Texas Method: Hit PR's Weekly With This Program [With Spreadsheet]

by Nader Qudimat
Updated November 28, 2021
Strength Training
Experience Level
Linear, Undulating 
Made for intermediate level lifters
Great for strength training and muscle development
Uses a active recovery day in middle of week
Some may use active recovery day to train hard

Bottom Line

Anyone who strength trains has likely heard of Glenn Pendlay.

The Texas Program was created by the late, great Glenn Pendlay.

It's a strength training program that uses 5 sets and is made for those who have completed a program like StrongLifts or Starting Strength.  

Glenn designed this program to help intermediate lifters hit a PR on a weekly basis. 

For how to save spreadsheet instructions, click here. 

Click Here For Spreadsheet 

The Texas Method takes 5x5 training to the next level.

It's a program that consists of 3 days a week with sessions that vary in effort, with the middle session (Wednesday) being a active recovery day. 

Texas Method aims to set a new PR every week. 

And every week is one cycle.

The first day of the week, Monday, is a volume day which is then followed by a light recovery day on Wednesday.

Friday is a intense day as it is when you attempt your new PR. 

The Texas Method Spreadsheet

Before diving into the Texas Method, it's recommend that you read Practical Programming by Mark Rippetoe.

Practical Programming will show you how to best customize the program to maximize your results on the program.

It breaks down the variations and principles in Texas Method and if you're a powerlifting, it'll be practically useful for you.  

There are also 11 programs in Practical Programming that are similar to Texas Method. 

To get started with the spreadsheet, just insert your 1RM and your workouts will be calculated automatically. 

As you progress and put in more numbers, workouts will continue to be automatically calculated. 

There are 2 week microcycles and 6 week mesocycles. 

How To Get Started with The Texas Method

If you've run a program that's similar to Starting Strength, or Strong Lifts, then this program is more than likely to be the next logical step for you. 

You can do barbell rows instead of power cleans if you wish, and it's recommended that you do a weight that you can do 5 sets of 3 with, so you wouldn't need to do heavy singles. 

Put in your weight and reps for your deadlifts but for squats, you'll want to do 5x5 and 1x5 training. 

The weight might feel light in the first few weeks but you'll quickly progress.

For bench press and overhead press, you'll find your 1RM calculated for you, which will be the target weight you want to achieve in the first workout. 

Then on the 3rd week, you'll want to aim for 2 reps of your 1RM max.

On the 5th week, you'll aim for 3 reps.

Once you've reached this for the bench press and overhead press, you'll have three choices. 

If you've achieved the target reps on the 1RM numbers then go for the "let 'er rip".

Slow roll uses 2 weeks increments, which will slow down progression a bit. 

And then finally the limit option, the slowest option with 3 week increments. 

I would recommend going with either slow roll or limit if you have missed reps, which is fine since you don't want to rush or be impatient. 

FAQs for the Texas Method

You have the program but now you have questions, let's hope you'll find your answer below. 

If not, then feel free to leave a comment below and I'll help as best as I can. 

What Is The Texas Method Program?

Using sets 5, the Texas Method is made for those who have completed a program like Strong Lifts, Starting Strength or GreySkull LP.

If you're at a level where you can't progress throughout the week, then you're likely ready for a program like the Texas Method.

It uses linear progression with weekly progression and 3 different days for 3 different purposes. 

The first day is a high volume day, followed by a recovery day, then an intensity day where you will aim to break a PR. 

Is Texas Method Made For Bodybuilding?

The Texas Method is made for strength building first, muscle building second. 

There is a volume day in the beginning of the week, with an intensity day at the end of the week. 

Many bodybuilders have impressive numbers on their compound lifts because they incorporate or have done powerlifting / strength training.

And when you've just completed a beginners program, it's wise to continue building up strength.

The Texas Method is one of the best intermediate programs you can use. 

To ensure proper recovery, it uses the middle of the week for one active recovery day to help you make the most out of the final workout of the week. 

Who Is The Creator of Texas Method?

The late legendary strength coach Glenn Pendlay, made Texas Method in response to a challenge that was proposed by one of his athletes.

Glenn was the head coach at the Witchita Falls Athletic Club in Texas. 

His athlete made the suggestion: if the lifter can hit a new PR set of 5 reps, could they only do 1 set for that training session instead of 5 sets?

This led to the creation of the Texas Method, which is a variation of the Hepburn Method.

How Do I Know If I Need To Adjust Anything?

A sure way to know if you need to make changes is if you can't complete the target reps. 

If you can't, then you should reduce the volume unless you know your diet and sleep isn't sufficient. 

Sleep can have a huge impact especially if it's a recurring issue. 

This usually happens on the intensity day (Friday).

So if you struggle to complete a 5 rep set then reduce this to 2 sets of 3 with the same weight. 

But if you were able to achieve 5 reps and found it very difficult, then you can increase the weight to 5lbs with the same 2 sets of 3. 

After a few weeks, you can switch to 5 sets of 1 rep.

Then once 5 sets of 1 rep gets difficult, tone it down to 3 sets of 1 rep.

When you hit a plateau with 3 sets of 1 rep, then use this weight as your new 1 rep max. 

And from here you can start a new cycle of 5 rep sets. 

The Practical Programming book dives deep into more advanced variations for intensity days.  

Texas Method Explained in a Video 

Here you can watch a overview of the Texas Method (ignore the title).

Will I Make Massive Gains with Texas Method?

Since you should already be past the novice stage, you won't see dramatic gains, in strength or muscle, with the Texas Method. 

It will however set you on the right path for maximizing strength gains in the shortest time naturally possible. 

This program is very productive and focuses mainly on compound lifts while setting new PRs on a weekly basis. 

It's not designed to continue working forever, as no program would, but it is the perfect introduction to complicated programming. 

This will be necessary to know for when you reach more advanced levels of strength training.

Break New Weekly PR's with Texas Method

Glenn designed Texas Method for strength training while also helping with muscle gains. 

It's programmed strategically with 3 different types of workouts that's done on a weekly basis. 

With a high volume day in the beginning, a recovery in the middle and a intensity day on the final day, this program will show you how programming is done and it'll set you up for more advanced programming when you reach that level. 

You can see more intermediate level programs here. 

by Nader Qudimat

Forged by the iron and cold steel, Nader takes his knowledge and hulks it up into this site.

Having to be stuck as a 110lb skinny guy in the early days, he has had no choice but to keep improving himself until he cannot.

Click here to check out his 12 year transformation: Natural 12 Year Transformation

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