Welcome to intermediate weight lifting, Leaving the beginners level and advancing does hold different challenges, including your exercise program or lifting routine. Intermediates need to focused on the entire body, its weaknesses as well as its strong points.
Simply finding any routine and using it may not be good enough at this new level of advancement. You may need to start thinking about designing your own training routine, focusing on weaker body parts that you feel are lagging and exploit these areas first.
The body puts the stress of lifting where it wants...
Often the exercises that are the most uncomfortable to preform is the bodies way of telling you as an intermediate weight lifter; these are the weakest, But…
as you advance and condition yourself, these exercises will by-in-part contribute the most to increasing strength and muscle mass.
You need to become the lord and master over your body, the body always tries to protect itself against anything that is strenuous: everyone’s body is different: this is why regular training routines don’t work for everyone.
The body places stress/resistance where it wants. This is where you have to be strict and focused on your lifting form, this is up to you to force the issue and apply it where you feel it’s needed the most.
Intermediate weight lifting routines and programs are a dime a dozen. Most people quit from boredom or lack of enthusiasm towards their routine, especially if your not experiencing what you want from your exercise routine.
I used mediocre routines until I hit the
intermediate level, at this point I began designing and making my own to specifically
fit what I was after. Not only would I design them, but I would also make them
challenging and more interesting.
As this is a new lifting level, new challenges will arise, continually cycling and changing the exercises and intensity, helps a lot with the aspects of overtraining and training plateaus. These can begin to come on at the 6 to 8 month mark.
Monitoring progress and each training cycle with photos and using the mirror, or an honest training partner to assess gains and training form is crucial to monitor progress. If you’re routine is simply not working, or at least not to your satisfaction: change it!
Use each routine to challenge yourself, nothing more! Don’t become attached to them. Their only meant to keep your muscles and nervous system off-balance while you apply a new strategy or training challenge.
Off the record:
With regards to the word ‘routine’, I’ve never cared for the word, or how it relates to intermediate weight lifting in general. If you take it literally, this means: to conduct an
activity that you know so well that you can do it without thinking.
At this level you should become more instinctive not routine, stay focused and concentrate on what you’re doing…
In order to get what you want, set your goal and prioritize your training to the weakest areas first: being routine actually has little to do with strict and devoted weight training. if you want to build size and strength. train for those specifically.
There is no such thing! This is where some of the mix-up comes in for intermediate lifters...
Always keep your mind open and experiment, try not allow yourself to be hammered
by information overload.
As an intermediate chances are-you’re not going to know it all. This takes years of dedicated effort to build experience and understanding of the exercise movements.
The best intermediate routine is the one that you design, according to your needs. learn to develop the ability to listen to your body’s feedback from your training, be instinctive: adapt and design your training routines around how your body is responding to them.
This is a new step towards intermediate weight lifting and its level, You can't expect to build all your strength and muscle from just one routine.
Serious weightlifters, increase muscle size and strength by designing the routine towards the goal they set for themselves.
Once you become conditioned, the focus should be to cycle your training: these cycles should be changed every 6 to 8 weeks, at the outset.
Change in your weight training cycles helps with...
Equally as important regarding Intermediate weight lifting is: each of the goals that you set and achieve in life, can be as challenging as the training itself.
Use the right training cycle and be specific with your Goal and how you plan to achieve it.
Intermediate weight lifting involves changing up cycles. You can focus your intention in different ways: to produce different results, this ultimately helps you achieve your goal faster.
Examples of cycle change up:
The whole idea here is to give muscles and joints a break
from the continuous exertion of one type of training, whether you’re male or
female. The body seems to respond best to these cycle intervals for most
This of course does not mean to say: if your getting or achieving what you want from your intermediate weight lifting routine then obviously stay with your program.
With that said: if you’re interested in using weight training as a lifestyle more as a maintenance training program to stay toned and make general overall improvements once or twice a week; that is also fine, the 6 to 8 week workout change-up is still encouraged.
This 6 to 8 weeks simply: is a way designed by weightlifters to break up old routine monotony, this also keeps the creativity and interest efforts up, with new exercises and changing contraction levels.
This also includes the overall mental aspect of variety, keeping things renewed and interesting and adding rewards for your achievements, actually inspires new growth mentally and physically for all of us.
In other words: change the record, add different music and some fun!
Your muscles, nervous system and your mind are critically linked, increasing the strength of this link is important as an intermediate.
It takes time for the muscles, nervous system and Nero-pathways to adapt to this new conditioning of the exercises performed, meaning: intensity, rep range, pace and tempo from workout to workout...
