Strength Training Levels

team stronger powerlifter squat
Josh Drake @tarantutank

All Programs are based on the Legendary Mathias Method Strength System and follow our Strength Principles!


Level 0         Level 1         Level 2         Level 3         Level 4         Level 5         Level 6         Level 7         Level 8

Minimum Requirements:

Anyone can do the Mathias Method no matter what level of fitness you are, but for each level, there are some minimum requirements to be able to progress forward. The absolute minimum requirement for every level is a desire to keep moving forward and push yourself.

If you do not have the drive to make yourself better then you will not last in a more advanced level. Other than desire there is no minimum requirement for level 0, first steps, of the Mathias Method. This is the start of your journey to strengthen yourself to make a difference. Level 0 can be modified to your starting abilities allowing for a self-paced progression.

The minimum requirements for level 1, the base, are a desire to move forward, gain physical strength and the ability to do 5 rounds of the Daily 30 continuously. After completing the first 13 weeks of level 1 in the Mathias Method you will be prepared to move onto level 2, but it is recommended that you stay on level 1 for at least 6 months or until progress stops.

The goal at the start of the Mathias Method is to get the most out of doing the least. If you progress too quickly from any level then your body may become too accustomed to high demand which will make it difficult to progress in results later on. You cannot easily go backward in physical fitness but you can always move forward.

For levels 3-7, only progress forward when you have a desire to gain more strength or knowledge, have reasonably mastered all the movements presented at your current level and progress has slowed or stopped.

It is rare that progress will stop during any phase of the Mathias Method. If it does, make sure all your movements are correct with their description and that you are pushing yourself to the proper intensity, whether that be higher or lower. You are meant to push yourself hard in the Mathias Method, but too much intensity or too frequent high intensity can put too much stress on your body disabling its ability to progress. It is reasonable to stay on each level of the Mathias Method for 6 months to a year if not longer. If progress is being made, there is no pressing reason to change what you are doing.

Not sure where to start? Look HERE: What Level Am I?


You should not be scared that the next level is too hard. You should be scared that the level you are on is too easy.

The Mathias Method has something for every level of lifter. Whether you have little or no experience with weights all the way to an elite competitive level, there is something here for you. To advance from one level to the next takes time, hard work and a desire to improve. It would be easy to just stay on the level that makes you feel comfortable and only train with enough effort to maintain your health, but if that is what you want this is not for you.

The Mathias Method is meant to push you. You are supposed to be uncomfortable. You are supposed to be mentally and physically drained as you train. So when do you advance to the next level? When you are no longer being pushed harder than you want to be pushed. When you are comfortable, move forward. You should not be scared that the next level is too hard. You should be scared that the level you are on is too easy. Each level still needs to be completed within reason but you should get the most you can out of each level. Stay on each level for at least a few months up to years but push every training session hard. Just never settle. Always keep moving forward. The day you stop is the day you die.

Even when you reach the final level of the Mathias Method you are not done. There is always more, it is your time to find out what that is. The next level and those beyond it are what you make them. Change the world, then change the universe.

Viewing Formats:

*Level X= Full Program Cycle laid out                   

**Level X DETAILED= Full Program with notes of how it is meant to be executed                   

***Level X (5-7 only) QUICKVIEW= Condensed Format for easy viewing and comparison 

Level 0 –Ground Zero:

Level 0-First Steps

These are your first steps into the world of becoming healthier and stronger. If you have little to no current physical exercise this is the place to start.

No matter what your level of fitness and health, the Mathias Method has a place for you. This starting program is simple, easy to follow and can be done anywhere. It is to be done every day and does not take much of your valuable time. From this you will become stronger and more fit, preparing you to move onto the next level in the Mathias Method. It is time to start taking your first steps in gaining the strength to change the world.

Level 1 –The Basics:

4X Week (Gold):          Level 1-Beginner                         Level 1-Beginner DETAILED

3X Week (Silver):        Level 1B-Beginner                      Level 1B-Beginner DETAILED

2X Week (Bronze):     Level 1C-Beginner                       Level 1C-Beginner DETAILED

This is a beginner level program for anyone starting to build strength in a gym setting. Presented is a 13+ week program for anyone who has little to no resistance training experience.

Level 1 begins by teaching a routine warm-up that promotes proper movement patterns and some basic strength exercises that will most effectively build full body strength. Here we will build a foundation that increases strength using the most effective exercises. With few exercises, the focus will be on practicing these new motions to become a safe and effective lifter. It is also a very adaptable level of training that allows you to train two, three or four days a week. The more training days you utilize, out of the given options, the more effective the program will be. After completing this program you will have built a strong enough base to progress forward in your journey to gaining strength to change the world.

