The first thing that former powerlifter and trainer Mark Rippetoe demands of you to know about the Texas method is that it's not for everyone.
"Most people have no problem with the Texas method because it is very, very heavy," he says.
This is not exactly a confirmation of the training program he has created. However, the man behind Starting Strength also mentions that if you take the challenge, you can grow in size and strength by following the protocol.
What exactly is the Texas Method?
The Texas Method is a three-day exercise program that emphasizes volume on Mondays, active rest on Wednesdays, and intensity on Fridays. Rippetoe was inspired by an old bench press workout by Canadian strongman Doug Hepburn, in which Hepburn performed 5 heavy 1
Rippetoe provides this framework as an example of the OG method: if 365 pounds is your 1-repax maximum, those singlesets would be beating around 335. The 5 sets of 5 would then be somewhere in the 285 to 290 pound range.
"I tried and found that I could not do the singles and then get all 5 sets of 5 with that much weight," says Rippetoe. "Thirty heavy repetitions were just too much." So he optimized the training, put on most of the band on Monday and moved the five singles on Friday. That's how the Texas Method was born – so named because Ripptoe lives in Texas. The program is a method, and he has no time for nonsense.
The Texas Method focuses on large dumbbell lifts – squats, bench presses, overhead balers and deadlifts – plus power cleanses and some bodyweight work.
- A. Squat: 5 sets of 5 repetitions
- B. Bench Press / Overhead Press: 5 sets of 5 repetitions
- C. Deadlift: 1 set of 5 reps
Each lift on Monday should be 90 percent of your max. 5 repetitions amount. Switch between a bench press on Monday and overhead the next. Note that deadlifts do not receive a 5×5 treatment. "Deadlift is too much," says Rippetoe. "You will never recover if you perform 25 repetitions."
Between sets you rest as much as you need. That can be five minutes or fifteen minutes, depending on your training level. It's about completely recovering between sets, so you can turn off the last repetition every time.