T Nation

Tengen's 1st Log: Texas Method

Noob here who just got done with Rippetoe’s due to stalling lifts and a bad recovery ability. Did it for over 3 or 4 months. Going to start the texas method as posted at

My immediate goals are strength and size.

The purpose of the log is to record my numbers and allow me to check back or link others to it in case I stall, have some abnormality, or need some kind of help. As it is more complex than rippetoe’s, If i don’t write my lifts down regularly I know I will forget them, and I would rather write them down here on a computer than in a journal.

Starting numbers
5’11, ~165lbs, probably 10-12%bf (Depending on lighting I can ab outlines unflexed and can see them fairly clearly flexed, but I do have some fat on my lower stomach)

back squat: 3x5x225
deadlift: 1x5x260
db bench: 3x5x60’s
db shoulder press: 3x5x40’s
bb row: 3x5x120

In the program outlined on stronglifts bb bench and bb military press are used but I have changed those to dumbells (despite warning that it is harder to increase regularly) because barbell presses give me shoulder pains. The program also includes dips, but I did those and my shoulders felt fine, I will just keep above parallel on those. Squats have been changed to front squats, I have been feeling some sharp pain in my legs that I will describe later as well as a stiff back, and I feel front squats may be better for me to do.


My first workout went well (no pains anywhere), will include it in my next post after I eat some food and get back from kung fu.

Monday Week 1 (volume)

Front Squat 5x5, 155lbs
db bench 5x5, 55lb db’s
bb row 5x5, 115lbs
wide grip pull-ups w/5lb db 2x5, 1x3
dips w/ 5lb db 3x5

Day one was ok, I had spent some time learning a bit about the front squat the day before but ended up having some grip problems, on the last rep of the two middle sets the bb started to slip but I still completed all the reps. I am sure I can make progress fine next week, the shoulders seemed to be the limiting factor today. My back felt tight after doing some of the sets, my lower back was probably rounding so I will have to check this out.

I think I must have used to much arms in my rows because the pull-ups were murder no matter how hard I tried to use my back.

Dips went well and I will be able to increase the weight next workout, slight tightness in my left shoulder as I did them, for some reason I feel like my shoulders take over a lot on dips, i am going to look into proper form for it.

Went to kung fu after post workout shake and the meal an hour afterwords. Made sure to stretch everything out including shoulders and did some assistance db shoulder raises 3x20 with 5lbs to rehab the shoulders.

Wednesday should be easy, I will use the time to get my grip down on my squats.

Often with back exercises you will feel it in the arms as they aid the back in lifts. What helps me with rows is to have a loser grip than usual and really concentrate in contracting my back and touching my scapula together.

As for feeling it in you left shoulder I take it your right handed and your left shoulder is weaker than your right. Your shoulders do get a workout in holding yourself up at the end of a rep. Try leaning forward in the dip to target your chest more.
Just some advice to help you with some of the problems you are having :slight_smile:

FA

Thanks for the help, It is very much appreciated :slight_smile:

I will definitely look into the dip form and see what I can do.

Good call on the scapula, I forget all about it for the first 2 sets. Then on the next 3 I tried to focus on it a bit more but mostly on imagining my elbows lifting the weight back and I still ended up hitting the arms pretty hard. I will focus on the scapula more next time.

Wednesday workout went well, switched front squat to snatch grip and felt ok

3x3 squat, shoulder press w/40lbs, and 3x3 row

same weight as monday’s workout

Friday went well as well being the first pr day

1x3 front squat, 215 lbs, I am positive I can increase this next week, form was pretty good, last rep was a little slow but no bending over or anything.

1x3 bench press with 70lb dumbbells, the last rep was tough but I am sure I could have gotten one more, maybe I should have kept going but it was definitely difficult, another weight I should be able to increase next week.

1x3 deadlift with 265lbs, last time I tried this my grip went after 2 but today things went off well, I ended up lifting it one more time to rack it a minute after.

I through in a 1 rep max wide grip pullup with a 40lb dumbbell just for the hell of it, it wasn’t included in the program but I didn’t see how it could hurt and I had time to kill, if I find out this is bad I will skip it. I failed on an attempt at a second rep.


Friday was 4 hours at a chinese buffet day with my friends, I ate small and drank a lot of water for the first while, then ended with some good power and a lot of icecream, brownies, and sweet bean paste fried dough sesamee seed things.

my cousins are now over and they love Armand’s pizza (local deep dish), so I will pig out again tomorrow, but will be doing a lot of kung fu anyway.

Despite how this may seem I follow about a 80/20 clean:dirty food ratio (going by my judgement, may be more lenient than some, but no trans fat ever).

Because I am eating like this I dont think it will due any good to weigh myself this weekend since a lot of it will be water weight. I will update sometime after monday’s workout.

