i finished reading the “100 reps to bigger muscles” and i feel its a really good theory. however, i have a question regarding it. i hit my calves tuesday and friday, and jump rope for cardio wednesday and sunday. now, if i were to do the 100 reps, that would be 500 reps per week. when i jump rope, i get about 500 reps in the two days (give or take.) should i still do the 100 reps on the days i dont do calves, or will the jumping rope be sufficient?
You should still perform the 100 reps on the days you don’t jump rope. Basically, the jump rope is taking the place of the 100 reps for that particular day. You still need the calf work on the “off” days.
I’ve learned about two groups of athletes that have a great deal of hyperplasmia. Cyclists (in the legs) and swimmers (in the back). As far as I can tell, both of these activities are high-reps - but they’re concentric only (there’s no negative portion to the movement). I’m concerned that 100 reps will cause microtrauma during the negative portion of the movement. My solution? Machines! Since machines can offer more resistance on the concentric vs. eccentric (the friction of the pulleys ‘adds’ to the weight of lifting and ‘reduces’ the weight of lowering), maybe they’d be a better choice? One question. Can anyone think of a way to increase the friction (which the manager of the gym won’t mind)?
Thanks for the advice Chad. I read your article and was trying to figure this out on my own, but it just left me pretty stumped. Can’t wait for your next article.
I appreciate your thoughts on reducing the negative emphasis (as I explain briefly in my article) but I would strongly advise against machines since they will “fix” you in a set pattern easier than free weights. With high-repetition training it is easy to overwork a certain motor pattern.
Since the recommended load is so light, just drop the load quickly (minimizing the negative emphasis). You won’t hurt your joints and it will almost completely minimize the negative you are trying to avoid.
There also might be a way to “relax” the muscle at the end of the concentric. The only examples I can think of are the squat and barbell curl. When you’ve pulled the barbell all the way up, the weight is no longer putting any tension on the muscle. So, you could consciously relax the muscle before lowering the weight. This would give the muscle a chance to regenerate some ATP (thus reducing the strain of an eccentric).
I’ve been playing with this concept quite a bit, trying to incorporate the hyperplasmia (and increased insulin sensitivity from glycogen depletion) into my workouts. It was nice to see someone else thinking the same thing I was. Thanks for the feedback about repetitive strain.
Chad, which exercise should I be performing for traps and delts? I was thinking maybe upright rows, military presses, or maybe even hang cleans(I’d prefer these since I am on an olympic lift kick, but not at the expense of results). Could you help me out? Thanks in advance.
A good trap/delt exercise would be db front raises while lying face down on a 60 degree incline bench. An exercise such as hang cleans would probably be too demanding to perform for such high volume. Try to keep the exercises as simple as possible since I have found this to be most effective.
Thanks for the reply but I’m afraid I have 2 more questions. Don Alessi listed an exercise he called a trap raise in his Iron Dog column in issue 194(in an answer to the last question in the column). I believe this is the same exercise you are referring to, but if not please correct me? Also, I am thinking that since this exercise hits both the traps and delts that I should not do any more exercises. Again, please let me know if I’m wrong? Thanks again.
Chad Waterbury to Ryan
Yes, this is the same exercise if my memory serves me correctly. You are also correct in assuming you don’t need to do an additional exercise for the delts since this will hit both. Good Luck!
From your article I assume that the 20%RM weight estimate was based on doing (2) 50 rep sessions per day. If instead, I split mine up as (4) 25’s or (5) 20’s per day would you still recommend the 20%RM weight or should I go heavier since the reps per session are lower?
Good point, but you should keep the load at 20%. I know it would be easy to get into a theoretical discussion about the ability to handle a greater load if you perform the 100 reps with fewer reps at every set. But as I keep stating, don’t try to use a greater load. This method is not about load! Just get the 100 reps everyday with 20% and you will be pleased with the results.
Chad, your article is very interesting, but I had one question. I read on Siff’s supertraining site, I wish I could find the article again, about the bodies ability to adapt to eccentric work, that its myofibral damage lessens with repeated efforts. If this is true, and I haven’t the article to forward you to, is it because that the time it takes to adapt to the eccentric, should it be used with 100 reps, is longer than the time that would be spent on the 100 rep effort???
Jay, thanks for your input but I can’t say that I follow your question/line of thinking. Please restate your question and I will answer appropriately.
your article indicates no emphasis on eccentric because of damage and fatigue. Damage may be adaptable, according to Siff. Should a person have adapted to performing eccentrics, is it the fatigue that still is too much? also, is there a top end to how long this will remain an effective program?
I’ve lifted weights for 40 + years, seldom did calf work, but have good calves. Secret? I played a lot of ice hockey and did well over 500 “reps” per week. I don’t know if this helps, but take it for what it’s worth [maybe not much].
Morgan-I started playing hockey in 2nd grade, and played my freshman year in college (last year), and only developed somewhat decent legs, absolutely no calves. The only thing that got my calves to grow was when i started bodybuilding last year. I have no clue why they didnt grow during my hockey days because I can remember many times where my calves were on fire after a long shift or something.
Jay, now I follow you. Yes, the fatigue is still a huge factor even if you have “adapted” to eccentrics. Although, eccentric loading is the most damaging, fatigue occurs from all types of muscle actions. That is why I recommend you stay away from muscular failure because fatigue will accumulate to the point where your performance will suffer in the gym with higher intensity training.
As for your question regarding the “top end” of this program. I honestly can’t say how long it will work, that is why I hope many lifters follow my guidelines and see for themselves. I have never done it for longer than 8 weeks continuously with myself or my clients, but I am currently experimenting with even higher volumes and quicker rep schemes in order to get some real world feedback. Remember, there are many great theories on paper that don’t pan out in the real world. But this is one that has proven itself. Keep in touch with feedback.
…and discovered that
post-exercise soreness not only did not occur after 2-3 weeks, but the
ability to perform eccentric work even increased by 375%. At the same time
biopsies revealed that Z-band damage had not taken place, suggesting that
adaptation to eccentric exercise had occurred. This research was
corroborated by Schwane & Armstrong (1983),