T Nation

Define Being a "Beginner" vs "Intermediate"? Does it Matter?

I’m looking to do Jim Wendler’s BBB program, but people dissuade me from doing it due to my beginner stats…:

Height: 6"
Age: 19
Bench: 195
Dead: 255
OHP: 115
Squat: 225
Weight 190 lbs

It was suggested that I should do “5/3/1 for beginners” first (to build a stronger base), since I’m more of a beginner. But I’m also getting advice that I should just do whatever I like more? The difference between being an intermediate and being a beginner is a bit skewed for me, since some say that you’re no longer a beginner after you’re able to do more than 10 reps with perfect form(?) or when you could do 3-4 plate lifts.

What would your guys’ definition of an intermediate and a beginner be? Does it really matter? I want to build size, but I don’t want to be weak… The dilemma of every noob…

Jim explains that BBB isn’t a good choice for a beginner because beginners can’t do 5x10 at BBB percentages without form falling apart.

So, if you can’t do 5x10 at BBB percentages without form falling apart, you aren’t a beginner.

That doesn’t mean you’re now an “intermediate”: you can simply be “not a beginner”.


That’s good to hear. I can do the 5x10 without my form falling apart. Thanks for your input.

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You mean, you ARE a beginner?

It depends on how others react to you.

Beginner: “DYEL” to “you look fit, have you been working out?”
Intermediate: “Are you on roids?”
Advanced: “Can you give me a source for roids?”


Beginner - DYEL, no
Intermediate - Yes
Advanced - yes.

What does that make me?

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You’ve attained Nirvana!

Yes, through chanting mantras while in Lotus position while googling AAS suppliers from Moldova.

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My form is consistent; it is just consistently awful, haha.

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There are some really bad definitions here. Let me school you people up…

Teacher: Conan! What is the optimal frequency in lifting?
Student: To squat 3x times per week, Bench every session and to hear the lamentations of the once per week lifter
Teacher: You are still a beginner, Conan