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Taking Advantage of the Novice Window.

The novice window requires a different approach to training.

This article will cover:

1. What is the novice window? 2. How do you train to take advantage of the novice window?

3. What movements should you train?

1. What is the novice window?

The novice window is the period of time that you have when you are new to weight training where your body goes through a certain set of adaptations:

Stage 1 - Inter-muscular coordination: strength increases due to the body learning how to perform certain movements, with different muscles working together to achieve this.

Stage 2 - Intramuscular coordination: strength increases due to each muscle involved in a movement becoming more efficient at performing that movement, and producing the force required for it quicker.

Stage 3 - Hypertrophy: enough load is now being used to stress the muscles, resulting in hypertrophy.

Stage 4 - Stagnation. You have reached the end of your novice window: the loads either now have to increase or the volume needs to increase to stress the muscles again, as they have become used to the progressive overload (key to the training during the novice window, explained below).

2. How do you train to take advantage of the novice window?

The training undertaken during the novice window is simple linear progression, which involves progressive overload. This is where a very light, manageable load is lifted in week 1, then the next week a small amount of load is added (approx 2kg for a lower body movement, and 1k for an upper body movement) - you are progressively overloading the muscles by the smallest amount possible each week, for as long as possible. This process continues until the process ceases to work, which is where stagnation is reached.

3. What movements should you train?

Keep it simple and cover the primal human movements:






Push (vertical and horizontal)

Pull (Vertical and horizontal)

Add in some landing and jumping mechanics and you have a basic, well-rounded programme for a novice. Training 3 days per week, covering all of these movements at least once (definitely twice for the squat and lunge, with one of the lunges being a walking lunge or split squat, and the other a step-up).

For a more detailed look at how this would look like in a programme visit the shop on the website.

Enjoy your training,


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