When Are You No Longer a Beginner?

A thought occurred to me a few days ago that I may in fact still be a beginner. I’ve been lifting since I was 17, I just turned 22, but compared to everyone on here, most would look at me and think I’m a beginner (6’1’’ 185)…and that weight hasn’t changed for a while. I have pretty solid form on all of the basic exercises, so I’m wondering if I should continue with beginner routines…I’m no longer making the huge gains of a brand-new beginner, but I don’t think I have that foundation complete yet.

When can you say you’ve built a base/“solid foundation” body?

How will I know when I’ve left the beginning stage and jumped to intermediate?

I have a feeling I need to go back to low volume/total body routines if I’m ever going to break this plateau of constantly being 180-185 lbs for the past 3 years…but I just eat 3500 kcal of clean food a day and I lift and I get 6-7 hrs of sleep a night during school and I’m starting to wonder what my sticking point is…

If you think circuit training is weight lifting, are you still a beginner? Isn’t the lat pulldown part of the circuit?

does it matter ? we aint got a forum called intermediate anyways :stuck_out_tongue: ? ← you see what i did thar ?

well anyways i would say you pass on from being a beginner when you stop doing stupid stuff in the gym ?

Try something different have you tried 10x3’s? Change your training parameters frequently enough to keep you body guessing, but it sounds like you need to eat more calories, why not put them up to 4,500 and train hard for a month to see what happens?

“Beginner” is a subjective word. There is no quantitave measurement that determine whether you’re a beginner or not.

Novice

A person training regularly for a period of 3-9 months. This strength level supports the demands of vigorous recreational activities.

Intermediate

A person who has engaged in regular training for up to two years. The intermediate level indicates some degree of specialization in the exercises and a high level of performance at the recreational level.


Problematic is the definition of the term “regular training”, because some people have been ‘training’ for years and you wouldn’t believe it if you saw them, because the made little to no progress.


If you stayed at the same weight for 3 years i would think (no offense) that you do not fully understand the fundamental principles of lifting and thus are somewhat a ‘beginner’.

How do you know that you are actually getting 3500 cals a day ? Do you keep a food log or is it just an estimate of some sort.

Regardless, 3500 is not very much, if you stop gaining weight you should (slowly) increase your caloric intake until you start gaining again.

What does your current routine look like ?

Why do you lift, what are your goals ? (Aesthetic reasons or do you want to perform better at some sort of athletic activity ?)

Regardless, switching routines is a great tool for breaking ‘plateaus’, but i think at that level diet is more of a problem than the actual training routine.

Beginner/Intermediate/advancwed really refers to your recovery needs.

If you can work out heavy and be recovered sufficently to train that same body part heavy 2 days later, you’re a beginner. If it takes longer than a week, you’re advanced. Intermediates are in the middle.

Stu

[quote]stuward wrote:
Beginner/Intermediate/advanced really refers to your recovery needs.

If you can work out heavy and be recovered sufficiently to train that same body part heavy 2 days later, you’re a beginner. If it takes longer than a week, you’re advanced. Intermediates are in the middle.

Stu

[/quote]

I think that really depends on many other factors.

Elite level athletes train “the same body part” 7 days/week, sometimes twice per day…

But not heavy. They use periodized routines and only train at close to 100% intensity occationally. Periodization is the key. Beginners just go one workout into the other and usually make progress each workout. If they need a break they take a day or two off or reset to lower weight for a while and carry on. Intermediates need to periodize within a weekly cycle. Advanced trainees need longer term cycles with sophisticated plans to meet their training needs even if they train every day.

If you have to ask, you’re probably still a beginner.

It’s probably a mindset more than a training thing. Do you feel you know enough to be more advanced? Do you know your body well enough to be more advanced? Can you manipulate your diet to achieve your goals?

if you can make your own workout without questioning its validity then you are no longer beginner.

Post your routine and let us look at it. Maybe the people here can help you through your sticking point.

I agree with Reef.

What is good is that your are willing to ask.

Start with posting your diet, giving an example of what you eat during a day and when you eat during a day. Also post your current workout routine with example of sets/reps/rest times and give us an idea of what kind of supplementation you use.

Giving information about these things, can more accurately describe if you are a beginner or if you know what you are doing. Saying 3500 cal of clean food is a start, but it’s better to know how much protein you are getting, what kind of carbs you are eating, if you are ingesting good fats, etc, etc.

How you train can influence your size for sure, but if you are trying to gain weight the majority of size you’ll gain will come from what you eat and how you supplement. You probably have to eat more than what you are used to if you want to make gains.

Well at this point I guess I’ll just do TBT and eat a lot.

I’ve received so much conflicting advice here…at 14% bodyfat, I’ve heard drop fat down to 10% and then gain weight, while others have said I was too skinny. I’ve heard people say low-volume training is good for ectos, while I’ve also heard to keep the volume high (i.e. AGVT) to stimulate the muscles.

I dunno.

Well that just answered it, you are a beginner because you havent fully grasped that BB is the WORDL of conflicting advice. ;} Anyways post your routine and specifics. You’ll find some help.

[quote]GetSwole wrote:
Well that just answered it, you are a beginner because you havent fully grasped that BB is the WORDL of conflicting advice. ;} [/quote]

So true, so true.

You’re a beginner. Why? Because of this statement: “I need to go back to low volume/total body routines if I’m ever going to break this plateau of constantly being 180-185 lbs for the past 3 years…but I just eat 3500 kcal of clean food a day and I lift and I get 6-7 hrs of sleep a night during school and I’m starting to wonder what my sticking point is…”

If you are not gaining weight, you either have a medical problem or you’re simply NOT EATING ENOUGH.

:slight_smile:

Beginner is relative. To some you’re a beginner, to others just stepping foot in the gym, you could be intermediate or advanced. The lines are always blurry from one stage to the next.

My opinion, everytime you learn something new or experience something new, you move a little bit more into the next stage.

In your case, learning how to break a 3 year plateu will be a big step.