You have been sentenced to grow... by reps.
100s: A Centurion Workout
Warning: This not a workout for beginners! The 100s workout is for intermediate or advanced weight trainers. Beginners will take too much damage, possibly injure themselves, and not eat properly to recover from this workout in a timely fashion. Disclaimer aside, let’s bring the pain.
Good trainers occasionally introduce an alternate workout protocol to shock the body, force adaptation, and help their clients break plateaus. This is one such workout. The purpose of the 100s workout is blowup the 10 rep and rest routine and perform each exercise for 100 reps straight. Yes, straight. At least that is the goal. In the beginning it can be difficult to determine the correct weight for each exercise. Let’s be very clear, 100s are done with lighter weights, generally with 20-30% of your 10 rep max. Hint: If you do not know what a “10 rep max” is, this is not the workout for you.
100s place unique demands on your muscles, requiring the body to process oxygen differently than your standard 3×10 or 5×5 workout. In the early reps, your slow twitch muscles are fatigued then, in the latter reps, your fast twitch muscles are engaged as you head towards failure. Fans of the 100s program tout the benefits of working out fast and slow twitch muscle fibers in the same session. Whether you agree with that assertion or not, you will find 100s to be an intense fat-burning, muscle-building workout.
As mentioned earlier, in general, 100s should be done with 20-30% of your 10 rep max. Clearly this can vary from person to person. In general, you have selected the correct starting weight for an exercise in the 100s program if you stop no more than three times during the 100 rep effort. The goal of the straight 100s program is to perform 100 reps of each exercise without rest. If you must stop, use the pause method: pause a number of seconds equal to the number of reps remaining. If you cannot complete 100 reps in 3 pauses, the weight is too heavy, drop the amount of weight for that exercise the next week.
Super Volume 100s
A variation of the straight 100s program is to do 100 reps in sets of 10 with 10 secs. of rest in between each set. The 10 second rest between efforts will allow you to work with a heavier weight thus increasing program volume without sacrificing the fat burning aspect of the program. Some will notice that Super Volume 100s is essentially a variation of the German Volume Training program with 10 seconds rest instead of the standard 1-2 minutes rest.
The 3 Day 100s Workout
I perform the 3 Day 100s program for 4 consecutive weeks once every six months. I use the workout below to keep my body guessing and to inspire muscle growth. Listen to your body. I opted to not to do cardio on days 1 & 3. Moderate cardio on all other days. This workout is taxing, so monitor and adjust your nutrition for best results. Due to program intensity, the 3 Day 100s workout should be followed for no more than four weeks.
The Single Day Workout
I change workout programs every four weeks. On occasion, I perform the Single Day 100s workout on a separate day as punctuation and transition from one workout program to the next. I recommend you take a week off from weights between programs especially after this single day workout. Rest, walking, and good nutrition during that time can work wonders for your body. Remember, this workout is not for beginners. The single day workout should be done no more than once a month.
* 50 reps per side • BW = Bodyweight
DB = Dumbbell • BB = Barbell