What’s the Texas Method and Why You Should Try It

It’s always encouraging to see your muscles increase massively within a short period of time. Normal weight lifting programs are gradual and you’ll have to be patient to see your gains. For weight lifters who want massive size and strength much quicker, you must have heard of the Texas Method (TM)? The creator of the Texas Method points out this not the training program for everyone because “it’s very, very hard”.

What is the Texas Method?

In a nutshell, the Texas Method consists of a three-days-per-week training program that focuses on high volume on Mondays, active recovery on Wednesdays and high intensity on Fridays. The regimen’s main emphasis is to give intermediate and advanced lifters increased physical adaptation through a linear progression.

A linear progression program follows a specific set rep plan and increases the weight in each workout. These programs put your body under adaptive stress, that’s why you’ll often see novice athletes making huge jumps in terms of weight lifting within the first few months of beginning their training. However, as the athlete becomes more experienced, his progress becomes slower. But with a good program and sufficient rest, the athlete can continue making progress with the gains. Gaining massive size with daily workouts is difficult and you must shift to a weekly adaptation.

According to renowned strength training coach Mark Rippetoe, “The Texas method balances the stress of increased weight and varied volume with adequate recovery time so that intermediate lifters will progress for an extended period of time”.

This is a straightforward training method that involves physically stressing your muscles hard, taking enough rest to recover from it, and then physically stressing your body again. Every time you lift, you add a little weight to push yourself to work even harder. This circle will make you bigger and stronger, with visible gains within a short time.

The Texas Method Explained

The Texas Method focuses on barbell training and prepares you for the hard work that comes next. Every time they train, athletes add 10 pounds, and then five pounds or five pounds and then one, two, or three pounds to their squats, bench presses, overhead presses, deadlifts, and power cleans. This is followed by a good rest before going in again.

Monday: Volume

A. Squat: five sets of five reps
B. Bench Press or Overhead Press: five sets of five reps
C. Deadlift: one set of five reps Every single lift should be 90 percent of your five rep max.

Alternate between overhead press one Monday and bench press the next. As for the deadlifts, doing 25 reps is too much and you may never recover. That’s why you only get to do one set of five reps. Mark Rippetoe suggests doing sets of five with the same weight repeated throughout the workout set for optimum gains if you want long-term progress.

Recovery is crucial and should be taken seriously considering the stress you’ve put your body through. Here, quality sleep and food are mandatory, or else your hard work will be for nothing. And as Mark Rippetoe puts it, “You don’t get big and strong from lifting weights – you get big and strong from recovering from lifting weights.”

Wednesday: Recovery

A. Squat: two sets of five reps
B. Bench Press or Overhead Press: three sets of five reps
C. Chin-up: three sets to failure
D. Back Extension or Glute-Ham Raise: five sets of 10 reps.

The loads on recovery Wednesdays are lighter compared to Mondays – basically, 80 percent of Monday’s load. If you did overhead presses on Monday, bench presses are done Wednesdays with three sets of a little lighter weight than the last one you did on Monday to avoid nullifying recovery efforts. Close the day off with sets of chin-ups until failure and then do either five sets of back extensions or five sets of glute-ham raises.

Friday: Intensity

A. Squat: warm-up and then one set of five reps
B. Bench Press (if you bench pressed on Monday) or Overhead Press (if you overhead pressed on Monday): one set of five reps
C. Power Clean or Power Snatch: five sets of three reps or six sets of two reps.

Before you start your Friday program, warm up sufficiently. Lift a heavier load than Mondays, but not heavy that you can’t get through to the fifth rep. On Fridays, deadlifts are replaced by power cleans or power snatches, which are lighter but more powerful than deadlifts. For you to perfect cleans and snatches, you have to know how to clean and snatch.

Is the Texas Method for Me?

For one thing, this is not a beginners training program. You have to be already strong to the point the normal workout no longer yields results for you, and you need something with much more intensity. For another, this routine also uses up a lot of fuel, and you have to replenish this by eating really well. Rippetoe says that this is not your typical abs workout. You should be ready to spend two and a half hours in the gym and eat around 5,000 calories per day. The Texas Method is for those who want to get as big and strong as they possibly can.

All images by Pixabay


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