One of the best lessons I've learned is simpler is almost always better. With that in mind, here is a program I have used off and on with pretty decent results. I call it "On the 5's and 10's" and it's pretty simple - pick two exercises and do one for 4 sets of 5, the other for 4x10. I have also played around with 5x5 & 5x10, which works, but I don't notice a big enough difference to dedicate the extra time for the sets. If I have the time to do two lifts for five sets each, I can usually make a better workout.
There are two common ways this can be utilized - either you're pressed for time each day and can't spend an hour in the weight room, but still want a quality lift, or you want to improve a movement/muscle group that is lacking.
You can get to the gym every day, but only have about 20-30 minutes, but still want to focus on mass and strength.
Set Up - After a warm up, these two lifts are done as a superset, with only as much rest as needed between rounds to get the reps at your weight.
Lift 1: Deadlift - 4x5
Lift 2: Military Press - 4x10
Lift 1: Bench Press - 4x5
Lift 2: RDLs/Glute Bridge - 4x10
Lift 1: Squat - 4x5
Lift 2: TRX Rows - 4x10
Lift 1: Chin Ups - 4x5
Lift 2: RFE Split Squats - 4x10
With Lift 1, we hit the king exercise of each movement, then use less demanding exercises for reps. Is it perfect? Absolutely not, but if you only have time for two exercises, you can do much worse than deadlift and military press.
For whatever reason, you're not where you want to be for your squat. You can deadlift a semi, but struggle coming out of the bottom of your squat.
Set Up - In addition to your normal workouts, add this in on an extra day where squat isn't emphasized (while still allowing recovery - remember, the issue may be overtraining and under-recovering anyway).
Lift 1: Barbell RFE Split Squats to Airex Pad - 4x5
Corrective 1: Hip Flexor Stretch
Lift 2: Dual KB Goblet Squat w/ Pause at Bottom - 4x10
Corrective 2: Ankle Mobility
In addition to improving strength out of the hole, the corrective work will help with mobility and limit internal resistance during the movement.
All the best,
Drew Henley, CSCS, USAW, CES