Typically a beginner will have a very simple program and can progress workout to workout for a decent stretch. This might be adding 5lbs to the back squat 2 to even 3 times per week or maybe it's 2.5lbs to the bench on the same frequency. Essentially every time or most times he goes into the gym, he's a different lifter. Simply the rate of adaptation is high, the time between personal records is low, and the necessary complexity of the programming to elicit these progressions is low.
An intermediate may ramp up to his records over a few weeks and then get decent stretches where he'll set new records on lifts on a weekly basis. At first he might get 12 week runs, later on only 3-4 weeks, but nevertheless he is making fast progress and adding weight to his lifter weekly or almost weekly. Within a week lifts and stress on the body will generally undulate. If 3 full body workouts are used it's typically Heavy, Light, Medium with the work geared to getting that next record the following week. Rate of adaptation is still medium, time between records is medium, and complexity of the program is medium.
An advanced lifter gets to the point where weekly progress isn't really viable. He may ramp up and get 1 record or he might not be able to go anywhere with that structure and to get that kind of progression he has to train so far from his core competency that the training fails to carryover well and even cause regression in ignored core. For example dropping the back squat and training the butt blaster machine or working in the 25 rep range on lifts or some other oddball thing. Sort of like a 100m sprinter working on his 3000m times because easy progress is available to him there (unfortunately his 100m doesn't really move much if at all). I have a post on properly using benchmarks to evaluate progress here. Programming here is characterized over larger blocks of weeks in a micro, meso, macro cycle format for planning. He may work very hard and only make a single increment of progress at the 4 or 8 week point. This type of training is indicative of periodization and what goes on in advanced athletics and it gets longer and longer. One could almost say for a top world lifter, he may be training an entire year for a single increment of progression at the world championships and he might have a 4 year plan setup to hit his best at the Olympic games. Obviously adaptability is low, time between records is long, and complexity of the program is high (and for the world level lifter add "very very" before each of those but it doesn't have to be that way for everyone at the simple advanced classification I'm talking about).