The weight-training programme that I am about to reveal is one of the hardest training programmes I have ever encountered and I will be honest, I have never completed the course.
It is a yearlong training programme and that in it’s self will be a struggle for most people to complete.
I came across this programme in a Joe Weider publication way back in 1993 and I have never seen it mentioned or published in any magazine since. Some of you may be aware of it and if you are I am sure you will agree that this is no easy option.
It is called 100’s and when you see what you have to do the title will be self- explanatory.
It is a programme that will shed fat and replace it with lean muscle mass and if you can stick with it you will be in the best shape of your life.
This programme takes nothing for granted. It not only develops your body from the ground up it also requires a mindset that will improve your focus and exercise form. It can be performed by most men of any age and condition –even those with a variety of aches and pains in the knees, shoulders and lower back- because the routines forces you to focus on form and feel, making the workouts more intense and productive and in return more enjoyable.
There are nine phases to the programme and I will explain each phase in detail.
So buckle up as we are going on one hell of a ride.
PHASE 1 (8 weeks)
Phase one requires you to perform 100 reps without a pause.
It may sound crazy but believe me the results speak for themselves. Football players, elite athletes and boxers developed the 100’s concept in the 1970’s.
If you have never done ultra high reps you are in for a shock. To begin with you must select an initial weight that will allow you to do 100 reps. On average this is about 20% of what you would normally lift for 10 reps. The goal is to begin to develop a mindset and a conditioning base that not only improves form and feel of the exercise but also makes you focus on the feeling in the muscle, of its the stretch and contraction, rather than the physical movement of lifting the weight.
Remember the key is to complete the set.
When you complete one set with the selected weight than add a small amount of weight the next time you perform the movement.
If you feel a bit off form one day then drop the weight back again, after all its only one set.
If you don’t reach 100 reps then just record it in your logbook (85 for instance) I would highly recommend you keep a logbook for this programme and once logged move on to the next exercise. However you should always make at least 70-80 reps if you add weight in small enough increments. If not drop the weight so that you can hit 100.
Start with one exercise per body part for the first two weeks.
Move to two exercises per body part for the next two weeks.
Then three exercises per body part for the next four weeks.
Use machines for most exercises, it makes life a bit easier.
For weeks 3-5 alternate between body parts.
Chest press, followed by Lat Pulldown. Then Chest Press again followed by Lat Pulldown, and so on.
For weeks 6,7 and 8 follow an ‘orthodox’ training routine. This could be something like Chest Press followed by Pec Dec. For the back, Seated Row followed by Lat Pulldown. Legs – Leg extension followed by Leg Curl.
If you are trying this programme the chances are you are not a beginner so you will already have a ‘normal training programme’ that you can adapt.
Work through each body part completely before progressing on to another. Rest for 2-3 minutes between each and every set.
Remember the goal, always try to do 100 reps without a pause.
Weeks 1- 4 try to train four days a week. Two on one off.
By weeks 6-8 you may want to try three on one off.
However this is serious training so listen to your body and don’t hesitate to take another days rest, or cut back the weight or drop back from three to two exercises per body part.
Trust me this is far more difficult to perform that it is to read. If you can stick with this you will not believe the changes in your physique.
What this programme will also do is marshal or your forces of complete concentration and willpower. When you reach rep 40, 65 or 80 reps your muscles will be feeling sensations that you never thought possible. This is a programme of mind as well as body.
At the end of the day your workout should be familiar and enjoyable. What I have suggested as a routine is just that a suggestion.
Remember that reaching 100 while using strict form and a full range of motion is more important than increasing the weight.
PHASE 2 (5 weeks)
The aim in phase two is to reach 100 reps in two parts. Part one is 70 reps without a pause. You should be able to use much more weight than you used in phase one. If you can achieve 70 reps then take a 30 second break, increase the weight slightly and do another 30 reps without a pause.
If you fail to do 70 reps mark the number down in your logbook, rest for 30 seconds and then continue to do the rest of the reps up to 100 with the same weight.
If you can pump out 70 reps comfortably, then increase the starting weight next time you perform the exercise.
Drop back to one exercise per body part for the first week.
Two exercises per body part for the next two weeks.
Then three exercises per body part for the final two weeks.
Through this phase train three on/one off split from the third week on. Your strength should be increasing with every single movement with every single workout. This will be no picnic, in fact this is where the men will be separated from the boys and the standard 100s performed in phase one will pale into comparison. The concept of hardcore and the meaning of pain will never be the same again. After this phase take a week off, you’ll need it.
PHASE 3 (3 weeks)
Before the start this programme, think what weight you would have selected to do 25 reps, this is the weight you will now try to use for the first 50 reps of phase 3. Again the goal is to achieve 100 reps but this time split into 3 sets. You will now be using heavy weight, so this time, rest for 2-3 minutes between each set. So for instance if you are doing chest press, you will now do 50 reps, rest, increase the weight and do 30 reps, rest, increase the weight and do 20 reps. Increase the weight as much as you can each time, but not too much that you cannot complete each set.
