series:

    Part 1: Setting up

    Video



    Part 2: Dead Hang Snatch

    Video


    Part 3: Snatch Balance/Drop Snatch

    Video



    Part 4: Pulling Sequence From Above the Knee

    Video


    Part 5: Pulling From Above the Knee

    Video



    Part 6: Pulling Sequence From the Floor

    Video



    Part 7: Eccentric Pulling
    Video


    Part 8: Accessory Pulls

    Video






    Jerk Demo Vids:

    Part 1: Setting up

    Video



    Part 2: Dipping

    Video



    Part 3: Drive and Catch

    Video



    Part 4: Jerk Balances

    Video



    Part 5: Other Types of Jerks

    Video



    Part 6: Other Jerk Assistance

    Video





    Misc Stuff Regarding Bar Height:


    For the Clean

    Video



    For the Snatch

    Video


    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Triple Extension VS "Catapult"

    Video


    Video


    Video


    Video




    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    Lastly, here is a take on the Olympic Movements from Louie Simmons (the mind behind Westside)

    http://www.mikesgym.org/articles/ind...3&articleID=57









    Happy Lifting
    Last edited by ZenMonkey; 08-30-2009 at 10:14 PM.
    Sarvamangalam!

  2. #2
    LuNa
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    That is brilliant! I have been searching for more information about this as i saw it one of the guys's journal. This is a great post and addition to the Starting Strength sticky!

  3. #3
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    Great post Zen. I just recently started SS and I'm hoping i can ride the progress out until late fall where I plan to do a heavy bulk, and this is great to know that simply changing volume and weight will help with any plateau.

    I'm thinking I'm going to get the SS book to read this summer. I also hear a lot about Practical Programming, is it similar in knowledge?

    Zach

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    SchModerator ZenMonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zbollman View Post
    Great post Zen. I just recently started SS and I'm hoping i can ride the progress out until late fall where I plan to do a heavy bulk, and this is great to know that simply changing volume and weight will help with any plateau.

    I'm thinking I'm going to get the SS book to read this summer. I also hear a lot about Practical Programming, is it similar in knowledge?

    Zach
    Thanks guys.

    Texas Method is from Practical Programming. There is another intermediate routine are a couple more advanced routines from Practical Programming that either Jorge or I will be posting in a few weeks.
    Sarvamangalam!

  5. #5
    Senior Member brihead301's Avatar
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    This is awesome dude, but one thing though. Deadlifts shouldn't go on recovery day though in the TM. Deads should either be placed on Volume day or Intensity day. Personally, I put them on Intensity day when I did the TM. This can be confirmed by Rippetoe on his forum. Recovery day is meant to have all "light" exercises, which aids recovery from Monday's very taxing, high volume workout ,and it is useful for preparation for all the PR's that are to be hit on Friday's workout. Deads definately are not considered a "light", and definately shouldn't be used on recovery day.

    The whole "deads on Wednesday" thing comes from the internet Madcow 5x5 routine, which is a completely different idea then the Texas method.
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    SchModerator ZenMonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brihead301 View Post
    This is awesome dude, but one thing though. Deadlifts shouldn't go on recovery day though in the TM. Deads should either be placed on Volume day or Intensity day. Personally, I put them on Intensity day when I did the TM. This can be confirmed by Rippetoe on his forum. Recovery day is meant to have all "light" exercises, which aids recovery from Monday's very taxing, high volume workout ,and it is useful for preparation for all the PR's that are to be hit on Friday's workout. Deads definately are not considered a "light", and definately shouldn't be used on recovery day.

    The whole "deads on Wednesday" thing comes from the internet Madcow 5x5 routine, which is a completely different idea then the Texas method.
    Good point, but not necessarily true. Ive talked to Rip himself about this exact subject.
    Sarvamangalam!

