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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
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Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2019 2:08 pm    Post subject: Weight Training: The Novice, Intermediate, and Advanced Reply with quote

I've decided to start this thread based off some of the discussions that have been put forth in this thread, Training with Weights for Martial Artists?. The goal of this post is to explain what it means to be considered a Novice, Intermediate, or Advanced weight lifter, and to clear up any misconceptions these descriptions might lead to.

The most important aspect to understand about the descriptions of a lifter listed above have absolutely nothing to do with skill level, or "how good" someone is at doing a particular lift. It has to do with a trainee's progression, and how well they recover from training. With that out of the way, let's get into it.

The Novice

A novice trainee is "a trainee for whom the stress applied during a single workout and the recovery from that single stress is sufficient to cause an adaptation by the next workout." (Rippetoe, Practical Programming for Strength and Conditioning, Third Edition). The stress applied is the weight lifted, and recovery occurs during the rest time leading up to the next workout session, which is typically a 48 to 72 hour window (basically lifting three days a week, Monday/Wednesday/Friday). So the novice squats on Monday, then comes back on Wednesday and can add more weight to the bar, because he has recovered sufficiently enough to adapt to the previous stressor.

This means that the novice lifter is in a very important stage in his lifting lifetime; he/she will be able to add a significant amount of weight to the bar over the course of what is referred to as the Novice Linear Progression at a faster rate than he/she ever will in their lifting lifetime. This Linear Progression can last anywhere between three and nine months, depending on the lifter's genetic factors and if proper recovery can be maintained throughout the progression. The end of the Novice Linear Progression is signaled by a performance plateau, at which time the lifter is not able to add weight to the bar every workout and complete the required sets/reps prescribed. Once this happens, it's time to adjust the application of the training stress, because the body has gotten stronger to the point that more recovery is required, and the stress must be applied differently. It's also important to note that some lifts may move out of the novice phase before others do. Keeping a detailed workout log can help flesh out these differences.

The Intermediate

Once the Novice Linear Progression has been exhausted, the lifter is strong enough now and working closer to their physical potential to the point that recovery is affected differently by the stress. The stress that the lifter now needs to produce to induce an adaptation takes longer than the 48 to 72 hours to recover from in the initial Novice Progression. Now the lifter moves his programming into a weekly progression, one in which the training stress and recovery are spread out over the course of the training week. At this point in training, the lifter will alter the programming to include a heavy day that helps trigger the stressor, a light day that acts a form of "active recovery" in which lighter loads (perhaps 80% of the Monday loads) are used to keep the movement pattern fresh and help the body recover by not adding a significant stress to what took place on the heavy day, and then finishing the week off with a medium day with less volume but a higher intensity on the main lifts. Day three should demonstrate an increase in production, and the weight lifted on Day 3 sets up the Day 1 workout for the following week.

At this point in the training progression, the lifter will also begin to tailor the program to suit individual needs based on the lifter's other activities (for those of us reading this, most likely Martial Arts practice). Exercise selection and assistance movements can be more selective at this point in training.

It is very likely that most of the training population will advance beyond the intermediate training progression, and intermediate level training can be followed for quite some time, and most likely will be, especially if the trainee has another sport or physical activity that they participate in. The Advanced Lifter is entirely different animal.

The Advanced

The Advanced trainee is the lifter who has forsaken all other activities aside from lifting weights, and is a competitor in a strength sport: Powerlifting, Olympic Weightlifting, or Strongman. For these competitors, weight training to them is much like what Martial Arts training is for us: IT IS WHAT THEY DO, IT IS WHO THEY ARE. They are working so close to their genetic potential, and have done so for so long, that they have exhausted the ability to create a stress significant enough to induce an adaptation, and this stress is great enough that recovery can't occur, in the one week period. They have moved on to more advanced periodization training, which is highly detailed, very specific, and fairly complex. These folks will train with their competitive schedule in mind, and organize their training so that they can peak by appointment at a meet or contest.

I hope that this article has helped to explain some of the concepts involved when I post about weight training, and how the terms Novice, Intermediate, and Advanced lifters are interpreted. Again, these terms do not refer to how well someone performs a lift technically, nor does it refer to how strong a lifter is; they refer to the lifter's ability to move through the Stress/Recovery/Adaptation cycle, and therefore how programming is affected.

