After seeing a couple of articles about a training method used by IFBB pro Moe Moussawi that involves doing 100-rep sets. Recalling seeing something about 100-rep sets many years ago, too. Could doing a light weight for 100-reps actually stimulate muscle growth? A crazy muscle pump for sure, but wouldn't the resistance be much too light to cause a growth response?
100-rep sets are nothing new. Recall hearing about them as far back as the early 1980's. It wouldn't be surprising one bit if bodybuilders were doing them 10 or 20 years before then. They can be an excellent plateau buster for a lagging body part. Because they are so demanding and will do so much damage to the muscle cells, you would definitely not want to do 100-rep sets all the time. One workout, featuring two or at the most three 100-rep sets of of two or three different exercises for a given body part, could be done once every three or four weeks-no more often than that.
There are different ways to do 100-rep sets. Some people do use the same weight for all 100 reps. Agreeing that anything you could do for 100 continuous reps is far too little resistance to properly stimulate the muscle. Instead, do it over three to five drop sets of 20-30 reps each. So if you were doing cable curls, the progression might look like this, with no rest in between:
- 120 X 3
- 100 X 25
- 80 X 25
- 60 X 20
Talk about a muscle pump! You wouldn't be able to bend your arms for a few minutes. If you do decide to give 100-reps sets a try, forget about compound free-weight movements like squats, bench presses, military presses or barbell rows. By the time you get close to 100 reps, guaranteed fatigue would destroy your technique and put you at risk of injury. Stick with machines and cables.