Friday, August 22, 2014

Weightlifting: Texas Method Variation

The Texas Method is a popular intermediate program. As written, I think it's a little light on upper body and deadlift intensity, so I thought I'd share a variation I came up with.

This is the original program:

Monday: Volume Day
Squat 90% of 5 rep max for 5 sets of 5.
Bench 90% of 5 rep max for 5 sets of 5.
Deadlift 90% of 5 rep max for 1 set of 5.

Wednesday: Recovery Day
Squat for 2 sets of 5 80% of Monday's weight.
Press for 3 sets of 5 90 % of last Monday's weight (Bench and Press are rotated weekly.)
Chins 3 sets to failure.
Other assistance work.

Friday: Intensity Day
Squat one set of 5, max
Bench one set of 5, max
Power clean 5 sets of 3.

Very minimalist and simple. The volume day drives progress on intensity day, since intermediates are starting to have trouble recovering from heavy workouts. The squat work is fine; I've made progress using these percentages, but the upper body lifts (Bench and Press) need heavier percentages, I've found. I also prefer to workout four days a week, so splitting up upper and lower body volume and intensity days helps. It's easier to hit a volume PR in the bench if you're not squatting for five sets beforehand. Without further ado, here's my Texas Method variation (The Nathan Method, hah).

Sunday: Squat Volume Day
Squat 90% of 5 rep max for 5 sets of 5.
Power Cleans for 5 sets of 3. (Volume squats don't seem to affect my cleans; I think I actually clean better after several sets of squats.)
A couple sets of barbell curls (Gotta get them gunz.)

Monday: Upper Body Volume Day
Bench 3 sets of 5 across with heaviest weight you can manage (This is a max for 3 sets. If your bench 5 rep max is 245 lbs, try 235 lbs.)
One or two back off sets with a lighter weight for five reps.
Chins for 4 sets to failure, resting 2 minutes between sets.

Wednesday: Squat Intensity Day
Squat one set of 5 max, or 2 sets of 3,  or 3 sets of 2. Doing lower reps can help when progress stalls.
Do recovery day squats afterward, 2 sets of 5 at 80% of Sunday's weights.
Light Press, five ascending sets of five. (For example, if your 5 rep max in the press is 155 lbs, do 95, 115, 125, 135, and then 145 for five reps. Any heavier is difficult because of the lingering effects of volume day.)

Friday: Upper Body Intensity, Deadlift Day
Bench 3 sets of 3, or 3 sets of 2, or even one set of 3 with 2 sets of 2. Use heavy weight. If benching 235 on Monday, use 250 or 255.
Deadlift one set of five for a five rep max. Back off sets optional. There's no reason not to deadlift heavy. You haven't done that much squatting.

So there you have it. Try this program if you're not improving your upper body lifts on the regular Texas Method.

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