Like a lot of other people, probably most people, every once in a while I get bored with a typical training session. Three of four sets of benching, squatting, deadlifting and various other movements tend to get a little old and bland after hitting these movements hard month after month. Because of it, I am always looking for something to spice things up when these times come instead of skipping workouts or continually doing something that I’m not too excited about. Enter the 100 rep challenge.
The simple but effective 100 rep challenge works every time. I simply pick a movement, typically bench press, front squat and chin ups, and perform 100 reps with a selected weight. I caution you to pick exercises that are compound movements and that are relatively safe in nature, something that you can keep proper form with throughout the entire 100 reps. I also wouldn’t recommend doing this with any Olympic lifts and their variations, as this is something that I would only doing with typical strength exercises.
To give you an actual example, if I were to perform the 100 rep challenge and to choose the bench press, I would simply put 135lbs on the bar and rep it out as many times as I can, stopping 1 rep shy of failure (after the first set you think this is going to be a breeze, but wait it out, it gets hard!). I will rest for 2-3 minutes and repeat the process until I reach 100 reps. Furthermore, to make it even more fun, once I finally reach 100 reps, I keep the last set going to failure. To stick with the same example of benching, if my previous set ended on rep number 94, I would take my final set past 100 and until I failed. A spotter is obviously needed for a movement like the bench press.
When I have done this I have performed the 100 rep challenge the entire week, picking a different movement as the week goes on. For example, last time I performed the 100 rep challenge I picked the front squat on Sunday, the chin ups on Monday, trap bar deadlift on Wednesday, and finally bench press on Friday. Each day I did a little stuff on the side like core or whatever else you might want to throw into the mix.
If you are in a little training rut I challenge you to give the 100 rep challenge a shot. It may seem like it is very simplistic, and it is, but if you pick an appropriate weight this can be a great change of pace and also a great workout. The last time I performed the 100 rep challenge I left the gym each day feeling pretty spent and also had to spend some quality time with the foam roller the following days!