A few simple rules of progression...
Always start a new routine with light weights, much lighter than you think you need to. Your body needs a break-in period to adjust to the movements, learn the proper form, get a running start and build confidence. There is plenty of time to work into heavy weights.
Do not constantly train to failure. Training to failure teaches your body to fail, and how to reach failure more quickly. Plus, it's very taxing on the body which can make it harder to recover from. Training to failure periodically seems to be fine but donít make it your main modality.
Add weight only as quickly as your body can adapt to it. Some guys can get away with adding 10 to 20 lbs every session while other guys can only afford to add 1 lb every session. Experiment and see what works best for you.
Get plenty of rest and recovery. Your body doesn't progress in the gym, it grows and becomes stronger out of the gym while you rest and eat. Figure out what frequency works best for you and don't just take somebody's word for it. A good general rule of thumb is to rest more days than you work.
Give a good effort. You've got to work out hard enough to give your body a reason to over-compensate and grow stronger. If youíre just going through the motions after a good break-in period, your body has no reason to grow stronger and bigger.
The final principal is probably the most important one. If you aren't doing more each workout in terms of added weight, added reps, or decreased rest periods then you aren't progressing. If you find yourself stuck, re-visit the previous principals to see where you are making mistakes.
I wrote this to somebody that didn't have any clue how to make progress. He had never heard this stuff even after a whole year on a different forum. He couldn't figure out why his numbers kept going down instead of up? He was starting with his max, training to failure, and just kept banging his head against the wall.
I think somebody more knowledgable on the subject of nutrition should add diet advice to this, like how to manipulate your diet to keep progression going. Somebody could also add more ideas to improve recovery, like sleep, conditioning, increasing rest days and splitting workouts.
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