T Nation

Advice for a Late Beginner Program

Hello everyone,
I already posted some questions about programming in the BSL forum, but I think I belong here the most. Also, sorry for the long post

I won’t detail my background, it can be found at the link at the end of this post. After chatting with people, I chose to run a spread volume Texas Method (mainly because of my training time, which cannot be more than ~1h15/session), as follows :
Monday: Squat 5x5; Press 3x5; Back Extension
Wednesday: Bench 5x5; Deadlift 1x5; Chins
Friday: New 5RM Squat, new 3RM Bench, Power Cleans

I tried it for 3 weeks, and already failed my friday squat. Moreover, I will, the next couple of months (and already started), have real issues to stick to training days (because a lot of things going on in my life). On some weeks, I will be able to train 3 days, monday, wednesday and friday for instance, on some others, wednesday, thursday and saturday etc … you get the point.
In that configuration, the Texas Method is not sustainable, not mentionned that I’m on a small caloric deficit (-300kcal), and also that even if I could have trained normally, the TM volume days on squat are totally killing me.

What would you suggest ?

I’d just like to get better at squatting, benching and deadlifting (mostly). I also recently discovered the joy of power cleans and power snatch. Increasing my numbers on OHP is optional, but I’d like to keep it as an upper body volume exercice.
My last best numbers (in lb, converted from kg) : squat 242lbx8rep@rpe8, bench 138lbx8rep@rpe8, deadlift 3 sets 308x3rep@rpe 7 to 8, power clean 121x3rep with decent form.

I thought of a template, that is a mix between Greyskull LP and the Texas Method. I’ll just give random numbers in lb, and write setsxreps.
On the regular weeks :
Monday : Bench@130 2x5,1x5+ Squat@220 2x5,1x5+, OHP 3-4x8-12
Wednesday : Deadlift@300 3x3 OR Deadlift@300 3xRPE8 (don’t know which is the best), Power Cleans@100 5x3
Friday : Bench@120% of monday 3x3 OR 3xRPE8 Squat@120% of monday 3x3 OR 3xRPE8, Power Snatch

On the weeks I haven’t much time/the days are random :
Day 1 : Bench@130 2x5,1x5+ Squat@220 2x5,1x5+, OHP 3-4x8-12
Day 2 (optionnal day, depending on the week) :Power Cleans 3x5, OHP 3-4x8-12, conditionning
Usually I can get a rest between day 2 and 3
Day 3 : Bench 3x3 Deadlift@300 3x3

Rate of progression :
If chosing the RPE method :

  • if the total the on the 3xRPE8 is < 8, don’t change weigth
  • if it’s between 9 and 12, increase by 2.5lb on bench, and 5lb squat/dead
  • if it’s > 13, increase by 5lb on bench, and 10lb on squat dead
    If not chosing RPE:
  • increase each week by 2.5lb on bench, and 5lb on squat/dead
  • If not getting the 3x3, or grinding the 5+ rep at 5, reset by 10% the weight

Thank a lot for reading me,
Cheers !

The topic I mentioned at the beginning of the post :

Jon Andersen’s Deep Water program.


I would probably rotate through 4 different training days, A1-B1-A2-B2

Session A1

  1. Power Clean: 4 x 3
  2. Back Squat: to 3-5RM
  3. Bench Press: 3 x 5-8
  4. Weighted Chin-Up: 3 x 4-6

Session B1

  1. Power Snatch: 4 x 3
  2. Deadlift: to 3-5RM
  3. Overhead Press: 3 x 6-10
  4. Bent-Over Row: 3 x 8-12

Session A2

  1. Power Clean: 6 x 3
  2. Bench Press: to 3-5RM
  3. Squat: 3 x 5-8
  4. Chin-Up: 3 x Fail

Session B2

  1. Power Snatch: 6 x 3
  2. Overhead Press: to 3-5RM
  3. RDL: 3 x 8-12
  4. Pendlay Row: 3 x 8-12

Regardless of 2 or 3 training days a week, you get all your bases covered


It sounds like you started too heavy. Usually it is programmed so you are hitting your current maxes in about week 4.

If you like this type or programming then have a look at The Bridge on liftvault. You will need to skip the GPP if you want to do 3 days per week only.

Punisher is way stronger than me and always goes with deep water. One day I may look at it.

I also didn’t get far with the Texas method but I recommend what worked for me:

Some weeks I only got two training days in but just picked up where I left off and nothing went wrong.

I SO wish I discovered it earlier in my training. I would be much stronger. It is completely worth doing sooner rather than later.

The deep water beginner programme looks really interesting. I’m only training from home right now and will be for the foreseeable. I’ve got a barbell but no rack so this programme will remain untouched with many others.

I’m just starting to try more volume, I’ve got the (531) BBS sets for press and deadlift tomorrow. So, 20 sets of 5. A massive sub max day suppersetted with KB work on a day where lounging and food is available.

Do you have a bench?

Unfortunately not. Just a garden in a northern England. Barbell, chin up bar, kbs. I’ve just started a BBS variant focusing on press and deadlift.

Why do you think this? What were you missing that this program gave you? I saw you had done DC and other things, so you already knew how to work hard

Did Super Squats before DC and that set a firm foundation, but DW really drilled in the idea that growth comes from forcing the body to adapt and then eating to support that. Things I eventually figured out, but would have learned much faster much earlier.

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Fair enough! I also like (I think we’re saying the same here) programs that hold you accountable to numbers. It’s so simple it’s ridiculous, but it’s a forcing function both in and out of the gym.

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Thx guys for your quick replies, comments and advice !

Right, I started with near my actual 5RM (95% of it). So when I’ll have more time to dedicate to consistent training, I may reconsider trying it (like in 5 or 6 months).

Yeah same, I think the TM is maybe not the best for me right now (having a time consuming job + familliy life + also moving a lot because work), so I cannot get consistent recovery and training days. I should give another shot to Beyond 5/3/1 with FSLS, as I can blend exercises so that on 2 days training weeks, I can have the job done anyway.

I’ll have a look at this, thx.

Thanks for the ideas. What would you suggest as starting weight ? And what rate of progression ? 2.5lb/week ? 5lb every other week ?


For the cleans and snatches add 5lb after every 6 x 3 session so you would go, for example:

95 x 4 x 3 -> 95 x 6 x 3 -> 100 x 4 x 3 -> 100 x 6 x 3

For everything else, stick with the weight until you build up from the low end of the rep range to the high end. For B1 deadlifts that could be

225 x 3 -> 225 x 4 -> 225 x 5 -> 230 x 4

For A2 squats that could be

200 x 7, 5, 5, -> 200 x 8, 7, 6 -> 200 x 8, 8, 8 -> 205 x 6, 5, 5

Thanks for the reply.
I think I’ll go for your option the next couple of months, hoping I can improve some numbers, even if my number 1 priority is to no lose my actual numbers (quite easy, since they’re not that high).
Thanks again for the tips !

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