T Nation

Questions about Form, Conditioning, etc



ive seen some other posts here so i’ll try to provide some info beforehand on my backround:

training history: played hockey since i was 8, kinda quit last year, but i play town league because i enjoy it. athletes would work out at the school with the strength coach and i did that from the end of 9th grade to 11th grade. we wouldnt work out at all during the season. got a 180 bench, 290 squat, 170 power clean, and 315 trap bar dl. we benched and power cleaned once a week and squatted and deadlifted every other week with tons and tons of conditioning. lifts werent too good, but was i ever conditioned. hopped on starting strength this march and now im doing texas method. since school started i split it up into 4 days (im not doing it “my way”, its an option from the book) and i play hockey twice a week, saturday and sunday. a week of training would look like:
M: bench volume, press volume, chins
T: squat volume, SLDL
W: rest
Th: bench intensity, press intensity, chins
F:squat and deadlift intensity
Sat: hockey practice
Sun: hockey game

i do mobility work and foam rolling on wednesdays, saturdays, and sundays and i eat at the very least 3000 calories a day, highest is propbably 3500 but im not too sure. I take guesses and eat clean for the most part. im 5’9" 200lb. i get at least 8 hours of sleep a night, but on most nights its 9 hours

past 3 weeks i can feel the fatigue settling in. i know some of you recommend to take it easy on conditioning work while strength training but the thing is i can’t just not show up to hockey, so im kind of lost. what would you do? also my deadlift never feels right. i tried sumo in the past and it felt great but i’d like to get stronger conventional

heres some DL footage:
this week:

last week:

last week squats:


Your deadlift looks like you want to power clean it at the top, don’t extend your back so much and make sure to lock your knees. And actually stop and hold the bar for a moment. Other than that it’s not bad, it looks like you don’t really use a lot of leg drive though. Try doing some deficit deadlifts, standing on a plate or a few rubber mats.

When you squat you shift towards the right at the bottom. Try to focus on descending straight down, evenly between your legs. If you have any pain or tightness in on hip or leg then stretching or myofascial release with something like a lacrosse ball or foam roller should help.


If you want formcheck and programming/fatigue management advice make separate posts else this will turn into a clusterfuck

Whats your priority? Hockey or lifting? If the answer is both you’re gonna have to live with the fact that training both together is sub optimal for either of the two. Hell I’d go so far as to say there’s a linear interference. Usually you’d build in pre/off season and maintain in season.

Will take your word for it, tho I’d recommend reassessing yourself anyways, that you are eating plenty and appropriately and getting plenty of quality sleeping . Short of PEDs there’s no other ways to significantly improve your fatigue management. So the issue lies in the training and programming.

The texas method is a great intermediate program the gist of which is squeezing in a whole SRA cycle into a week and potentiating that with linear progression. Haven’t read it myself but am under the impression that “Practical Programming” has a section on how to modify the program for athletes with sport commitments. Sounds like it isn’t working optimally for you so are you sure you’ve applied the book properly?

If we rule out an extreme measure like scrapping and switching up your whole program little modifications can optimise your training:

Remove a lift. Depends on your goals/priorities but, for example, taking out the press will free up a lot of your body’s resources

Replace SLDL. The stiff leg deadlift can be just as taxing on your system if not more than a conventional deadlift nervermind doing it with volume (?).

Switch the order around. Squat and deadlifts are two of the most taxing lifts you can do. How can you expect to be fresh for practice after an intensity session with both of these. Switching it around to have a less taxing upper body session before the big weekend could help.

M:squat volume
T:bench volume, press volume, chins
T:squat and deadlift intensity
F: bench intensity, press intensity, chins


Texas Method is “Linear.” Every Intensity Day is supposed to be heavier than last week. Up, up, up, every week, forever.

Your body does not work this way. After a while, it takes longer than a week to get stronger. In my opinion/experience The fatigue you’re feeling is because of the weights on the barbell going up too fast. As a result you’re using too much weight for the reps you are doing.

It’s time to not go for an all time 5 rep max on intensity day. Some kind of program where you do some “intensity” work that is not an all time max. Get some quality work in before you raise the weights.


Yea chris i think you nailed it on the deadlift. I was trying to figure out why it looked so weird.

Lifting is definately the priority. Not doing hockey 4-5 days a week anymore. Im definately gonna switch the upper and lower days around, that reminded me when the coach would have us either squat/ trap bar DL on wednesday and power clean on friday if we had a game that weekend


At this point in texas method im doing 2-3 sets of doubles on intensity day. When that gets hard/failure/near failure im switching to 5 singles, then 3 singles as the book says. Then theres the next phase which has you doing a 5rm one week, 2 triples the next week, then 5 singles the next week and on the forth week you go back to 5rm but add 5-10 pounds and keep doing that 3 week cycle. Does this fit with what youre saying ?


I could easily remove the press but if i were to replace the sldl, what should i replace it with? I mean i could replace it with power cleans but wouldnt once a week be not enough for technique work? I was never that bad at powercleans, my form was decent and it got a little better when an older guy told me things i should do to fix my form a bit, but i had to back off because i landed on my left foot going 25mph off a skateboard and messed up my achilles and the bottom of my foot but that injury is gone except for a little plantar fasciitis in the morning


Yes, kind of.

Varying the reps, or going 3 steps forward then 1 step back are good.

But all of those progressions are pretty extreme. You’re still going to your limit every intensity day, even if you drop to 3s and 1s.

Every Heavy Day doesn’t need to be max weights and max reps.

You could do 90% of your 5 rep max for 5 reps, and it’s still heavy enough. Just bump your volume weight up a little to make up the difference.

If a 5 rep max is hard, and you decide to do a max triple, 1 set is enough. It’s still more weight that you touched last week. Next week, you could do 5 singles with that 3 rep max and it would be enough.

You just need to progress. You don’t need to drive yourself to the absolute limit every week.


As far as your programming, the only thing that really looks wrong is the hockey game and practice on the weekend. I’m not going to tell anyone to chose lifting over hockey, but you seem to have made that decision already so if you really want your lifts to go up then the best choice would be to quit hockey altogether. Doing a bit of cardio/conditioning once a week won’t affect your lifts if you don’t overdo it, but unless you are a bench warmer you are almost certainly overdoing it.

Other than that, if you are feeling fatigued and not recovering properly you need to deload at some point. Do you use deloads? Of course you can’t deload hockey.


Would you still recommend volume days being 90% of intensity days? For squats i do 5x5 @90% and bench 8x3 @90% currently


No i do not program deloads. Last “deload” was vacation for a week mid august. The book says after i cannot progress on the final stage of intensity days which is 3 singles, i should go for a 1rm or deload then start the third phase which i described in one of the posts above


If you weren’t playing hockey too then that probably wouldn’t be a problem. I suppose you could just do the program as written and then move onto something else, although it seems like you are going to stall soon and if it weren’t for recovery issues you would get more out of the program.


In my opinion, that 90% is pretty heavy for volume day. Also, using the same percentage for volume day week after week isn’t great.

Again, just my opnion, but the whole Texas Method isn’t that great. It’s sounds like you’ve outgrown it and should find something better.


To steal a famous quote: The Texas Method is a young man’s program. If it’s running you into the ground, I have bad news for you haha

If you like this style of programming, have a look at The Bridge.