T Nation

Beginner/Intermediate/Advanced/Elite Status?

Sup y’all. Just curious what your ideas of what constitutes a beginner/intermediate/advanced/elite lifter. I know it’s highly subjective but it’s interesting to me to hear everyone’s opinions on things like this.

I personally believe that a beginner is anything less than 275-315/225/365. I know from experience that some people are more inclined towards squatting than others, hence 275-315 (think tall vs short, mainly). Intermediates would be more than 315/225/365 but less than 405/315/495. Advanced in my opinion is anything greater than 405/315/495, and elite would be 495/405/585.

Since we all speak in 25s and 45s, you can tell right away that I essentially just added 50 or 90lb to each lift for each successive level. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m biased, because my numbers are currently 385/300/~455. I’m pushing weight that I never have before, so in my own head I’m a world-beater, but I know that objectively I’m just another young dude who is stronger than people who don’t lift, and not as strong as most people who do lift.

So all that aside, back to the original point of the post: what is YOUR personal gauge for telling how experienced/competent someone is at lifting? Is it smarter to go by each lift individually (s/b/d) or a total number? Just curious. I like hearing you experienced guys talk lol

You can’t just throw arbitrary numbers out there considering that there are many different weight classes, plus male and female lifters. For example:

I squatted 407, bench 320, and deadlifted 506 at my first meet. I failed my last squat and deadlift, almost bombed out on bench due to some bullshit. Even if I had made all planned attempts I still wouldn’t have qualified for nationals or provincials. Doesn’t sound too advanced to me.

If you are determined to categorize people, go by Wilks. 300 or less is beginner, around 400 is advanced, 450+ is elite.


I have no idea what you would do with this information besides put people with similar lifts in a training session or meet and even then there is probably better ways.

How about by rate of progress?

e.g. a big genetically gifted monster could step into the gym day 1 and put up your intermediate or advanced numbers but he’d be making all kinds of gains quick and easy so he’s a beginner.


Good point.

I suppose I was referring to males that are my size, ~210lb. Also, newb question: can you explain wilks in layman’s terms for me? Is it an average of all 3 lifts?

Edit: would you say intermediate is anywhere between 300-400?

That’s true. When I was a sophomore in high school, there were two huge black guys who were 6’6 290 and 6’3 320 and they were freaky strong. Like, slap 3 plates on the bar and do a few sets of 10 on the bench with a warmup set at 225 first. Meanwhile, I’m here grinding to get 315 for one rep. Lol

Wilks is some Australian dude who kept fucking with the IPF so they kicked him and the whole of Powerlifting Australia out of the IPF lel


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So is “weight lifted” supposed to be your 3 lift total?


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@khangles details please

Off the IPF website:

"The General Assembly of the International Powerlifting Federation (IPF) held in Pilsen, Czech Republic 12 November 2017 voted with more than the requisite two-thirds majority to exclude Powerlifting Australia (PA), the Oceania Powerlifting Federation (OPF) and Mr. Robert Wilks (RW) from the IPF and its activities.

In principle, those motions come into effect immediately.

Mr. Robert Wilks raised the point that, if OPF and PA were excluded with immediate effect, it would not be possible for the OPF to host the IPF-sanctioned Oceania Championships & Pacific Invitational to be held 6-10 December 2017 in Singapore and for Australian lifters to participate under the banner of PA.

After duly considering this matter, the IPF Executive Committee proposed a solution which respected the will of the General Assembly to exclude PA, OPF and RW but also, in view of the proximity of the Oceania Championships & Pacific Invitational, took into account the interests of the lifters to participate. With those considerations in mind, the IPF Executive Committee made the following proposal:

The exclusion of RW from IPF and its activities, to take effect immediately.

The exclusion of PA and OPF from the IPF and its activities to take effect at midnight on 10 December 2017.

With effect immediately and until midnight on 10 December 2017, all rights of PA and OPF derived from or in connection with their status as a member federation and affiliated region of the IPF (respectively) are suspended, save to the extent necessary to organize, deliver and participate in the Oceania Championships & Pacific Invitational from 6-10 December.

RW was asked whether he agreed to this proposal, which he did without prejudice and reserving his other rights. The General Assembly was then asked to vote on this proposal, which they agreed with unanimously. RW asked whether he could continue to attend the General Assembly as an observer, which was permitted.

To clarify. The question has arisen if the above situation affects the membership of the other nations in the OPF. The answer is no. All OPF member nations except PA maintain their IPF membership unaffected. They remain all full members of the International Powerlifting Federation."

The Why:

"For the last two years, the IPF and its EC have been subject to a persistent campaign by OPF, PA and Mr. Wilks. This campaign has involved inundating the IPF disciplinary bodies with claims (that the IPF EC considers to lack any merit), taking the IPF to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (unsuccessfully) and subjecting the IPF and the members of its EC to abusive and intolerable comments.

The campaign culminated earlier this year in a court action in Luxembourg in which the PA, OPF and Mr. Wilks are seeking the annihilation of the IPF as a federation together with an invalidation of all its competitions since 2010."

Since Wilks is the president/CEO of OPF and PA to get rid of him they needed to get rid of the whole federation.

Probably discussed on Reddit somewhere too, just search up the terms “IPF, Australia, Wilks etc.”

RIP Powerlifting Australia

The IPF sound like a bunch of cockheads. I can understand Mr Wilks frustration lol

Turns out what I’ve been saying about PA and it’s management was right all along. Feel bad for the lifters, but not too much because no-one made them compete in PA. No loss to me in either case :joy:

I compete at 105kg/231lbs

Search “Wilks calculator”, it’s a formula based on your total and bodyweight. There is a different formula for men and women. Don’t bother with formulas, just use the damn calculator.

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They only sound like that? You’re too kind. I would love to continue this discussion, but I have to go and squat now.

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Road to SHW

The best way, in my opinion, to delineate beginner/intermediate/advanced/elite is looking at percentages of world records. I think elite starts at 80% of world record performance, just IMO. Using myself as an example-I lifted 450@ 220 raw bench this year. World record is 600@220 by Brandon Perdue. I would not consider myself “elite” unless I did 500. Which I will next year.

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Honestly, I don’t have the appetite for that. Sometimes it’s already a struggle to eat enough. I would move up to 242 if there were more IPL meets around here.

Another thing is that it’s hard to find clothes these days ever since people started wearing all tight shirts and skinny jeans. I wear jeans a size or two bigger than may waist size because I don’t want them to be tight on my thighs and the other day I was looking for some clothes, I tried on an XL hoody and it was skin tight on my arms. After I wash it, it would probably cut off my circulation. They don’t make clothes with powerlifters in mind, that’s for sure.

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That’s fucking crazy, they are going to exclude an entire region of the earth because of one guy.

I want to hear more about this part:

If this is how they operate then they really do need to be annihilated. I want to switch to IPL (USPA), they have two feds in Canada for some reason and there is actually some championship meet in Ottawa but you have to have previously competed in another IPL meet in the last year or two. Fuck the IPF.

You know what, some IPF people are trying to spread bullshit rumours about CPL/IPL/USPA, one guys who is an official of sorts (who I won’t name) told me, in person, that CPL is bullshit and that they set the racks at one height and don’t adjust it and other shit like that. This was in response to me complaining about some IPF bullshit. I thought for a while that CPL was some joke fed but I saw a video of one of Sheiko’s lifters at a CPL meet and I came to realize that this guy was telling pure lies. Their fed is fucking retarded and they know it, but rather than fixing it they want to belittle other feds. It’s time for a boycott.

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