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    Senior Member brihead301's Avatar
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    He said deads go on Wednesday??? I remember asking about the same exact thing on his forum, and he said that they definately don't go on Wednesday.
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    SchModerator ZenMonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brihead301 View Post
    He said deads go on Wednesday??? I remember asking about the same exact thing on his forum, and he said that they definately don't go on Wednesday.
    Weird, I asked him the same thing on probably that same forum and got told the opposite. Actually, I didnt ask him directly, just was involved in a thread conversation about it and someone had posted an example routine with deads on Wednesday and they got his A-OK. He said they *can* go on Wednesday. Im gonna double check the context of how I asked him and get back to ya
    Sarvamangalam!

  9. #9
    Senior Member brihead301's Avatar
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    Ya definately post a link, because I remember him making a big deal about "recovery day" being about....well, recovery. And deads having the opposite effect of what recovery day is actually for. I tried to do a search for the thread, but I couldn't find it.
    How to Find Your Dream Job
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  10. #10
    Get Some! KoSh's Avatar
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    I really like this routine.

    I get bored if I stay on routines for too long, so this one looks like a good change of pace for 5/3/1.

    I realize you're not supposed to stop a routine until gains have been exhausted, but I'm a big fan of changing things up every 10-16 weeks.

    I'll probably do 3-4 cycles of 5/3/1 and go on the Texas Method for 6-8 weeks and then jump back into the 5/3/1...

    Great series of posts, Zen.
    "Don’t fall for the crap that people are peddling on message boards, in magazines or on TV. Get your **** in order, and get your training in order. Start kicking ass, and take out the crap that doesn’t matter. Start doing and believing in the stuff that works, and do it today and forever. You want science and studies? **** you. I’ve got scars and blood and vomit."
    Jim Wendler, 531 Method

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    Big, big thanks !

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    I'm in a position where I cannot make the gym three days a week at the moment. I've been working on a push pull routine, but my progress has all but stopped and would like to give the Texas method a go. Can somebody explain the importance of the third day of this routine? would it be a massive deal if i could only do day three say, once a fortnight?

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    SchModerator ZenMonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thereturn View Post
    I'm in a position where I cannot make the gym three days a week at the moment. I've been working on a push pull routine, but my progress has all but stopped and would like to give the Texas method a go. Can somebody explain the importance of the third day of this routine? would it be a massive deal if i could only do day three say, once a fortnight?
    Skip the light day not the heavy day. Skipping the heavy day defeats the purpose of this routine. Have you exhausted linear gains from SS two days a week? Make sure you do that first.
    Sarvamangalam!

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    Quick question since I'm supposed to have my first Intensity day today. I'm shooting for 275 for my squat 5RM. If I get 5, should I go back down for another one, essentially just training to failure?
    I have a Big 3 total of 140. My curls, and flys are good but the skullcrushers are really holding me back!

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    SchModerator ZenMonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by decroo21 View Post
    Quick question since I'm supposed to have my first Intensity day today. I'm shooting for 275 for my squat 5RM. If I get 5, should I go back down for another one, essentially just training to failure?
    No. If you can only get 275 for 5 though, you are at too high of a %. It may be more beneficial to even do it like this

    275x5
    275x5 or less
    265x5 or less
    255x5 or less

    Its ok for the drop set reps to drop below 5 but try to get 5 if you can.
    Sarvamangalam!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZenMonkey View Post
    No. If you can only get 275 for 5 though, you are at too high of a %. It may be more beneficial to even do it like this

    275x5
    275x5 or less
    265x5 or less
    255x5 or less

    Its ok for the drop set reps to drop below 5 but try to get 5 if you can.
    Perhaps I'm mistaken, but I think you're talking about the 5x5 day when I was talking about the 5 rep max day. Not sure if there was a mix up or I just misunderstood your post.
    I have a Big 3 total of 140. My curls, and flys are good but the skullcrushers are really holding me back!

  17. #17
    SchModerator ZenMonkey's Avatar
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    Well, you might not need that much, that depends on your body, but you do need some top end volume.
    Sarvamangalam!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZenMonkey View Post
    Well, you might not need that much, that depends on your body, but you do need some top end volume.
    Yes, true. I'm only doing 250 5x5 so I think the volume is fine for the weight I'm at.
    I have a Big 3 total of 140. My curls, and flys are good but the skullcrushers are really holding me back!

