Blast out of a rut with 100 reps per set. 100 rep sets can be used to shock the entire body for a week or two, or to bring up a lagging part.
Workout Summary
  • Main Goal
    Build Muscle
  • Workout Type
    Full Body
  • Training Level
    Intermediate
  • Program Duration4 weeks
  • Days Per Week
    2
  • Time Per Workout75-90 minutes
  • Equipment Required
    Barbell, Bodyweight, Cables, Dumbbells, EZ Bar, Machines
  • Target Gender Male & Female
  • Workout PDF Download Workout

Workout Description

Maik Weidenbach

This workout deals with an incredibly scary rep number that was first made popular by Rory Leidelmeyer in the early 1980s: 100 reps per set. Yes, you read that right. I am suggesting that you perform 100 reps of an arm exercise. What?!

For decades, we have been told that 8-10 reps is the ticket to hugeness. This still holds true, but doing an occasional 100-rep workout achieves three things: it pushes your pain barrier, it gives you improved vascularization, and it increases the glycogen reserves within your target muscle. All this will set the stage for further growth.

Basically, the 100s can be used twofold:

  1. For a shock week or two to train the whole body in that matter or,
  2. To bring a lagging muscle group up to speed.

Since none us are happy with the size of their arms, I took a chapter from my book "30 Secrets for Bigger Arms" to help you up to speed.

For this workout, pick a weight that's about 30-40% of your regular training weight, and perform 40+ reps. After that, rest one second per rep minus 100. When you get to 50 repetitions, rest 50 seconds; when you’re at 99 reps, rest one second, etc. (If you cannot reach 40 reps during your first attempt, choose a lighter weight next time. Conversely, if you get to 70+ in the first attempt, go a bit heavier.)

Here is a sample workout for arms: one set of 100 each, 3 minutes between exercises:

  1. Incline dumbbell curls
  2. Decline triceps extension
  3. Cable concentration curls
  4. Triceps rope press downs

This would be a sample workout for a lagging muscle group, you can modify it for any muscle. I would stay away from free compound exercises and train mostly with machines since fatigue and pain reach a whole new level on this program (I have seen grown men struggle with 185lbs on the incline bench). 100 free squats can be potentially fatal, whereas 100 leg press will only make you run for the bath room. The idea of being stuck under the incline barbell is also not very appealing, I take the hammer strength in that case.

Now what about a whole body program? Here I would stick to two sessions a week, trust me it is plenty.

100 Rep per Set - Workout 1

  1. Leg Press
  2. Lat Pull Down
  3. Incline Bench Press
  4. Barbell Shrugs
  5. Dumbbell Lateral Raise
  6. Hammer Curls
  7. Cable Tricep Extension
  8. Leg Press Calf Raise

100 Rep per Set - Workout 2

  1. Rack Deadlifts (use straps)
  2. Cable Flyes
  3. Seated Cable Rows
  4. Seated Shoulder Press
  5. Pullovers
  6. Reverse Barbell Curl
  7. Overhead Tricep Extensions with Rope
  8. Weighted Crunches

As for supplements, I would use some BCAAs during the workout, maybe 200-300 mg of caffeine and 3 grams of l-tyrosine before the workout in order to increase the mental focus. You should drink plenty of water as well.

I would definitely not attempt the 100s on a low carb diet (if you can, more power to you). But since the purpose is to achieve a monster pump, low carb is somewhat counterproductive. My preference is to do a little carb/creatine loading leading up to the workout, something along the lines of 4 meals with 50 grams of carbs each plus 5 grams of creatine. If you workout in the AM, have a big sushi or pasta dinner.

Either way, give the 100s a try. They will stimulate new growth in your body. In addition, they will create a much greater mental toughness which will then spill over into your other workouts. Just do not be embarrassed if you are struggling with 80 lbs on the lat pull down.

Enjoy the five days of soreness afterwards!

