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The Texas Method Workout Routine

by
author image Michele M. Howard
Michele M. Howard began writing professionally in 2009, producing sports, fitness, home improvement and gardening articles for various websites. In addition to writing, Howard is a United States Professional Tennis Association tennis instructor and a professional racket stringer. Howard holds a Bachelor of Arts in mathematics from Southern Connecticut State University.
The Texas Method Workout Routine
A woman is curling a dumbbell in a gym. Photo Credit Wavebreakmedia Ltd/Wavebreak Media/Getty Images

The Texas method workout program is designed for intermediate to advanced weightlifters who have been training for a minimum of 18 to 24 months and have found their progression stalled. This is a three-day-per-week program in which the amount of weight, types of lifts and number of sets and repetitions vary from the beginning of the week to the end of the week. The Texas method workout program is also called the WFW method because the Wichita Falls Olympic weightlifters trained using this method, according to Stronglifts.com.

Origin of the Program

This method of training got its start in Wichita Falls, Texas, at Mark Rippetoe's gym. USA weightlifting coach Glenn Pendlay was training lifters using a 5 by 5 program. With this program, athletes perform five sets of five repetitions per exercise, three times each week. The lifters became disinterested in the regimen and in an effort to keep the athletes training three days per week, Pendlay said "If you hit a 1x5 personal record on Friday, you don't need to do five sets total; you can just stick to one set on Friday and go home," according the Stronglifts.com. The athletes eased up on the workout before Friday so that they would set a personal record on that day. This was the start of the Texas method training program.

Program Basics

The goal with this program is not to add weight from one workout day to the next, but to add 5 pounds from one week to the next and to set a personal record each Friday. The workout days are typically Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Monday’s workout session is dedicated to volume with major lifts such as squats, bench presses and deadlifts. Wednesdays, active rest days, are recovery days in which the athlete lifts about 80 percent of the weight lifted on Monday and may incorporate other exercises such as chin-ups. The Friday session involves a light warm-up and then the lifter performs only one heavy set with each major lift. This is when the lifter tries to set a personal record.

Sample Workout Week

Squats, bench presses and deadlifts are scheduled on Mondays. Perform five sets with five repetitions at 90 percent 5RM. RM stands for repetition maximum and 5RM refers to the maximum amount of weight you can lift for five repetitions. On recovery day, Wednesday, use 80 percent of the weight you lifted on Monday and perform two sets of squats with five reps per set. At 80 percent 5RM, perform three sets with five reps of overhead presses. Include three sets with 10 reps of chinups. Friday is an intense workout day. Use a heavier weight than that used on Monday and perform one set with five reps of squats, bench presses and deadlifts. Your goal is to set a personal record for each exercise.

Tips and Considerations

Start each workout session with a light, 15 minute warm-up that can involve working with an empty barbell. If you find that after a month into the program a Friday personal record is becoming harder to set, reduce the amount of weight on Mondays or the number of sets per exercise. If your ability to perform Monday's workout has remained the same, but your strength level progression has stalled and you're not setting a personal best on Fridays, increase the intensity of the Monday workout. Progress can be restored by adding another set to each exercise.

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