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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
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    Colorado
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    Default Texas Method: Good Results?

    Time to switch up the workout scheme. I hit my deadlift goal in 2013, am happy with most other lifts, and I want to hit my squat weight goal in 2014. I've been stalled on my squats for a month or so, so I'm gonna change it up some. Despite my chronic aversion to tracking and calculating workouts (main reason I've never done 5/3/1), I'm going to do it. I think.

    Texas Method looks to be the best fit for something I know my body will respond well to, and upon further exploration I've basically been doing a modified version of if without even knowing. There's a good link on T-Nation describing Texas Method; check it out if you're curious.

    Questions:
    1. Anyone done it and had good results?
    2. I've been doing more DB bench instead of normal bench lately (due to shoulders and due to PITA asking random folks at the gym to spot bench), but I'll go ahead and do the program as written. Unless someone says to do dumbbell?
    3. Squats, for 5x5 of my 90% 5RM, is going to kill me. That's not a question; I just want that made clear in my obituary.

    It's not very much math, and I've already put next week's workouts with numbers into my calendar. It'll get fine-tuned as I establish new 5-rep maxes.

    Input?
    Last edited by Mr. Anthony; 01-09-2014 at 02:31 PM.
    ===========================
    Quantum materiae materietur marmota monax si marmota monax materiam possit materiari?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    752
    That's a lot of squatting in one week but I can see it being doable. You will get used to 5x5 at 90%, it's what comes up from time to time on Crossfit football, in fact I did that on Monday. How many weeks are you supposed to do that routine? I never saw it listed.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    122
    I ran the Texas Method for quite a while after Starting Strength stopped working for me. It worked great for my squat. I had halted on Starting Strength at a measly 225x5x3, but with TM I was able to move up to a max of 330, and something like 285x5x5. Nothing great, but significant progress, and I am not a natural athlete. It however did nothing for my bench press. My bench literally did not increase at all on the program. I do not think that result can be generalized though. I have a lot of problems with my bench, and it seems to benefit from higher volume.

    I utilized variations suggested by Justin Lascek in his two ebooks on the program, and I think they are worth considering if you run into problems wit Rip's template. For one, he recommends increasing the weight on your Intesity Day for several weeks, while keeping the Volume Day weight the same. This is to help prevent you from being burnt out by that much volume at 90%+. So, when it started to seem impossible to increase the weight on Volume Day, I would push my Intensity Day max set up for a few weeks, while VD remained the same. Then I would start trying to push both up at the same time again.

    He also suggests deadlifting on ID, so you are not trying to deadlift after squatting 5x5. Rip points out that this defeats the purpose of not having a significant stress on ID, and I get that point. I have mixed feelings about which is better, so I'd try it one way, and switch it up if it is not working out for you. I deadlifted on ID, when I ran the program.

    You can also play around with rep schemes as you start to stall. For ID, when a max 5 stops working, start doing a max triple, then one or two doubles, a few singles, then go back to 5. You can try sets of triples instead of sets of 5 on VD if you are not making progress. You'll also have to play around with adding or decreasing the number of VD sets as you start to stall.

    Basically, I'm a big fan of that program, but eventually you will start to get crushed under the bar and have to make some tweaks.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    855
    Why not just do Westside Barbell? Those guys are the strongest gym in the country, probably chemically enhanced but I would assume most 900 lb squatters were. You do a max effort upper body and lower body day and a dynamic lower and upper. It is hard to add poundage to all your big lifts at the same time, and 5/3/1 seems the best at hitting all the lifts

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    122
    No offense, but "why not just do x" is kind of a weird comment. There are many programs that work for getting people stronger, and different programs are appropriate for different scenarios. The Texas Method, which gets its name from when Glen Pendlay used to run a similar program at Wichita Falls, is intended for lifters with an "intermediate" adaptation. That is, someone who can no longer make progress on a linear progression, but for whom a more advanced program would be inefficient. 5/3/1 is arguably not optimal for this scenario, because progress would be slower than what is possible.

    Westside Barbell is a great gym, but those guys are geared powerlifters, training for geared powerlifting. A lot of top raw lifters are not using Louie's methods, because those methods did not work for them. I'm sure a lot of people have had a ton of success with his methods, but that is kind of my point: not everyone needs to be following Westside or 5/3/1.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    448
    Seemed like a solid suggestion to me. Westside works for raw lifters too, especially those who have not already progressed to elite levels of strength. That program, the conjugate method, does not require meticulous records kept for every lift of every session. Only maxes need to be remembered.

    There are some things that need more work for raw lifters than geared lifters. For examples, more regular squats and fewer box squats. More work on the bottom portion of the bench and less work on the top end.

    I haven't seen anyone mention cube method before, that is really really good for those who need more recovery time between heavy sessions.

    You said that the Texas style looks like the type of stuff that works for you, and that is a good indication it will because you are basing it on experience. It's a solid basic program, that is the main priority.
    Last edited by JRude; 01-08-2014 at 10:35 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    2,547
    SB, TBD, and JR, thanks for the great feedback. That additional info and potential tweaks are good to think about. I'm happy with my other lifts, so my main focus will be increasing squats. Down the rabbit hole.

    Sent via Transmogrifier
    Last edited by Mr. Anthony; 01-08-2014 at 08:39 PM.
    ===========================
    Quantum materiae materietur marmota monax si marmota monax materiam possit materiari?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    448
    You can also play around with rep schemes as you start to stall. For ID, when a max 5 stops working, start doing a max triple, then one or two doubles, a few singles, then go back to 5. You can try sets of triples instead of sets of 5 on VD if you are not making progress. You'll also have to play around with adding or decreasing the number of VD sets as you start to stall.
    This is a good idea. If it were me, I would do a different set/ rep scheme every week instead of waiting to stall each one out.. Say

    Week 1 5x5
    Week 2 3x3
    Week 3 5,3,1,1,1
    Week 4 4x 10 somewhat easy
    Repeat
    Last edited by JRude; 01-08-2014 at 10:42 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    2,547
    I think a big factor here is going to be forcing myself to do deload weeks. With all the extracurricular stuff I do besides just lifting in an average week, I'll definitely get chewed up if I don't take a week and just force a bodyweight or light weight workout week.

    Sent via lightsaber
    ===========================
    Quantum materiae materietur marmota monax si marmota monax materiam possit materiari?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    1,455
    I believe Texas method to be one of the best intermediate programs out there, but I have not tried it yet.

    Mostly, I am interested in slower gains and fear the method will consume all my life and energy leaving little for anything else.

    Can anyone give me more information on the Cube method? I do sort of thrive on more recovery between heavy days. I am due for a programming change, but I need to get just a touch stronger before I return to more hard core aerobic stuff.

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