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_Wolf_ 03-05-2007 04:09 PM

Write-Up on The Texas Method
For those of you who dont subscribe to my journal, im doing the texas method.

so, im taking this from Mark Rippetoe's book Practical Programming and im gonna add some stuff in it which i think might apply in addition to my thoughts. Credit goes to Mark Rippetoe.



This method uses a sharp contrast in training variables between the beginning and the end of the week. High volume at moderate intensity is used at the first of the week, a light workout is done in the middle for maitenance of motor pathways, and then a high intensity workout at very low volume ends the week.

This simple program is probably the most productive routine in existence for trainees at this level. It is usually the first program to use when simple linear programming doesnt work anymore. The trainee is transition from a novice to an intermediate is unable to make progress with either a workoutload he can recover from enough to do 2 to 3 times per week, or conversely, a workload that is stressful enough to produce the stress/adaptation/supercompensation cycle that he cannot recover from quickly enough to do 2 to 3 times per week.

In-Depth Coverage With Examples, Modifications, etc etc etc

In the Texas Method, the workout at the beginning of the week is the "stress" workout, the lighter midweek workout comes during the recovery period, and the last, higher-intensity/lower-volume workout is done when the trainee has recovered enough to show an increase in perfermance. The total weekly training volume and training stress is low enough that as each week begins the trainee has no accumulated fatigue from the previous week, yet the one "stress" workout on Monday is high enough in volume to trigger an adaptation, and the heavy single set on Friday provides enough intensity that neuromuscular function is reinforced without fatally upping the volume.

A classic example of this variation would be a squat program where, after warm-ups, Monday's workout is 5 work sets of 5 across, Wednesday's is lighter - perhaps 5's at 80% of 5RM, or front squats for a variation in exercise technique - and Friday's is a single heavier set of 5. It looks like this:

Squat, 5 sets of 5 reps

Squat, 2 light sets of 5
Front Squat, 3 sets of 3

Squat, One heavy set of 5

Here is another example of this basic intermediate template, this time for pressing exercises:

Push Press, 6 sets of 3 reps

Press, 2 sets of 5 reps

Push Press, 1RM, 2RM, or 3RM

Most intermediate trainees will be able to spend months making progress on programs set up like this one. Different set and rep schemes can be used, as long as the basic template of a volume workout, a light workout, and an intensity workout is followed.

The Monday workout should be stressful enough to cause hemeostatic disruption. The second training session should be enough work that the muscles involved are used through the range of motion, but at a load that does not add to the disruption caused by the first workout. The third day should be an attempt at a personal record.

When a program like this is started, the goal is to make progress on both Monday and Friday, just as in the novice program. When all the prescribed sets and reps on Monday are accomplished, raise the weight for the next week. If a new 1RM is set on Friday, next week try for a new 2RM. In essense, linear progress is still being made, but the line is now being drawn between Monday and Monday and Friday and Friday, instead of between Monday and Wednesday.

Very often, after 4 or 5 weeks of the progress with personal records getting more difficult on Friday, what is needed to keep the cycle running for a few more weeks is nothing more than a slight reduction in Monday's workload. Cut back the number of sets, or even the weight on the bar a little, and progress on Friday's workout can usually be sustained. The object is to make Monday's workout stressful enough to spur progress, not so stressful that it interferes with Friday's PR.

If progress simply stalls, with no reduction in the ability to complete Monday's workouts but an absense of personal records on Fridays, the stress needed to spur progress is probably not being applied on Monday. Often an increase or slight change in Monday's workout will restore progress. Adding a set is a good idea. Or, holding the total number of reps constant while using more lower-rep sets with a slightly higher weight also works well.

If however, actual regression occurs, not only in Friday's workout but with staleness carrying over into Monday, then usually the workload on Monday is too high, and residual unrecovered fatigue is creeping in. Possible solutions could be to drop a set or two from the sets across, reduce the work-set weight, or reduce the reps in the work sets - from 5 sets of 5 with 300 pounds to 5 sets of 3 with 300 for example.

A valuable training tool that fits very well into this template is speed sets, as popularized by Louie Simmons in his Westside method. High intensity training, the utilization of a very high percentage of force production capacity, is very productive but difficult to recover from in large doses.

When beginning this type of training, it is normal to continue to use 5 sets of 5 on Monday and replace Friday's workout with speed sets. usually u do a 3 week cycle in Westside.
Week 1: 12 sets of 2 reps @ 50% of 1RM
Week 2: 12 sets of 2 reps @ 55% of 1RM
Week 3: 10 sets of 2 reps @ 60% of 1RM
this cycle is then repeated many many times.

The object is to really explode under the bar and complete each set as quickly as possible. It is normal to take 2 to 3 workouts to get adjusted to this system. If even the last rep of the last set slows down, the weight is too heavy. In fact, the first time this workout is used, the last set of 3 should be noticeably faster than the first. The speed workout is substituted for the PR workout on Friday, with the high volume workout remaining as the primary stressor on Monday.


