Building Muscle – Get a Basic Strength Level First

I like to learn and discover stuff. One of the tricks I have stumbled upon for really getting the true nature of things is to borrow from lots of sources and track where their opinions coincide.

Almost all fitness authors talk about the importance of establishing a solid foundation of strength for folks that are new to training. One of the best explanation I’ve read was by Arthur Jones – a talented pioneer of bodybuilding. He revolutionized the way training is perceived by the general public by introducing the Nautilus machine.

This post is inspired by his writings where he advises new trainees to progress as quickly as possible in a simple but solid full body routine. With brief workouts and hard work, within a short few months significant progress is achieved.

He stresses that newbies and intermediate trainees should strive to perform better on each workout in order to reach their goals faster.

Mark Rippetoe  Shares This Mindset

In his excellent guide Practical Programming for Strength Training he classifies a trainee’s development by how fast she can progress.

  • Rookies get stronger each workout.
  • Intermediates can expect to have weekly progress.
  • Advanced trainees plan their progress in monthly blocks.

Rippetoe also discusses top level athletes who plan their progress annually or even in four-year cycles for the Olympics.

Here is the Important Part

People are novices longer than they think they are. Listen, it doesn’t matter if you’ve been going to the gym for 2 years. If you’ve not achieved a basic strength level, you are wasting your time training with advanced techniques.

Both authors agree your time is way too valuable to waste it without progressing. Push hard on the basics and get a head start fast.

How advanced do you think you are? Have you reached the basic strength levels? Do you progress on each workout, weekly, or monthly?