T Nation

Back to My Max Size/Strength and Beyond


Ive been reading this site for years now and have just joined so I figure i'll log my progress.

Goals: due to personal reasons I wont bore you with I stopped eating so much and training hard and regressed from 14.9 stone/205lbs to 12.7/175lbs. I want to get back to this size and beyond.

old lifts: Deadlift: 220kg/484lbs x1
Weighted dip: 50kg/110lbs x5
Back squat: 190kg/418lbs x1

Current stats: Weight: 13.7/192lbs
Height: 6 foot
BF: no idea I have a very fast metabolism. Have never lost abs
Deadlift: 190kg/418lbs x1
Weighted dip: 40kg/88lbs x3
Front squat: 100kg/220lbs x1

I will be using "Texas method" as a main template but adding a 4th day (recovery day) and adding more isolation work for arms and calves.

So first day of training on this log (today)

Front squat 5x5, 70kg/154lbs

I have only started bench pressing again since I bust my shoulder a year ago. I have changed to more of a powerlifter technique. Closer grip and elbows in. 5x5, 70kg/154lbs

Deadlift 1x5, 140kg/308lbs. A year ago I was repping 140kg for 15......good times.

Standing calf raise 5x10 60kg

Shoulder work, dislocations etc and stretching.

Day 1 complete. Tomorrow is a rest day.

Diet varies Im eating enough to grow for the moment. Example for a training day is:

Meal 1: x4 white toast and natural nut butter

meal 2: as above

Pre workout: x2 Fruit

Post workout: Mammoth shake: 1000kcal weight gainer

Meal 3: 200g white rice, Protein source chicken/fish/beef etc

Meal 4: As above but with veg.

Supplements: multi vit, Superfood, Charcoal caps, Phsillium husks, Pre/pro biotics, Glutamine.

Its all about digestive care!


Ok so Day 2 is more of a recovery day but im not following "The texas method" to the letter.

Front squats. Ramped upto my 5 rep max from last workout (70kg) Could have gone higher but I resisted the urge to go all out this session as its supposed to be a recovery day. Very difficult to do.

Military press: 5x5, 45kg/99lbs Again not my true 5 rep max.

Chins: 12, 8, 6.

Glute ham raise: 6, 5, 4, 4, 3. Havent done these for about a year and my hams hate me right now!

Legpress calf raise: ramp 10 reps per set slow controlled reps 1 second stretch at the bottom position. 40 - 100kg

Skull crushers: 3x6-8, 35kg/77lbs

EZ bar curl: 3x6-8, 35kg/77lbs

Looking forward to "intensity day" as I think i've underestimated my lifts so i'll figure out my true maxes. Rest day tomorrow.


Day 3 "intensity day"

Hams where mauled from the GHR from last workout, but thats ok I find squatting with tight hams feels more stable if you can put up with the ache.

Front squat ramped upto 5 rep max which was 90kg/198lbs. Attempted 100kg/220lbs but only got 3 reps. When I next do 5x5 on volume day 90kg will be my new weight. Big increase from first session but I knew that would happen once I got into the groove of it.

Bench press ramped upto 5 rep max which was 75kg/165lbs. Shoulder didnt feel great but that was more to do with me not concentrating on technique as much as I should have.

Bent over row, 5x5, 85kg/187lbs

Calf raises, tricep roll overs and preacher curl. Arm and calf work bore me so I dont track progress very closely. I just pick a rep range and exercise.


Why are you doing front squats instead of back squats? When I ran TM i did back squat on volume and intensity day, and front squats on recovery day, worked pretty well. Good luck getting back to your old lifts!


I'm very posterior chain dominant I don't feel like Back squats hit my quads very well. Quads are a definite weak point for me but its something I'll address properly once I've increased my overall size.

Cheers for the encouragement and advice!


Ok, the cool thing about doing front squats on recovery day is that you still can go all out 3x3 as heavy as possible, and it still doesnt affect your recovery in a bad way (because of the fact that front squats are loaded relatively light in comparison to back squats). Ive got this tip from Glenn Pendlay, by the way (the originator of the program). I had good steady progress on both back squat and front squat this way.

Also, Pendlay recommended doing 1x5 deadlifts on intensity day instead of volume day. Then you can add in something like 5x5 rows on volume day instead. This way you´ll also be fresher for your deadlift sets, because as you progress on your poundages the volume day will become an absolute bitch of a workout. They get pretty tough.

Not trying to tell you how to do your workout, by the way, just a few tips to consider. Im sure you´ll be back to your old lifts and beyond in no time. Regaining lost strength is a hell of lot easier than gaining it in the first place!


No worries I appreciate the advice. Both very good ideas I think I'll apply! Yeh last few months have been nothing but gains. I wont get too complacent though!!

How do you feel about a 4th day (recovery) being added?


What excactly were you thinking about adding on that 4th day? I wouldnt add any more excercises that you try to progress on, that could really hamper your progress on the main lifts. Keep in mind that TM gets really intense after a while when the poundages start adding up.

