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Distinction Between Beginner & Intermediate Lifters


Hey guys

How can one know whether one is a beginner or an intermediate? Does it depend on years of lifting? Current strength levels? Whether you can progress workout to workout? Or when you just stall on a novice program? Are there any strength standards that distinguish beginner and intermediate lifters?

And at what point did you stall in novice programs ? I am currently stuck on the 85 kg/ 187 pounds squat whereas my deadlift has increased to 308pounds/140 kg and my Bench to 90kg I am currently using the grey skull linear progression program and all my lifts have been increasing except squats and I have done 2 resets already . Any suggestions? I think my quads and core are my weak points , should I switch to front squats for awhile ?



Lon Kilgore offers a free chart at Lon Kilgore . I’m not sure how accurate it is but I found it useful.


That sounds like a technical issue. Post a video if you can.

As to the beginner/intermediate line, I generally think if you wonder about it you’re still a beginner because it really, really doesn’t matter. Programs that work don’t know how experienced you are. When you’re more experienced you are able to tweak them to make them work; or to pick the ones that will work best for you.

Those standards are pretty damn low. What is marked as Advanced to me is what would be expected of an intermediate. Elite is not even close to deserving of that term, more like what anyone can achieve after maybe three years solid training if not less. I’m not talking not elite powerlifter either - they are loads I have seen people moving in competition who are not elite powerlifters, just people who do the work. Hell, I’ve hit pretty much all the advanced ones and come close to or hit the elite numbers and I’m nothing at all special.


Experience, consistency, technique, and to a lesser degree - numbers.

That is what I look for.


On top of all the other advices given, it’s definitely a technique problem. Assuming your deadlift is executed with proper form and you have relatively normal human proportions(no crazy long arms/short torso), you should have the strength to squat at least 100kgs. At least that’s what I think. The hell do I know? Oh and how heavy are you?


I am 78kg. I have also noticed that while during back squats with 85kg , the weight moves towards my toes and I do feel it becomes a good morning squat as my low back works a lot during it . I think weak quads and core might be an issue and I think front squats will help . What do you guys think ?


Get someone to reassess your squat. Doesn’t have to be a professional coach, someone who has been lifting for maybe a couple of years should be at least somewhat helpful. That being said, I would suggest you fix your form, drop the weight, put in a shit ton of reps to solidify your new found form and progress from there. You don’t exactly have any weak points, you’re just weak in general. Not trying to be mean, facts are facts. This is just my 2cents, other people might have better suggestions.


Pretty much what Benanything said: overall weakness. I would get your squat checked and do lots and lots of sets of three to five reps to groove correct technique. For assistance do front squats paused at the bottom for one to three seconds (triples per set at most or you’ll risk passing out); GHR if you have one, back extensions if not; and lunges (GHR and lunges in the 10-15 rep range).


Thank you guys for the suggestions . I will definitely try to fix up my form . On a side note , in order to solidify my form , by how much should I decrease the weight from 85KG? Will 20% be enough ? And also how many sets and reps should I do in order to build up my form and how should I progress workout to workout ?

Thank you


I’d drop down to 60 kg. Start with 4 sets of five and a fifth plus set (five or more reps). Add 2.5 kg every week. On another two days do three sets of five at 60 kg but don’t increase the load week to week. Just use it as practice, and go up to 65-70 kg after four weeks or more.


I was gonna suggest the exact same thing.