T Nation

Texas Method/ Volume-Intensity Training

Would like input from anyone who has ran the TM or some kind of weekly training program which has you manipulate volume and intensity to achieve gains.

The Rippetoe article here says to use 90% of your 5RM for the 5x5 day.
The TM book by 70sbig guys said a good difference is around 70lbs. They were also talking about the squat and I assume this does not apply to the bench. Even a 300lb bench would have a 5x5 that’s around 70% of the 5RM then.

Also, if you calculate the % of 5RM from the book their guideline of 70ish lbs does come out to about 87%. But this is because their examples are lifting 450-500lbs for a set of five. My squats are nowhere near that level (hell at my 79kg BW 500x5 would be near elite level…)

SO, What kind of balance did you achieve running TM or a similarly structured training schedule? Would love to hear others’ experiences as I attempt to fine tune this to my body.

Has anyone also tried INCREASING the volume on the intensity day? Due to my work schedule I’m now lifting M-Tu-Th, leaving me with three days of rest. I’m used to training with a higher a volume anyway so I’m thinking of maybe trying something like two sets of five, or getting a 5RM set and then trying the same weight for three.

I have been doing this for 4 weeks now. Here are my numbers all in kg. Bigger numbers = squat smaller = bench. Also all bench reps are paused. I usually use a fairly long pause on volume days.

W1. 120/147.5, 80/90
W2. 120/150, 80/92.5
W3. 125/155, 80/95
W4. 130/155, 82.5/97.5

Volume for squats was too easy so I started increasing it rapidly. W3’s intensity squats I were able to get, but the last two were way too high and definitely a red flag, so I did one more set of two and decided to try for the same weight this week. I went too far in the hole and failed my 5th rep this week but all reps were good and clean. Did one more set with three reps. Barely missed the fifth rep on the bench, followed up and got an easy three rep set.

Next week I’m going to up the volume day and thinking about trying for a 2x5 on the intensity day (lowering the squat to 152.5, bench probably same).

Also my apologies that this sounds like a training log. It’s my first time using this approach and there is a lot that must be intuited so I wanna put my thoughts out there for critique.

People with experience (or currently running something similar) join the discussion!

[quote]Sutebun wrote:

Has anyone also tried INCREASING the volume on the intensity day?[/quote]

Why don’t you focus on increasing the intensity on intensity day?

The purpose of the volume day is to disrupt homeostasis and induce adaptation that will be expressed on the intensity day.

My recommendation would be to fight the temptation to go full retard on volume day. Use 3x5 at 85-90% of your 1rm for volume day and temper your expectations for the initial intensity day, plan on a set of 5 with about 80% of your 1rm. Increase this weight 5 lbs every week in the run and you should be able to build up to a new PR. Continue using that load and volume until you need to increase the “dose” of volume in order to continue gaining on intensity day. Doing more volume isn’t the point of the program, lifting more weight on Friday is.

So:

Monday:
3x5 @85-90% of 5RM, keep this weight and sets/reps until progress on Friday stalls. Don’t be a volume queen, use only as much volume as you need to keep gaining on Fridays.

Wednesday:
optional light day

Friday:
1x5 @80% of 1RM, add 5-10 lbs per week and build up to a new PR over time.

I did TM for a few months but I had to stop because I couldn’t get enough sleep towards the end ( new hours at job) . It ground me up and spit me out . Make sure you are eating a lot and try to get as much sleep as you can. I loved it . the intensity day was a real rush because that 5th rep was always a battle. volume got daunting too just because of the weights. I think i was doing volume with 405 and intensity some where around 440 by the end . I should have dropped the volume a bit and focused more on driving the intensity up but my strength in the volume day were always faster then my 5 rm day. I also felt like my deadlift rose quickly at first and then really fell flat. a little more volume there may have helped but Im not sure where I could have put it

Edit: yea just read strongholds post. I got a little volume queeny. too much volume, not enough recovery. burnt my self out.

Thanks for the comments.

If anything my volume days are too weak. This was just due to a lack of knowledge.

Also, I had been doing high volume training mostly in the 70-80% range for the past few months and my technical ability (timing et up etc) has become pretty poor when doing real heavyweights. I like the idea of going for a harder intensity on the volume day and dropping some volume if needed because I need practice with those do or die reps.

Lets see how next week goes…

[quote]Sutebun wrote:
Thanks for the comments.

If anything my volume days are too weak. This was just due to a lack of knowledge.

Also, I had been doing high volume training mostly in the 70-80% range for the past few months and my technical ability (timing et up etc) has become pretty poor when doing real heavyweights. I like the idea of going for a harder intensity on the volume day and dropping some volume if needed because I need practice with those do or die reps.

Lets see how next week goes…[/quote]

I don’t think you understand the program. You should read Practical Programming as well as the 70s Big Texas Method books. And I don’t mean just skip ahead to where the sets/reps are listed, I mean actually read the how’s and why’s.

The intensity day is where you practice the do or die reps. That set should be heavy and close to failure.

The volume day is nothing more than a method of “setting up” the intensity day. If you can get stronger on intensity day consistently week to week without doing the volume day, there is no need to do the volume day.

Doing two intensity days per week is NOT the Texas Method. The Texas method is a form of weekly periodization where the high volume day stresses the body into adaptations that are realized as strength gains on the intensity day. What you are describing is called “going heavy all of the time”.

I didn’t mention doing two intensity days…I’m looking at my numbers which I have done and they are off from the percentages you posted. My intensity is lighter than those percentages… By do or die reps I don’t mean a maximum effort, I mean a weight where if you slipped up technically you could likely fail.

I have read the book by 70sbig several times over and very well understand the idea and set up of the TM. But there seem to be discrepancies in how people balance that line of volume and intensity, which is why I made this post.

There’s a chart in the 70sBig book that details how to adjust volume vs intensity.