T Nation

The 100-Rep Challenge

I was reading about the 100-rep challenge on Dan John’s site (www.danjohn.org/coach) and gave it a try last night. The way he had described it was as something done over the space of a good three quarters of an hour - but I can’t find that article again.
Anyway, did 100 regular squat reps with just 50kg in a 20-12-12-10-10-10-9-9-8.
Took about fifteen minutes doing it - my legs felt like two tightly strung elastics after. Think I should probably have done more like 80kg and over a longer period.
Just wondering if anyone has tried it. It kind of reminded me of Tabata, which I do the odd time front-squatting 40kgs with reps in the order of 11-10-8-8-8-8-7-8.

Dan is one of the best around! Good for you for giving this a try. This might be the article to which you are referring:


Some interesting things I tried 7 and 6 years ago respectively. They gave interesting results but I was never able to duplicate the results more than once.

First, 7 years ago when I had just started my first “real” strength building program I had worked up to my first legit 300 pound squat. Then I went through a 6 week training cycle with a 3 low volume taper at the end. I tested my max at the end and bombed at 295! I got so upset I put 225 on the bar and just started squatting it. I did something like 15-12-10-8-5-5-5-5-5-5 in 25 minutes. I just kept forcing myself to do another 5. The NEXT day I came back, put 300 on the bar and it flew up. Then 315. Then 335. I think it just lit up my glutes to do all those deep reps and they fired on all cylinders.

Second, 6 years ago. I had done 20 rep squats with 225 previously and at this point my max squat was 345. I had just bought a small power rack and with a 300 pound set. One saturday morning on a three day weekend I loaded on all 300 pounds and did a triple. Then another. A total of 20 triples. Each set actually got easier. That’s not all. I came back at noon and did 10 more triples. Then again 10 more triples at about 9 PM. Then up the next morning for 10 more and 10 more at noon and 10 more triples at about 6 PM. On monday morning I woke up and put 225 on the bar which I had gotten for 20 reps breathing style 2 or 3 times in the past. I did 25 reps so fast I did not take even one breath during the entire set! After a couple of minutes I did 25 more, then 25 more then 25 more all without ever going into the deep breathing mode. I weighed about 185 at the time and had just done 100 reps at 225 in about 7 minutes. By the way. I tried this again the next weekend and my system rebelled. I could not make myself walk out with 300. I don’t think this is a good way to train long term, but if I wanted to squat a max tomorrow I would put about 245-275 on the bar and do about 10 sets of 5 with a nice rebound at the bottom.

A week after this 100-rep thing. I did 242lbs (which had been my previous PR) for three good reps. I felt a bit of a twinge in my back as I racked it so decided to call it a day at that stage. I hadn’t tried a PR in a while so it was probably a combination of things but I’m thinking the 100-rep project helped.
I also found the Dan John article I meant. It wasn’t the 100-rep challenge one but another one in which he referred to doing 100 reps of clean and jerk with a ridiculous weight that I couldn’t C&J once. It took him about an hour and a half. So the next time I try this, I’ll try squatting with 175lbs or C&Jing with 120lbs.