In this article we will explain how to customize our workout based on our strength training experience, in other words the difference between a beginner workout, intermediate workout and advanced workout.
We divide the training experience of an athlete into three categories:
A beginner by our definition is someone who typically has a strength training experience of less than 6 months. The beginner workout design is the simplest as at this stage it is the easiest to accumulate gains. Since a beginner has very little strength training experience their body has little adaptation to the stress. Due to this the gains come the easiest.
A beginner must spend sometime, before starting any workout routine, to accustom their body to the basic movements of strength training. This will be a good time to evaluate flexibility and functional performance. Based on those observations a beginner should decide which exercises are suitable for them. A beginner might also consider doing some corrective work prior to starting a workout, to improve on their form.
After this analysis, a beginner can move ahead with designing their workout. Most of the people generally follow a split routine based on muscle group or functional movement. For a beginner such a split routine is an option but not necessary. The best approach for a beginner workout is to engage all the muscles on the same day, but keep the volume low, that is just do one exercise per functional movement and do no more than 3 sets per exercise. This will train the nervous system on how to engage muscles to do the lifts. Ideal frequency for a beginner workout is 3 times a week and each session must last no more than an hour.
An intermediate athlete by our definition is someone who typically has a strength training experience of 6-24 months. An intermediate athlete has their neurological adaptation almost complete; the days of rapid strength gains are probably over, however their muscles still have ample room to grow. This is a really fun stage as we are very familiar with all the exercises and understand our body’s limitations and although strength gains are becoming harder to achieve, we are still rapidly gaining mass. Three or four day split routine based on muscle groups or functional movement is the best approach for an intermediate workout.
An advanced athlete by our definition is someone who typically has a strength training experience of more than 2 years. It is the hardest for an advanced athlete to attain strength or muscle gains. However by implementing advanced techniques with high intensity workouts an advanced athlete can stimulate muscle growth. Advanced athletes may workout for more than 4 times/week. However every athlete must rest atleast for a day per week. Due to the limited scope of this video, we cannot get into each of these advanced techniques. However as we make more progress we will be going over advanced techniques for strength training
Please note that characterizing athletes into beginner, intermediate and advanced based on the duration of their strength training experience is just an approximation. A more accurate way is based on how much weight one can lift in proportion to the body weight. You may refer to numerous online tools to determine your level that way.