From what I understand, lifting lower weights for more reps builds more endurance, and lifting heavier weights with less reps builds more muscle. I'd like to have both. I was told that if you lift heavy weights for low reps with lots of sets and low times in between sets it grows muscle and endurance in a balanced manner. Is that true? Does anyone else have any tips? Having some muscle mass in addition to strength would be nice too, as I'm a pretty scrawny guy.
Why do you want muscular endurance? Are you a sports player? Or do you have any particular goals? If you're just looking to pack on some muscle then do StrongLifts or something similar. The endurance will handle itself later on.
Lots of people view muscular endurance like they do flexibility. Everyone says they should have it so they feel they need it. But you should really reflect what you need to do in life. If you are creaky and in pain do some more flexibility work. If you're puffed doing something you love or held back from some of your goals because of a lack of endurance work on it. If not, if strength and mass are your main goals, then find a program that leads you up to lifting heavy.
The guys on here will be able to give you more exact recommendations of what but StrongLifts always looked like a good program to me. I don't lift weights (just do body weight stuff) so I'll hand over to the others now.
Squats and milk.
You forget deadlifts. I found squats great for leg and glute development, but for overall thickening, size and strength I found deadlifts to be King.
And they suck way more than squats, lol.
Are you doing high bar or low bar squats? I like deads more than squats. Less pressure on my body. Squats and milk though, is a foundation program. Supposed to be done for about six weeks only. For thickening, size and strength; clean and press worked for me.
Thought you began with Starting Strength?
Wouldn't squats just improve your lower body?
No, I'll point you to this article until one of the guys here who lifts gives you a more complete answer. Also remember, when that bar starts getting heavy holding it across your back and keeping good posture is going to start working pretty much everything.
Liam's article hit it. Pretty much the only muscle groups not directly touched by squats are chest and grip. And, as the article states in point one, they'll be hit indirectly, especially once you go heavy. Squats are a true full body exercise.
If you go to www.stronglifts.com on the left you can put in your name and email and get a book that goes through the entire program and explains the lifts, has success stories, etc. I'd suggest getting it, reading it and seeing if it is something that fits your goals.
I've seen a lot of stuff in Men's Health that talks about designing programs around activities done during manual labor. Axe, sledge hammer, I know shoveling works pretty well, so does roofing. That kind of stuff will satisfy stronger/more endurance. Actually working hard will make you eat more and eating more will put on weight. As long as you consume more calories than you burn. I'm not very big either. . .but two of me can move an upright piano and then go do something else the rest of the day. Some of the "big guys" move the piano and their done for. . . more than size. . . you may not have the right fast/slow twitch muscle balance to get big. . . but you can turn it into steel. . . look at Bruce Lee.