. Realistically, strength levels simply aren’t enough todetermine classification. How Long You’ve Been Training Does NOT Determine Classification Training age is similarly limited. There are innumerable cases of trainees who, despite having been in the weight room for years, have made little progress due to poor programming. Many trainees spend years doing bodybuilding routines from the popular magazines that just don’t seem to work effectively. These types of trainees are best suited for novice-style programs. Having never engaged in a proper strength program before, they’re still capable of some “beginner” gains. Rippetoe’s Classification SystemWith this in mind, Rippetoe suggested that a novice lifter be defined as any lifter that is capable of making progress from workout to workout. The Novice adapts within 48-72 hours. photo: Practical Programming 3rd Ed, Mark Rippetoe, 2014.
He defines an intermediate trainee as anyone who can make progress on a weekly basis. Rippetoe’sIntermediate lifter requires a full week to complete an adaptive cycle. photo: Practical Programming 3rd Ed, Mark Rippetoe, 2014. For Rip, advanced trainees are those who require more than a week of training to make progress –typically, a month or longer would be required for these folks. Rippetoe’s Advanced Lifter requires a full month to complete an adaptive cycle.photo: Practical Programming 3rd Ed, Mark Rippetoe, 2014.
Microcycles and Mesocycles Rippetoe’s trainee classifications are predicated on the length of an individual’s training cycle. Most academic sources are going to refer to training cycles with the following terms: microcycles and mesocycles. A mesocycle is a complete “period” of training. For example, if we dedicated four weeks to focusing on hypertrophy, those four weeks would constitute the mesocycle. Typically, a microcycle is going to be a training period within the mesocycle. For example, in our four week hypertrophy example, the microcycles would probably consist of each individual week within that month long mesocycle. Mesocycles are specific blocks within the season and microcycles make up mesocycle (usually training weeks). Photo: runwashington.com Novices, Mesocycles, and Microcycles For Rippetoe, a novice is someone for whom the length of an entire mesocycle is one workout. The novice is expected to go through an entire stress-recovery-adaptation cycle inside of 48-72 hours. For the true novice, their mesocycles and microcycles are the exact same length. In other words, each workout is both a full mesocycle and a full microcycle. Intermediates, Mesocycles, and Microcycles For Rippetoe, the intermediate trainee is someone for whom the length of an entire mesocycle is one week. During that week, each workout would consist of a microcycle. Let’s consider Rippetoe’s go-to intermediate program: The Texas Method.
Sample Texas Method Program Adapted from the Starting Strength Seminar for Starting Strength Coaches.