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Power lifters--when do you consider yourself "intermediate"

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kensky
kensky Posts: 472 Member
I am a 40ish woman who has been lifting with a powerlifting (big 3 lifts) mindset for a few years now. I read Starting Strength and focused on form before I ever added significant weight. I train solo in the early morning and I typically have an hour tops to train. I've been doing 5/3/1 (for powerlifters) for about a year but I am not loving the slow progress. I'm looking at intermediate programs like Texas Method and Cube method.

Bottom line: when do you feel the novice stage is done in PL.? Any rec's for programming for time pressed marginally-intermediate powerlifters?
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Replies

  • Bamthor1
    Bamthor1 Posts: 9 Member
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    1xBW bench 1.5xBW Deadlift 2xBW squat would be intermediate in my world.
  • ThomasWright1997
    ThomasWright1997 Posts: 155 Member
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    Just google: 'exrx strength standards"



    There was a website called strstd.com which was great but it was taken down for some reason.
  • ThomasWright1997
    ThomasWright1997 Posts: 155 Member
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    Bamthor1 wrote: »
    1xBW bench 1.5xBW Deadlift 2xBW squat would be intermediate in my world.



    You squat more that you dead?

    T-Rex arms?
  • Bamthor1
    Bamthor1 Posts: 9 Member
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    I'd recommend staying lean and not buying into the weight gaining thoughts of strength first that a lot of powerlifters embrace. Smolov if you want to hit legs hard otherwise I'd say stay balanced with a simple West Side template.
  • ThomasWright1997
    ThomasWright1997 Posts: 155 Member
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    I consider myself only just intermediate, here are my stats atm:

    Weight: 70kg
    Squat: 1.50xBW / 105kg
    Bench: 1.21xBW / 85kg
    Dead: 1.93xBW / 135kg

    For women, its obviously a touch lower, but look on exrx, that'll tell you.
  • bigbuffbarry
    bigbuffbarry Posts: 38 Member
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    1150lbs total = intermediate in my books
  • Willbenchforcupcakes
    Willbenchforcupcakes Posts: 4,955 Member
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    DopeItUp wrote: »

    That was a major ego boost. It's got me as half way through advanced on bench, just barely into elite on squats, and halfway through elite on deads, all platform proven numbers. Realistically, I'm highly competitive provinicially, middle of the pack nationally and world level back of the pack. Therefore I would put myself as intermediate although I handle advanced programming easily.
  • kensky
    kensky Posts: 472 Member
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    1150lbs total = intermediate in my books

    Well, I may be a Forever Novice by that standard! Ha! But I am also a bit suspicious of the exrx chart. I am not an elite deadlifter by any means...at least judging from meets that I've be to with actual women powerlifters who are doubling my weight while lifting for half the time I've been at it!

    What I am mostly interested in is what program lifters have success with after the Novice programming is no longer making sense for them. Special bonus interest in programs that can be completed in an hour or less by middle aged working mothers (who lift solo)!
  • DavPul
    DavPul Posts: 61,406 Member
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    Bamthor1 wrote: »
    I'd recommend staying lean and not buying into the weight gaining thoughts of strength first that a lot of powerlifters embrace. Smolov if you want to hit legs hard otherwise I'd say stay balanced with a simple West Side template.

    Wut?
  • DavPul
    DavPul Posts: 61,406 Member
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    DopeItUp wrote: »

    That was a major ego boost. It's got me as half way through advanced on bench, just barely into elite on squats, and halfway through elite on deads, all platform proven numbers. Realistically, I'm highly competitive provinicially, middle of the pack nationally and world level back of the pack. Therefore I would put myself as intermediate although I handle advanced programming easily.

    The women's standards are notoriously low. Where's @JoRocka?
  • DavPul
    DavPul Posts: 61,406 Member
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    @ the OP, I'd consider you well into being an intermediate going by time alone. You've spent several years on your lifts, increasing weight and improving form. Unless you were still dilly dallying with just the bar, congrats, you've graduated.

    That's the good news. The bad news is that all progress comes slowly from here on out. Those days of adding weight to the bar each session are most likely in the rear view mirror. But feel free to pick whatever program that looks interesting to you and give it a go. You've earned that right.
  • DavPul
    DavPul Posts: 61,406 Member
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    Bamthor1 wrote: »
    1xBW bench 1.5xBW Deadlift 2xBW squat would be intermediate in my world.

    So squatting 500 just barely gets me to intermediate? But deadlifting 375 vaults me right up to the top? I'm going to assume typo and you reversed those two numbers by mistake?
  • kensky
    kensky Posts: 472 Member
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    DavPul wrote: »
    @ the OP, I'd consider you well into being an intermediate going by time alone. You've spent several years on your lifts, increasing weight and improving form. Unless you were still dilly dallying with just the bar, congrats, you've graduated.