The Texas Model works in 3 sessions:
High Volume / High Intensity Session
Low Volume / Low Intensity Session
Low Volume / High Intensity Session

In summary, this is how it is outlined:

High Volume / High Intensity Session
Squats 5 sets of 5 reps across
Bench Press 5 sets of 5 reps across
JS Rows / Power Cleans 5 sets of 5 reps across

Low Volume / Low Intensity Session
Squats 2 sets of 5 reps @ 80% of Monday
Press 3 sets of 5 reps
Deadlift 1 set of 5 reps

Low Volume / High Intensity Session
Squats 1 set of 5 new PR
Bench Press 1 set of 5 new PR
Pull-ups 3 sets to failure

the last program is a mere example and can be modified in many many ways.

widdoes2504 03-16-2007 12:57 PM

This looks very interesting. Keep us posted on your results.

_Wolf_ 03-16-2007 01:58 PM

^^^ ur in the same city as me? :)

widdoes2504 03-20-2007 04:42 AM

You bet. Near the Medical Center.

_Wolf_ 03-20-2007 05:59 AM

^^^ far is that from me? im an international student so i dont really know where everything is lol

widdoes2504 03-20-2007 06:09 AM

Up on the Northwest side near Wurzbach and 410.

_Wolf_ 03-20-2007 06:22 AM

^^^ now im even more lost :p

widdoes2504 03-20-2007 06:42 AM

I pulled this from mapquest. Hope it helps clear it up. :biglaugh:

Total Est. Time: 18 minutes Total Est. Distance: 9.77 miles
1: Start out going NORTHEAST on STADIUM DR toward TULETA DR. 0.1 miles
2: Turn LEFT to stay on STADIUM DR. 0.1 miles
3: Turn LEFT onto E HILDEBRAND AVE. 2.2 miles
4: Turn RIGHT onto MCDERMOTT FWY / WARNER AVE. 0.3 miles
5: Merge onto I-10 W / US-87 N via the ramp on the LEFT. 3.3 miles
6: Merge onto I-410 W via EXIT 564A. 1.5 miles
7: Take EXIT 14C toward BABCOCK RD. <0.1 miles
8: Stay STRAIGHT to go onto NW I-410-LOOP. 0.1 miles
9: Turn RIGHT onto BABCOCK RD. 0.9 miles
10: Turn RIGHT onto LOUIS PASTEUR DR. 0.5 miles
11: Turn LEFT onto FLOYD CURL DR. 0.1 miles
12: End at Methodist Childrens Hospital:
7700 Floyd Curl Dr, San Antonio, TX 78229, US
Total Est. Time: 18 minutesTotal Est. Distance: 9.77 miles

EricT 03-21-2007 11:12 AM

It's very effective. I'd highly recommend it. It can also be easily merged with other intermediate programs.

The only thing I would suggest is to not get too caught up in the progression on Monday and Friday thing. Starting out of course the goal should be progression on both but as long as you are progressing on Monday and not REgressing on Friday you'll see great results. Those are good guidelines that MR gives of course on how to gauge the interplay between MON and FRI but it can be very difficult to predict since things can change so much based on outside things. Certainly just because you don't get a new PR on one Friday you wouldn't want to change Monday. And even a regression can turn out to be temporary. With this kind of training you need to be patient, that's for sure.

Friday's workout, for the most part, is about reinforcing the gains made on Monday. What you do on Friday is really not enought, in itself, to result in a whole lot of new fitness. If it were the volume would be too high and this would be a different program :)

In general progress on Monday and try for PR's on Friday but don't expect them one hundred percent of the time. Give it time and if you see a complete lack of progression on Friday for a good period then consider changing Monday. That's really the same thing MR says of course but the way he puts it I think may lead people to overemphasize and thus overdo Friday. It should tend toward progression but Monday progress is the main point.

EricT 07-06-2007 07:36 AM

I'm wondering why there is not more activity and interest in this in general. There seems to be more interrest on other boards but some of it seems to have went down a winding path or two. But since there is bound to be an inevitable comparison being made to the ONLY other intermeditate 5x5 template that many have heard of (Madcow's) I wanted to clear up some very bad misconceptions.

One. This is not Madcow's except for Monday being 5x5 sets accross and Friday being working up to a RM They are completely different in some fundamental ways.

I think that many people might choose not to do this because they think it is a higher volume version of Madcow or something. Nothing could be further from the truth. What is important is that on this program the Monday and Friday workouts are NOT tied together from a linear progressive standpoint. What happens Friday is not decided by what went on Monday but rather by your ability AT THAT TIME. That's why it's called a "PR". Or, I should say, based on my philosophy, an attempt at a PR but at least no regression from previous perfomances. Call it a single heavy set.