There are three great resources that expound on these, and many other concepts for weight training, and are also my sources for the information in this article:

Starting Strength, Basic Barbell Training, Third Edition: Mark Rippetoe
Practical Programming for Strength Training, Third Edition: Mark Rippetoe and Andy Baker
The Barbell Prescription: Strength Training for Life After 40: Jonathon Sullivan and Andy Baker. All published by The Aasgaard Company.
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sensei8
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Joined: 23 Feb 2008
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Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2019 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Solid OP, Brian!!

I've no idea which type I am because I've trained all of my life via MA training i.e., my Sensei/other MAists, and/or Health Related, i.e. my PCP and Cardiologist; I lift to live.



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bushido_man96
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Joined: 31 Mar 2006
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Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2019 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you keep track of what you do when you lift weights, and look at your progress, you can usually figure out where you fall.

Now, it depends on what kind of lifting routine you do, too. If you aren't lifting with a focus on gaining strength, then it's likely that you haven't worked through a novice progression yet.
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Alan Armstrong
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2019 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't belong to any of the three, yet I work out in a gym that is fitted out with everything a body builder could ever want or need and more.

Bringing my own variety of thera bands and ankle weights, (20 kilos) including a speed bag.

My use of loose weights or cable machines must Incorporate improving my core strength with flexibility or ability or agility or coordination.

Not interested whatsoever on focusing my energy towards just improving strength and having bigger muscles.

I have many people telling me that they should be doing what I do but don't, from cross fitter's to body builders.

I work on joints and muscles to improve their range of motion and strengthen them for more elasticity.

By practicing 1000's of punches and kicks in a week I am absolutely not lacking in strength speed or power.

Having at least a dozen personal trainers floating about in the gym they are more apt to copy me than I them, as some of them have told me so.

One in particular has told a friend of mine that what I do can be dangerous, where I see them as the dangerous ones, having people exercise lacking proper warm up and reliant on the trainers to stretch them out at the end of the session's.

Thefore their clients (of the trainers) never learn how to stretch or how to warm up gradually or safely from the beginning.

Knowing some of those that have personal trainers, complain about joint pains, well no wonder!!!

Those that have the incentive of stretching either do it at the wrong time or do it without the proper knowledge of knowing how to do it properly.

I see so much rubbish from personal trainers (physiotherapists is another story) bringing out rulers and putting them through poses, when they really need to loose some weight and be more active and agile.

As martial artists we are far more advanced than personal trainers are, as we need to be able to do extraordinary things correctly with abilities, as opposed to only getting bigger and stronger that leads to posing in a mirror.

Whilst those wanting bigger muscles don't always take the natural approach and put their health at great risk with steroids, oil injections and plastic surgery.

Oops! Didn't plan on doing a rant. Sorry about that,,, feel a lot better now
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bushido_man96
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Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Those who use steroids to get stronger probably end up doing it because they lack the knowledge of how to properly program their training in order to see steady progression, and therefore think they have to use steroids or something like it to get stronger.

The thing about steroids is that they work. It's unfortunate that so many people put their health at risk because they don't take the time to really learn how to progressively strength train. Or, they feel they need to get the results right away in order to make a team, earn a contract, etc.

Alan Armstrong wrote:
Not interested whatsoever on focusing my energy towards just improving strength and having bigger muscles.


This is the great misconception about strength training. This, and the idea that "functional training" is the way to get strong. It's part of the issue with so much of what goes into churning out these physical training certificates.

Being strong is functional. That is why barbell training has been the most effective way to gain strength for generations and generations. Cool machines and the like come and go, and someone makes money off of them for a time, until the next cool thing comes along.

The squat and the deadlift, programmed correctly, are very safe exercises to do, and anyone with two legs can usually benefit from doing them. They build a strong back, strong legs, and a strong core in the process, and the squat has the added bonus of training the ability to balance the load while moving it. The core gains strength because "the core" is used to lock the body into rigidity to support the weight on the back or lock the back into extension to pull the weight off the floor. This is performed by the proper use of the Valsalva maneuver.

The bench press and the press help build upper body strength in the shoulders, chest, and arms. The standing overhead press (what I just refer to as "the press") is very beneficial because it requires the athlete to lock their body into position to drive the weight up overhead while maintaining balance. It is probably one of the single best lifts to do for shoulder health. The bench press isn't as good, but it is great because it allows significantly more weight to be moved, which can help drive progress on the press itself.