However, doing some kind of light activity on off days seems to be really good for recovery. Just remember the objective of these days: youre trying to promote recovery, get some blood flowing into the muscles etc. Youre NOT trying to push yourself or set PRs, etc. Also, this doesnt have to happen in the weight room. You can do some light bodyweight circuits, walks, light jogs and so on. Just stay active.


I think I'll use the 4th day for conditioning. Keep it varied probably do some heavy bag work/Pad work, sprints or something. Im in Wales to see my family this weekend so I'll be hiking.


Ok, sounds good man. By the way, heres a link to a thread where I got a few pointers from Glenn Pendlay about incorporating conditioning into TM. You might find it useful: http://www.pendlayforum.com/showthread.php?t=2569


Thanks mate that site has some good info. I'll prob work some conditioning into one of my sessions at the end instead of adding a 4th day.


Sounds like a good plan. Yeah, Pendlay certainly knows his shit, smart guy with a ton of experience.


ok 4 days off as I've been with family. Only exercise I got was abit of hiking so I'm desperate to get back into the gym. Tomorrow is volume day and I'm changing up the front squat for back squat as advised. Also swapping deads for bent over rows so tomorrows session looks like this

Back squat 5x5
Bench press 5x5
Bent over row 5x5
Arms and calves


So todays session didnt go to plan but still had a good one.

Back squat: Basically I used this session to work out what my 5x5 weight will be next week. I ramped upto my 5 rep max which was 140kg/308lbs. I wont get 5 sets of 5 with that weight so I'll use 130kg for volume day.

Benchpress: I should have done 75kg for 5x5 but I bumped the weight upto 80kg/176lbs and got 5 for the first 2 sets then dropped the weight to 75kg/165lbs for the final 3 sets. I'm loving Benching as I havent done it for about a year and even before that I used dumbells more. Cant wait to get onto some big weights!!

Bent over row: 5x5 90kg /198lbs Will stick to this weight for next week.

Arm and calf work to finish up. I have gained 4lbs which Im pleased with. Feeling great about training at the moment!

Time for dinner......4 pork chops, 200g white rice and 3 giant white choc cookies!! Good times!


Todays workout was as follows.....

Front squat: 3x5, 95kg
Mil press: 5x5, 50kg
Chins: 10, 8, 8.

No assistance work as I felt like crap today. Next training day will be Fri or Sat depending on how I feel. See no reason flogging a dead horse.


Intensity day......

Back squat: ramp up to 5 rep max, 145kg
Bench press: ramp up to 5 rep, 85kg
Dead lift: ramp up to 5 rep, 150kg

Arm work.......Good session felt strong!


Right bit of a change to my training. I am moving in 3 weeks and when I'm there I'm not sure I'll have access to a squat rack very regularly....maybe once a week. Also I'm hopefully going to be playing rugby 2-3 times a week. With that in mind i've decided to change my routine up based on WS4SB 3 but not following to the letter. I'll have to play this by ear but I wont stop training and eating!!!

With that in mind here is todays session. Upperbody high reps. I didnt push any sets to failure. Maybe 2-3 reps out.

Benchpress 4x8-15 60kg
Bent over row 4x8-15 75kg
Latpulldown 4x8-15 40kg
Shoulder giant sets 3x8-15: Plate front raise
Lateral raises
Face pull
Dumbell Shrugs: 3x8-15: 2x40kg
Tricep pushdown 3x8-15 30kg

I dont like leaving the TM routine after 3 weeks but I think it will be difficult to maintain due to facilities and recovery needed for sports. I will keep striving to increase my Back squat and Bench on Max days!! Size and strength are still main goals.


Good call. I can imagine TM kicking the shit out of you in conjunction with rugby several times a week. Im sure youll be fine with Defrancos routine, just remember to eat big!


Yeh Ive done WS4SB a few times before and it is one of those programs I'll keep going back to. Haha yeh eating like a monster and loving it!


Well yesterdays session was a train wreck but I knew it would be. Since last week I've had problems with my lower back and hip flexors due to heavy back squats. It wouldnt be the end of the world but it has effected my benchpress. Picture the scene. Midway through 5x5 set and both hip flexors cramp up..... Been stretching ALOT since. To top it off Ive had a cracking headache due to tight traps from shrugs. Falling apart!

Jump squats
Alt barbell lunges 8-15 reps, 60kg, 80kg, 100kg, 100kg
Romanian DL 8-15 reps, Once I ramped upto 100kg my back really played up so I did accouple of sets at 100kg not going anywhere near failure to warm the muscles for stretching.
Russian twists with 15kg for reps x3
Rope work (conditioning needs work)
Lots of stretching

Ive got to be alot smarter about my training. All these proplems are things I've dealt with in the past. So changes I'll make:

Change back squat for front squat
No exercises with weight loaded on the back eg. lunges......use dumbells
Light, high rep shrugs.
Keep volume lower for now until I'm used to lifting heavy again.
Proper warm up and cool down
conditioning every session eg, Bag work, rope work, bike sprints, farmers walk, complexes.