Mondays are tied to Mondays. That is the fundamental progression. Very simple. Wednesday is somewhat a recovery day and can and should be manipulated to suit the needs of the trainee at any given time. Deads on Wednesday, even at one set, are a wild card when it comes to recovery but if you don't get too caught up in making fantastic PR's each and every Friday it will work out fine. I've seen other examples with deads of Fridays.....

But deads can be put on Friday for those who can pull it off as Rip himself has said. I have placed deads on Friday very successfully also. This allows Wednesday to be a true recovery day. But I had just as much success with placing deads on Wednesday so I may not be the person to go by, especially since deads are my best exercise and will move when all else fails. Frankly, I don't see too many making consistent "progress" on max sets doing deads, squats, and bench all on one day.

Fridays can be tied to Fridays but need not have a "progression". As a matter of fact it may be better to think of Friday as a max attempt rather than a PR. Hence my "may or may not be a PR" guideline. But if you look at Sentinel's journal you'll see that he basically added a rep to a 1RM every Friday for a while. So every Friday was a PR for most of it. I couldn't have done that but it speaks to the effectiveness of this simple setup and I reckon how full of piss and vinegar he is.

I DO NOT however, recommend that to someone just coming off SS or who is new to very high intenstiy. They would be better off sticking to 5RM's for a while on Friday (like the writeup says) and later on maybe going for a 4 or a 3. Switching it up after that.

And that leads me to another question. Isn't the 1x5 on Friday the same as Madcow's except you do 5 reps instead of 3? Well, no. I've already laid out the difference in progression so that should really be enough but there seems also to be confusion surrounding the difference between ramped sets (which some people erroneoulsy call pyrammiding) and a max set with warm ups.

The ramped sets can be thought of as a kind of warm up leading up to a higher top set but the primary difference between that and your typical warm up is that the ramped sets COUNT. They are part of the workload and if you added them all up you'd come up with a certain relative intensity for the entire work group. But the top set while being much higher than 5x5 sets across is not likely to be a MAX set. The warm up should be (drum roll please) what works for you, albeit given some basic parameters and common sense.

So, for instance, if I were going for a max Friday set of 350X5 on squats I might do something like this:

Empty Bar X5X2 (I always start with empty bar)
280 to 290X1
350 working set

That is what I might do. If it looks a little weird to you that is because you are not me. Some people might do better with having their last warmup set being a little closer to their working set than I did here. Some people might need to stay further away. I'd say start with your last warm up set at about 75% though, and go from there. Generally I don't use any more reps in a warmup than I intend to do in my working set. And remember the specific warmup for a movement is to get you prepared for that warmup. Your body should already be "warm" before that and there are better ways to do that then 2 sets of 10 to 12 on squats...

If you are a person who warms up for a max attempty using the same increments as you would on 5x5 ramped sets then you are really selling yourself short. The build up or warm up for the attempt should just be enough to prepare you for it. It shouldn't tax you or tire your out. This should be obvious. Only the max attempt "counts" on Friday. Just one set.

On Friday of the TM you could adopt ramped sets if you wanted but the volume would be raised and therefore the whole thing would be thrown out of kilter. Friday is simply a single heavy set. The volume needs to be much lower.

Again the progress is Monday to Monday and Friday to Friday. The stimulus from Monday should spur the PR on Friday but that is the only connection.

I personally don't make a big thing about continued progress on Friday being the be all and end all. Rippetoe stresses Friday progress in PP but it really seems like a perfect world scenario. Perhaps is you have Rip himself guiding you it would be easier. But your ability to make new PR's even with the most perfect training routine hinges on too many variables to expect it to be full speed ahead the whole time.

Maybe if you are perfect and always get more then enough sleep and eat like a perfectly tuned nutrition machine than perhaps but for those of us who don't actually make a living from training we should stick to this universe. It's also very easy to say "make PR's" when you are only talking about one exercise as per Rip's example in the book. That's not a criticism, just saying that Rip needs to give more example for intemediates....maybe in the next book. I could personally do with 100% less graphs and 500% more specific recommendations (albeit to a generalized audience). But he seems to be writing more for coaches so maybe they find the graphs useful, lol.

So the fundamental thing for me is if you are making continued progress on Monday, bringing your deads and such along on Wednesday and not actually regressing on Friday then you are damn sure making progress. Every attempt should be made to make pogress on Friday but I wouldn't start fixing things that ain't broken on the other days to do it. A PR on Friday can cement the gains made and even spur the ability to make new ones, but a PR in itself is not likely to result in much new fitness. It is too transitory. To put it another way, you might hit 500 on dead tommorow and that is good and will do a lot for you but it ain't going to guarantee you doing 510 the next time.

The other question bound to come up is "why 5x5 sets accross on Monday". Why not something else? Well, because 5x5 sets accross works really good :) and it sounds better than 4x6. Go ahead and try 4x8 and we can compare notes later. Perhaps someone else can do 10X3. No, anything is possible but it's hard to find a better way than 5x5 sets accross. You get enough volume to spur progress but at a nice high relative intensity. At least until progress halts then the something else that works becomes "better".

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