Resistance Training Guidelines - Intermediate

Exercise Selection and Structure

Once you have learnt how to use machines and improved your skills within the gym should start to continue to build towards some free weight exercises. Exercise selection can consist of Machine’s, Barbells, Dumbbell’s, Kettle Bells and Bands. Increasing your exposure to different equipment that still target multiple muscle groups is going to be the most beneficial way to keep improving your skills. Full-body workouts are still recommended.

Overall: A mixture of Machine Based Exercises and Free Weight Exercises that target multiple muscle groups



2 – 3 p/w



At an intermediate training age, the volume of resistance training can be increased from where we started

Increasing the ranges of sets and rep ranges will allow intermediate resistance trainers to start to work towards some more specific goals 

Sets: 2-5

Reps: 6-15



Rest periods in the intermediate phase of resistance training can start to be manipulated based on your training goal. 

  • Strength: 2-5 minutes
  • Power: 2-5 minutes
  • Hypertrophy (Muscle Building): 30 seconds – 1.5 minutes
  • Muscular Endurance: <30 seconds

Intermediate resistance trainers should stick to one goal and it’s recommended that they stay within the Hypertrophy, Strength or Muscular Endurance based training as it’s more likely within their skillset.

True Power Resistance based training requires enormous skill in some cases and should be done in advanced stages.


Intensity and RPE

Intensity can start to be lifted when we have started to gain more skill in our resistance training. Our bodies will have started to adapt to the work and recovery cycle of resistance training in the intermediate time period. This allows us to start utilising exercises that require more body control such as free weight exercise and barbells.

For intermediates, we want to aim for a 6-8/10 RPE.


Progressive Overload

For Intermediate resistance trainers, the same principle applies in only manipulating one variable. Any of the mentioned variables can be changed. Weight increase would be more around the 5-10% increase per week, which is a slight increase from beginners. All the other variables can be manipulated but again, we want to keep things consistent so we can measure progress.
It’s recommended that sticking to changing weight as the variable to progressively overload.



  • Machine and Free weight mixed.
  • 1-3 sessions p/week
  • Sets: 2-5 per exercise
  • Reps: 6-15
  • Rest: Based on goal
  • Overload: Pick 1 variable!
  • Intensity: 6-8/10 RPE
  • Consistency!

  • Sleep Deprivation

    Millions of people suffer from sleep deprivation. If you can lie down in the middle of the day and f...

  • Family Fitness

    With less time and space for safe outdoor activities, and more electronics competing for your child&...

  • Exercising while pregnant

    If you're pregnant, you may be more concerned with fatigue, frequent bathroom trips and nausea t...


Add your thoughts…

Please, Log-in to be able to post comments.