If you’re reading this, then you should be past the beginner stage of weight training and in search of the best intermediate or advanced workouts and routines.
If so, then you’re in luck. I’m going to provide you with a handful of the most proven and effective intermediate and advanced workout routines for various goals and situations.
However, before we get into the actual specifics of those routines, there are a few important things that you need to know about intermediate/advanced workouts and intermediate/advanced trainees in general to ensure your results are as positive as can be.
How To Tell If You’re An intermediate or Advanced Trainee
Before you start looking for intermediate and advanced workouts, the first thing you need to do is make sure that you actually are an intermediate or advanced trainee.
If you are, then these are the types of workout routines that will produce the best possible results for you.
However, if you’re not truly at the intermediate or advanced level, then you’d be WAY better off using a program that is geared towards beginners.
In the weight training world, everyone likes to think they are more advanced than they actually are, so they always go looking for the more advanced workouts. Unfortunately, all you end up doing is screwing yourself in the end by using a weight training program that just doesn’t work optimally for your specific experience level.
So, the question is: What the hell is an intermediate or advanced trainee?
Well, as I’ve previously mentioned (Beginners vs Intermediates vs Advanced), I consider intermediates to be the majority of people who have been weight training both consistently and intelligently for at least the last 6-12 months.
By this point you would have, at the very least, already been on some type of proper beginner program that allowed you to build up a base level of strength and muscle. You should have also improved your work capacity to some degree and learned proper form on every exercise you’ve done thus far.
As for advanced trainees, I consider them to be anyone who has already gotten the majority of the results they’ve wanted to get and are fairly close to reaching their natural genetic potential.
So basically, if you are reading this and you are legitimately past the beginner’s stage, I’d say there is a 95% chance you are an intermediate, and a 5% chance you are advanced.
Whichever it is (trust me, it’s intermediate), you’re ready for the next level of weight training workouts and routines. Here’s what that “next level” typically entails…
The General Guidelines of an Intermediate/Advanced Workout Routine
Unlike beginners who all typically tend to benefit most from the same type of basic beginner workout regardless of their specific goals, workouts for intermediate and advanced trainees can vary GREATLY depending on exactly what the person is looking to get out of weight training.
For example, a program geared strictly towards strength or performance can look completely different than a program geared strictly towards building muscle and looking good.
For this reason, there really are no true guidelines that should ALWAYS stand for all intermediate/advanced workout routines because there are so many individual variables that come into play.
However, there are a few guidelines that usually stand in most cases most of the time, because they are what usually works best at the intermediate and advanced level:
- Moderate frequency. Each muscle group/movement pattern should typically be trained to some degree between once every 3rd and 5th day.
- Moderate volume. Most larger muscle groups should usually get between 60-120 reps per week total, and most smaller muscle groups should usually get about half that.
- A potential mix of free weight, body weight and machine exercises as well as a potential mix of compound and isolation exercises.
- A potential use of more advanced methods and techniques.
- A potential higher variety of rep ranges.
- A focus on progression.
The Best Intermediate and Advanced Workouts & Routines
Now that we’ve gone over the basics of what typically goes into creating an intermediate or advanced workout routine and you’ve confirmed that you truly are (or are not) an intermediate or advanced trainee, it’s time to recommend some workouts for different weight training goals and situations.
So, in no specific order, here are the routines that I most often recommend to intermediate/advanced trainees based on their goal…
Workout Routines For Building Muscle
If your primary goal is building muscle, getting “toned,” or improving the way your body looks, these are the programs I recommend:
The Muscle Building Workout Routine
This is the weight training program that I have personally used and recommended most often to intermediate or advanced trainees looking to build muscle or really just improve the way their body looks in any capacity.
The full details are here:
The Best Workout Routines
While The Muscle Building Workout Routine might be one of my favorite and most recommended programs, there are actually quite a few highly effective workouts that I’ve personally used and designed for others with GREAT success over the last 12+ years for the purpose of building muscle and looking awesome.
And since so many people have asked for them, I’ve now put together a completely NEW premium guide containing every single one of those highly proven workouts.
The full details are here:
Workout Routines For Improving Strength & Performance
If your primary goal is increasing strength or improving performance, these are the programs I recommend:
Bill Starr’s 5×5 (aka Madcow 5×5)
As one of the most proven and highly recommended strength oriented workout routines out there, Bill Starr’s 5×5 (also referred to as Madcow 5×5) is pretty much as effective as it gets for getting as strong as possible as fast as possible (as well as gaining all of the muscle that tends to come with those types of strength increases).
The original website that contained the full details of this program disappeared a while ago, but luckily other people saved full versions of it and hosted it themselves. So, you can find everything you need to know about Bill Starr’s/Madcow’s 5×5 program (and its variations) through a combination of the following:
Westside For Skinny Bastards (aka WSFSB)
Joe Defranco’s variation of the classic Westside Barbell template is aimed specifically at athletes, especially skinny ones looking to get both stronger and bigger.
You can check out all 3 versions of his program here:
- Westside For Skinny Bastards Version 1
- Westside For Skinny Bastards Version 2
- Westside For Skinny Bastards Version 3
The Texas Method
Mark Rippetoe is probably most famous for his often recommended and highly proven beginner workouts. However, his Texas Method program is the next perfect step up for people looking to move on to a strength-oriented intermediate program.
While I highly recommend getting a copy of his book (Practical Programming for Strength Training), you can find the full details of this program here:
- The Texas Method via The Starting Strength Wiki
- The Texas Method Write Up via BodyBuilding.com Forums
Well, first you learned how to create the most effective workout routine possible, and then you learned how to create the ideal diet plan to support it.
You’ve now just been given some recommendations for what I consider to be the most highly proven/effective routines for intermediate or advanced trainees which you can either learn from or, better yet, just use as is.
At this point, there’s nothing left to do but bring this guide to its conclusion and pass long some final important information…
(This article is part of a completely free and awesome guide to creating the absolute best workout routine possible for your exact goal. Check it out: The Ultimate Weight Training Workout Routine)