Beyond Sets and Reps: The 100-Rep Challenge (part 1)
Prescribed sets and repetitions are a great way to form a well-structured, detailed, program but it is not the only way to train. This series of articles will give you many different ideas that will inspire your training, with a series of interesting and exciting ways to train that reach beyond reps and sets.
These methods will also give you the opportunity to release that trait inside you that most lifters possess – the masochist! Now this is an optional thing… but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with pushing yourself to the absolute physical and mental limit once in a while, because this is how we grow, it’s called a challenge for a reason.
The 100-Rep Challenge
You’ve probably seen this mentioned in my previous articles such as Powerlifters Back, Bodybuilder’s Back (http://jacktylerperformance.com/2013/09/02/powerlifters-bench-bodybuilders-back/). The 100-Rep challenge is a great way to strengthen tendons, increase muscle mass, increase your conditioning level and it is also a good tool for rehab and prehab.
It is a very simple challenge; you perform 100 repetitions, in whatever fashion you can. It may look end up looking something like this: 40, 25, 15, 10, 10 = 100. I personally aim to complete it in as little sets as possible.
As you’ve probably heard me mention before – I absolutely love doing this with band-pull aparts for the postural and hypertrophy benefits. However there are many ways you can adapt the 100-Rep Challenge for your goals, here’s a few ways you can use it for hypertrophy and conditioning:
This is probably the most popular use of the 100-Rep challenge as it is a great way to add extra volume to your workout, while also being an excellent way to bring up lagging body parts. I recommend performing the 100-Rep Hypertrophy Challenge towards the end of your workout, once you have performed the large compound movements.
The majority of my prescribed 100-Rep Challenges are done with isolation movements (you won’t hear that word come out my mouth very often) as it is extremely difficult to perform 100 repetitions with a technical exercise such as Olympic Lifts, well without your form falling to pieces (sorry cross fitters). Here are my top 2 for general training and top 2 for masochistic training:
- Band Pull-aparts
- Triceps Pushdowns
- Bulgarian Split Squat (50each leg)
- One-arm Dumbbell Rows
I first heard about the 100-Rep Challenge from Jim Wendler, he marketed it for the benefits described above – hypertrophy, tendon strength, rehab and prehab. I tried it out and fell in love with it, but then I thought I’d try it out as an light conditioning workout, I had a go at bodyweight squats… turns out it isn’t as “light” as I first thought. I ended up in a mess – racing heart rate, screaming quadriceps, sweating buckets, you name it.
In short, this is a great finisher after a lifting session to get some extra conditioning in, especially useful for athletes. Here are my personal favourites:
- Mountain Climbers
- Push ups
Now go test one out! I recommend starting with band-pull aparts, which I believe should be a part of almost any program. If you feel like destroying yourself, I’ve given you the options, just don’t come crying to me if you can’t move for a few days. Once again, thank you for your support. Make sure to like me on Facebook so you don’t miss part 2 of Beyond Sets and Reps, which is one of the most effective but little known forms of training.
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