Updated: Jan 9, 2020
When putting together a training program the three most important factors are intensity, loading and frequency. With this in mind, you need to approach each session with everything you have. This may seem like a given but so many people go to a gym and slog out set after set of sub maximal weight achieving no more than a temporary pump. You need to be training at the maximum load you can handle with good form. This will cause muscle trauma which in turn will call for adaptation. Diet will play a big factor in recovery but let's assume it's optimal. We want to hit the same muscle multiple times per week. Your muscle will grow with the repair process from the trauma placed upon it with heavy weight training. So your program should allow for multiple sessions on one body part per week. This lends itself to full body with a day on day off, push pull legs repeat or upper, lower. So we're lifting as heavy as we can and hitting the muscle groups multiple times per week but is intensity at its highest? How many sets per muscle group is dependent on the type of program set up you've gone with but the chances are it will be far fewer than you have in mind. Let's go with my preferred set up which is pull push legs. Pull: 2 sets thickness 2 sets thickness 2 sets lats 2 sets lats 2 sets rear delts 2 sets traps 2 sets biceps Push: 2 sets chest press 2 sets high incline / shoulder press 2 sets tricep compound 2 sets chest isolation 2 sets tricep isolation 2 sets side delt 2 sets side delt Legs: 2 sets quad compound 2 sets quad compound 2 sets quad isolation 2 sets hamstring compound 2 sets hamstring isolation 2 sets calves 2 sets calves As you can see, volume is low allowing for maximal effort and intensity. This allows for the most amount of weight to be loaded without unnecessary sets before / after. Try it for a few months and I guarantee you'll grow better than you have been doing.