Things are looking good, I’ll be following along, you picked the perfect program to follow Starting Strength, really wish I had done the same.

So you can do 5x5x220 on barbell rows and deadlift 5x265? I can’t barbell row that much and can deadlift 475 conventional, I think you need some hamstring and glute work and now that you are doing front squats in front of back squats I think you may need to add some Romanian deadlifts or something.

[quote]mrodock wrote:
Things are looking good, I’ll be following along, you picked the perfect program to follow Starting Strength, really wish I had done the same.

So you can do 5x5x220 on barbell rows and deadlift 5x265? I can’t barbell row that much and can deadlift 475 conventional, I think you need some hamstring and glute work and now that you are doing front squats in front of back squats I think you may need to add some Romanian deadlifts or something.[/quote]

Uh oh, huge mistake on my part.

Wrote in on my first workout as 220 but it was a typo, I meant 120. I swear I read over my numbers in the first post twice and had to correct typos for 2 other lifts… I believe I listed the weight correctly on Wednesday’s workout, sorry about that. I am glad you had the faith to believe in me though :slight_smile:

Regardless of the numbers I think you are right about more ham and glute work, I was thinking about that with changing to front squats.

One of my problems with back squats was that I never felt like I was working with my hams and glutes and it was taking a toll on my lower back and knees. I stopped squatting ATG (my personal lowest) and instead focused on breaking parallel but still with good form. I also started to lift with my shoes off and making sure I put weight on my heels. I watched myself squat in the mirror with no weight and It seemed like I was using my glutes to push but I still couldn’t feel it with weight on the bar.

I also pull more with my back on deadlifts despite watching videos on the form many times and trying to focus on driving my hips forward before pulling with the back. I will look into some way to work the back of my legs including the Romanian deadlifts, I just hope I can manage to do it right so I don’t end up overloading my back continuously rather than working the correct muscles.

TY for the help once again, really apreciated!

[quote]tengen10 wrote:
Uh oh, huge mistake on my part.

Wrote in on my first workout as 220 but it was a typo, I meant 120. I swear I read over my numbers in the first post twice and had to correct typos for 2 other lifts… I believe I listed the weight correctly on Wednesday’s workout, sorry about that. I am glad you had the faith to believe in me though :slight_smile:

Regardless of the numbers I think you are right about more ham and glute work, I was thinking about that with changing to front squats.

One of my problems with back squats was that I never felt like I was working with my hams and glutes and it was taking a toll on my lower back and knees. I stopped squatting ATG (my personal lowest) and instead focused on breaking parallel but still with good form. I also started to lift with my shoes off and making sure I put weight on my heels. I watched myself squat in the mirror with no weight and It seemed like I was using my glutes to push but I still couldn’t feel it with weight on the bar.

I also pull more with my back on deadlifts despite watching videos on the form many times and trying to focus on driving my hips forward before pulling with the back. I will look into some way to work the back of my legs including the Romanian deadlifts, I just hope I can manage to do it right so I don’t end up overloading my back continuously rather than working the correct muscles.

TY for the help once again, really apreciated![/quote]

I think that a wider stance for back squats can really take some lower back out of it and make it easier to sit back (making it easier to use the hams and glutes more) and keep the torso more upright. The front squat is a fantastic exercise though and I don’t think you are losing out if you choose not to do back squats. It is possible that your glutes and upper hamstrings are tight and that could make back squats, particularly really deep back squats more difficult on the low back.

I really think Romanian deadlifts are an easy exercise to learn how to do correctly. Another option is to use dumbbell swings, do them for about 12 reps but don’t be afraid of increasing weight provided your form is kept strict (i try not to swing the dumbbell too far away from my body, causes a higher moment arm which is tougher on the low back). I really think Romanian deadlifts though are the best exercise for strengthening hams and glutes and not overemphasizing the low back. The main thing is to focus on pushing your ass back and maintaining very little knee bend while doing so. Also, you need to only go as far down as your hamstring flexibility allows, so don’t go down so far that your low back rounds. Watching some videos of this and watching yourself in the mirror with light weight should prove to you it is a pretty easy exercise.

No problem on the typo, it confused me pretty damn good, haha.

As far as deadlifts go, I have suffered from the same problem. What I found was one possibility is your butt never gets low enough in the first place. Also, if your butt is too low, then you’ll just initiate the pull with your butt rising a good 6 inches or more and you’ll essentially be tipping your torso forward. So this is not good either. So look in a side mirror as you are setting up and making sure you have a slight arch in your back, your chest is up, your arms are perpendicular to the floor (bar is right underneath your shoulders). From here you need to focus on pulling with your upper back and pushing into the floor with your quads (through your heels) to break the bar off the floor. DO NOT BE AFRAID TO GO LIGHTER FOR AWHILE to get used to the new technique.

