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Why The Bridge Over the Texas Method template?

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  • Why The Bridge Over the Texas Method template?

    I am aware that there was a divide between SSOC and Barbell Medicine coaches. I have been an active member in Starting Strength forums and recently joined this forum and I am loving it so far. I own both Starting Strength and Practical Programming ed. 3. I am quickly approaching the end of my novice progression. My bench and press have been stuck at the same weight 2-3 workouts and I feel like I am wasting time backing up and then microloading to get anywhere. I get 8 hours of sleep a night and eat 3000 calories. I am 17 yrs. old, 5'10" and 190 lbs. I had decided to run the 4-day version of the Texas Method after my NLP, but templates seem very confusing to me because although it is an "intermediate" program and is supposed to be adjusted towards my goals, recovery, etc. that just seems too difficult for me to do with a lack of programming knowledge. I would rather get a personal coach or acquire a program (free or pay) and follow it instead of using a template and modifying it myself because I do not know what I am doing right now. So why would you guys in this forum recommend me use "The Bridge" rather than the Texas Method template? Be brutally honest, what makes "The Bridge" stand out from the Texas Method. Maybe these answers will help clear up my confusion and lay out my future programming after NLP. I want to plan ahead for intermediate programming so I will know what my best options are.

  • #2
    Well first off, the free Bridge PDF goes at length into why it programs the things in it that are different from TM, so you should start there for the answers to your questions. But if you want a quick and dirty forum reason why BBM considers The Bridge superior to TM...

    Jordan saw how a lot of people were (or weren't) responding to TM and came up with The Bridge as an alternative post Novice template. It uses RPE (sometimes difficult for a post SS to buy into, but now popular in a lot of powerlifting circles besides just Reactive Training Systems and BBM) to regulate the load. This means that although it generally has more volume, this volume is at loads that are more easily managed, and better recovered from. Additionally, there is much more exercise variation, in that besides the 3 primary lifts once a week, there are "supplemental" exercises that vary tempo, range of motion, or grip width in various ways that are typically unfamiliar to an SS novice. It was my experience that these variations went a long ways towards un-fucking my bar path on the squat, like nothing else I'd experienced being totally uncoached, so they were worth the effort.

    Running The Bridge especially if you dig through and study the accompanying text will improve your self efficacy at understanding programming, and understanding what you respond to programming wise.

    Now for some comments on the 4day TM. Jordan's version of this is option 9 in his 12 ways to skin the TM published in 2015. I made one modification to the upper body days when I ran it back in 2016, and had a LOT of success with the upper body portion so I always mention it when someone asks about the 4 day TM. Here is a copy/paste of something I wrote on this a few months ago.

    My tweak to Jordan's version of the split was instead of doing all the press/bench volume on the same day, and intensity blocks for both on the alternate day, and bench first for each of those days, it looked more like this
    Press/Bench Day 1 Bench/Press Day 2
    Press 3x3 Bench 1x5
    Bench 5x5 Press 3x8
    I actually started running a self-programmed version of that upper body split yesterday using RPE, but my writeup on that assumes you have read and run The Bridge.
    Forum topics and other links I've found useful


    • #3
      Basically +1 to everything Serack said. I would like to add that another very important way that the Bridge incorporates variation that Texas Method overlooks is that it introduces you to different rep ranges for your main and assistance lifts. Back in the day, I did a four day split of the Texas Method for close to a year. I basically found that I just got good at grinding out "fahves" since I had just been doing 5 reps for the vast majority of my working sets for like a year and a half when you include the couple runs at the SSNLP I did before the TM. I essentially "peaked" my 5RM out and found that the strength did not transfer proportionally whatsoever to triples, doubles, singles, etc. (I was also clueless about programming and managing fatigue and all that stuff at the time, but a better designed program should've helped a dumbass like me deal with that).

      I linked an article below that Jordan wrote back in 2017 that is very relevant to your question. In it, he critiques the Texas Method and 5/3/1 and discusses his main issues with both programs. He didn't advocate for the Bridge back then because he hadn't created it yet, but if he were to go back now and edit that article, I think that's what he would advise.


      • #4
        In addition to the helpful posts above, I want to affirm that you should be able to do just fine with the Bridge and no personal coach at this time. You are still young in your training career, and a top priority should be training with a reasonable program, being consistently, and learning to auto-regulate your training as needed. At this point, you should NOT need to modify a template.


        • #5
          Originally posted by Leah Lutz View Post
          At this point, you should NOT need to modify a template.
          heh, I'm an engineer, I like how The Bridge and much of the other BBM material spells out the hows and whys of things, thus improving my self efficacy.

          Then when things go slightly sideways and my grip fails during that last set of RDLs or I'm running over the time allowed for my lunch break workouts, I have that self efficacy to make the necessary adjustments (for me, grab the straps for the last sets of RDL's since grip strength wasn't the primary training stimulus target, and swap in some MyoReps or reconfigure to a 4 day rather than 3 day)
          Forum topics and other links I've found useful


          • Leah Lutz
            Leah Lutz commented
            Editing a comment
            However, Richard, aren't you quite a bit further along in your training than just off the NLP? I was addressing the OP. At his age and training level, he should be able to confidently use an existing program, learn from that as he goes, profit, and think about modification LATER on. Even at 17, he's not going to have the same work demands that you're referring to, so I'll stand by my suggestion to run a program as written, (get stronger and learn a lot in the process).

            I think you're adding some unnecessary details here. :-)

          • Serack
            Serack commented
            Editing a comment
            Agreed. And I may be indulging in some bragging.

            Edit: Oh, and it wasn't until I re-read your comment that I saw whatcha did there when you addressed me *wave*
            Last edited by Serack; 01-09-2020, 12:48 AM.