Your back is a big body part, which means it takes a lot to push its limits. While there are challenging back movements out there, it’s difficult to max out such a large muscle group. And the last thing you want is to leave the gym feeling like you didn’t leave it all in the weight room.
Pushing yourself as hard as possible is the best way to bring up your back and break through plateaus. This 100-rep finisher is a surefire way to finalize your back session and leave the gym with nothing left in the tank.
Pick your exercise
For this plan I suggest choosing a machine movement. Big, intense free-weight movements take their toll on the shoulder joints and elbows and are harder to control as you fatigue. Machines help you better isolate specific areas of the back, and the fixed motion is the safer option for maximum effort.
If you need lifting straps to secure your grip, go for it. The goal is to blast the back. If you want to work on strengthening your grip, go without the straps, or work forearms another time.
If width is your primary back goal, choose close-grip pull-downs. If thickness throughout the upper back is what you’re after, go with either a T-bar row or seated machine row.
Select a weight that causes you to fail at 20-25 reps. Any lighter than that will not help your muscle-building cause. But if you go too heavy, you’ll tire too quickly and fall short of your rep goal.
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The 100-rep workout
Start by performing reps at your selected weight until you reach failure. Failure in this instance means you can’t perform another rep with proper form. Once this happens, remember your rep number. Subtract that number from 100 to figure out your rest in seconds. For example, 100 – 25 reps = 75 seconds of rest.
Once your rest time is over, continue with the number you left off at. So, if you failed at 25, start at 26. Keep going until you reach failure again. Let’s say you fail at 45 reps. Take your new rep count and subtract that from 100. So, at 45 reps you would only get 55 seconds of rest.
Obviously, as the workout unfolds, your rest periods will decrease. That means you’ll have less time to drink water, take deep breaths, and refocus. So make every second count. Repeat this pattern until you’ve completed 100 total reps. Let’s say you hit failure at 92 reps. That leaves only 8 seconds to recover before grinding out more reps.
In the beginning, you’re doing straight sets, but by the end it will feel like a rest-pause set. Your lats will be burning, and that weight you started with will feel like a new PR.
This workout is meant to push you and tax your muscles. If you do a light set for 100 reps straight, you won’t reap the full effect. Conversely, you shouldn’t do a bunch of different mini-sets, either. After your initial run of 20-25 reps, the sweet spot is about 5-8 reps per set to get you to 100.
The first time you try this, your goal is just to reach 100. The next time you use this method, aim for fewer rest periods or more weight. This is how you’ll make progress and see more results over the long term!