There’re lots of ways to get stronger. How you decide to do it depends on what your goals are. But if you’d like to get generally stronger most methods work, if you’ll do one.
You don’t need to kill yourself. Only do as much as necessary, rather than as much as you can.
I think getting your eating straightened out is important, ahead of exercise, but that’s another subject.
Here’s a sampling of some different schemes, from easy-to-follow to the more involved:
Power to the People uses just two exercises, the deadlift and a press. Each is done for two sets of (never more than) five reps. This leaves something in your tank, so you can do this workout five days a week and take the weekends off.
Easy Strength is somewhat similar in approach to Power to the People, five or six days a week of easy workouts using five movements and a low rep scheme that varies according to the day, of a 40 day cycle. You only add weight as you feel stronger.
High Intensity Training takes less than twenty minutes and you’ll do maybe six exercises, usually on machines. The workouts are just once every seven to fourteen days – but you must go to utter muscular failure, to make deep inroads to the muscle and nervous tissues. That’s why the sessions are infrequent, you’ll need lots of recovery time. There’s a low incidence of injury because you use machines and move slowly.
Bodyweight exercises are effective and there’re lots of ’em, calisthenics, isometrics, gymnastic movements and many ways to do them. If you’d just do push ups every other day and some sprints occasionally you’d do well. That’s all football great Hershel Walker did.
Three workouts a week is the most familiar and tradition approach. You do lots of exercises to get all body parts, doing 10 reps for three sets of each exercise.
Split routines are used by bodybuilders. Two workouts a day, with each one focused on blasting one body part. Steroids help most of these guys along as well as lots of time to spend in a gym.
Some schemes are more effective, but the most effective is the one that you think is the most appealing and enjoyable, in other words the one that you’ll incorporate into your life and keep doing.
If you like it, you’ll “show up.” And that’s the hardest part.