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TXM Phase 1 Review

Alright, ran my first 12 weeks of my Texas Method variant and figured I’d log my thoughts and progress.

Current Status

When we last left off I was recapping my progress from the beginning, barely over 2 years ago when honestly when I knew little to nothing about lifting. I feel like I’ve made good progress all considered, but progress as a late bloomer sure is slow. Getting into lifting is definitely not a life decision that pays off to wait till the mid 30’s to make. Better late than never?

I still have not done much cardio like I should, that again has been a secondary priority to life and lifting. All said it is the biggest thing I’ve lacked, but during this cycle I had a lot of life stressors, and honestly when life throws things at you just staying consistent on a lifting program is itself quite a challenge.

Alright, so to recap where I was at I have not done much weight capacity testing since starting but to begin, I lowered the weight a bit and just stuck to the program. There were a few minor revisions, made myself a nice spreadsheet to keep track of my progress, and now I’ve got it going pretty smooth. 12 weeks have passed since I began this period of training.

Progression Overview

Starting the Texas Method was rocky because I had just purchased my first house and was moving. I had one week be a false start due to moving plus work (didn’t count it as my first week after I realized how poorly it was going), then the second week was incomplete but was enough to consider it started.

First week was good all around, but the second week started with a little bit of the sickness. I got sick three times during these last 12 weeks which really had a big impact on progress. By week 3 I was bouncing gyms, checking out the new ones in the area near my new house and had a bit of an irregular work schedule. Week 4 saw a bomb drop, my last workout at my old gym which suddenly closed out of nowhere, only found out on the start of week 5. Sadness!

At this point, through the next several weeks, work just kept getting more and more demanding on my personal life. I took a deload week to recover my mind from the move (the moving wound up being over two weeks of stuff to take care of it) and finding myself coming back to a crapton of work. I scaled back progressive overload each week just due to the overall life stress this brought on. Work is not even settling down now to be honest.

Entering week 9 I had a work vacation, my mom came down to visit so I got a week of time to destress from work, I used the time to set up my home gym. Got myself a nice Rogue R3 (Shorty) power rack, built and slapped it on a somewhat poorly built but good lifting platform, and got myself a cheap set of weights and a beater barbell. Nothing fancy but enough to do my workouts at home. This has really helped me adjust my life now that my super favorite gym is closed, and was one of the reasons I bought the house I did, so just nice all around. Near the end of this week though I had a minor setback in the form of a shoulder strain on my lighter recover & control day. The strain happened at my new outside the house gym – decided I should have a place to work out when I feel a need to get out of the house still. After my workout was mostly done (was going to do one more accessory then leave) I was just moving a standard barbell from one spot to another but however I grabbed the bar and held it just created a freak strain in the shoulder. I froze my bench press weights and took it extra careful in the weeks to come.

Around this time as well I started to notice that as my deadlift weights moved up, my grip became an issue. I was concerned this might catch up to me at some point, because I prefer my volume day be done with a double overhand grip to maintain good training for my grip strength, but I’ve had to stop that. I’ve started a few more grip-centric accessories but ultimately on week 10 I realized that I simply had to reset the deadlift back a good number of pounds. I feel like it’ll just be good for me all around to step back, and get things straight. I’m not certain if I’m going to keep pushing to do more lighter sets with double overhand grip or just start using the alternating grip more often, but in general a weight reset can really be helpful sometimes.

I also added a couple days of extra stretching during this time period to just provide a little relief, especially in the shoulder area which got strained. I worked through the issue and felt really good to do so. Now I’d say my shoulder is nice and healed up.

Another thing I decided was I could feel a little burnout happening and I took a look at my program, and decided perhaps it might be due to having too much deadlifting in the program. The traditional Texas Method and popular variants have less deadlifting than my variation does, so I scaled mine back a little bit, I like deadlifting and want to do it more than prescribed but I don’t want it to be counterproductive to the training model. I feel pretty good about where it’s at.

So with week 12 in the bag, it’s too soon since my last deload to do another deload so I decided the best bet to just change things up, give my body some time to heal and grow and feel good, is to do some low weight high volume work this week. So a little off program, but sometimes that’s a great thing to have.

Conclusions & Progress Updates

I’ve told myself I’d give the Texas Method at least 6 months before really testing too much or thinking too much about the progress. I will say this: versus my old plan there is definite visible planned progressive overload on this plan and I like that a lot. Aside from that, there is a better improvement in my squat and bench press which I feel confident about. No progress which is world changing – just a steady, slow growth which is real comfortable to me. I’d hope anyone in my situation would feel the same way and not want those quick and dirty gains.

There is not a lot of muscle weight or body composition changing, to that extent I am concerned diet wise that I may not eat enough (which might make my girlfriend sad as I eat probably as much at dinner at her and her two kids), but I honestly am happy just making strength gains progressively for now the way I am. It is true that if I added an extra meal I might grow better, but it’s also true that I might just get fatter and need to cut if I ate too much more. Once strength progression stops, I’ll revise my eating plans.

No recap on my lifting values because I’m not going to test them for probably another 12 weeks. I will however link a lot of my favorite pics from this training cycle…


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Some of my favorite pics during this training cycle… click on the photo to check them out on Flickr

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