Photo Credits:

Dennis Dean Photography

109 Comments
graham
Posted on: Sat, 07/10/2021 - 19:40

I recently decided to try doing 100 rep sets. For clarity I am using it as a form of cardio to break up the usual slog of treadmill, bike, ski-erg, rower, stepper etc. I am not interested in muscle mass. I'm more interested in being lean but having firm and shapely muscles. I have a small frame so a little muscle can go a long way, and being 49 with multiple surgeries I neither want injuries from heavy lifting nor the prospect of trying to maintain a bulky physique as I age and my testosterone levels drop off. I'm wanting something easy-ish to maintain. I'm after losing about 50lbs. Now we have the goal bit explained, here comes the question. Is doing 100 rep sets with light weight more beneficial than more moderate weight and regular rep ranges? I do about a 90-100 minute routine, and as I am knocking off the 100 reps(50 on some exercises) in one go I am only having about 20 seconds "down time" between sets as I move straight from one exercise to the next. So I do about 12 exercises and do 2 "circuits" I know if I did 5 sets of 20 instead that I would burn more calories during the lifting phase, but would the fact my down time would drastically increase actually mean I actually end up burning less calories overall?

Ross.meyer
Posted on: Sat, 10/29/2016 - 22:16

Can this work out work doing one body part at a time such as chest then next work arms etc.. I've always done good doing a single body part at a time. Hit it directly then indirectly. Would this work out, work doing it one week a month? Then streignth work outs 3 weeks?

MAP2010
Posted on: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 23:23

Today was leg day and I did about 500 reps per workout.
You start off mid weight and do 100 reps then go up then do anther 100 reps
Don't worry about the count too much by the time you get close to your normal
Weight your body part will want to fall off stretching helps a lot for me. Do a 100 as far as you can you will know when you lower the reps when you cant do that amount any more "No Resting" just hit it all the way. Then move on to next workout. Mark Pendergraft

Ross
Posted on: Sat, 10/29/2016 - 21:26

Was wondering if doing one body part per work out would be good. Such as, for ex. Chest - bench then incline, decline, flat flys, incline, decline 100 for ea.. I have Bowflex Extreme that I love. Then I could also mix it with dumb bells on other days.

Andrew
Posted on: Sat, 10/18/2014 - 23:56

A better thing to try is 10 sets of 10 with times between sets increasing as you need.

For example, let's say you can do 10 sets of a certain exercise 5 times with a minute rest, but on the sixth set you can only do 9. Then add 20 seconds to rest time and add as needed until you hit 2 minutes. Don't go past two minutes, if you go past two minutes then drop the weight.

You should be able to add weight and muscle pretty quickly doing this.

LES
Posted on: Sun, 08/24/2014 - 08:42

I have recently been doing this workout prior to reading this article and i love it, its tough but 1 hour and your done and knackered, feel great and better than anything else i have ever done in 30 years of gym training.
I do 100 reps, if i can only get to 60, then i take a 10 second rest only ! and try to rep out some more, again a 10 second rest until the 100 rep has been achieved. I do 2 sets of legs, 1 set, chest, shoulders and back on the same day, then change to a different type of exercise for the same body part the next time i attend. You need to rest and only workout every 3rd day, ie you have 2 full days rest before repeating, rest is essential and sometimes not capitalised as the secret of growth !

Sid
Posted on: Sun, 08/03/2014 - 13:27

Should I perform cardio on the off days of this routine, and if so, any suggestions?

Ashwinkumar Rahate
Posted on: Wed, 06/25/2014 - 06:07

Excellent workout routine not only helping in muscle building but also drop down fat percentages

Tevin Cochran
Posted on: Mon, 06/23/2014 - 01:22

I Didn't read everyone's comment, but i just want to know, can i work on the same muscle twice, for example, 100 reps on Bench press Monday & Tuesday? or is that bad?

Tero Eskelinen
Posted on: Mon, 03/17/2014 - 11:48

Am I right? This could be only exercise what I do? Twice a week? Nothing else? This program looks really good for me. I have done now 12 weeks muscle mass 5 days / week, and thought this could be next one :) Aint it gonna do any harm if i do treatmill and cycling on "rest"days? I want burn litlle my fat and get muscle bigger.. Tell me is this right for me? :) Thank You

Gus
Posted on: Mon, 03/10/2014 - 13:10

Maik , I love this workout . It's killer but it pushes you .

