I'm trying to approach this in a way which doesn't make it seem cliche, so please bear with me if it does. Anyway...
I've had a lot of success with Bill Starr's 5x5 program, shown in the following link - http://www.geocities.com/elitemadcow1/5x5_Program/Periodized_5x5.htm
I like to switch things up every so often though, so that I don't get bored with my training & can stay motivated, so I had a thought. What about doing 5x5 for 6 weeks, then a higher volume version of it for another 6 weeks, then take a week off & start again back at 5x5.
The 5x5 program teaches you that Compound exercises should ALWAYS take precedence over Isolation exercises, and a lot of the time Iso's aren't even needed because the Compound exercises take care of the smaller muscles for you. Obviously though, if a certain muscle isn't progressing the way you'd like (rear delts, biceps, triceps etc) then you'll add in an isolation exercise at the end of your workout for that particular muscle.
Here's an example of a 5x5 workout - http://img33.picoodle.com/img/img33/3/10/21/f_Madcow5x5m_9f8b93c.jpg
Now what if (for a change in volume) I was to change the 5x5 to 3x10? That's still around the same number of reps per exercise & the actual program itself would stay the same, e.g. Squatting 3x a week & having a Medium/Light/Heavy (Mon/Wed/Fri) day, but I'd be training with lighter weights & more volume (reps) than the 5x5, so hopefully this would be enough of a change in stimulus to keep progressing in Size/Strength.
This routine (like the 5x5) would be around 95% focused on compound exercises, and isolations would only enter the picture if a muscle group was starting to lag behind or if I felt that I needed to train a certain muscle group more than the others for a while.
The program would look something like this:
Also IF this would work, I'm wondering whether to use Ramped sets or not in the 3x10 phase (e.g. instead of benching 250lbs for 5 sets, you "Ramp" up to it by doing something like 210/220/230/240/250lbs). When training 5x5, you DO use ramped sets at times (see the attached pic) in order to keep the weight progressing on a certain exercise, but seeing as this 3x10 phase is more for hypertrophy than strength, I was wondering if "ramping" up the weights is necessary or not? If I DID use ramped sets, the program would look like this:
How do you guys think this approach to training would play out?