Do your texas method volume days feel like a marathon? Are you consistently struggling to hit heavier weights on intensity days? It’s probably time to move on and start thinking about what to do after the texas method. This article is going to cover:
- Why Has Texas Method Stopped Working?
- Looking For an Individualised Strength Program?
- Solution Time: What You Need to Do to Progress as a Late Intermediate or Early Advanced Lifter
- Possible Programme Options After Texas Method
- What Programme Would I Suggest After Texas Method?
- What to Do After Texas Method: Frequently Asked Questions
- Next Steps
Being stuck sucks, so let’s get you progressing again…
Why Has Texas Method Stopped Working?
If the texas method has stopped working then it’s most likely because you’re violating the SRA (Stress, Recovery, Adaptation) cycle. At this point in your lifting career, I’m going to assume that you’re training hard, eating and sleeping properly.
“The Texas Method is either not providing you with enough stress in order to cause adaptation and/or it’s not allowing you enough recovery in between the application of those stressors.”
Possibility 1 – Not Enough Stress:
The texas method offers some weekly variation, you have a volume day, a light day and an intensity day. Eventually, however, adaptive resistance catches up, and your body becomes used to this pattern. The exercises, rep schemes and overall structure become stale.
Possibility 2 – Not Enough Recovery:
On the flip side, part of the issue might be that you’re now significantly stronger than when you began, which makes it harder to recover. 5 sets of 5 squats at 100kg (220lb) might be okay to recover from, but 5 sets of 5 squats at 150kg (330lb) is a whole different ball game.
So How Do You Know If It’s Not Enough Stress or Not Enough Recovery?
Not enough stress: If you’re not getting enough stress you probably don’t experience much, if any, soreness anymore. You likely also feel like you could do more total work, maybe not in any one session, but across the week as a whole. Chances are that the weights you lift are fairly stable, not going down but also not going up.
Not enough recovery: You’ll know if this is you because you’ll feel like hell for most of the week. Typically you’ll have bad soreness after day 1, which overlaps with day 2 and maybe heals just in time for day 3. Or you might not even be able to get through the volume day. Chances are that the weights you lift are rapidly decreasing.
Both of the Above?: Yes, it can technically be both of these issues. This is likely you if you feel like you could do more in some, or all, of your workouts, but you know that if you did then you’d be too sore or wouldn’t recover in time. The weights you lift probably wave up and down each week or two, and you feel caught between pushing harder to make progress, but then having to back off to recover.
Looking For an Individualised Strength Program?
If you want someone to take the thinking away, why not have me (a professional S&C coach) design you a custom strength programme
You can send in your details, answer some questions about your training numbers, goals, training history, equipment etc, and then I craft your program custom for you.
No more guessing or overthinking.
I also throw in a check-in each month, just to make sure that everything is working well, and to make any adjustments if needed.
Solution Time: What You Need to Do to Progress as a Late Intermediate or Early Advanced Lifter
In order to progress, you need to solve the two issues mentioned above:
- You need to provide more stimulus to force your body to adapt
- You need to allow more recovery time in between those stimuli
“But how do you practically do that?”
To provide more stimulus than you were doing on the texas method:
- Instead of just adding weight, consider changing rep schemes
- Use more exercise variations
- Add in more assistance and accessory work
To allow more recovery than you were getting on the texas method:
- Include more frequent light and medium days
- Keep in mind that these light and medium days can be accomplished through having less weight on the bar, but also through exercise variation and through different rep schemes.
- Consider a longer-term programme that systematically changes these training variables over time.
Possible Programme Options After Texas Method
Alright, so you know that the texas method isn’t working anymore, and you know the things you need to do to make progress. But what should a programme look like that actually accomplishes those things intelligently? Here are two of the programmes I recommend after texas method.
Option 1: 5/3/1 (+ Assistance Templates)
5/3/1 is frequently recommended as an early intermediate programme, but it’s actually far better as a late intermediate or early advanced programme.
Week 1: Sets of 5 (Highest Volume Week)
Week 2: Sets of 3 (Moderate Volume Week)
Week 3: Use 5’s and 3’s to build to a heavy single (Intensity Week)
Look familiar? It should, it’s basically the texas method but spread over 3 weeks instead of 1 week. It works so well because the full week spent in each training zone allows you to amass more total sets and reps (more stimulus) and the longer time between PR attempts allows you to recover better.
