Have you ever been on your way to the gym and thought to yourself, I want to do something so awful I will be mad at myself for days?!?! I know right, me neither. But in case you have, I have just the workout … 100’s! Every once in a while it’s great to shock your body from your regular workout routine. This is a workout that I would never recommend doing on the regular. It’s brutal and demoralizing. LET’S DO IT!!!
The 100-rep workout was first made popular in the 1980’s by Rory Leidelmeyer, and bodybuilders have been using it to break through plateaus and challenge themselves mentally and physically ever since.
It’s definitely not something you want to do all the time. You can use it in many ways. Most coaches and seasoned bodybuilders may suggest a two-week cycle. I have read some articles by bodybuilders who have done it for up to a ten-week cycle (they are clearly not well mentally), so you can see its versatility.
I like to use 100’s every once in a while as one full body day with one exercise for each body part (except maybe two or three exercises for legs). I recommend recording the results including the weights used and all rest points per exercise. When you keep this information you can try and beat your rest results next time to track your endurance gains. Don’t go up in weight on any exercise until you can hit 100 in a row. This workout is so tough you won’t want to do it often, but you will be so sore you will love/ hate it and eventually crave it again.
How to Do It
The idea is to do 100 reps in a row, but in reality you will not do that with most exercises the first time around. So, what do you really do? Let’s start with pull-ups because that is the most challenging upper body exercise I am going to prescribe. Start by doing as many pull-ups as you can at once; let’s say that number is 43. Subtract 43 from 100 and rest for 57 seconds; start back up and maybe you make it from 43 to 66 so rest 34 seconds, repeat to 100. Completing the pull-ups is usually the saddest part of the workout, so I like to get it over first, as it has the most rests.
How to Choose Your Weight
I go with a weight that’s about 30% to 40% of the max on a set of 12. Let’s look at a bench press for example. If I have a client who can max out at about 12 reps with 70 on each side of the bar, I would load between 25 and 35 pounds on each side.
I would base my decision on what order I am placing the bench press in the workout: Towards the beginning, a little heavier at 35. Towards the end, a little lighter at 30 or 25.
The weight should feel a little easy at the beginning as you are going for 100, so avoid the temptation to add more weight when you are just a few reps into the set. You will feel it soon enough!
Elements of the Full Body 100 Workout
— Bench press
— Barbell squats
— Seated shoulder press
— Bicep curl
— Alternating forward lunges
(100 total moves will be terrible enough, but feel free to do 100 on each leg if you are feeling it)
— Standing tricep kickback
(two dumbbells at a time, not single)
— Standing calf raises with dumb bells