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New Arm Mass With the 100-Reps Tactic

7301-smart1Q: I heard that you are a proponent of the 100-reps method. Is that the same as 10×10?

A: They are similar but not the same; however, both are excellent for increasing work capacity by training the lactate-capacity energy system. The 100-reps method will improve vascularization and initiate enormous increases in glycogen stores. It is a great system to use every three weeks or so for only one workout.

To use the 100-reps method, you’re paired with another bodybuilder in a competitive setting and instructed to perform 100 cumulative repetitions with a specific weight in as few sets as possible. You start with your 20-rep-max resistance; that is, the weight with which you can just get 20 reps. Here’s an example of how it works:

Al and Bernie are doing curls, Al with 100 pounds and Bernie with 90. Al performs a 20-rep set with 100 pounds. Immediately, Bernie performs as many repetitions as he can with 90 pounds. As soon as Bernie is finished, Al performs a set of maximum repetitions with his weight—let’s say 17 reps. Now Bernie must match or surpass the number of reps that Al did. Bernie, having watched all of the Rocky movies, performs 18 repetitions for a total of 38 (20 + 18).

Now Al is trailing at 37 cumulative reps, and right after Bernie completes his 18-rep-max set, he performs another set of maximum repetitions, and so on. Each trainee rests only during his partner’s set. Once they each perform a total of 100 cumulative repetitions, they are finished with that exercise for the workout. At first it may require as many as 10 sets to get to 100 reps.

When they can each perform 100 repetitions within four sets, they upgrade the resistance by 5 to 7 percent. If you try this method, rather than waiting until a training partner completes his or her reps, you can also alternate the curls with a triceps exercise to provide a form of active rest.

Here is a sample workout using the 100-reps method. It gives you a total of 400 reps of work in a single workout.


1) Wide-grip EZ-curl bar standing curls

2) Incline dumbbell triceps extensions


3) 30 degree incline dumbbell curls

4) Rope pressdowns


Editor’s note: Charles Poliquin is recognized as one of the world’s most suc-cessful strength coaches, having coached Olympic med-alists in 12 different sports, including the U.S. women’s track-and-field team for the 2000 Games. He’s spent years researching European journals (he’s fluent in English, French and German) and speaking with other coaches and scientists in his quest to optimize training methods. For more on his books, seminars and methods, visit Also, see his ad on the opposite page.   IM


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