T Nation

Texas Method to Restore Strength


Almost two years after a nasty shoulder injury and surgery, time to get back to the basics and regain some strength that I've lost. Read and researched Rippetoe's Starting Strength and Texas Method and like it's straight-forward approach. ...so here goes.

Starting Stats (11/12):

5 Rep Max

Squats - 250 lbs
Bench Press - 225 lbs
Deadlift - 205 lbs

Intensity Day 11/19:
Squats 255x5
Bench Press 230x5
Power Cleans 135x5

Still trying to get the mechanics of the Power Clean down....have never done this lift and trying to learn it. After one week of Texas Method, the joints feel good and strength holding pretty steady.


11/22 - Week 2 Volume Day

Squats: 5x5, 230 lbs
Overhead Press: 5x5, 135
Deadlift: 1x5, 225

Squats: After 10 minutes of light warm-up and another 10 minutes of stretching and foam roller work, got started with a few sets of 135 lb squats to warm-up and focus on mechanics. All working sets of 230 felt good. Lower back did feel a bit tight when finished though.

OHP: performed 2 sets of warm-up, bar alone and then with 95 lbs. First working set of 135 felt like I was fighting the weigh a bit too much in my lower back....probably should've taken a few more minutes to rest and work any kinks out of my lower back after squats. Ended up taking some weight off the bar and finishing the last 4 working sets with 115 lbs total

Deadlift: After taking a few minutes to work on the mechanics using lighter weights, easily drove out 5 reps with good form.


11/26 - Week 2 Intensity Day

1x8 @ 135

Overhead Press:

Power Cleans:

Squats: Adjust grip to a bit wider to ease some of the strain on my elbows, did a lot of stretch and foam roller work before starting as well. Felt good and strong.

OHP: performed 2 sets of warm-up, bar alone and then with 95 lbs. After the struggles I had on the volume day with 135, wasn't surprised when it still felt tough. It's not that the weight felt heavy, but my right shoulder did feel a bit uncomfortable. Last time I didn't listen to my body and forced my way through a work-out, I ended up with a torn biceps tendon and damage to my rotator cuff. I'll be happy to take this lift much less aggressively on weight increases and let the muscle strength come at pace conducive to joint health

Power Cleans: Still trying to figure out how to coordinate the mechanics following the jump portion of the lift...but overall didn't feel bad. I think I'll be ready to start adding some weight to this lift soon.


11/29 - Week 3

Starting week 3 of the Texas Method this week. My right knee has a slight click/pop when going up stairs that I haven't experienced in a long time. Probably due to the higher squat weights from last week's Intensity day. Nothing painful and is probably a bad meniscus....If anyone ever finds a way to rapidly repair/restore soft tissue, I don't care how much it costs...I'm buying. Until I find joint tissue in a bottle....I decided to take an extra day of recovery today and will perform Week 3 - Volume day tomorrow. A couple random thoughts as a result....

  • Getting older and wiser at the expense of youthful ability to recover sucks.
  • I wonder how much stronger I might be (and how many fewer injuries I might have had) if my high school coaches had been better educated on proper form/technique?
  • I've noticed an new kind of soreness in my legs that I don't ever recall experiencing. It's kind of a heavy ache deep in the muscle itself (not near any joints or connective tissue). Foam roller or rolling pin work seems to help


11/30 - Week 3

Squats: 5x5, 260 lbs
Bench: 5x5, 230
Deadlift: 1x5, 225

Squats: After stretching and warm-up began working through the squat portion, all 5 sets felt ok, although my energy levels have really sucked since last week. While the extra day of rest feels like it helped some of the soreness in the legs, just overall energy and focus isn't there.

Bench: Not sure why, but 230 felt really heavy today. Struggled to get through it all.

Deadlift: Took serveral minutes to rest after Bench, after 5 sets of 5 on bench and squats, I felt spent. When I did drag myself up to the rack, I was able to power through a single set of 5 deadlifts with no issues.

Notes: Went to see the doctor not too long after this and was treated with antibiotics and a steroid injection to try and clear up whatever upper-repspritory condition is wiping me out and causing me to hack up a lung.


12/26 - Week 7

Squats: 5x5, 280 lbs
Bench: 5x5, 205
Deadlift: 1x5, 280

Squats: Felt strong, finally starting to feel like I'm getting into a groove with the movement.

Bench: Had to drop weight over the last few weeks until my shoulder gets used to the volume, don't want to risk another significant injury here and have learned to listen to my body...even if I don't like what it has to say.

Deadlift: Just now starting to get the hang of this lift....280 was not a problem.

Notes: The time away from the gym in early December (5th-10th) was a double edged sword. I was able to get rid of whatever upper repspritory bug I had and heal some soreness in my right knee and elbow, but certainly came at the expense of progress. Oh well...it's a marathon not a sprint.


12/28 - Week 7

Squats: 3x5, 225 lbs
Bench: 2x5, 215
Deadlift: 1x5, 225
Dumbell Curls: 1x5, 25lbs | 1x5, 30lbs (4 sets)
Ybar press downs: 2x5, 110lbs

Notes: Recovery Day


1/3 - Week 8 Volume Day

Squats: 5x5, 285 lbs
Bench: 5x5, 210
Deadlift: 1x5, 280

Training during the lunch hour seems to provide the best combination of flexibility (with minimal warm-up) and energy level. May need to try widening the grip on bench press. The relatively narrow grip that I've been using continues to place a lot of strain on the biceps and bicep tendons.