As I was in the middle of my Saturday morning lift this week I started to think about my programming now versus my programming in the earlier years of my lifting career. Earlier in my gym life I was always doing a lot of variation to my lifts from drop sets, to crazy volume, to 15 exercises in a single body-part workout. Now days I may only do 3-5 exercises in a workout and that may a full pull workout. I had always thought that if I wanted to get stronger and bigger I needed to do a ton of work and volume. That just isn't the case and it took me many years to realize that.
Over those first few years I did get bigger and, yes, I got stronger as well. However, these were only minimal gains compared to the potential I had. Within recent years I have revamped my thinking and became a lot more simplistic. I have moved away from body part splits, decreased the number of exercises, and implemented the basic, multi-joint movements. Within a years time of implementing a push/pull split with only 4 exercises per workout I took my squat from about 345 to 405; my bench from about 245 to 310; and my body weight shot up about 15 pounds with my body fat staying just about the same.
If you are looking simply to get stronger and more balanced in muscle then stop looking for the new, crazy workouts in the muscle magazines and start thinking simple. Pick a horizontal and a vertical push movement and a lower body pull movement and make it a workout. 4-5 sets of each exercise will have you definitely feeling it. Add in some mobility and pre-hab work as a warm-up and finish with some core work and you have a great day. Do the same for upper body pulls and lower body pushes.
I promise you that if you push yourself with the weights and keep the intensity high you will see some greater results with a simplistic approach.