Lifting weights can be intimidating, especially if you are just starting to weight train. It’s difficult to watch all the experienced lifters while you have significantly less weight. But don’t worry, you will get there one day. All that is required is some hard work and dedication. However, it’s important that you make sure you find a training program that is right for you. To help you out, we reached out to Pat Commeret, a professional trainer who is here to find the best program from you. Today, we’re focusing on lower body programs.
The Texas Method
This strength program allows lifters to balance an increase in lifting weight and varied volumes with a good amount of recovery time. The Texas method is only meant for intermediate to advanced lifters. The method is broken down to 3 days a week. The first is the volume day consisting of sets of 5 reps at 90% of your max weight for a few different workouts. The second day is the recovery day and it’s just as important as the other days of the week. Last but not least is the intensity day where the heat and work effort are turned up. The best part about this method lies in it’s simplicity with just a few workouts to focus on each day. If you are interested in this program, you can find a blank spreadsheet here to get you started.
What Pat says…
“I have come to really like this program. I think for most of my crossfit athletes it delivers the right amount of volume, but not too much. It also gives you a focused opportunity to hit a single heavy set each week. I have seen this integrated well and think this is a great intermediate program.”
The Smolov Method
This method is great for beginners and intermediate lifters but expect a grueling and difficult 13 weeks. There are 5 cycles throughout the 13 weeks including a taper week so you can hit your max squat at the end of the program. Each week consists of squatting four times a week at different levels based on the phases. This method will not only help you reach a new max weight for your squats, it’ll also help you shed body fat while also gaining a ton of muscle. Head here to find a blank spreadsheet to get you started on this method.
What Pat says…
“This program again falls under the higher volume with higher intensity. Great program if you designate days and weeks to hone in on just squatting. Again just like hatch this program can break people if it is not programmed and planned out correctly. With the right recovery and correct mindset, if you make it through this whole program with each phase you are going to come out with serious strength gains.”
The Hatch Method
The last program is a just as difficult as the first two if not more challenging. This twelve week program consists of a combination of back and front squats at varying repetitions and weights. One benefit of this routine is that it only consists of lifting two days a week, perfect for those of us who are pressed for time. Doing this workout will help improve your leg strength but also your overall absolute strength. If this method seems right for you, you can find a blank spreadsheet as well as more information here.
What Pat says...
“Hatch is a program used by many in the gym I work at. I have seen this program deliver results and I have seen this program start to break people. This program needs to have designated days set aside and recovery needs to be dialed in. The volume in this program is much higher and you are squatting two days a week with each day being both x5 sets of back squatting x5 sets of front squatting. For an athlete that is experienced and trying to do Crossfit, I see this program being a tough choice. If you are smart with your training and know how to schedule your week correctly, this program can build some serious strength.”
Now the most important thing to remember if you pick up one of these programs is recovery. Everyone needs a proper amount of time to recover after a tough workout. Foam rollers and extended stretching time will be your best friend on your journey to tree trunk things. Rest days are just as necessary as a high intensity day too.