Many believer that less sets is better because you can recover better. But that is only if you are training to failure. And I'm not sure that is exactly the best way to train, unless you're strapped for time.
I like doing more sets better. That way you get more sets to warm up and get ready for the heavy weights. 5 x 5 is a good example. I like that one if you don't have as much time. But I also like the way some strength athletes train where they'll do even more sets of 1-3.
Also, plan to progress slower. You're not 18 anymore!
And lastly, just be creative when you have to, know what hurts, and avoid it. I noticed when I do pull ups it feels like the bones in my right arm are going to separate at the elbow joint when I get to the bottom of the movement. So now instead, I go lighter and I stop before I get to the bottom.