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PsychoJES 01-29-2008 11:28 AM

Beginning Vs. Advanced Lifters
I was talking to friend a few days ago whom I hadn’t seen in a while. We used to workout together when we were in college and moved away after graduation. We were talking about staying in shape and I asked if he still hit the gym like we used to (Two times a day, everyday). He told me that between having three kids and working, it was hard to get in there everyday and had really fallen out of shape.

He said he had joined a new gym and was about to “pick up where we left off.”

Then the debate started. One theory was that, because he'd been out of the game for a while, he should start a beginner’s routine.

The other theory was that since he’d been working out off-and-on for almost fifteen years, a beginner’s routine was a waste of time and energy. He had muscle mass, but had extra body fat now. An advanced routine would still be the most appropriate way to go. Advanced being adding isolation movements to compound ones, short rest periods between sets, incorporating machines, etc.

Which way would you guys recommend?

And how would you define a beginner-lifter and an advanced-lifter? Does it depend on the experience or the condition of the lifter?

MONSTAFACE 01-29-2008 11:49 AM

IMO. he should give his body at least a few weeks to a couple of months before he starts anything advanced. he will get back to old form rather fast, but since he hasnt been doing much at all he wont be picking up where he left off. i think starting out with a beginers routine would be good for however longs it take for him to switch routines. after that he should be fine doing the advance thing.

i really wouldnt want to get to much in the difference between a beginner lifter and someone that is advanced. i think there are a lot of things to seperate the two and everyone has their own opinion on whom is advanced.

Kane 01-29-2008 01:09 PM

Why not try the beginner's program? If it works then thats great because its alot simpler and easier to deal with.

IMO the difference between the beginner, advanced, elite etc. is what you need to do in order to grow. If you can go in with a 'beginner program' and grow then you're a beginner, if beginner doesnt work and you need to incorporate some more advanced techniques (maybe you need to do something like DF 5x5 and incorporate peaking phases in your workout), then you're advanced and so on and so forth.

I would say that the amount of time you've been working out for is a poor indicator. You could go in and half-ass a routine or overtrain for years and years and be further behind than someone who's training intelligently for a couple years.

EricT 01-29-2008 01:12 PM

The only reason to put some much time and thought into whether you are beginner or advanced in that situation is pure ego. You're training state determines the course of action, as Monsta said. Frankly no one is advanced who has only worked out off and on for that long anyway. A person like that could probably go into an "intermediate" way of training but to go to advance will just result in overwhelming the body and an early burnout. But really, if someone wants to be successful they will take the most effecient and SIMPLE way not the way that makes them look more advanced. In this situation, the only difference between doing the beginner's versus being an absolute novice is the timeframe that can be spent on it before more complex programming is needed.

So start simple, fullbody, high frequency, moderate volume and build it up from there.

Kane and I were posting at the same time so sorry for any repeats. Like he said, time training doesn't mean much. If it did, we should have some real monsters on this forum with their 10+ or 20+ years experience. So yes, it depends on the training experience not the training time, and the condition of the trainnee, as you say.

While having a good basic idea of the types of training that work for a beginner, intermediate, or advanced trainnee, after that I think people will be better off experimenting for themselves and learning as much as possible about training in general. The thing about definitions of beginner, intermediate, and advanced is that an individuals definitions tend to coincide with that individuals programming practices. Yes, there are universal generalities as far as training states, but there are not universal programming modalities, if that makes any sense. So, imo, this stuff should be used loosely while each individual learns to pay attention to what is going on with them at any one time, while taking on new concepts that are learned.

iron_worker 01-29-2008 02:27 PM

How experienced/advanced do you have to be to be going to the gym twice a day and its still effective? Or is this just the type of thing you'd do if you're doing the gear?

EricT 01-29-2008 05:30 PM

I don't think an absolute beginner would be wise to do it...and really simply because they don't need different "modes" of training to see the same results. But anybody can do it if they schedule it right and their non-gym behaviour is good. It just needs to fit the purpose and be distributed properly and not just in the interest in doing more and more.

Olympic weightlifters quite often train twice or even more a day. And obviously it's common among serious athletes. There are lots of theoretcially good reasons to do it, in fact. But whether it workded would depend on lots of things just like whether once a day works :).

A quick example would be doing maximal work using many low rep sets in the morning and doing the same/similar type things for higher reps less sets in evening (at least 4 to 6 if not more hours later).

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