Todd Burlie
Posted on: Wed, 03/05/2014 - 20:44

Just did workout A and all I can say is amazing! Loved it! Was looking for something new to mix it up and this was perfect. Can't wait to do the B workout I'd a couple days! Good job Maik!

JC
Posted on: Sun, 03/02/2014 - 15:06

Can someone tell me how many sets per 100reps

JC
Posted on: Sun, 03/02/2014 - 07:04

Recommended sets of 100 reps? Can this be an ongoing routine?

Mandels
Posted on: Tue, 02/25/2014 - 06:19

How long will it take to see improvements?

seamus
Posted on: Sun, 01/05/2014 - 09:44

how would i fit this into another workout like a 5 day workout ?

Big-T
Posted on: Tue, 11/05/2013 - 22:04

Which one should I start with???????

Jeremy
Posted on: Mon, 12/23/2013 - 03:06

Workout A(the first one listed) on Monday and the second workout on Thursday

Haziq
Posted on: Sun, 10/27/2013 - 07:25

Done with my first trial for this full body 100 reps set and the result, Damn, its great dude. Thanks. Will add more lbs next session. Thumbs up. From Malaysia.

mani
Posted on: Thu, 09/12/2013 - 21:09

Yes explain better
Monday=workout A and B
Thursday =workout A and B

OR

Monday = workout A
Thursday = workout B

?????????????????

Explain exactly please.

reed
Posted on: Wed, 09/04/2013 - 22:33

do I do both or is that two different days?

Jason
Posted on: Mon, 08/05/2013 - 22:34

Am I supposed to do workout 1 twice a wk and workout 2 twice a wk?

Craig
Posted on: Thu, 06/06/2013 - 23:01

Hi Maik

just done this workout for the week....fantastic! but I'd like to ask is it normal then when you go back to you usual routine (in my case it is the 4day power/muscle/burn split) that it is really difficult the first time back?
I struggled yesterday, and I'm just wondering is this normal or is it just because of the shock to the body doing 100 reps, or is it from only working out 2 days?

anyway, thanks for a great workout!

David
Posted on: Wed, 05/29/2013 - 08:59

This routine is killer. I did try and do something a little different with this and spread it out over 5 days. 2 exercises per day per body part. So Monday is chest, tuesday is back, wednesday is legs, thursday is shoulder, and friday is arms. Abs are mixed in tuesday and thursday. I am spent.

Nixon
Posted on: Wed, 05/22/2013 - 23:27

Listen here guys, its not complicated. looks like were more worried about rest, sleep, and down time between sets. get in there get swole and feel a 100 rep set tear your muscle tissue down and grow it back bigger. Its all mental anyways.

Rasmus
Posted on: Wed, 05/15/2013 - 05:54

No, unfortunately Steven.. This program is meant to boost your cooking skills - which is why you can find this program in the gastronomy section.

Duckstert
Posted on: Tue, 05/07/2013 - 22:01

I 100 reps per set, it is awesome.. Sometimes more just depends.

Craig
Posted on: Thu, 04/25/2013 - 07:19

Going to give this a try, but do you perform the workouts on consecutive days? I just read the 'enjoy the 5 days of soreness' and imagined back to back sessions.

Is this correct? Cheers.

duke
Posted on: Sat, 04/13/2013 - 07:17

I have recently been coming to the conclusion that i need to start listening to my body more and not blogs and magazines, because everyone is different. but this was sick. i did the exercises shown for arms, but supersetted a bi and tri exercise with a shoorter rest. also did sets of about 30 20 1515 10 5 5. also did a preacher machine exercise with kickbacks. exciter for tom.

Darren
Posted on: Thu, 04/04/2013 - 04:07

Just did day one with my training partner and have to say that it was the most enjoyable session I've done in ages! It was intense. My whole body was pumped and veins were popping. Thanks for the great routine.