    That's the good news. The bad news is that all progress comes slowly from here on out. Those days of adding weight to the bar each session are most likely in the rear view mirror. But feel free to pick whatever program that looks interesting to you and give it a go. You've earned that right.

    So, maybe my un-love of 5/3/1 is unwarranted and my progress will just be slow from now until...the Senior Games?

  • DavPul
    DavPul Posts: 61,406 Member
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    kensky wrote: »
    DavPul wrote: »
    @ the OP, I'd consider you well into being an intermediate going by time alone. You've spent several years on your lifts, increasing weight and improving form. Unless you were still dilly dallying with just the bar, congrats, you've graduated.

    That's the good news. The bad news is that all progress comes slowly from here on out. Those days of adding weight to the bar each session are most likely in the rear view mirror. But feel free to pick whatever program that looks interesting to you and give it a go. You've earned that right.

    So, maybe my un-love of 5/3/1 is unwarranted and my progress will just be slow from now until...the Senior Games?

    well.....
  • XavierNusum
    XavierNusum Posts: 720 Member
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    DavPul wrote: »
    @ the OP, I'd consider you well into being an intermediate going by time alone. You've spent several years on your lifts, increasing weight and improving form. Unless you were still dilly dallying with just the bar, congrats, you've graduated.

    That's the good news. The bad news is that all progress comes slowly from here on out. Those days of adding weight to the bar each session are most likely in the rear view mirror. But feel free to pick whatever program that looks interesting to you and give it a go. You've earned that right.

    I agree with Dav on this one. If you've put enough time under the bar to see the noon gains fade and start to fight for every PR then you have graduated. Not quote lifer yet, but we'll on your way. Pick a program that you think is challenging but fun. Check out T-nation and I have to throw in a shameless plug for the guy that I get my programming from, Paul Cater of Lift-Run-Bang.
  • Willbenchforcupcakes
    Willbenchforcupcakes Posts: 4,955 Member
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    DavPul wrote: »
    DopeItUp wrote: »

    That was a major ego boost. It's got me as half way through advanced on bench, just barely into elite on squats, and halfway through elite on deads, all platform proven numbers. Realistically, I'm highly competitive provinicially, middle of the pack nationally and world level back of the pack. Therefore I would put myself as intermediate although I handle advanced programming easily.

    The women's standards are notoriously low. Where's @JoRocka?

    I agree that the women's standards are low. I'm a strong lifter. I know I am. But it depends on what you compare to. Comparing my numbers against a smaller federation like 100% raw, I could mostly likely take a world title. Put me against the numbers from this years IPF Classic worlds and my absolute best gym numbers would see me 8th. But I know which numbers I'd rather compare myself to.

    As for programs, pick something you like the looks of and run with it. Learning to grind it out for the small increases feels awesome. I personally haven't run many of them - I've done the first 6 weeks of smolov and a customized modified version of surovetsky. I've been on custom programming for the last nine months and love it.
  • DopeItUp
    DopeItUp Posts: 18,771 Member
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    DopeItUp wrote: »

    That was a major ego boost. It's got me as half way through advanced on bench, just barely into elite on squats, and halfway through elite on deads, all platform proven numbers. Realistically, I'm highly competitive provinicially, middle of the pack nationally and world level back of the pack. Therefore I would put myself as intermediate although I handle advanced programming easily.

    I think our definitions of "intermediate" may differ a bit. You are talking about competing (albeit poorly) at the world level? You're talking about talking world titles in the lower level federations? And you only consider yourself intermediate? Just being at that level of competition would put you into elite status easily.

    For reference, I'm on the border of intermediate and advanced for all of my lifts and people competing at the elite level of the game are squatting 400lbs+ MORE than I am at the same body weight.

    Yes, I realize that women in powerlifting comprise maybe 5% of the total so competition is a little different but still. If you are competing at that level you are an elite lifter, period.
  • natecooper75
    natecooper75 Posts: 72 Member
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    OP:
    You said that you read Starting Strength so you might want to revisit that book because I think that Rippetoe talks about the line between novice and intermediate in that book.

    One thing that did seem interesting to me is that you seem to be looking for a program that allows you to make faster gains. If you feel like you are truly at an intermediate level, you need to except that gains aren't going to come as easy as you progress in the iron game. The higher level powerlifters sometimes put in a years worth of work for a 5 to 10 pound increase in their lifts. The higher you lifting "level", the more work it takes to add weight.
  • SideSteel
    SideSteel Posts: 11,068 Member
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    DopeItUp wrote: »

    That was a major ego boost. It's got me as half way through advanced on bench, just barely into elite on squats, and halfway through elite on deads, all platform proven numbers. Realistically, I'm highly competitive provinicially, middle of the pack nationally and world level back of the pack. Therefore I would put myself as intermediate although I handle advanced programming easily.

    While the female standards are low, if you're middle of the pack on a national level I'd certainly put that above intermediate as it pertains to how those terms are typically used when talking about someone's lifting experience.