Level 2 –Expanding the Base:

Level 2-Beginner 2.0                    Level 2- Beginner 2.0 DETAILED

This is a beginning weights program for anyone with a strong physical activity background.

Level 2 teaches more basic strength motions that allow you to expand your base of training knowledge. You will continue to gain strength at a rapid rate and build noticeable muscle tone. This program is best for younger athletes that want to become stronger for their sport and for anyone who has athletic experience. After gaining a respectable amount of strength from this program you will no longer be a beginner and it is time to move to level 3 of the Mathias Method.

Level 3 -Doubling the Work:

Level 3-Intermediate      ��             Level 3-Intermediate DETAILED

This program is for those who have been weight training for at least 6-12 months and are ready to push forward.

You will now be doing twice as much work as in level 2 of the Mathias Method. This is meant to create a greater potential for growth and allow for more maximal strength gains. In this program, you will learn to rotate the intensity of your exercises to allow for proper recovery and continue to build your strength pyramid. You can also more safely test your maximal strength to promote the most strength gain and build your confidence. After gaining a significant amount of strength you will then be ready for level 4 of the Mathias Method.

Level 4 -Becoming Explosive:

Level 4-Intermediate                    Level 4-Intermediate DETAILED

This is a program for those who already have built a significant amount of strength and are ready to put that strength to use through explosive training.

To be explosive you first must be strong. Now that the strength is there it is time to build your explosive power through Olympic style lifting and jumping motions. You will learn to better move your body through space both with and without a load. This will promote greater strength gains and greatly improve your athletic ability. After this program, you will be able to jump higher, run faster and grow stronger. After becoming reasonably explosive it is time to advance to the next level, level 5 of the Mathias Method.

Level 5 -Variation:

Level 5-Advanced          Level 5-Advanced DETAILED          Level 5-Advanced QUICKVIEW

This program level is only for advanced athletes who are very strong and have significant explosive power.

Your body and mind are now powerful machines that are ready for a change. They are used to the same style of training for years and want to continue growth through many exercise variations. You will now vary everything in your training in cycles. There will be no room for stagnation. You will attack your body with everything you have from multiple angles to create the greatest potential for continuous growth. After allowing a significant amount of time for your body and mind to overcome the confusion of training with great variation, you will be ready to give it a new stimulus that will change the strength game forever, through the Mathias Method level 6.

Level 6 –New Stimulus:

Level 6-Advanced          Level 6-Advanced DETAILED          Level 6-Advanced QUICKVIEW

This program is designed for highly advanced lifters who have years of strength training experience and are looking for something new to keep progress moving forward.

The new stimulus in this level of the Mathias Method is the addition of dynamic, or speed, training using accommodating resistance with the main lifts. This will create greater explosive power and allow for continuous growth in the main strength training lifts. As your speed in each lift improves, so will your maximal strength potential. When you become significantly faster and stronger in each of the main lifts, it is time to add more work to become an elite level lifter by moving forward to level 7 of the Mathias Method.

Level 7 -Elite:

Level 7-Elite         Level 7-Elite DETAILED           Level 7-Elite QUICKVIEW

This is for elite level lifters or those who are in competitive strength sports, each with nearly a decade or more of training experience.

To be an elite lifter it takes a lot of work and dedication. After all, stimuli are being used to the fullest to promote the greatest strength potential, the only thing left to do is add more work. Strength is no longer a hobby or talent, it is a lifestyle. Without the strength to push yourself forward, you feel lost. You do not just want to train, you have to train. You need success in training. You have to have it and you will do anything to get it. You will stop at nothing to keep moving forward. With that mindset, you are now ready to take on any challenge in the world. It is time to make a change. Stop for nothing.

Level 8 -The Complete Mathias Method STRENGTH SYSTEM:

4 Week Cycling Example Template (currently used by the Mathias Method Creator):

Level 8-CHAMP Training

You have made it.

You now have the strength to change the world. You have the focus, patience, durability, knowledge, confidence, and strength to do whatever you want. Nothing can stand in your way. You know that you have what it takes to conquer the world, but you are not done. We must always push forward. So the next step is what you make it. To move forward you have to make your own path. There is no more paved road to go down. It is time to put all you have worked for to use and make a new path for others to follow. It is time to change the universe.