Autoregulating the Texas Method Part 3: Template and Exercise Selection

This is the third article in a series on Autoregulating the Texas Method.
Click Here for Part 1: The Basics
Click Here for Part 2: Fatigue Management
Click Here for Part 4: Periodization and Final Thoughts

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The original Texas Method program utilized a very simple template and exercise schema: three full-body days with very little exercise variation. Other than rotation of the Press with the Bench Press and Front Squats on Wednesday the program was very vanilla. This post will present some of my ideas on how to customize the template and exercise selection to the individual.

Full-body vs Split

Before we get into the nitty-gritty I wanted to comment on whether the split template is better or worse than the original full-body template. The reasoning behind the split template is that Recovery Day doesn’t really do much and using a Split allows for more accessory work after the competition lifts. This is true but a consequence of this change is a potential drop in frequency of the lifts. If you’re Squatting and Benching (maybe even deadlifting) 3 times a week and you drop to two it could have negative consequences. One way of thinking about this would be comparing it to practicing a musical instrument. If you practice the oboe three times a week but then drop to only practicing two times a week do you think you will keep making progress at the same rate? Probably not. Now, Squatting and playing the oboe are quite different but Strength is a skill. A workout is as much practice as it is training. In my opinion the split template is only good for those who are only using a two times frequency to start with.

The Microcycle

While the original template used kind of hand-wavy justifications for the microcycle setup I think we can provide some better descriptions:

Day Name Definition
Monday Volume Day Focus on hypertrophy and work capacity adaptations
Wednesday Development Day Focus on weak-point and technique training
Friday Intensity Day Focus on neurological adaptations

The biggest change between this version and the original is renaming Recovery Day to Development Day. The reason for this is two-fold: Recovery Day was meant to provide “active recovery” to allow you to recover from Monday’s workout by Friday. I believe the name was part of the reason it was eventually dropped in a lot of Texas Method implementations. The other reason for the name change is that we can use this day to work on improving the lifts in a more specific fashion, with technique work, weak point training, etc.

Template and Exercise Selection

Here is an example template with some suggested exercises:

Monday

Squat: Competition Squat, beltless Squat, Front Squat, Tempo Squat
Bench: Competition Bench, Touch and Go Bench, Close-Grip Bench, Slingshot Bench
Deadlift: Competition Deadlift, beltless Deadlift, Deficit Deadlift, Paused Deadlift, Deadlift w/ chains

Wednesday

Squat: Paused Squat, Pin Squat, Squat w/ chains, Front Squat, Tempo Squat
Bench: Long Paused Bench, Pin Press, Bench w/ chains
Shoulders: Overhead Press, Push Press, Incline Bench

Friday

Squat: Competition Squat
Bench: Competition Bench (~1s Paused)
Deadlift: Competition Deadlift

Discussion

For Monday’s workout we use hypertrophy focused exercises. If you’re not sure what to use you can just use the competition exercise. But if you know you’re lagging in musculature in a certain area this is a good day to work on it. Wednesday is focused on your weak point. If you’re a raw lifter (and more than likely you are) that will be out of the hole in the Squat and off the chest in the Bench. If you’re not sure what to do here start with paused variations. Friday is of course Intensity day and it remains unchanged. It’s conceivable that you could rotate exercises on this day but more than likely you should stick to the competition lifts.

For Monday’s and Wednesday’s workouts you have a lot more flexibility in which exercises you select. If you’re a fan of variation and get bored easily you could select something new every week. On the other hand you could stick with the same set of exercises for several months. In my opinion, something in the middle would be best. Select a set of exercises and stick with those for 3-4 weeks at a time so you can easily track improvements.

A Note Regarding The Deadlift

If you’re coming from a traditional TM setup you’re probably only used to deadlifting once a week. If you’re still making good progress on that setup you can certainly sub Monday’s deadlift slot for something else (perhaps another Bench slot). However, if your progress is slowed you will more than likely see good results from increasing your frequency.

Stay tuned for the next installment of the series where I’ll discuss periodization and my Final thoughts on the program. I’ll also present an 8 week version of the program in a free downloadable PDF.

5 thoughts on “Autoregulating the Texas Method Part 3: Template and Exercise Selection”

  1. Continuation from RTS forum:

    This has been an awesome mini-series on auto-regging the TM.

    As you’re aware from justin Lascek’s books there’s also the assistance day. Have you experimented or found much value in adding it to the RTS model?

    Have you worked an offseason/mass gain approach for someone stuck between two weight classes? (My situation being 210 trying to break away from the 198 and compete at the 220).

    Solid work! Can’t wait to read your next submission

    1. Hey Sam, thanks for the kind words man. When you say assistance, do you mean hypertrophy work? Like Rows and curls and stuff like that? I think that stuff is certainly valid but I don’t put too much importance on that. I usually use 1 or 2 GPP workouts a week to get that stuff in. Just run in and do some myo-reps: http://borgefagerli.com/myo-reps-in-english/

      If I were in that situation I probably would slowly fill-out the 220 class. I don’t know that there’s any reason that you need to rush to weigh 220. In that case I’d just train as usual and probably eat at a slight excess. But that’s just my opinion on the scenario.

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