Texas Method Training

An Exploration of the Texas Method Training Program

Are you ready to dive into the Texas Method, a program that might just have you feeling like you’re being stampeded by a herd of Lone Star State cattle? Today, let’s take a look at this notorious strength training regimen created by none other than Mark Rippetoe, the mind behind the renowned “Starting Strength” book and program.

The Grit of the Texas Method

The Texas Method is not just a program; it’s a challenge to your very conception of strength training. Known for its brutal progression curve, it’s a regimen that pushes you to the limit and then some. Perhaps Rippetoe was hinting at us becoming as robust as the cattle roaming the vast Texan plains? 

The fame—or should I say infamy—of the Texas Method lies in its core philosophy: pursuing relentless progress. It doesn’t simply suggest, but demands, that you aim for a new personal record (PR) every week. The intensity, focus, and dedication required are colossal, matching the size of Texas itself.

Customization Over Blind Adherence

However, don’t be fooled into thinking that this program is a one-size-fits-all kind of deal. Even Rippetoe himself advises tailoring the regimen to your personal condition rather than blindly following a predetermined template. The Texas Method is emphatically not for the faint of heart, nor is it for beginners. It’s crafted for those who are seriously committed to the pursuit of strength above all else.

Mark Rippetoe has been quoted as saying the program is “very, very difficult,” which is no understatement. It’s not intended for the majority of fitness enthusiasts.

A Closer Look at the Texas Method Structure

The basic structure of the Texas Method is simple yet daunting:

– Train three days a week: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

– Dedicate Monday to volume, Wednesday to recovery, and Friday to high intensity.

– Strive for a new PR each week.(on Friday)

This structure is both the source of its fame and the reason behind its notoriety. Achieving a new PR weekly is a grueling task, requiring a herculean effort both mentally and physically. It recognizes that humans aren’t machines; consistent PRs are a tall order unless you’re a novice to exercising. Moreover, the program emphasizes the importance of rest and nutrition as much as it does the exercise routine.

Dissecting the Weekly Schedule

Here’s a detailed look at what a typical week entails on the Texas Method, given your current 5 rep max records:

– Bench: 80kg (about 185 lbs)
– Deadlift: 140kg (about 300lbs)
– Squat: 120kg (about 260lbs)
– Overhead Press: 60kg (about 130lbs)

Monday – Volume Day

Monday is the foundation of the week, where you’ll be pushing 90% of your five-rep max. It’s not just about the weights; it’s about setting the tone for what’s to come.

Squat-5 sets of 5 reps at 108kg (about 238 lbs).
90% of your five-rep max (120kg)
Bench Press or Overhead Press (OHP)-5 sets of 5 reps at 72kg (about 159 lbs) if bench.
-54kg (about 119 lbs) if OHP.
both 90% of your five-rep max.
Deadlift-1 set of 5 reps at 126kg (about 278 lbs)
90% of your five-rep max (140kg).

Rest well on Tuesday; this level of volume is challenging.

Wednesday – Recovery Day

On Wednesday, you’ll dial it back to 80% of Monday’s weights, focusing on recovery with lighter loads and additional exercises for overall fitness.

Squat2 sets of 5 reps using 80% of Monday’s weight
-about 86kg (189 lbs)
Overhead Press (OHP)3 sets of 5 reps at a lighter weight than Monday
Bench Press3 sets of 5 reps at 90% of the weight you did on Monday
Chin-ups3 sets at bodyweight.
Back Extensions or Glute-Ham Raises5 sets of 10 reps

Friday – High-Intensity Day:

Friday is when you push beyond your limits. You’ll be aiming to set a new 5 rep max, adding a small increment to your previous max.

SquatsAfter warming up, work up in singles or doubles to a new single set of 5 rep max.
If your previous max was 120kg, aim for a slight increase, say 122.5kg (about 270 lbs).
Bench Press or Overhead PressSimilar to squats, warm-up then work up to a new single, 5 rep max.
If benching, and your previous 5 rep max was 80kg, you might try for 82.5kg (about 182 lbs).
Power CleansComplete 5 sets of 3 reps, or if doing power snatches, aim for 6 sets of 2 reps, with appropriate weight for your skill and strength level.

Remember, progression on the Texas Method is gradual and should always be approached with an emphasis on form and safety.

Maximizing Your Gains with the Texas Method

When it comes to the Texas Method, precision and strategy are your best friends. Here are some golden nuggets of wisdom to help you navigate this program successfully:

Dynamism Meets Discipline

Your reps should be as vigorous as a Texas storm, yet as controlled as a seasoned cowboy. This balance is crucial for muscle development and power.

Minimalism in Assistance

On Mondays, rein in any extra exercises. Limit them to just a touch of arm work. Think of it as fine-tuning a guitar rather than playing a whole symphony.

The Recovery Creed

Underestimate recovery, and you’ll find yourself in a tumbleweed of fatigue. Prioritize your nourishment and your slumber as if they were water in the desert.

The Art of Warming Up

Begin each session as if you’re sketching an outline—start with just the bar and carve out the perfect movement pattern before adding the color of weights.

The Gravity of Weight Selection

Friday is the day to lift heavy, like the anchor of a ship, but if your technique starts to capsize, it’s a sign that the weight is your iceberg. Lighten the load and sail smoothly.

The Alternative Route

If power cleans aren’t your rodeo, switch to dynamic effort deadlifts on Friday. Pull those deadlifts quick as a whip crack, but remember, speed should not sacrifice form.

Embrace these principles as you embark on your Texas Method journey, and watch your strength reach new frontiers.

Personal Thoughts and Considerations

I must admit, I’ve only done max 3 weeks for this programs by myself. It’s clear that the Texas Method is not a casual undertaking. It’s a commitment, a lifestyle choice that demands an investment of time, effort, and a willingness to push your body to its limits. It’s not something I’d recommend to the average office worker or someone with a fleeting interest in fitness.

Furthermore, Rippetoe himself advises those with aesthetic goals or weight loss in mind to consider alternative programs. He’s mentioned the need for a substantial caloric intake—think upwards of 5,000 calories—to sustain the energy required for such an intense program. It’s a path where PRs come hand-in-hand with an increase in body weight, a trade-off that needs careful consideration.

The Texas Method: A Conclusion

The Texas Method stands as a colossus in the world of strength training, a true test of determination and strength. It’s not just a workout program; it’s a testament to the philosophy that progress demands sacrifice. While not for everyone, for the few who choose to walk this path, the rewards are as big as Texas itself.

FOrbes Health

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FOrbes Health

Winner of Best Workout data tracking App (2022,2023)

The best Workout Analysis App