What you’re looking at here is the difference between a beginner, intermediate and competitive lifters program at the 3 week mark on a squat day.

As you can see from the photo some of the biggest differences come in the form of volume.

Beginners are doing 4×5( 20 total reps) on squats with no weight given, they are to do this with a weight that they can to with good technique. The aim is to master technique at this stage of training rather than add weight. Someone is considered a beginner until technically competent in the squat, bench, deadlift and overhead press.

Intermediate lifters have established a 1rm or close to it and are technically competent. At this stage of a 12 week training cycle they do 70-75% 3×8-10(sets x reps), anyone who has trained for quite a while will understand that this is a hard but doable task. The intermediate level and beginner program are not all that different here other than the difficulty of the session, the intermediate lifters focus now switches to hypertrophy and building a large base rather than just working technique.

The competitive athlete at this stage of a 12 week competition prep is training alot heavier. For the most part the athletes base has been built from what should have been a productive offseason. Training is a lot heavier than the intermediate for the main movement because we are getting ready for a heavy peaking block and at an advanced level you will need more time to peak your lifts! The main movement is followed up by a lift variation as you can see in the photo, this variation is chosen to work a specific weak point of an individual and makes up for some of the volume lost by training the main movement with lower volume.

Accessories aren’t that much different at either level, we usually swap them every 3-5 weeks and drop them towards the end of a competition prep.

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