Texas Method and 5/3/1

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Texas Method and 5/3/1

Post by Jungledoc » Fri Nov 05, 2010 2:32 am

I just got the tip from Peter's blog that Rip has written an article on the Texas Method over on TNation.

I'd be interested in anyone's reaction to TM, and to your comparison of TM to 5/3/1. A lot in common--basic big lifts, periodization within the lifting cycle, systematic progression. But a different way of varying the load progression and rep/set scheme. And the periodation is within a weekly cycle on TM, but a monthly cycle for TM. TM potentially progresses the weight faster. Seems to me it would appeal to many of the same people.

It's probably too much to hope for that anyone would have done both methods for a significant period of time to offer a direct comparison.

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Post by hoosegow » Fri Nov 05, 2010 6:40 am

I did the Texas method for a little while. It sucked. It sucked. It sucked. I am too much of a wuss, plain and simple. I didn't like it. I am not saying it didn't work. I didn't do it long enough to see if it did. For someone used to full body workouts, they may not hate it as much as I did.

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Post by pdellorto » Fri Nov 05, 2010 7:13 am

I've never tried TM, but I've thought about it's implications and usage a lot. All of these things are my opinions, and if someone with direct experience can refute them, please do.

The upsides I see to TM:

- week progression, instead of per-cycle, so you're more focused on moving weight than in 5/3/1.
- heavy/light/medium days (high volume, recovery, max effort) is something you'll need at advanced levels, so you may as well learn it before then.
- set rep/set/assistance scheme makes it less flexible than 5/3/1 but also gives you more structure.

The downsides I see to TM:

- weekly progression means you'll hit the wall sooner, especially if you make too large of jumps or just can't/don't recover well enough.
- missed workouts, or poor workouts (due to illness or injury) are potentially going to derail you - sick or injured or working late on Monday? How do you make up for it?
- very squat centric, so either you're squatting heavy or you're not going get much use out of it.
- you have to aim for a new 5RM on Friday, which means you better a) choose correctly (not too high) and b) be ready to squat/press/bench/deadlift heavy on Friday, come hell or high water.

5/3/1, I think, is more flexible - the set/rep scheme can be used for almost anything (seriously, we've seen bench/squat/press/row/deadlift/trap bar deadlift/chinups just here in these logs, and that's counting all squat variations as one - I've personally used it with box squats and front squats and even did 5/5/5+ with zercher squats at least once). The monthly progression means missed workouts aren't so critical, and you never have to pre-plan your maximum sets - the minimum reps are almost always within your reach. Feeling cruddy on your 5/3/1+ day? Just do 5/3/1 and done, go home. You can't really do that on TM from how it's written up.

That's pretty much why I prefer 5/3/1. But if you're coming off Starting Strength and want to keep squatting a lot and keep up a 3x/week workout with steady progression, and you like the more rigid structure, I think the Texas Method has a lot going for it. I'd recommend either of them based solely on who conceived them . . . but I have personal experience with 5/3/1 and train more 2 day a week types, so I find that works well enough to stick with it.

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Post by Jason Nunn » Fri Nov 05, 2010 7:38 am

Looks like a pretty nasty program. I may try it after I finish my current cycle. We'll see how it goes.

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Post by robertscott » Fri Nov 05, 2010 10:29 am

as much as I hate to say it, the texas method looks kinda boring!

same exercises pretty much every day, yawn

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Post by hoosegow » Fri Nov 05, 2010 3:48 pm

That was part of the problem robert. It was boring.

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Post by Jungledoc » Fri Nov 05, 2010 4:35 pm

Yeah, I think Peter hit the nail on the head that 5/3/1 is more flexible. The thing that interested me most about TM was the weekly progression. We all tend to be impatient, and the idea of adding 5 or 10 pounds a week is really appealing. But who am I fooling? I'm 57 (stopping to do the math) years old, struggling to add 5 or 10 pounds a month--do I really think that a new routine would suddenly quadruple my gains? And, as much as I believe that the other lifts are important, TM doesn't have room for enough bench.