Any questions feel free to ask, if I can’t help I can probably find someone who can.

Good form: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bIEYtDfAj0Q&feature=PlayList&p=B524F3788754ED2A&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=49

She might go a shade lower than she should, can’t quite tell.

Monday workout, week 2

front squat - 5x5x170 - everything went very well, up 15lbs, good intensity, all of my reps were clean, the last rep of the last set I may have leaned forward a little, but speed was all good. No back pains and I felt like I was using my glutes a bit more after reading

I realized I was bending my knees before lowering my ass, and guess what? no knee pain today

standing db shoulder press 5x5x40’s - all went well, up from my last program where I did the 40’s 3x5.

bb rows - 5x5x130 - Insane 10lb increase, my form felt great, I don’t think I lowered my chest to meet the bar, maybe a slip up on some of the last reps, and I made sure not to bounce my knees, just focused on pulling more with the back this time instead of the arms. When I finished rippetoe’s I may have been doing 3x5x125 but with worse form.

wide grip pull-ups - 3x5 w/ 5lb dumbbell. Last time I didn’t finish all my sets and the last rep of each set was slow as hell with a bit of hang/rest time in between the last two reps. This time everything was clean, my last rep was still really slow but overall things got much better.

dips 3x5 w/ 15lb dumbbell - Another good increase here, last week may have been a little light but today I got a good workout from these. I accidentally did 6 reps on the last two sets because I forgot my own programming and was confused as to whether it was 5 or 6 reps. No shoulder pain.

Overall: Great workout, no pain, big increases across the board.

Ty for the continued advice mrodock. I watched the video on the deads but haven’t read a technical explanation yet so it didn’t do me too much good yet, but I will make sure to watch it again when I do. I am thinking about how I would be able to add those in.

Also, I have a dentist appointment scheduled during my Wednesday workout time (Scheduled before wednesday was a workout day, one of those things you don’t realize till 2 days before the appointment). Anyway since I wourkout in the school gym after school there is no where else I could go. I have a weight-training class 1st period of the day but I only lift in there on Fridays since my volume day takes too long and our teacher makes us do cardio on wednesday. I may just do some very light rehab on tuesday and thursday, nothing that would interfere with Friday’s workout.

Was able to get my wednesday workout in after all since I was allowed to lift in the morning

front squats 3x3x170
db bench 3x3x60
bb row 3x3x130

Ty for the link to the exercise, you are doing too much for me :slight_smile:

So far I will add it in on wednesday as a light set focused more on form, once I think I have the form down then maybe I should alternate romanian deads and regular deads on friday. Since it is such a similar lift I dont think it should lead to worse numbers from not doing the same lift each week.

[quote]tengen10 wrote:
Was able to get my wednesday workout in after all since I was allowed to lift in the morning

front squats 3x3x170
db bench 3x3x60
bb row 3x3x130

Ty for the link to the exercise, you are doing too much for me :slight_smile:

So far I will add it in on wednesday as a light set focused more on form, once I think I have the form down then maybe I should alternate romanian deads and regular deads on friday. Since it is such a similar lift I dont think it should lead to worse numbers from not doing the same lift each week. [/quote]

There have been people that have helped me tremendously, I’m just trying to pay it forward where I think I can.

I think since you are doing front squats (less hamstrings and glutes) you would be fine doing 2 sets of 6-10 reps of Romanian deadlifts on Monday’s, while still deadlifting every Friday. If that feels fine after a couple of weeks I would move up to 3 sets of 6-10. Try not to do them to failure, try to keep a rep or two in the tank.

Great plan on the deadlifts on monday, I never thought of that and will give it a shot next monday.

Friday workout went well

front squat 1x3x225
standing db shoulder press 1x3x50’s
deadlift 1x3x175
wide grip pullup, same 40lb dumbell, but I got extremely close to a second rep, not originally a part of the stronglifts program but I thought I would try it.

So good improvement all around, 10 lbs up on squat and dl. Still haven’t weighed myself, will do it on the weekend maybe.

I was disappointed on the shoulder press though, I can do 5x5x40 and hoped to press 55’s but i couldn’t even seem to get them up for the first rep when I tried.

I am wondering if I should use a buddy in the weight room to help me lift the dumbells up initially. I am also not sure whether to count the initial press up as a rep or not.

If I press it up fast and in good form I count it and I did for my shoulder press today but sometimes If I dont have my shoulder blades in proper position on bench and just kind of force it up in bad form I usually don’t count that as a rep.

