I got back into the gym in June of 2015 after about a ten year hiatus from serious lifting. I have always been a bigger guy, so I started at a fairly decently in shape 232. Worked my way up to 261 by January while dropping 4 inches on my waste (40" to 36"), and I am now currently cutting for summer (back down to 244).
I am not an expert by any means, but I have learned a lot of things along this journey that I thought I would share:
1. Your diet is everything. I have always worked out (although the last 10 years it has been sporadic), and I always made some gains, but never as explosive as I have in the last year. The advice about your Macro split above is spot on. My diet for bulking was 3400 calories using 40:30:30 (protein, Fat, Carb) split, which for me came out to about 340g of protein per day. That is a lot so you need the whey in order to get it more easily (and avoid eating 100 chicken breasts per day). My cutting intake is 2750 calories, but I had to tweak up my protein a bit in my macros to 50:25:25 to keep my protein up around 340g per day.
2. I am trying to gain size and "beach muscles" so X-fit is really not for me. I use an old-school style body builder work out split and it has been very effective. I started with an "intermediate split" of Chest and Tris on Monday and Thursday, Back and Bis on Tuesday and Friday, shoulders and legs on Wednesday and Saturday. Once I really hit my stride after about 2 months I went to a more advanced workout split: Chest Monday, Back Tuesday, Legs Wednesday, Shoulders Thursday, Arms Friday, Legs or Back on Saturday. At first glance it looks like this split is easier, but it is really in the amount of volume you are using. In the intermediate split I would do 3 exercises per body part. With the advanced split, I work them until they are completely wasted... sometimes that can be 6-8 different exercises.
3. I have adhered to the old body builder adage of doing your heavy compound lifts first. For example on Chest day I will do Flat Bench for power rep range (5 sets of 5 reps, AKA 5x5, or low rep pyramids), then declines in the hypertropic rep range (4X8), then inclines (dumbells) (4X8), Dips (4X15), then cable flies (4X15 or failure), cable iron crosses (4X12-15). In order to work things equally I will switch around the order and do inclines for power or some other iteration, but the cable work always ends up last.
4. If I am feeling particularly strong, I use drop sets to really crush it, although beware of dropsets on compound movements (bench/squat etc.) as that will probably crush your ability to do any isolation work.
5. Supplements are important, but not the be all end all. If you are serious about adding muscle you MUST take in a lot of protein and the only realistic way to get 340 grams of protein a day is through whey supplements. Creatine is useful and I recommend it, cycling creatine is back out of fashion, take 5g pre and post work out. Preworkouts are fun, but largely only good for getting "amped." If you read the label you will see most pre-workouts are largely just stimulants and vaso-dilaters (NO). There are a lot of people selling products that frankly you don't need. BCAAs and Glutamine are perfect examples. If you are getting enough protein you are almost certainly getting enough BCAAs and Glutamine. I have supplemented both and have noticed 0 difference in recovery or growth.
6. If you want to get big, lift heavy. There are all sorts of guides out there that will tell you to work your negative at 2-4 seconds, and 1-2 seconds on the lift, and hold the contraction for 1-2 seconds.... That works for some muscle groups better than others (at least in my experience). That is exactly how I lift back and biceps. That said, my chest and tris (extensors) really only respond to big numbers. I use things like GVT here and there when my training feels stagnant, but generally speaking I keep my reps and sets somewhere around 4X8-10.
7. Stop looking at the scale, weight is just a number. I am not saying "healthy at any weight" but have you ever seen skinny fat? or known a women that had a phenomenal hard body? Odds are the hardbody woman outweighs the skinny fat one by 20lbs but certainly looks better. Pick better metrics.... Take measurements (waist, arms, thighs, chest, etc.), take a monthly progress photo, track your "vascularity." Whatever, but don't step on the scale daily and think it means something about your conditioning.
8. Last but not least, if it isn't working, change it. If you aren't getting sore anymore do different things, make your body and muscles adapt. That is when you get growth. In order to be effective at "changing it" you have to understand it, so read up and get smarter. It is way easier to do that now. When I was a kid, I had to wait for the new edition of Flex or Muscle and Fitness (or whatever). Now, with the web, all that info is available and it is free. Just watch your source. Bodybuilding.com has been a good resource for me and I recommend Jim Stoppani (google him) as a place to start learning, particularly about nutrition.
Above all stick with it, there will be big gains and plateaus, but don't get so caught up on the end result that you don't enjoy the journey to fitness. I love training and feel a lot better now that I have cleaned up my diet and health. If you don't enjoy the training, you will FAIL before you get to your goals.