Are you an intermediate lifter looking for a program to break through plateaus and continuously improve your strength? If so, the Texas Method might be the answer you’ve been searching for. In this guide, we’ll explore the Texas Method, its principles, and how to implement it effectively to achieve your strength goals.
Introduction to the Texas Method
The Texas Method program is a well-regarded strength training program designed as a natural progression from the Starting Strength program. It’s a three-day-per-week routine emphasizing compound movements and has a proven track record of helping lifters make consistent progress.
Is the Texas Method for You?
Before diving into the Texas Method, it’s essential to determine if it aligns with your current fitness level and goals. This program is ideal for intermediate lifters who have:
- 18 to 24+ months of continuous and proper training experience.
- Reached a point where linear progression (adding weight to the barbell every session) is no longer sustainable.
If you are a beginner, you may progress faster with a beginner-level routine that allows for session-by-session strength gains. Give Stronglifts 5×5 a shot! You can also check out this list of powerlifting programs for more ideas!
Understanding the Texas Method Routine
The Texas Method follows a structured weekly routine, focusing on different aspects of training on specific days. Here is the Texas Method workout:
Monday – Volume Day
- Squat: 5 sets of 5 reps at 90% of your 5-rep max.
- Bench Press or Overhead Press: 5 sets of 5 reps at 90% of your 5-rep max.
- Deadlift: 1 set of 5 reps at 90% of your 5-rep max.
Wednesday – Light/Recovery Day
- Squat: 2 sets of 5 reps at 80% of the weight used on Monday.
- Overhead Press (if you benched on Monday) or Bench Press (if you overhead pressed on Monday): 3 sets of 5 reps at a slightly lighter load than your previous 5×5 session.
- Chin-Ups: 3 sets of bodyweight repetitions.
- Back Extensions or Glute-Ham Raises: 5 sets of 10 reps.
Friday – Intensity Day
- Squats: Warm up, then work up in singles or doubles to one single, new 5-rep max.
- Bench Press (if you benched on Monday) or Overhead Press (if you overhead pressed on Monday): Warm-up, then work up in singles or doubles to one single, new 5-rep max.
- Power Cleans: 5 sets of 3 reps or Power Snatch: 6 sets of 2 reps.
The key to the Texas Method is not daily progress but weekly progress. Your goal is to increase the weights you lift on Monday and Friday. Once you complete the prescribed lifts, you can incrementally increase the weight for the following week.
You might also like 5/3/1 for increasing your core lifts.
Progression and Gains
Typical progression on the Texas Method involves adding 5-10 pounds to your weekly lifts. Over time, these incremental increases compound into significant strength gains during the intermediate stage.
For example, if you progressed from a 95-pound squat at a bodyweight of 140 to a 315 x 5 squat at a bodyweight of 200 during five months of novice progression, the Texas Method can potentially take you to a 405 x 5 squat at a bodyweight of 225 in a year.
Stalling on Friday’s intensity day can happen as you approach your limits. To overcome stalls, consider the following strategies:
- Reduce Monday’s Volume: If hitting personal records on Friday becomes challenging, reduce the volume (number of sets) or slightly lower the weight on Monday.
- Modify Monday’s Workout: Experiment with variations in Monday’s workout to increase the stimulus. You can add an extra set, switch to higher weight and lower reps, or include one or two higher rep sets after the regular sets.
- Adjust Wednesday: If you’re struggling on Friday and Monday, it might be due to an excessive workload on Monday. Reduce sets, work set weight, or reps on Monday to improve recovery.
Tips for Success on the Texas Method
To make the most of the Texas Method and ensure your safety and progress, keep these tips in mind:
- Maintain Explosive Control: Keep your reps explosive but controlled to maximize power output.
- Limit Assistance Exercises: Focus on the main lifts and limit assistance exercises to brief arm work on Monday.
- Prioritize Recovery: Adequate nutrition and sleep are crucial. This program demands proper recovery for optimal results.
- Warm Up Thoroughly: Start with the bar and gradually increase the weight to perfect your form and groove.
- Prioritize Form Over Weight: While weights should be heavy, never sacrifice form for more weight. If your form breaks down, reduce the weight.
- Dynamic Effort: On Friday, you can incorporate dynamic effort by performing explosive deadlifts instead of power cleans. Ensure these deadlifts are pulled quickly.
Benefits of the Texas Method
The Texas Method is a time-tested strength training program that offers numerous benefits to intermediate lifters looking to take their strength and muscle gains to the next level. Here are some of the key advantages of following the Texas Method:
This program provides a structured framework for weekly progress. You can experience steady and sustainable strength gains over time by consistently increasing your weights on Monday and Friday.
Efficient Use of Time
The Texas Method offers an efficient training schedule with only three workouts per week. This is particularly valuable for individuals with busy lives or other commitments. You can make substantial progress without spending excessive time in the gym.
Focus on Compound Movements
This program prioritizes compound movements like squats, bench presses, overhead presses, and deadlifts. These exercises work multiple muscle groups simultaneously, making them highly efficient for building strength and muscle mass.
While the Texas Method provides a structured template, it’s adaptable to your specific needs and goals. You can tailor the program by adjusting sets, reps, and weights to suit your current abilities and objectives.
The Texas Method encourages setting and achieving milestones. As you progressively increase the weights on your Monday and Friday lifts, you’ll experience a sense of accomplishment and motivation to keep pushing your limits.
If you’ve hit a plateau in your strength training journey, the Texas Method can help you break through it. You can overcome stalls and continue making gains by strategically managing volume and intensity.
While strength gains are a primary focus, the Texas Method promotes muscle hypertrophy. With consistent progression, you can expect to see muscle size and definition improvements.
Proven Track Record
The Texas Method has a strong reputation within the lifting community. It has been used successfully by countless intermediate lifters to achieve remarkable strength gains.
The program’s originators, Mark Rippetoe and Glenn Pendlay are respected figures in the strength training world. Their expertise and experience contributed to the development of this effective routine.
History of the Texas Method
Credit for the Texas Method goes to Mark Rippetoe and Glenn Pendlay. This routine was developed when Pendlay’s athletes grew weary of the standard 5×5 routine. In response, Pendlay introduced the idea of hitting a 1×5 personal record on Friday, eliminating the need for five sets, and thus, the Texas Method was born.
The Texas Method is a structured and proven routine for intermediate lifters seeking continuous strength progress. By following its principles, managing volume and intensity, and prioritizing recovery, you can unlock your potential and make steady gains. Consistency and patience are key to mastering the Texas Method and reaching new heights in your strength training journey.
Check out our other free workout plans here!