Well up until a 2.5 months ago I hadn't worked out for nearly 2 years. I was amazed to see how WEAK I'd become, but even more amazed at how fast I was regaining my strength. Now I'm nowhere near where I was 2 years ago, but that's my current goal. I've been concentrating on the big compound movements and have been doing full body workouts alternating 3 and 4 times a week (every other day). I started all my workouts with 8 reps and each workout I try to add one rep until I can do 10 reps and then add 5 pounds and go back to 8 reps; so far I've progressed nearly every workout. Finally I hit a plateau w/ my bench press which has always been stubborn for me; I was at 185lbs for 8 reps for 6 straight workouts. I was talking/complaining to a friend in the gym and he recommended trying "micro weights", which are basically just 1lb and 1.5lb plates. I borrowed his that day and went out and spent >$10 on my own the next. I dropped my 185x8 back down to the previous 180x10, but added 2lbs of "micro weights", so I was at 182lbs and got it up 10 times. Then I got up 183lbs 10 times and then back to 185lbs, but got it up 9 times and then 10.
Things didn't go 100% in this order, but you get the idea. The micro plates helped me take baby steps to get through my plateau, but I did move past the 185x8 that I was stuck at for 6 workouts and that's what's important to me.
This may be common knowledge and I apolgoize if it is, but I've never read about it anywhere and just thought it may be helpful to others.