Whilst ‘confusing your body’ every session is up there with some of the worst fitness advice we’ve ever heard, there is some truth to the fact that your body is an extremely adaptable machine. Apply the same stimulus for too long, and while your gains may not cease entirely, you’ll certainly encounter diminishing returns.
So, if three sets of ten, five sets of five or ‘max-out’ sessions have been the bread and butter of your training regime since forever, some higher rep forays may be long overdue.
‘Centurion’ sets involve using the chipper method (chipping away at a total rep goal, as opposed to using structured reps and sets) with the aim of completing 100 total reps per movement. You’ll push each set as far as you can, avoiding failure at least initially, and resting just as necessary to keep your form tight and momentum moving.
In order to crank those reps right up, and hit your body with an unfamiliar stimulus, you’re going to choose a weight that you can perform for twenty reps for at least the first set. Your end goal? Repeat your Centurion sets regularly, aiming to build your strength and work capacity until you can perform all one hundred reps of a movement in just five sets of twenty reps, with minimal rest. At this point, you’re ready to crank the weights up.
This full-body session uses Centurion sets to their fullest, building muscle fast whilst building your reserves of mental tenacity. Pick your weights carefully, rest only as you need to keep the pace up and your form tight, but march through all 400 reps as quickly as possible.
DUMBBELL BENCH PRESS x 100
Lay flat on a bench, your knees bent, pushing your feet into the floors. Press a pair of dumbbells into the air, locking out your elbows (HAS). Lower the bells slowly until they touch your chest (B) keep your elbows at 45 degree angle, pause here before explosively pressing back up. Repeat.
INVERTED ROW X 100
Grab a set of rings or a bar at hip height, walk your feet forward until you’re hanging with straight arms (HAS)keeping your elbows close to your body row yourself up towards the rings, pause here for a second (B) before lowering yourself under control back to a full hang, repeat. Set the bar higher or lower to alter the difficulty level.
CUP SQUATS x 100
Hold a dumbbell or kettlebell close to your chest (HAS). Sink your hips back and descend into a squat (B). Your elbows should come in between your knees at the bottom. Drive back up, tensing your glutes at the top. Repeat.
KETTLEBELL SWING x 100
With a kettlebell between your legs, hinge at your hips, swinging the weight backward, between your legs (HAS). Drive your hips forward to explosively blast it up to eye level (B). Let the momentum return you back into the hinge position and quickly move straight into rep two.
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