Shawn Sparks
Posted on: Sun, 03/31/2013 - 22:24

Hey malik. Im training for the canadian league for football and im tryna get bigger n stronger but keep my speed.. can you help me out pleaseit would be much apreciated.I

Maik Wiedenbach
Posted on: Thu, 04/04/2013 - 12:00

Shawn, email me at maikcwiedenbach@gmail.com

Julous
Posted on: Tue, 03/26/2013 - 06:09

Cant wait to try this in the A.M!

Maik Wiedenbach
Posted on: Wed, 03/20/2013 - 09:14

Paul, glad you like it. keep me posted how you do
Maik

Paul
Posted on: Sun, 03/17/2013 - 14:20

Hi Maik

I take my hat off to you , Sir. I tried this yesterday at the gym and haven't felt this pumped/worked out in months. Incredibly difficult but so effective. So i've decided to do the two programs once a month as my max -out time.

But definitely have some kind of "pre gym push" to get this done. I wouldn't try this when on a break from supplements/magic drinks.

Thanks for the article.

david
Posted on: Mon, 02/11/2013 - 18:29

Anyone got a sample workout for chest and triceps?

hector
Posted on: Tue, 02/05/2013 - 21:44

Can u do another workout in the same week as thiis one? Seems like 2 days a week is a lil. I'm barely going to try this workout. And wat days shouldd I do it. Thanks

Maik Wiedenbach
Posted on: Fri, 01/25/2013 - 16:36

Michael: almost. You get to 40+ reps, then rest one second for every rep missing. I e you get to 50 reps, rest 50 seconds, do another 20 reps, rest 30 seconds etc. Not rocket science.

Michael Kastberg
Posted on: Fri, 01/25/2013 - 13:46

This is how i understood it :)
your do 100 reps per exercise meaning youll do atleast 40reps the first set (or youll have to go lower in weight) and from there on out you do as many sets needed to complete the 100 reps..then move on :)

Ed
Posted on: Thu, 01/24/2013 - 15:06

This work out is monster, my arms are throbbing with pump, good for a mix up

Evan
Posted on: Wed, 01/16/2013 - 14:37

Yo, if I do 100 reps and then minus that by that 100 seconds, how am i supposed to rest???

Maik Wiedenbach
Posted on: Wed, 01/23/2013 - 07:16

If you can 100 reps straight, the weight is too light. The article stats to pick a weight that allows you to get to about 40reps.

yura
Posted on: Sun, 01/13/2013 - 22:57

Hello Maik , looks interesting..i first would like to try add 100-X FOR MY BICEPS /triceps day... do i do it once a week then ? or spread for 2 days ? Please advice.

Maik Wiedenbach
Posted on: Wed, 01/23/2013 - 07:17

you can 100 reps for weak muscles once a week.

Mr. bcuzican
Posted on: Sun, 01/13/2013 - 14:39

Hi Maik wiedenbach its 01-13-2013 @ 2:28pm. I just came up on your website cause I was looking for a new workout to do.And my question to you is can do this with pushups,pullups,situps as well.plus I hardly have time for the gym cause of works & my 4 kids. So i have free weights & a toining cord machine at home.Can I do the 100reps workout with what I have?

Maik Wiedenbach
Posted on: Wed, 01/23/2013 - 07:15

Sure you can. 100 pull ups might be tough but it will work.
Maik

Miguel
Posted on: Fri, 01/11/2013 - 12:03

Wow this workout is awesome I am so sore as promised. My only question is why aren't squats on the list?

Maik Wiedenbach
Posted on: Wed, 01/23/2013 - 07:17

100 reps of free squats are tricky, but if you can do it, go for it.

Peter Mabone
Posted on: Tue, 01/08/2013 - 23:54

ex swimmer turned trainer in new york.....

Jp
Posted on: Thu, 01/03/2013 - 11:32

I dont understand if i am supposed to spilt those two workouts meaning work out the first one on a monday and then workout the sexond on a tuesday or give a rest day in between please any insight would be great.

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