A big part of Intermediate weight lifting is about developing the ability to this connection, this does take time but, it should become a regular practice with each repetition in each set.
Trying to use maximum weight in each of your lifts and ignoring this fact; probably has more to do with the training of the ego, than that of the physique itself, don’t become one of these people.
The mind muscle connection or link that you make has a lot of say in your ability to develop size and strength in your physique.
Moving through each repetition with a smooth tempo, deliberately keeping your attention on the muscles and focusing strictly on what you’re doing...
and not what others are in the gym, is going to show you more results than almost anything else outside of a good diet and proper rest, Keep this link strong in each workout and repetition.
At the intermediate weight lifting level: There’s three parts to every workout you have.
Once you’ve completed your work out, this is only part of your training for each day. Your work out still continues for a day or two after; if you’ve trained hard enough at this level.
This process of your body being refueled and recuperating is still part of the work out that many miss the understanding of…
Don’t let people or the opinions of magazines, T.V. infomercials, etc. tell you what to do, whether you have the right genetics or not, you have the final say!
Many of life’s superstars in bodybuilding and fitness lifestyles of weight training; started out with less: even much less than physical perfection towards their body’s and their weight training achievements. What you are starting out with today is not what you’re going to finish with.
If you talk to the men and women of their sports and fitness lifestyles, it was not all roses, and sunny days for them. They had to work, and work hard for their achievements!
Often these people are the same as you and I, the only difference is: they found something they love and became passionately persistent and courageously determined to be the best they could be.
Even ‘Arnie’ in his heyday on the stage was not perfect. He knew other competitors that were stronger than him in certain areas.
When one of these competitors would show his abs, and ‘Arnie’ knew he couldn’t compete, he might go into a side chest pose; so a direct comparison could not be made. This is only mentioned to make a point; no one’s perfect, no one!”
Athletes are built not born, replace despair, with a goal and you will see a major change in your life, that's the only difference in achievement:
There is only, one way you can fail at weight training or anything for that matter. That’s if you quit, don’t quit!!! The end goal is worth every minute of hard work you put into it.
Having been at Weight training over several decades, I’ve seen many ideas and opinions come and go. Some of these hold true to form, and others do not. For some reason in weight training, some like to complicate it's.
The first thing and the only thing; as simple as this will sound that a muscle can do is: ‘contract’! The level/intensity and angle that you can force them to contract at, takes time and experience at the intermediate weight lifting level.
As the muscles contract and release, these contractions allow our limbs, trunk bones and tendons that assist them, to make it possible to have mobility and mechanical skills...
So yes, to answer the question is muscle contraction important in intermediate weight lifting? It most certainly is: it is all important at any level of advancement.
The different types of muscular contractions are:
The word given to the two different groups of contractions throughout these ranges of movements are….. Isotonic.
This is where the isotonic contraction or tension remains basically unchanged, but the muscles length of moving through a full range of motion does change. Lifting an object at a constant speed is an example of an isotonic contraction.
There are basically two types of isotonic movements or contractions.
The concentric force of the muscle contraction is the positive and contracting phase of the first half of each exercise, as positive force is made in the repetition. This is where strength and muscle size is created… if enough sets/ reps and intensity/resistance is applied.
The eccentric portion of motion is the negative or releasing phase of the second half of each repetition performed. This is where muscular endurance, density and control are created. This isotonic action is generally most responsible for the soreness you feel the next day, but is important in each repetition.
Where I generally use isometric contractions are: after the lifting/pulling/pushing or concentric portion of each repetition I put the muscles into a stationary contraction to advance the muscle pump, but this is as you advance in your lifting skill...
This equates to squeezing the affected muscles for 1 to 4 seconds at the top of each concentric repetition. This blood-pump helps in regards to stimulating muscle endurance, separation, visual quality and overall density.
But when I say squeeze the muscles…
I mean: squeeze like hell too really make them contract.
Take your time and slowly digest the things you've read here, try to learn one or two things each week and apply them to your workouts.
Don’t try to digest everything all at once, it’s too much, come back and reread, and ask a question if you want (contact me ).
As time passes the intermediate weight lifting information, will become invaluable, you will more than likely run into many of the things discussed at different levels, as your training evolves...
So Don’t let yourself be discouraged and don’t give up, all that you’re working towards is worth it. I of course encourage and wish you the best on continuing to find in your life, the motivation, to go for it, at the intermediate weight lifting level DWT!