The intermediate stage goes into block periodization. It is the stage at which all athletes will fall before moving on to the advanced block. At this stage, we're looking for great mechanics and the ability to understand different movements. The weights and movements become paired. Here the athlete moves to training three to four days a week. Remember, it all depends on the athlete's schedule and what his goals are.

Here's a sample breakdown of the intermediate phase:

Four-day workout plan Muscles trained Specialty
Sunday  Chest, back, triceps, abs DDM, hypers
Monday  Legs, shoulders, biceps, abs  DDM, hypers
Tuesday  Extra day: Your choice/rest/drills, abs
Wednesday Chest, shoulders, triceps, biceps, abs
Thursday  Legs, back, work your weakness, abs DDM, hypers


Three-day workout plan
Sunday: Total body
Tuesday: Total body
Thursday: Total body
Friday/Saturday: Something athletic—basketball, racquetball

Reps—10s, 8s, 6s, 4s, 2s...

Sets—become longer, four to five sets...

Supersets—I start to incorporate supersets more frequently and start supersetting three exercises in a row

The bench, squat, and deadlift are the three core lifts that we start with. These lifts are crucial to all our workouts, starting toward the end of the intermediate phase and once the Next Level Training starts. The auxiliary lifts are changed every two weeks. During those two weeks, we will do thirty seconds timed or go for reps in the 15–21 range. If I want increased blood flow in the athletes, I'll have them do forty-five seconds of timed reps or I'll have them go for thirty reps at a faster pace.

Bands—I use these for many exercises including the bench, squat, and hypers. I use them with dumbbells, in ladders, and in stretching, running, throwing, and shuffling. They're good for working the rear delts, triceps, biceps, shoulders, and traps.

Chains—I use these with the bench, squat, deadlifts, good mornings, push presses, and forearm work



Sample four-day leg workout:

1A) Squat, 2 warm-up sets, 15 at 135 lbs

1B) Squat,4 X 10 reps starting at a weight the athlete can do for 10, increasing if he can get 10 on each set

1C) Box jumps, 4 X 10

1D) Abs, 3 X 3 minutes

2A) Machine squat, 5 X 10

2B) One-leg hamstring curls and one-leg quad extension, rep is a half rep, then 1 full rep = 1 full rep, so 3 X 12 on hams/quads

3A) Push press, 4 X 10, moving up in weight

3B) Three-way shoulders using chains, 3 X 20 reps, front, side, and back

4A) Military dumbbell press on ball, 2 sets X 1 minute, going up every 5 seconds, holding 90 degrees

4B) Power shrug, 5 X 10, 225 lbs or higher

4C) ABS, 3 X 3 minutes

5A) Straight bar curls, 4 X 12

5B) Dumbbell hammer curls, 21s, 7 high, 7 low, 7 whole



Sample three-day total body workout:

1A) Bench, 4 X 10 reps, same as four-day—move up weight accordingly

1B) Squat, 4 X 10

1C) Reverse hypers, 4 X 15

2A) Dumbbell incline, 3 X 12

2B) Dumbbell row, 3 X 12

2C) T-bar, 3 X 12

3A) Military, 3 X 12

3B) Lat pull-down, 21s, 7 front, 7 behind, 7 wide, three-way shoulders

4A) Triceps, 3 X 12

4B) Biceps, 3 X 12

4C) Push-ups, 30 reps


The intermediate phase is shorter than the first and third phases. The athletes progress quickly. They fine tune technique, gain knowledge, and learn from the Next Level Training athletes. Most of the time, they're ready for the Next Level Training or the advanced level within three months of solid, hard work. Once they reach the Next Level Training, my workouts and system become harder to follow.

In part four, I'll discuss the last phase of weight training for the high school athlete. For more information, email me at