Monday workout #3

Front Squat 5x5x175, all was well, even felt it in the back of the legs a bit which is a good sign.

db bench 5x5x60’s, 10 pound increase from last time, form was good, ending speed was a bit slow but no forced struggling reps

bb-row 5x5x135, Glad to make the improvement here, may seem small but now I get to use the 45lb plates on each side! Form on the last rep of the last 3 sets may have been a bit too bouncy but I didn’t ever move my chest to meet the bar

pull ups, 5,5,4 with a 10lb dumbbell. Last rep was always hard, I was almost a foot shy of the last rep on set 3 but I attempted it at least.

dips 3x5 with a 20lb dumbbell

Overall good improvement again today. I did not include the sldl’s because I didn’t look at the lift enough to feel confident. I had planned on doing it last night but then remembered I had a history project to do and all my plans were out the window. Going to look at the form and add in an easy set on wednesday if I can.

One thing I am now wondering about is the amount of Surge Recovery I use.

So far I do 2 scoops on monday and friday but only 1 mixed with some whey on wednesday. I know I need it on monday, and Friday, but the Friday workout doesn’t seen to be as taxing (each individual lift is hard but it doesn’t seem to put a lot of strain on me after). I may ask the supplement/beginners forum if I should just use 1 scoop + some whey on Friday too.

[quote]tengen10 wrote:
Monday workout #3

Front Squat 5x5x175, all was well, even felt it in the back of the legs a bit which is a good sign.

db bench 5x5x60’s, 10 pound increase from last time, form was good, ending speed was a bit slow but no forced struggling reps

bb-row 5x5x135, Glad to make the improvement here, may seem small but now I get to use the 45lb plates on each side! Form on the last rep of the last 3 sets may have been a bit too bouncy but I didn’t ever move my chest to meet the bar

pull ups, 5,5,4 with a 10lb dumbbell. Last rep was always hard, I was almost a foot shy of the last rep on set 3 but I attempted it at least.

dips 3x5 with a 20lb dumbbell

Overall good improvement again today. I did not include the sldl’s because I didn’t look at the lift enough to feel confident. I had planned on doing it last night but then remembered I had a history project to do and all my plans were out the window. Going to look at the form and add in an easy set on wednesday if I can.

One thing I am now wondering about is the amount of Surge Recovery I use.

So far I do 2 scoops on monday and friday but only 1 mixed with some whey on wednesday. I know I need it on monday, and Friday, but the Friday workout doesn’t seen to be as taxing (each individual lift is hard but it doesn’t seem to put a lot of strain on me after). I may ask the supplement/beginners forum if I should just use 1 scoop + some whey on Friday too.[/quote]

good workout

is the serving 30 grams?

I try to keep a 2:1 carb:protein ratio for recovery drinks. So if you are going to add some whey I would also eat a banana or something. I think 60 grams of Surge Recovery for a medium workout is reasonable. For my tough workouts I’ll use 90 grams of my post workout mix and up to 120 grams on really tough workouts.

A full two scoops is about 50g carbs and 25g protein.

Sounds good though I think I will keep up with what I have been doing but add in the banana on Wednesday. I always keep plenty on hand anyway, I like to make an hour post workout banana/blueberry or chocolate/banana smoothie with a sandwich anyway.

Wedensday

front squats 3x3x175
shoulder press 3x3x40
bb row 3x3x135
sldl 2x8x135

Did the deads with a weight that was pretty easy, I need to keep checking up on technique but they felt pretty good, I seemed to feel it in my calves and lower quads but never up to my ass. Felt a bit heavy in the back so i will check my form again. Easy recovery today.

[quote]tengen10 wrote:
Wedensday

front squats 3x3x175
shoulder press 3x3x40
bb row 3x3x135
sldl 2x8x135

Did the deads with a weight that was pretty easy, I need to keep checking up on technique but they felt pretty good, I seemed to feel it in my calves and lower quads but never up to my ass. Felt a bit heavy in the back so i will check my form again. Easy recovery today.
[/quote]

quads and calves but not ass? that’s not a real good sign. try to squeeze your ass as you get to the top. curious if your hamstrings will feel sore tomorrow. any chance you can take video next week?

I didn’t really feel much soreness on thursday and never really do. A bit in my hamstrings this time which is usually absent but no glute soreness or anything.

On tuesday my hams and ass were pretty sore though.

Friday workout went pretty well, went for max sets of 2

front squat 1x2x235
db bench 1x2x80 (I did 2 more reps with a friend holding my wrists as the left dumbbell wavered but I didn’t count these)
deadlift 1x2x290
pullup 1x2x45

I’m not sure about the video, I could probably get a really low quality cell phone video if I bugged my friends to take it but we aren’t supposed to have any of that stuff in the weight room.

Also, it is an abbreviated week of school, so I have to move my monday workout to tuesday, and will do my friday workout as normal. I think I will just do very light recovery on wednesday and thursday, like less than half of the normal amount to make sure I am not sore for friday.