Originally Posted by BendtheBar
For what it's worth, these are my personal standards for beginning, intermediate and advanced lifters.
Some beginners can hit progressional walls, and on paper be considered an intermediate, but in the gym they still need to work on form (or other things such as motivation, or fighting off the urge to tweak everything every week of the year). Outside of the gym they may need to work on diet. Etc.
Some intermediates may think they are advanced, when in fact they haven't hit true walls yet. They may have a horrible diet or poor training habits. These standards are based upon the assumption that the trainee is eating, resting and training properly.
Beginner: Smooth sailing with linear progression; weekly weight additions.
Intermediate: A lift becomes a grind, and adding weight each week isn't possible - but adding reps is.
Advanced: Adding reps becomes a grind, and isn't possible without a lot of program tweaking and testing. Even still, weight and reps come slow.
Can add weight - Beginner.
Can add reps - Intermediate.
Grind - Advanced.
I would agree with this except I dont think you are ever at one stage forever. i dont think once you have progressed frm beginner then you will always be an intermediate. For instance most people would say i am an intermediate lifter (just), from knowledge, effort, form etc etc... But I am certainly a beginner on my current routine. Im not certain it is possible to pigeon hole yourself to one level when there is always so much to learn and a new way of trying things... Untill of course you get to what most would call the 'advanced stage' but then you could still be intermediate with some thing or some other areas of training. I think once you have tried all the different styles of training and hit a wall on all of them then id consider someone and an Advanced lifter.
I thought I was a good intermediate untill i came across this site and it opened my eyes a bit again, now i would put myself at later stage beginner (I think)