I spent a long time working with the very standard 3 sets of 8-12 reps when doing my strength training. Which was totatly fine for a time. I got a lot out of doing that when I first got back to working out in a gym. But after awhile I found I had adapted. and it was boring. So for last little while I have changed things up. I have changed my rep and set rangs, doing a lot of supersetting to keep me moving more and have also been trying a different body part breakdown. It is has been working very well. Personally I find my body responds well to splitting my strength training up by body parts. But while working full-time combined with a crappy Canadian winter getting to the gym more than three times per week can be tough so I have just given myself permission to only go three times per week. I complement those workouts with 2-3 home based workouts.
I have been splitting my days as chest/back, legs/tricep, shoulders/biceps. The first superset I do on each day I pick a solid compound exercise for each body part for that day and do 5-7 sets varying my rep ranges. I rest a maximum of 1 min between sets. Then I do two or three more supersets of four sets each with a rep range of 8-15 depending on the how the weight feels. I have made some good strength gains, especially on my weak points like biceps, shoulders, and back. And my workouts are actually done quicker and feel more intense than past workouts where I did three sets of more exercises without the supersetting. Also incline walking after my strength workouts has been a nice addition to my cardio rotation. I always walk my dog a lot so walking never really struck me as a “workout” but cranking up the incline on the treadmill and setting a brisk pace is very effective cardio. I especially like tagging it on the end of my leg workout.
Day 1: Chest/back (gym)
Day 2: home workout – eg. cardio kickboxing, aerobics, spinning
Day 3: Legs/triceps (gym)
Day 4: Home workout – eg. yoga/pilates, low impact cardio/fusion workout
Day 5: Shoulders/biceps (gym)
Day 6: Home workout eg. cardo kickboxing, aerobics, plyometric drills, kettlebell work
Day 7: Rest