Does Texas Method Build Mass?

heavy squatting
January 4, 2023 0 Comments

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In this article I will be answering the question “does texas method build mass?”. The texas method is a program developed my Mark Rippetoe to help people take their strength to the next level after the novice phase of starting strength.

It is designed to assist lifters in becoming very strong and getting to an advanced level in their strength training. Can this program also be used for hypertrophy purposes and building lots of muscle mass optimally? 

This is the topic that this article will concern itself with. By the end you will have a very good understanding of the texas method and whether the program can be used to build lots of muscle mass. 

Does Texas Method Build Mass?

The texas method is a strength training program that is heavily focused on the big compound movements. It is minimalistic in nature and is concentrated around the squat, bench press and the deadlift.

There is a volume day, a recovery day and an intensity day and very few other movements are utilised. By the nature of this program emphasising squats, benches and deadlifts, you will certainly gain strength on this program and build muscle.

There is a loose correlation between strength and size. If you take your squat from 405lbs to 500lbs + you will certainly see some muscle growth in your lower body as well. Is the texas method optimal for building muscle mass?

This can be argued, as it is minimalistic and doesn’t involve reps in the range of 12+ that you see many bodybuilders performing. It may not be optimal if your goal is to build the most muscle mass.

If that is your goal you would need to modify the program to more of a powerbuilding program or do a standard bodybuilding program instead.

What Is The Texas Method?

I am going to succinctly outline how the texas method works. The program is designed to take you to the next level in terms of strength on the squat, bench and deadlift.

There is a volume day, recovery day and intensity day. The volume day involves doing squats for 5 sets of 5 at 90% of your 5RM. The bench press or overhead press calls for 5 sets of 5 at 90% of your 5RM. Finally, the deadlift is a single sets of 5 at 90% of your 5RM.

The recovery day is designed to bridge the volume and intensity days. It involves performing 2 sets of 5 on the squat at 80% of your working weight on volume day. You would rotate bench press or overhead press depending on what you did on volume day.

If you benched on volume day then you would overhead press on the intensity day. The prescription is to do 3×5 at 90% of your previous 5×5 weight. Chin ups are to be done for 3 sets at your bodyweight. You also have a choice between back extensions and glute ham raises for 5×10.

The intensity day is the day that puts hairs on your chest. It is intended to be very heavy and intense. On the squat you would work up to a new 5RM. On the bench or overhead press you would work up to a new 5RM. On the power clean you would do 5×3 or 6×2. 

Assistance exercises are minimal and generally discouraged. Mark Rippetoe generally views bodybuilding and training for vanity as not manly and he frowns upon it. There are ways of modifying the texas method for hypertrophy which I will discuss later.
heavy squatting

Texas Method Requires Base Foundation

It is important not to jump into the texas method as a complete beginner. It is intended to be used by intermediate lifters who have already had at least 6 months of experience with a linear progression program.

Once you have stalled after many months of good gains on a linear progression program like starting strength, should you think about even trying the texas method.

This is a very important point and one that I felt needed to be conveyed.

Can You Build Mass With Low Reps?

When we think of the stereotypical mass monsters with huge muscles we often think of professional bodybuilders. These people don’t often train with very low reps.

Their aim is to work the muscle and make it grow bigger. They will often do many reps and sets on different exercise and hit the muscles from many angles. Lots of isolation exercises are used to achieve this. It is all about establishing that mind muscle connection and pumping the muscle full of blood.

This is not to say that you can’t build solid muscle mass from strength training with a focus around low reps. You absolutely can, providing you are in a caloric surplus and are feeding your body the quality nutrients that it needs to grow. 

For optimal results in terms of muscle hypertrophy, you would have to modify your approach to train more like a traditional bodybuilder. 

How To Modify The Texas Method For More Hypertrophy

I am now going to provide some advice for how you can modify the texas method for greater gains in muscle mass. 

The idea would be to transform the standard 3 day texas method program to a 4 day program with a focus around “powerbuilding”. Below is an outline of how you could structure this.

Day 1: 5×5 bench press or overhead press.
Day 2: 5×5 squat, 1×5 deadlift
Day 3: Upper body hypertrophy work (3-5 sets of 10-15 reps) – dumbbell curl, tricep extensions, rows, pull ups/pulldowns, pec flyes.
Day 4: Lower body hypertrophy work (3-5 sets of 10-15 reps) – leg extensions, leg curls, calf raises, reverse hyper, back extensions. 

This program would work pretty well for a powerbuilding approach. You would make good gains in both strength and size. The addition of hypertrophy days in higher rep ranges would help to facilitate extra muscle growth.

Because day 1 in particular is limited to just one upper body exercise it will be easy to recover from. Day 2 is just the squat and deadlift and there is a good 2 day gap before the lower body hypertrophy work. 

Final Thoughts

Does texas method build mass? The answer is it will build mass and solid strength. This is all providing that you are eating in a caloric surplus and providing your body the adequate nutrients it needs.

You also must stick to the program and put forth the effort. Is the texas method optimal if your main focus is building lots of muscle mass? I would say no, if that is your goal you should modify the program as I have shown in the article.

This way you would be able to get the best of both worlds. If you give my version of the texas method a try please let me know in the comments how the program worked for you.

As always, stay safe and enjoy your training!

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