I touched on the idea of progression last week but I think it’s a valuable topic to expand on.

Once you build the belief that you can succeed with small wins, that’s when you want to start increasing the challenge.

Progression is a gradual development over a period of time.

Last weeks reference was to how many times I see people jumping into a routine or diet with both feet and not really knowing where they want to go. They are so excited about the result they are trying to achieve that they try and do everything all at once so they can get the results ASAP!

Yes, I’ve done this myself, but don’t lie, you know you’ve done this too! You’ve been this “person” I speak of 😉

It’s okay though. It’s natural, kinda…

We now live in a world of immediate gratification. If I’m hungry I go to the fridge, store or restaurant and I’m eating within minutes. If I want to watch a movie I find it on Netflix or rent it on iTunes and within minutes I’m watching it. If I’m having a conversation with someone and we can’t remember which actor was in a movie a quick google or imdb search gives us the answer in seconds.

So it’s natural to think that if I want a strong, healthy, toned body, why can’t I have it in minutes as well?

Heck, even the majority of marketing in the fitness industry tells us we can have the six pack abs in just minutes a day.

As I mentioned in my last post, this method of jumping into it usually sets us up for failure. We take on too much too soon and we can’t keep up.

However, with progression, we’d have a more systematic approach to how we build our exercise and nutrition habits.

We always encourage our clients to start small and start with success.

This could literally be focusing only on one simple habit daily, like eating breakfast, to just doing three 20-minute workouts a week.

If you haven’t been working out at all, why try and start with 5+ days a week?

Once you start to have success with those basics, THEN you can start to increase the challenge. Start to focus on lunch and dinner if it’s nutrition related or add time or days to your workout plan. Once you have the habit built, it’s a lot easier to progress to a more advanced level of your program.

In fitness progression, I suggest that people progress through these phases in fitness: joint strength, core strength, general strength, power development, intensity, athletic movements.

This lets you start small and builds a strong foundation to reduce the risk of injury.

At the end of the day, all successful learning comes through a progression over time.

“Walk before you run”. Literally.

Next time your working on your fitness or nutrition routine, consider if you’re in the right stage of progression. Are you bitting off more than you can chew or are you starting small and creating success?

Do you set yourself up for success or failure? Share your experiences in the comments.