One of the basic principles of training is progression. Proper progression is vital for success in any training program. However it is often neglected in many assets of peoples training. Whether it is the rise of new extreme and intense training methods where you do the most work possible in every workout or a reliance on repeating the same workouts every day an individual works out. Neither of these methods will give optimal results nor should they be considered suitable for the average individual. On one extreme you risk injury in the fatigued state of the intense exercise while on the other extreme you will likely make minimal gains and easily plateau. Programming should come down to efficiency and smart training. The goal of the program should be to try to get the desired results in the safest and most efficient manner possible. When applying some basic rules of progression you should attempt to increase your training incrementally whether it is through increase in reps, weights or both so that your body is constantly being challenged.
An area that is often overlooked but should include progression is in the nutritional aspect of an individuals exercise program. In the same way that individuals should not go out and attempt a max effort squat day or completely ruin themselves on the first workout you shouldn’t do the same when making adjustments with your food intake. While the exercise will likely impair you physically for a few days or increase a risk of injury; the abrupt change in dietary habits will likely lead to mental fatigue and the inability to stick with the program. People have a finite ability to make changes as our will and self-discipline will eventually fade especially when being stressed with a new workout regimen and nutrition plan.
When designing an exercise plan you should strive for constant improvement every workout. This will come with smart planning and training organization. When changing dietary habits you should do the same. As I suggest to my clients you should attempt to make at least 1 positive dietary change every week and keep it in your program. Within a few weeks you will have improved the diet pretty drastically and it will have all been done with small steps and accomplishing weekly dietary goals. Always challenge yourself and strive for improvement but do it intelligently and well planned so you can continually make yourself better.