  19. #19
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    Right, but intensity should be ramped to a 5RM then a back off set or two.
    Sarvamangalam!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZenMonkey View Post
    Right, but intensity should be ramped to a 5RM then a back off set or two.
    Ok, got it. Thanks.
    I have a Big 3 total of 140. My curls, and flys are good but the skullcrushers are really holding me back!

  21. #21
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    Sure, to clarify, once more TM goes:

    Stress, Rest, Test

    You want to test your abilities on "intensity day" but not necessarily induce the kind of stress that one would get from "volume day". Remember, as you advance there is an ever increasing fine line of too much/too little. The only answer is to listen to how your body responds to certain stimuli.
    Sarvamangalam!

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    I have a couple questions, I hope you don't mind. It's time for me to move on to this routine. I read the intermediate chapter. I read that the routine calls for a volume, recovery, and intensity day. I didn't show a routine, I did read where it say's Monday is 5x5 squat, Wed, is front squat (for recovery), and friday is 1 set up to 5rm. I'm just wondering where you got those other lifts listed from? Are you suppost to add in stuff to the volume, recovery, and intensity day and just follow that template? I don't mind doing them, im just wondering. I know how to do everything besides GM's. Thanks for your time.
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    SchModerator ZenMonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian999 View Post
    I have a couple questions, I hope you don't mind. It's time for me to move on to this routine. I read the intermediate chapter. I read that the routine calls for a volume, recovery, and intensity day. I didn't show a routine, I did read where it say's Monday is 5x5 squat, Wed, is front squat (for recovery), and friday is 1 set up to 5rm. I'm just wondering where you got those other lifts listed from? Are you suppost to add in stuff to the volume, recovery, and intensity day and just follow that template? I don't mind doing them, im just wondering. I know how to do everything besides GM's. Thanks for your time.
    Movement choice is up to you. This is an example of a basic setup

    Squat 5x5
    Bench 5x5
    Row 5x5

    Front Squat 3x3
    GM 2x5
    OH Press 2x5

    Squat to Heavy 5
    Bench to Heavy 5
    DL to Heavy 5

    The only trick here is making sure what you did the WO before does not inhibit what you push for on "Intensity Day"

    I hope this answered your question. If it is still not clear the feel free to ask more questions.
    Sarvamangalam!

  24. #24
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    Depending on you ability (or inability) to go heavy on all three lifts in the same day, another way to set this up is:

    Mon
    Squats 5x5
    Bench to heavy 1-5RM (vary each week)
    Rows 5x5

    Wed
    Front Squats 3x3
    OH Press 2-3x5
    DL to heavy 5RM

    Fri
    Squat to heavy 1-5RM (vary each week)
    Bench 5x5
    GM 2-3x5

    This way you can go heavy every day on only one movement.
    Last edited by vicjg; 10-21-2009 at 03:41 PM.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by vicjg View Post
    Depending on you ability (or inability) to go heavy on all three lifts in the same day, another way to set this up is:

    Mon
    Squats 5x5
    Bench to heavy 1-5RM (vary each week)
    Rows 5x5

    Wed
    Front Squats 3x3
    OH Press 2-3x5
    DL to heavy 5RM

    Fri
    Squat to heavy 1-5RM (vary each week)
    Bench 5x5
    GM 2-3x5

    This way you can go heavy every day on only one movement.
    This is a misunderstanding of the program. DLing heavy on "Recovery" day is a bad idea and defeats the purpose of the program. It goes on Intensity or Volume day. Additionally, the program is designed Volume, Recovery, Intensity, not all mismashed around. This might be a fine design for you but it is not Texas Method and likely less efficient. I certainly cannot recover from a heavy DL day in time for a Squat max, and if I could, Id be on SS. If one can advance on a routine like yours they may as well be on SS and if that is too much then Texas Method is the next step.
    Last edited by ZenMonkey; 10-21-2009 at 04:47 PM.
    Sarvamangalam!

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