But, alas, the world has fallen into a trap of the idea behind "functional training." The better model of training is a two-factor model of training. The idea behind it is that strength is increased through barbell training, which has been proven over generations to be the best method of increasing strength (the first factor), and sport/athletic skill is increased through practice of the sport (the second factor).

So for us, as Martial Artists, the ideal would be to lift at least three days a week to increase strength, and practice our Martial Art of choice to increase our skill at our chosen style. A baseball player would similarly strength train three (or four, depending on where a person is in their progression) days per week, and then practice baseball skills at baseball practice.

The point behind all of this is that "baseball strength" and "football strength" and "Martial Art strength" is all acquired the same way; getting strong through barbell training. I make the legs strong with squats, and then get better at kicking by practicing TKD kicking at TKD class, or during my own solo training sessions, or whenever. But the main point is that the two compliment each other.

That's a rather long response, and probably a bit off the beaten path from my original article that opened the thread, but that's ok. I could probably write another article on the two factor model for discussion there, and I might do so when I get the chance.
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Alan Armstrong
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Joined: 28 Feb 2016
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bushido_man96 wrote:
Those who use steroids to get stronger probably end up doing it because they lack the knowledge of how to properly program their training in order to see steady progression, and therefore think they have to use steroids or something like it to get stronger.

The thing about steroids is that they work. It's unfortunate that so many people put their health at risk because they don't take the time to really learn how to progressively strength train. Or, they feel they need to get the results right away in order to make a team, earn a contract, etc.

Alan Armstrong wrote:
Not interested whatsoever on focusing my energy towards just improving strength and having bigger muscles.


This is the great misconception about strength training. This, and the idea that "functional training" is the way to get strong. It's part of the issue with so much of what goes into churning out these physical training certificates.

Being strong is functional. That is why barbell training has been the most effective way to gain strength for generations and generations. Cool machines and the like come and go, and someone makes money off of them for a time, until the next cool thing comes along.

The squat and the deadlift, programmed correctly, are very safe exercises to do, and anyone with two legs can usually benefit from doing them. They build a strong back, strong legs, and a strong core in the process, and the squat has the added bonus of training the ability to balance the load while moving it. The core gains strength because "the core" is used to lock the body into rigidity to support the weight on the back or lock the back into extension to pull the weight off the floor. This is performed by the proper use of the Valsalva maneuver.

The bench press and the press help build upper body strength in the shoulders, chest, and arms. The standing overhead press (what I just refer to as "the press") is very beneficial because it requires the athlete to lock their body into position to drive the weight up overhead while maintaining balance. It is probably one of the single best lifts to do for shoulder health. The bench press isn't as good, but it is great because it allows significantly more weight to be moved, which can help drive progress on the press itself.

But, alas, the world has fallen into a trap of the idea behind "functional training." The better model of training is a two-factor model of training. The idea behind it is that strength is increased through barbell training, which has been proven over generations to be the best method of increasing strength (the first factor), and sport/athletic skill is increased through practice of the sport (the second factor).

So for us, as Martial Artists, the ideal would be to lift at least three days a week to increase strength, and practice our Martial Art of choice to increase our skill at our chosen style. A baseball player would similarly strength train three (or four, depending on where a person is in their progression) days per week, and then practice baseball skills at baseball practice.

The point behind all of this is that "baseball strength" and "football strength" and "Martial Art strength" is all acquired the same way; getting strong through barbell training. I make the legs strong with squats, and then get better at kicking by practicing TKD kicking at TKD class, or during my own solo training sessions, or whenever. But the main point is that the two compliment each other.

That's a rather long response, and probably a bit off the beaten path from my original article that opened the thread, but that's ok. I could probably write another article on the two factor model for discussion there, and I might do so when I get the chance.
Thank you for your insightful comments bushido_man96

I do squats while holding a heavy medicine ball also squat with thera bands or 24kilo kettle bell.

I use thera bands alot in many different ways and in different sizes, for shadow boxing, stretching, limbering up shoulders, between above knees stance strengthening, and for MT knee strikes, in as many ways possible, as I like and enjoy the pulling and tugging sensation.

Also use ankle weights and attaching free weights to my ankles with straps, also like the heaviness feeling, including weighted back pack.