5/3/1 also has you add in what it calls ‘assistance templates’ which allow you to get more total work done and build some muscle, and over the long term will make you stronger.
*This is a solid choice for your next programme if you want a great blend of volume and intensity, whilst still lifting in a way that feels somewhat familiar. For more information, I’ve written a full 5/3/1 review right here.
Option 2: Candito 6-Week Programme
The Candito 6-week programme is in my mind one of the best late-intermediate or early advanced programmes around. It’s essentially linear periodisation (higher reps and lower weight moving towards lower reps and higher weight) but on a nice small scale.
Week 1: Muscular Conditioning (6-10 reps)
Week 2: Muscular Conditioning with Hypertrophy
Week 3: Linear Max OT Phase
Week 4: Heavy Weight Acclimation
Week 5: High-Intensity Strength (1-4 reps)
Week 6: Test Maxes then Deload, or go straight to Deload
The Candito 6-week programme works because it introduces loads of new stimulus when compared to the texas method, with each new week being slightly different (yet close enough for a good transfer of strength) and the planned deload every 6 or 7 weeks also helps to reduce fatigue build-up.
*This is a good programme option if you feel burnt out or bored by the texas method approach and want something fresh and interesting to try. You can download a copy of the programme right here.
What Programme Would I Suggest After Texas Method?
Either of the above programmes would be a solid choice. But, if you’ll allow me a couple of minutes to offer you some advice, I would say to try and start thinking about your training in the longer term.
Instead of thinking about which programme you’re going to do next, start thinking about the bigger principles of training (specificity, overload etc) and periodization, i.e. how to intelligently vary your training over time.
Ask yourself, do you need more muscle mass? Do you need more time practising the skill of lifting heavier weights? And then start thinking about how to plan this into your training.
For Now, Here’s What I Would Recommend:
Design and follow a properly periodised strength programme using the overall structure shown in the table below:
Each phase can be anything from 3 to 8 weeks long depending on your individual situation and specific needs. As a coach, I tend to start most strength athletes off with around 4 weeks per phase.
If you need extra muscle mass you’ll spend longer in the hypertrophy/GPP phase, whereas if you need more exposure to heavier weights you’ll spend longer in the peaking phase.
The benefits of this approach are:
- You get stronger, as periodised programmes have been shown to outperform non-periodised programmes (Williams 2017)
- You stop grinding yourself into dust trying to milk out gains on programmes or rep schemes that should have already been swapped out.
- You get less injured as the extra variation and appropriately timed stimulus changes stop you from pushing to RPE 11 just to set a new weekly max.
All of which sounds like better, smarter training.
What to Do After Texas Method: Frequently Asked Questions
How effective is the Texas method?
The texas method is a fantastic strength programme for most intermediates. But no programme can work forever, and you’ll eventually outgrow it.
How Long Does Texas Method Last?
How long the texas method lasts varies a lot from person to person. I’ve known some people who manage a full year making solid progress (with a few deloads of course) whilst I’ve known others to only run it for 2-3 months before hitting a wall. Here’s a good guide for helping you run it for as long as possible.
When Should I Stop Texas Method?
You should stop following the texas method when you can no longer make weekly progress despite taking planned in deload weeks and trying small shifts in the rep scheme.
If deload weeks and a new texas method rep scheme don’t get you hitting weekly PR’s again, then there’s very little else you can do, and it’s time to start thinking about what’s next after the texas method.
Alright, that’s enough reading for today, time for some action…
1) Try out 5/3/1 or Jonnie Candito’s 6 Week Programme. Or if you want a bit more guidance, consider having me create a custom programme for you.
2) If you want more training tips, workouts and programmes, feel free to join my mailing list.
3) And if you’re looking for 1:1 strength and conditioning coaching, you can find more information about my services here.
‘Til Next Time
Alex Parry, MSc, BA
Alex is the Head content writer and Coach at Character Strength & Conditioning, as well as an Assistant Lecturer and PhD Researcher at the University of Hull.
His experience includes 7+ years within professional strength and conditioning, as well as working as a tutor & educator for British Weightlifting.
Williams, Tyler & Tolusso, Danilo & Fedewa, Michael & Esco, Michael. (2017). Comparison of Periodized and Non-Periodized Resistance Training on Maximal Strength: A Meta-Analysis. Sports medicine (Auckland, N.Z.). 47. 10.1007/s40279-017-0734-y.