For the first week do two exercises per body part.
For the third week do three exercises per body part.
You could split the body into three, Chest, Back and Legs for instance. Do all three exercises per body part before moving on to your next muscle group.
Train two days on/ one off for the first week and for the next two weeks train two days on/ two off. Drink a little between every set.
PHASE 4 (4 weeks)
You will now notice in this phase that the reps are now coming down, however that is because the weight is going up. Use exactly the same principal as in phase 3, do 30 reps, rest, increase the weight, do 20 reps, rest, increase the weight and do 10 reps.
You choose now whether to do two or three exercises per body part.
Train four days on/one off. Apart from Abs never train the same body part the following day. Train the weaker (in either size or strength) body parts earlier in the week and at the start of each training session. By the end of each set you should be training to the point of failure, in other words unable to complete another full rep in perfect form.
PHASE 5 (5 weeks)
This is where you will start to see real gains in size and strength.
Do three exercises per body part.
Ideally you should do a split routine with two workouts a day. However for most people this is very difficult, so try this grouping.
You should be at the point of failure for the last two reps of each exercise in every other workout. So train to failure on day one but on day two one rep short of failure. Day four, to failure, day 5 one rep short. Then the next week alternate this. Now this is where it gets tough, try to do two to four sets of 15, 12, 10, and eight reps per exercise. For example Chest Press = 2–4 sets of 15 reps, 2-4 sets of 12 reps and so on down to 8 reps.
After this phase take a week off.
PHASE 6 (6 weeks)
Another drop in reps and further increase in poundage in each successive set.
Do two exercises per body part.
Train three days on/on off then three on two off.
The exercises you choose, stick to them for the first three weeks, then change all the exercises for week four onwards.
However for week four only, cut back the weight by 10-15% while keeping the reps the same. Do not increase reps just because the weight is a bit lighter and you feel that you can do more. This week gives your muscles a slight breather and also keeps them guessing.
Then for week 5 and 6 back to increasing the weight. Again as in Phase 5 push to failure every other workout, not every workout.
PHASE 7 (5 weeks)
Its time for digression, a foray into the realm of heavy poundage. Do a thorough warm up before lifting because you will be pushing yourself to failure on most of these sets.
Do four or five exercises per body part per day
With only one body part being trained per day (you choose but try to cover all major muscles throughout the week) your training schedule will now require you to train five days on/two off.
Start with the heaviest weight you can handle and do two to four reps. Lower the weight slightly and do four to five reps. Lower the weight again and do six to seven reps. Lower the weight again and do eight to nine reps. Now for the final set everything changes. Put as much weight on as you can possibly handle and do ten to twelve reps. You can use a spotter to assist on this final set. Rest for at least three minutes between each set. Train your abs everyday doing as many reps as possible but no more than 100. Try a different ab exercise every time.
Take one week off after this phase.
PHASE 8 (5 weeks)
This is exactly how it sound’s, it is a combination of 100 reps and normal training sets per body part.
So you will do 100 reps followed by four sets of eight to twelve reps per body part.
For the first three weeks train two days on/one off then two days on/two off.
You will only train one body part once a week.
So on day one you may choose to do chest and biceps, (it would probably be wise to do no more than two body parts in a day).
So it would look something like this.
DAY 1 Week 1 (chest and biceps)
Machine bench press 100s
Pec Fly 4×8
Machine Preacher Curl 100s
Standing Barbell Curl 4×8
It will be up to you to choose what exercise you do 100 reps or four sets of eight.
However in week four and five flip the exercises. In other words where you have been performing 100reps do 4×8.
DAY 1 Week 4 (chest and biceps)
Machine bench press 4×8
Pec Fly 100s
Machine Preacher Curl 4×8
Standing Barbell Curl 100s
For these last two weeks jump to a more intense four days on/one off split.
Now return to a more normal training routine, probably the one you were performing before you started this programme. This is where you will see the strides you have made during the course of your training year. Train four on/one off split and two to four sets per body part.
No programme would be complete without aerobic exercise. But let your particular goals guide your intensity. If you want to add muscle mass limit your aerobic intervals to 10-15 minutes per exercise session. Want to burn fat? Double the time and increase the intensity to 75% maximum heart rate. If it’s at all possible, split the weights and aerobics over the course of the day. If not do cardio as the warm up rather than at the end of your training session.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this article this is a very hard and intense workout programme. It will take up a lot of your time and is probably more suitable for a unmarried man, unless you have a very understanding wife or partner. I am warning you all now as I do not want to be cited in any divorce cases. However the results will be amazing, as this programme not only develops muscle, size and strength it also develops muscular endurance and willpower. It will improve sport performance and make the chores of every day life easy to handle.
Finally eat well, drink plenty of water and get enough rest to sustain the energy required to conquer the challenge of this awesome programme.