At one time the English Sangha candidates went straight from 8 to 227 precepts. I think they now have to spend some time with just 10 precepts before getting full ordination.
The novice ordination was originally intended only for boys and teenagers, but its a wise move in my opinion to give candidates six months or a year, or as long as they feel they need, before taking the final step of full ordination.
For lay people, I think the best approach is to observe only five precepts while working, and taking eight precepts on retreat, or whenever they want to focus on meditation practice. Observing eight precepts is not very practical if doing hard physical labour, though one can get used to pretty much anything.
If you want to undertake more, one meal a day is feasible for meditators, Sitter's practice is OK for some, but does not work well for me, my Burmese supporter used to practice vegetarianism during the three months of the Rains Retreat (vassa). Lay people can do things like that to enhance their practice.