I would like to go over a few training theories I have learnt/developed over my lifting years. Firstly there are 1001 effective ways to train. Everyone is built differently both physically and psychologically. Therefore, experimentation is what I recommend to find out what training style(s) are most effective for you. There are established training systems for a reason. Generally certain training approaches are more effective than others and as a result most bodybuilders follow similar programs. However over time and learning about your own body I think no one is better educated than yourself when it comes to your training. The key is listening to your body and making note what works for you. Don't just follow a system and try to fit your body into that system. Create your own training system for your own body. If deadlifts hurt your back regardless of weight or hack squats hurt your knees then simply don't do them. Don't do things just because some stranger online or flex magazine tells you it's essential.
Knowledge of your body comes in time so if your new to this try the many training styles. Most importantly give each one enough time to effectively access it. Generally I believe in frequent training using low volume each gym session. However I feel when cutting or getting ready for competition rotating in a higher volume approach using short rest periods is most effective. No matter what style I feel intensity should always be high excluding deload periods. Intensity doesn't haven't to mean a silly amount of weight but simply pushing yourself beyond what you perceive to be your limit. I see many lifters in the gym and their minds give up far before their bodies do. Every time I go to the gym I look at it like a battle to make my body grow. I visualize my body growing when I lift and I battle for every rep I can get. Your mind is everything in the gym and you need to train it to enjoy the pain. When I refer to pain I don't mean anything that is unsafe or damaging but simply getting in the zone where you can push out those extra reps. This is why a good and trusted spotter is extremely important. Added to that hammer strength equipment and other pieces that allow you to push your limits without putting you in an unsafe position.
I reiteration there are 1001 ways to effectively train. You don't have to kill yourself in the gym to gain muscle. On one side you have one of the greatest bodybuilders ever (Lee Haney) who used to say 'stimulate don't annihilate' and that is completely true. On the other side you have Ronnie Coleman performing reps with 800 pound deadlifts 6 weeks before the Olympia. Sure Ronnie didn't train that way all the time and a lot of it was for the cameras but you won't see anyone else lifting that sort of weight at that time. Both mentalities have their pro's and cons. Fact is the guys who regularly lift huge poundage for reps are usually unmatched for density and thickness. Whilst on the other side they guys who don't push the weights tend to experience fewer injuries and have longer careers.
Progressive overload is key if you want to continue to make gains. Our bodies adapt fast so we need new stimuli in order to keep shocking our body into new growth. This can be done using a variety of rep ranges, poundages and techniques to get the most out of your training. Most lifters neglect higher rep ranges thinking they are only good for shaping and that is nonsense. A bodybuilder should incorporate a variety of different rep ranges. By doing this development of new muscle tissue can be maximized. It will only add to your training and you will learn more about your body. It will also help train your mind to go past certain barriers. I know a lot of guys who can squat or leg press a lot of weight for say 8-10 reps but ask them to do lighter weight for 30 reps and they fall apart. I use high reps especially for leg move