Moving Through the Intermediate Phase

There’s nothing wrong with being an Intermediate lifter or athlete, but you don’t want to stay intermediate any longer than is necessary. Take heed of the following to move smoothly through this phase.


Be great at the basics


These points will apply to lifters, bodybuilders, fat loss trainees, and athletes looking to get stronger, or generally improve.


  • Get great at the basics. Many intermediate trainees look to diversify way too quickly; they will typically add exercises and volume without really thinking things through. Typically once the trainee has stalled while doing a 5×5 version I don’t usually add exercises, I usually simply wave the reps from session to session. For example the trainee will still perform 5×5 in the Bench Press on session 1, session 2 will be 5×10, and session 3 would be 5×15. This kind of template will usually initiate new progress.As a side note when I speak of 5×5 routines I have several variants of this which I use.


  •  Stick with any programme for at least 90 days and give it a chance to work.Please, when selecting a programme use critical thinking; don’t just buy into some overly hyped marketing BS. Obviously I would suggest working through the programmes in my book “Becoming Mighty”.Once the programme is selected then stick with it. If you’re an avid reader, and because you’re here I suspect you might be, then feel free to bookmark any interesting articles you come across, but no matter how enthused you feel about a particular programme or idea you come across please resist the temptation to jump ship. A very important point to keep in mind is that you are an-going experiment, while you perform every set you are amassing information on what works and what doesn’t. You don’t want to hastily reject a programme which might work really well for you because you bought into some crappy marketing hype during a moment of weakness. STICK WITH THE PROGRAMME!


  • Respect the fact that this is still a new habit for you, and that your main goal is to be consistent. Upon reading this you might be thinking “I’m not a beginner any more; I’ve got this consistency thing down pat”. Until you’ve been consistently training for several years I will beg to differ. As Mark Twain said “Life happens when you’ve made other plans”, and perhaps for your life hasn’t happened yet, as in you’ve been lucky up ’til now and you just haven’t had many obstacles to negotiate. So the message is don’t get cocky; respect that consistency has to be worked at, even for many advanced trainees. 


Well done, you’re now an intermediate lifter / athlete; time to focus on moving towards becoming advanced. Keep the above in mind and you might well get there.


Note – If you want more information on this then please listen to Mighty Cast 82, Stuck at Intermediate.


Be Mighty,