TXM Phase 2 – What Progress Means

As a novice to intermediate lifter, it can sometimes be difficult to plot progress. While you can track gains from week to week, it is sometimes difficult to get a good feel for where you’re at. A lingering uncertainty is the bane of the early lifter, which is sort of an undocumented phase of the whole thing that I’d like to focus on. I’m a normal, middle aged nonathletic lifter looking for steady gains that might amount to something, someday. So far a ton of time focused on training and programming has gotten me going “down the path” one might say, with plenty of knowledge to form a good foundation.

Status Update

While ripping up my calves in a deadlift has me a bit sour, what makes it moreso is continually being tired. I find one thing that has impacted my training quite substantially is just not doing as much cardio as I did when I started. Just feel less energetic, and take more time in the gym when I am there. For financial reasons I’ve decided to stay at home working out – that also has limited the routines, as I don’t have a ton of equipment (power rack, barbell, plates, bench). However creativity has me going back and forth on things.

As stated in my last update, part of that is definitely work related. Life stress definitely has a big impact and with an erratic schedule and a family life to take care of. It’s important to juggle fitness goals with personal life, but sometimes it’s hard to find where it fits together and that’s where I’m at right now. Now if anyone finds themselves in this type of situation I definitely believe staying focused on the goal is the best thing, and my priority with lifting is definitely keeping progress good on the big three.

Right now I’m closing week 25 of my Texas Method variant. As I’ve stated before, I’ve played with it a bit to suit personal preferences and in the last few weeks I’ve increased the volume, started using it as more a hypertrophying workout. I’ve made some small amount of progress, but not as much as I should. I have though in the last few weeks to getting back into doing cardio – weeks of bulking has started leaving me a little, well, bloated. Some powerlifters definitely develop a body type which involves a bit of excess body fat and that’s part of the training style, but personally I think a cut is part of my programming soon just out of necessity.

Going Forward

So as far as the program goes, I think it’s important that everyone in their progress not get too happy with one static system. I think progress is something you plan out and grow on, and that means when one training program progresses through a lot of its logical steps that rather than stick to it for its own stake, you identify a good place to progress to the next thing. That I think will push training to better results and keep people losing focus on track and that’s always a very personal choice. Without doing these types of shifts people will often just give up when a favored system wears thin or life gets in the way. I don’t mean to advocate program hopping but at the point you realize you got something else that will work better, start shifting gears. Planned progression is in my view, the thing that will get me to that point I’d like to be in 5-10 years.

With that in mind, after I recover from my injury I’d like to switch my plan up with a more high volume workout plan, maybe do split lifting days rather than doing all three “big lifts” every workout. Still not 100% sure there. Definitely going to take back lifting values and reset them a little bit, work on form get nice and focused form. Switching from high bar to low bar back squatting to get more familiar. Going to continue developing my Power Clean, and find more workouts for my rear delts and scapular retraction that I can do at home.

I would like to do a period of more genuine bodybuilder style working out too, as I feel it will help my lifting in the long haul, and while I don’t prefer to train that way I think this is definitely a focus shift. Then top it off with a nice cut before I go back to focused strength training.

I think it’s a good plan. For now, recharge, play around and settle in, then shift it up a bit. I think it’s healthy for anyone in this type of situation to do sometimes when it comes to a fitness plan. I definitely encourage anyone interested in any level to have SOME kind of plan in mind before going forward.


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

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Projects & Links

The Thomas Jefferson Blog

My book that I wrote about a founding father who finds himself lost in time, set in the 2003-2006 post 9/11 Bush era of politics. Free for reading online, although I’ve abandoned efforts to get it published.
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