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Post by Jebus » Fri Nov 05, 2010 4:47 pm

but Hoosegow, your a Texan, just curious but is that one of the reasons you tried it? lol kidding.

I was thinking about doing Texas Method in the near future but, after reading up on 531, it looks much more convenient while in the military.

If I were to add Farmer Walks into the program, should I add it to my Deadlift day or Squat day? Or maybe both, Squat day with 1 dumbell and deadlift day with 2?

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Post by robertscott » Sat Nov 06, 2010 10:04 am

hoosegow wrote:That was part of the problem robert. It was boring.
yeah man, if you're not enjoying your workouts you're never going to motivate yourself to get off your arse and actually do them

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Post by GTO » Sat Nov 06, 2010 6:03 pm

Tesas Method seems like a great workout for someone transitioning from novice to intermediate. I would think it would be something you would only want to do for a month or two, not year round like the 5/3/1.

Just my two cents, which is worth less than a nickel.

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Post by RobertB » Thu Nov 11, 2010 4:09 am

GTO wrote:Tesas Method seems like a great workout for someone transitioning from novice to intermediate. I would think it would be something you would only want to do for a month or two, not year round like the 5/3/1.

Just my two cents, which is worth less than a nickel.
I always over estimate when people say 1-2 months - is that really long enough to even bother constructing a program for? I mean as usual I wave my newbie flag and the question is for my education rather than a group discussion as such - but I would have thought 12 weeks would be the minimum to do anything (other than a stretched out rest month i.e. more light than usual for a reset of rest)

I say that because I was thinking of a simple texas method with more cleans (squat/clean/squat/clean etc), but for as much as 4 months but looking in this post my confidense has dropped a little.

May have to post an irritating "do me a routine?!" post soon :)

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Post by pdellorto » Thu Nov 11, 2010 7:30 am

RobertB wrote:I always over estimate when people say 1-2 months - is that really long enough to even bother constructing a program for?
If that program gets you 5 pounds a week on your big lifts, why not? 2 months is +40 pounds. You want it to work for 4 months (+80 pounds) before you'll consider it worthwhile? Greedy, greedy! :D

I'd just do the TM when you feel like you've run off the end of your 5 x 5 linear gains, and keep doing it until you stall. That may be 1 month or 2 or 4 or 5, whatever. When it stalls out, look around for another way to go. But don't toss it aside because it doesn't promise long-term enough gains. Don't count the time, count the poundage...2 months of as-written results would be awesome stuff.

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Post by hoosegow » Thu Nov 11, 2010 7:34 am

Robert,
Stop sweating the details and just lift. It doesn't really matter what program you use. You'll get bigger and stronger with almost all of them. I doubt (with very few exceptions) that anyone on this board would see significantly greater gains with A program over B program.

Focus on compound lifts and find/develope a program that you enjoy.

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Post by RobertB » Thu Nov 11, 2010 7:37 am

Hey us first year guys are greedy :wink:

But yea that's a fair point - I guess I'm underselling my ability to reliably add the weight though, and over-estimate in the sense that I think I may slip behind once or twice so "4 weeks" might take 5-6.

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Post by pdellorto » Thu Nov 11, 2010 7:44 am

RobertB wrote:Hey us first year guys are greedy :wink:

But yea that's a fair point - I guess I'm underselling my ability to reliably add the weight though, and over-estimate in the sense that I think I may slip behind once or twice so "4 weeks" might take 5-6.
If you are that concerned, do 5/3/1. Start conservatively - 90% of your 1RM (or just use your last actual 5RM, it'll be about the same in all likelihood). Add 5 pounds a cycle to your upper body lifts and 10 a cycle to your lower body lifts until you start to stall. Don't worry about slipped weeks and pressure to get a good Friday +5 pound 5RM, just lift those "light" percentages for a lot of reps and go. It'll work. It'll take a little more time, but as long as you get your goal reps each week you've justified the increase for next cycle.

Or do TM, like I said, and don't worry that it'll stop working too quickly. Big deal. Show me a month where I add +20 to my squat and deadlift 5RM and I'll be a happy, happy camper. :D

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