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One for the Centuries

Do you need more mass in your thighs? Do you enjoy a challenge? Or are you one of those masochistic types who love to see how much pain you can endure? If you answered yes to one or more of those questions, you’ve got to try doing “centuries” on the leg press. I got this one from IFBB pro Erik “the House” Fankhouser, known best for his freakishly huge calves. Erik’s quads and hams are pretty amazing too, which is the reason he earned the award for Best Wheels in his pro debut at the ’08 Europa Super Show. 

Here’s how centuries are done. First, make sure you have 20 45-pound plates—10 for each side—to be stacked on one at a time. You probably won’t need them all, but you don’t want to have to scramble around in the middle of the session for another one. You begin with one plate on each side for 10 reps. What’s that I hear, laughter? Just hold on. Resting only long enough to add another plate to each side, you do two for 20 reps. Still easy, but things get nasty really fast as you move to three plates on each side for 30, four for 40 and five for 50. The goal is a 10th and final set of 10 plates on each side for 100 reps. 

You do full-range reps, and the rest between sets must be minimal. To Erik’s knowledge, nobody’s ever done it. “My best so far is eight plates for 80 reps,” Fankhouser explains. “Usually I go up to six for 60, then reverse it—that works pretty well too.” The House has trouble walking, climbing stairs, even squatting down to use the toilet for a couple of days after that. 

Do you want bigger quads and hams badly enough to attempt the torture? Or are you enticed by the challenge of capping off an orgy of pain with the amazing feat of 900 pounds in plates plus the machine for 100 reps? Surely you’d be a legend at your gym, and if you put that baby on YouTube, forget about it. 

Clearly, centuries aren’t for beginners, and only those with truly powerful lower bodies should even attempt to get anywhere near the completion of all 10 sets and a staggering 550 reps in total. Needless to say, you wouldn’t need to do anything else for legs that day, and you wouldn’t want to do centuries on the day before you’d planned a hike in the mountains. If you want to give your legs no choice but to grow, however, centuries could be just what you need. IM

Editor’s note: Ron Harris is the author of Real Bodybuilding, available at

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