Q&A: Your Custom Texas Method

January 3, 2013 — Leave a comment

I got an email from someone who was interested in how I’m running Texas Method (TM):

Hi John,

I enjoy your blog and I was going through your log to “reverse engineer” your custom TM.

  1. Can you give more details on the weight progression and the rep scheme?
  2. Also, don’t you feel drained after the volume squat? That’s the issue I had with vanilla TM, I was dying after the squat and the volume on pressing was not as productive as it could be if I was fresher (e.g. the next day). I would be interested to know your opinion on splitting TM (volume upper/volume lower/intensity upper/intensity lower).


Hey Julien,

Glad you enjoy my blog! And I'm flattered that you're reverse engineering what I'm doing haha.

To answer your questions:

1. For weight progression, currently I am increasing by 2.5 lb weekly. It used to be 5 lb, but I've lowered it to 2.5 lb for all lifts. It’s more manageable, and I probably won’t hit any plateaus anytime soon.

If I’m trying to hit a PR, it might be 5 lb or more.

For rep schemes:

Volume Day (Monday):

Total of 30 reps of squats. I’ve done 5x5 and 10x3 previously. Right now it’s:

  • Low bar squat: 5x3
  • High bar squat: 3x5
  • Bench press: 5x5

Recovery Day (Wednesday):

  • Some sort of squat: 2x5
  • OHP: work up to a heavy single, then back off sets. Usually 3,5, up to 10 reps.

Intensity Day (Friday):

  • Low bar squat: 1x3
  • High bar squat: 1x5
  • Bench press: 3x3
  • Deadlift: 2x3

Sometimes it varies a bit, but that's generally it. I’m thinking about trying out Zercher squats on recovery day, because doing lighter squats are a bit boring.

I do not alternate bench presses and overhead presses like in the standard Texas Method template.

2. Yes, I feel drained after volume squats. I like that feeling actually. If I'm not breathing heavy in between sets and a little bit fearful of my next set, then it doesn't feel right (for volume day squats that is).

Doing volume squats will affect anything after it, but I find that I catch my breath after a few warm up sets of my next exercise.

These days I do not perform OHP on volume days. I do them on recovery day only and bench press twice a week. This has been working well as I am getting stronger in both lifts.

I've read of people doing splits with TM (in 70sbig.com Texas Method ebooks I believe). I’ve never tried it myself though, but it looks like it could work well. Try it out!

John Phung

Posts Twitter Facebook Google+

Ever since I started taking strength training seriously, I was bitten by the Iron Bug. Then it burrowed under my skin and laid eggs in my heart. Now those eggs are hatching and I... the feeling is indescribable.

Quick Stats
Height: 5'4" on non-squat days
Weight: 200 lb 210 lb ~220 lb (FOREVER BULK BRAH)


  • Texas Method: March 4, 2011 - April 28, 2013
  • Smolov Jr for Bench Press: June 4 - 22, 2012
  • Starting Strength: Nov 29, 2010 - March 4, 2011