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Intermediate Level Fitness: Gym Workout Tips & Strategies

At the beginning of any fitness journey, there’s tons to learn and heaps of progress that can be made. You might focus on learning different exercises and understanding proper form and technique. And you might notice, you’re able to increase the weight you lift or how long you can run pretty quickly.

But what happens when you move past being a beginner in the gym? While you’re no longer a newbie, you also might not categorise yourself as advanced (at least, not yet!). On the good side, you’re recovering well, and you’ve adapted to your training regime – welcome to the intermediate level. 

In this article, we dig into how to take your beginner workout to the next level – intermediate. So, what is an intermediate-level workout? How can you continue to make progress and get closer to achieving your goals? And what’s the difference between intermediate vs beginner?

Understanding Intermediate Fitness: Progression & Goals

By now, you’ve likely developed a consistent gym routine. Arguably, this is one of the hardest parts, so it’s worth celebrating. But at the same time, your body feels ready to move past the basics. With a gym intermediate workout plan, you’ll notice you can start to specialise or take on a more specific programme tailored toward your goals.

From Beginner to Intermediate: Making the Transition

Making the transition from beginner to intermediate might seem daunting at first. But looking at this stage in the game as a time when you can begin to refine and tailor your workouts can help you overcome this. 

You no longer need an introduction to the gym, nor do you need to develop a gym habit; you’ve already got it down. Now, it’s all about strategising and honing in on particular skills. You might even increase your workout frequency from three to four times a week. This will help accommodate any training volume increases and potentially help you reach your goals faster.

Exploring Specialised Intermediate Workouts

So, where should you specialise? Here are a few ideas from cardio intermediate workouts to intermediate CrossFit workouts and more.

Intermediate Crossfit Workout: Pushing Your Limits

At an intermediate fitness level, we can start to push the limits – and Crossfit will really test your abilities. An example of an intermediate Crossfit workout might include performing 40 burpees and alternating it with a 400-metre run for five to ten rounds. Other exercises in place of burpees could consist of push-ups, kettlebell swings, walking lunges, or air squats.

Cardio Intermediate Workout: Boosting Endurance

A cardio workout for the intermediate level may include something similar to the Crossfit workouts described above. Alternatively, it may also involve mixing exercises with biking or performing a cardio class.

Intermediate HIIT Treadmill Workout: Maximizing Efficiencies

An intermediate HIIT workout plan involving a treadmill is ultra-easy since many machines already have options for interval training. You can select a preset program, or you can make your own. 

For instance, you could alternate between running or sprinting and walking for 30 seconds to a minute each. You could also run on the treadmill for a minute or two, then hop off and do squats or another exercise in between to really burn out the legs!

Mastering Intermediate Interval Training

Intermediate Strength Training Program

Other ways to do this include doing a heavy workout followed by a light workout, then going hard at the next one again. Alternating in this way helps you make small incremental gains forward. 

Strengthening Your Intermediate Fitness

Tips for Navigating the Intermediate Fitness Landscape

So, now we understand that setting a goal is key to strengthening your intermediate fitness, let’s take a closer look at some extra tips for the intermediate gym-goer:

  1. Aim to up your training to four days a week.
  2. Have a clear goal. Use the SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-oriented) method for creating your goal.
  3. Focus on getting stronger but don’t forget about mobility. This may mean incorporating dynamic stretches at the start of your routine, followed by static stretches at the end.
  4. Focus on compound movements like the squat, bench press, or deadlift.
  5. Remember, nutrition matters when it comes to gains in the gym! Consult with a nutritionist, dietician or one of our personal instructors regarding your diet and gym goals if needed.
  6. Never compromise on form. Increasing weight is essential for gains but should never be done if it involves bad form. Always get your form down pat before increasing anything.
  7. Record videos of yourself working out to better understand where your body is in space and how you can improve each movement.
  8. Aim to do one program for at least 12 weeks.

Full Body Intermediate Workout Plan

Day 1

Each day focuses primarily on one heavy lift while incorporating some accessory exercises. On this first day, perform the bench press to start for three sets of five reps (excluding your warm-up). Then, complete the same number of sets and reps for the barbell row, shoulder press, and dumbbell row.

Day 2

This is your heavy squat day! Start with three sets of ten reps of barbell squats, followed by the same sets and reps of the Bulgarian split squat, leg press, and power clean.

Check Out Our How to Video Guide for All You Need to Know When Using the Leg Press Machine

Day 3

Start with a heavy overhead press for three sets of five, followed by the lat pull-down, close-grip bench press, a barbell curl, and a tricep curl.

Find Out Everything You Can About the Lat Pull-Down Machine From Our Fitness Team

Day 4

Begin with a heavy deadlift for three sets of ten, then the front squat, good morning, and bicycle crunch exercises. 
Make sure to perform a good warm-up beforehand and finish each session off with an easy cooldown.

Common Intermediate Workout Questions

If you’ve got more questions, we’ve got answers. Check them out below.

How long should an intermediate workout be?

Most intermediate workouts last about 60 minutes. However, this depends on your specific intermediate training plan.

Am I Beginner or Intermediate in the gym?

Usually, what sets an intermediate apart from a beginner is that they’ve consistently been going to the gym for three to six months. An intermediate will also begin to notice that they aren’t making progress like they once used to, indicating a need for a more complex workout plan.

When should I move from beginner to intermediate in the gym?

You should move to an intermediate workout routine when you start to notice you are no longer making progress, or things have become “easy.” You’ll notice you’re recovering well and can challenge yourself more.

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