Most of the guys and girls training in traditional gyms right now, probably around 95%, are novices in terms of strength training. 

Being a novice is not a bad thing, you have the greatest potential for strength gains. If done correctly, your novice months can produce the fastest gains. But for most, their first few weeks in the gym will usually lead to them joing the ranks of those who quit out of frustration and boredom.

We can define a 'novice' lifter as one who is so unadapted to the stress of lifting weights that he or she can stress himself and get recovered, it is afer all the recovery from the weight training sessions where the strength and muscle is built. 

When a new athlete were to start riding a bike this would cause his bench press to increase, at least for a short time. That being said it does not mean that cycling is an effective method of training to increase your bench press. It just means that for a totally untrained person the cycling served as an adpative stimulus.

As he accumulates adaptation, moving from untrained, to several months and then to several years a point is eventually reached where any adaptation is a hard-fought battle.

Having a programme that has been designed to fit the athletes level of adaptation to the intensity, volume and complexity of exercise is vital. Novices, with little adaptation can get strong quickly, while advanced athletes will get stronger more slowly. 

Our novice training programme 'Starting Strength' is effective because of its simplicity. The variables of training - exercise selection, workout frequency, volume and intensity are all kept as basic as they can be.

So, who'd like to be novice?