Part I: Considerations for Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced lifters- A 5 Part Series
In this 5-article series, I’m going to take you on a deep dive and breakdown the most impactful considerations one must make for each of the three main levels of training experience; beginner, intermediate, and advanced. Although there are certainly more levels than just three (newby, elite, combination of two) and they’ll each be addressed in part V, the information provided about each category will be more than sufficient for you to reap all of the potential results your genetics allow.
The information throughout the series will pertain to those looking to lift weights not for any particular sport or competition (powerlifting, olympic lifting, crossfit, athletics, etc.) but for lifelong health, musculature, and strength. Part V will include additional, overall considerations for a trainee throughout their entire training career, to include exceptions, genetic outliers, supplementation, performance enhancing drugs, common mistakes, and other nuances that are rarely discussed but important to keep in mind.
The main purpose for this entire series is to ensure that you can self identify your experience level, and in turn center your focus on the factors that matter most, as well as reduce or eliminate the energy and time you could potentially waste on things that matter very little.
Expectation management will be discussed in each section, because in today’s world of information abundance and social media scammers, as well as exceptions to the rules (people with elite genetics, PED use etc.) it can be frustrating to put in the work and not get the results you were told you’d get.
Parts II-IV will include the following:
-An intro outlining the training level being discussed (part II- beginner, Part III- intermediate, Part IV- advanced)
-Criteria for each level, and how to self-identify
-Main training factors to focus on (inside the gym)
-Main lifestyle factors to focus on (outside the gym)
-Expectations; how much muscle and strength you can expect to gain
-A brief summary and transition into the next part of the series
Part V will include:
-Exceptions to the rule (PED users, those with elite genetics, elite trainees, newby trainees)
-Nuances between each level (I.E. the same person can be advanced in some aspects but intermediate in others)
-Mistakes beginners and intermediates make
-Why most people will never become advanced
-Maintenance of previous gains
-Performance enhancing drugs (PEDs)
-Guidance for the career lifter
Each part will be as detailed as possible, without it becoming a full eBook. My goal is to cut out the bullshit and provide you with the most important actionable steps you can take in order to maximize your potential. You can expect to spend 10-15 minutes reading each part
The Reason For This Series
Everyone wants to be advanced. It’s almost as if admitting you’re not advanced is something to be insecure or humiliated about. It shouldn’t be, because being advanced in strength training means you need to be dialed in, not just during your workouts, but outside the gym as well. With 168 hours in a week, there’s ample opportunity to slip up. When you’re advanced, those 168 hours require a lot more discipline and attention to detail. As a beginner, the gains come almost regardless. Hell, beginners who have no training history will gain muscle from beginning a jogging program! Intermediates need to have more of their ducks in a row, but certainly not all of them.
The most important first step is to take an honest look at yourself and identify what category you fall into. The criteria for each isn’t set in stone, and most people don’t fall solely into one category. The explanations within this entire series will be based on the premise of a perfect lifting career trajectory. This is assuming the lifter is working under the tutelage of a world class coach who will ensure he/she follows the exact path to success. It’s unrealistic that most people will experience a perfect training trajectory, and a lot of beginners spend months or years essentially wasting their potential (although they still make gains), but this series will highlight the absolute best case scenario for results.
I hope you enjoy reading each part, and that you can take away at least something to help you throughout your training journey, wherever you may be in the process. Training is one of the most interesting activities in existence, and it’s something that occupies my mind a high percentage of time every day. Because of this, I’m happy to write about it in as much detail as I can.
I suggest reading through each part of the series, regardless of which experience level you currently identify with. It’s easy to get caught up in the nuances of training and forget about the basics. But regardless of your experience level, the basics should still be the foundation of your training and lifestyle. Progressive overload, eating quality food in appropriate quantities, sleeping well, and managing stress are all going to make you more successful in your training endeavors. Even if you’re a beginner, you can learn something from the advanced Article, and vice versa.
Please enjoy the articles, and if you have feedback or a story of your personal experience, feel free to add it to the comments section at the bottom of the page. Let’s jump into part II!