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.
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.
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.
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.
Get your hands on a copy of "Starting Strength" by Mark Rippetoe.
He's a strength coach, and through this work you'll see strength development from a coach's perspective; it's written for other coaches too, so it gets very technical but it will greatly help you understand all the mechanics of what you are asking about.
His beginner program in the book is what I started on, and I was very happy with it.
if you're new to lifting or haven't worked out in some time, it would serve you well to start off with a program that has very little moving parts--in other words, something you can commit too. Following Stronglifts is a program i'd definitely recommend. You're in and out of the gym in less than an hour, and it only requires you to go three times a week. Follow the recommendation of what others have said. Do squats, and deadlifts...SERIOUSLY. Strength first!
"You can be anything you want. A warrior. An athlete. A hard man or woman ready to handle whatever life throws at you. But you must be strong first."
I got this xD The best range of reps for building muscle mass is around 8 to 12 reps per set. Any higher then this gives you a good pump and fills your muscles with blood but isn't really breaking down muscle tissue. Lower rep ranges, like 1 to 5, work more on shocking your nervous system, this helps you get crazy strong but you won't build like a bodybuilder would. 8 to 12 allows you to break down muscle tissue and gets you pumped up at the same time, think of it like a middle ground. You'll definitely become bigger, stronger, and have more endurance by sticking around this rep range and consitently increasing your weight and changing up your routine every couple of weeks.