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  #1  
Unread 09-17-2014, 03:45 PM
monkeh monkeh is offline
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Default what defines beginner?

when training, beginners get a bigger response that more advanced trainees

But is beginner defined simply by how long you have been lifting weights or is it defined by your current strength levels irrespective of how long you've been training?
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  #2  
Unread 09-17-2014, 03:49 PM
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eattoshred eattoshred is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeh View Post
when training, beginners get a bigger response that more advanced trainees

But is beginner defined simply by how long you have been lifting weights or is it defined by your current strength levels irrespective of how long you've been training?

Felt this was a relevant article considering the thread title.
What Defines a Beginner?
Perhaps the first question to cover is what actually defines a beginning trainee. Clearly anyone just starting out in the weight room is a beginner and what I’m going to write would apply there; in that situation, beginner training might be done for 3-6 months before anything more advanced was either appropriate or needed.
I’d also suggest that, as I discussed in Returning to Training After a Layoff – Q&A, anyone who has had a large break from training (perhaps 3-4 more weeks or more) should start back to training with a beginner type routine. The biggest difference in the second situation is that the time spent performing beginner training would be much shorter. Perhaps 2-4 weeks of complete beginner training might be necessary before that person (assuming that was their goal) moved into something more advanced.
Individuals who were once trained but have taken a very extended period of time off (say a year or more) should consider themselves rank beginners again. They may not need the full 3-6 months of beginner training but they should expect to take proportionally longer on that type of training before moving into anything more advanced.
I’d also offer and I know that people reading this won’t like it, that most trainees out there are not nearly as advanced as they thought. Even someone who has been ‘lifting weights like a bodybuilder’ for 2 years may still be, strictly speaking, a beginner in that their form sucks, they’ve made little to no gains in actual muscle mass, their overall training structure sucks, etc. This is more common than you think and I’ve seen it for years in the weight room and the forums. Despite the apparent training age, those folks have to train like beginners for a while before being allowed to do anything more advanced.
To give specific examples, one client of mine, who had literally 20 years of weight training under his belt, had atrocious form on everything he did. Quite literally none of it was correct and it was limiting his ability to make progress. So despite the 2 decades in the weight room, he was essentially a beginner in many ways. And I trained him as such in many ways, forcing him to fix his technique and form (at least on key exercises) before going heavy again.
Another trainee, despite having lifted for 2-3 years by herself was in a similar situation: except for RDL’s, her form on everything was horrible (she made the mistake of mirroring the form she saw in her own weight room, which was all fundamentally awful). So, in addition to fixing some injury stuff, she trained basically as a beginner until it was fixed.
I’d finish by noting that, even if it seems like you’re taking a step backwards, even ‘really advanced’ folks often benefit from returning to the fundamentals for a while. As I noted above, many athletes do this in other sports and reinforcing the basics for a bit never hurts. So all of you super advanced Internet trainees, the ones who keep looking for harder and more intense and more advanced, at least consider a short phase of training on the basics. You might learn some useful stuff.
A follow up question to “What defines a beginner?” would be “When do I know when I’ve moved to the intermediate stage?” This latter question is a bit harder to answer. Generally speaking, I’d expect a beginner to show proper form in the major weight training exercises and be capable of handling a full workout (which would typically last from 60-90 minutes) without getting murdered with fatigue.
Some muscle mass would clearly have been gained at this point but, as discussed in What’s My Genetic Muscular Potential?, a beginner might still be gaining at a fairly nice rate of 2 lbs muscle/month (females might get half that). When that slows (and a beginning male has gained perhaps 10-12 pounds of muscle (again, females cut that in half) over a 6 month period), the person should probably start considering an intermediate routine.
This would tend to assume that bodybuilding or one of the performance oriented goals of weight training was being pursued. A general health/fitness trainees might be happy with a few pounds of the good stuff at appropriate places on their body and not want to make much more in the way of muscular gains.
Perhaps most simply, the time to move to an intermediate program is when beginning training is no longer stimulating progress or gains. Basically, milk the beginner gains for all they’re worth; it’s one of the few times when you get to make progress without having to work depressingly hard. When those gains dry up, it’s time for something more intense. But, in my opinion, there’s no real hurry. As I mentioned above, the goal should be to get the maximal gains out of the least training (this holds for all training mind you). Increase training volume, intensity, etc. when you need to do it, not simply because you want to (or read some really cool routine in a magazine or online).
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  #3  
Unread 09-17-2014, 04:41 PM
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lylemcd lylemcd is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeh View Post
when training, beginners get a bigger response that more advanced trainees

But is beginner defined simply by how long you have been lifting weights or is it defined by your current strength levels irrespective of how long you've been training?
How long hyou have been lifting weights is irrelevant if you have been lifting poorly. Strength per se is irrelevant if you started out strong. Beginner means able to make improvements on am ore or less workout to workout basis and = first 6 months or so of PROPER training.
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  #4  
Unread 09-18-2014, 06:58 AM
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Miknal Miknal is offline
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http://gregnuckols.com/2014/09/16/wh...world-records/

This is how some people (genetically gifted for their sport) start out. At 10, untrained, he could out deadlift most in a gym.
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  #5  
Unread 09-18-2014, 08:10 AM
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lylemcd lylemcd is offline
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Benny Benedict did something like 405 his first deadlift workout. He started higher than many ever get. He was still a beginner.
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  #6  
Unread 09-18-2014, 12:46 PM
monkeh monkeh is offline
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i'd like to add that magnus samuelsson bench pressed 100 kg first time training at 14 or 15 years old, he eventually bench pressed 300 kg and become a very good strongman, world strongest man in 1999 i think or something.
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  #7  
Unread 09-18-2014, 01:25 PM
Txomin Txomin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miknal View Post
http://gregnuckols.com/2014/09/16/wh...world-records/

This is how some people (genetically gifted for their sport) start out. At 10, untrained, he could out deadlift most in a gym.
Thanks. I enjoyed the article.
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  #8  
Unread 09-18-2014, 05:10 PM
TJC TJC is offline
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If I remember correctly, Andy Bolton claimed to have deadlifted 600lbs the first time he stepped foot in a gym as an 18 year old.
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  #9  
Unread 09-18-2014, 05:24 PM
Taste Of Fire Taste Of Fire is offline
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Part of the story might also be the "amount" of muscles you've allready gained.

http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/mus...I need to read the rules post.I need to read the rules post.I need to read the rules post.-gain.html/

When you've allready gained like 40 pounds of muscle, it's highly unlikely you can still make improvements from workout to workout. It's also more likely you need to increase training volume to generate a more optimal growth response.
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  #10  
Unread 09-18-2014, 11:46 PM
BigPecsPeter BigPecsPeter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TJC View Post
If I remember correctly, Andy Bolton claimed to have deadlifted 600lbs the first time he stepped foot in a gym as an 18 year old.
What about the the times he stepped foot in a gym as a 17 year old?

Last edited by BigPecsPeter : 09-18-2014 at 11:51 PM.
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