This is my routine roughly set out over the week, nothing really carved in stone, as it is more of an hourly based thing than regimented repeating reps.

Listening to music during my entire training, heavy metal, pop, classic rock, funk, hip hop, electronic sound effects,
you know
Old school music.

ABC = Always be conditioning.

10hrs boxing spread over the week (with round bell and motivational music)
10hrs kicking spread over the week.
15hrs Calethetics spread over the week, stretching, variety of push ups, core strengthening, balance focus...
5hrs Martial Arts spread out over the week, sparring and hand techniques.
At the moment JKD, Muay Tai, Wing Chun, Silat.

Should mention that I don't count reps as if you can just image, that I would be counting for most of the day, that would be crazy or it would drive me crazy LOL

I do roughly count the hrs, which can be over 40hrs including weekend walks and more stretching LOL

I feel or believe that my thera bands, work far better than the limited barbells as the range of movement I use or practice is in a multitude of directions also I turn, twist, bend, squat... you name it I do it with them.

Broke two thick bands this week that can last up to a year.. SNAP!

Yes I use a barbells in my training only for widening my biceps and shadow boxing occassional with them.

No bench pressing but I like to do many hand stand push ups, lizard walking, dragon push ups, pull ups...

Bench Pressing involves too much recovery time for me, also I don't like the burn feeling.

Use cable machines also occasionally for strengthening my lats, back, punching and kicking muscles.

Other workout items: abs wheel, bo/staff, physio ball, wall bars, kettle bells, punching bag/ equipment.

I consider myself to be super agile and fast, exceptionally so now that that I'm in my 60's

Here is some inspiration for being fit in later years with a few tips for strengthening fingers
https://youtu.be/JS7jqIRm2xo
This might get some of the younger ones to try a little harder and take it further LOL
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
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Joined: 31 Mar 2006
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Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 10:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not sure why bench pressing would cause a burning feeling. I don't get any such sensation when I bench press.

As a matter of fact, I haven't been sore after lifting for quite some time.

The problem with bands and such is that they lack the ability to be progressively loaded, hence why barbell training is so beneficial. I can control the load on the bar and log the progress made with each workout. When I go to the gym, I have a plan, and know how much weight I'm going to lift, and how many sets and reps.

The big barbell movements; the squat, the deadlift, the bench press, and the press, and power clean/snatch, or the Olympic variations of the clean and jerk and snatch, are all beneficial in that they allow the lifter to move the weight through long ranges of motion.
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Alan Armstrong
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2019 1:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Regarding thera bands, I add thinner bands to the thicker ones if it seems too easygoing, thus adding more resistance.

I go by body feel, as in if it seems too repetitive without much challenge, I up the difficulty.

I'm not in competition mode, more like slow progression and maintenance.

Wanting to maintain my weight and replace the fat I have with muscle.
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
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Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2019 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I'm not in competition mode either. I'm just on the wrong side of 40 and I don't want to be using a walker in 20 years, or have a weak back, or not be able to play with my grandkids. Or to not be sparring with the young kids in the TKD class. I'm going to be old and strong and not fall over easily and risk breaking a hip.

When I get old, I want to be able to get in and out of bed without help, and get on and off the toilet with out help. I want to be able to move things on and off shelves that are overhead. I plan to be able to pick up the lawnmower without throwing my back out. I'm going to be the one mowing my yard when I'm 70. And I plan to still be doing barbell lifts when I'm 70.
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Alan Armstrong
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2019 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bushido_man96 wrote:
Yeah, I'm not in competition mode either. I'm just on the wrong side of 40 and I don't want to be using a walker in 20 years, or have a weak back, or not be able to play with my grandkids. Or to not be sparring with the young kids in the TKD class. I'm going to be old and strong and not fall over easily and risk breaking a hip.

When I get old, I want to be able to get in and out of bed without help, and get on and off the toilet with out help. I want to be able to move things on and off shelves that are overhead. I plan to be able to pick up the lawnmower without throwing my back out. I'm going to be the one mowing my yard when I'm 70. And I plan to still be doing barbell lifts when I'm 70.
I am not totally without a competitive spirit, was thinking if there is category for over 100's, in a karate tournament, that I will enter it, as have 30 something years to train for it.

Probably wouldn't start training for it till in my early 90's.

Also depending on who is entering it would be helpful towards Knowing which system to adopt.
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