Centurion Method or Method of 100 Repetitions in bodybuilding
Centurion method, called “training by sets of 100”, consists in carrying out, as its name indicates, sets of one hundred repetitions of each exercise chosen. At first glance, we don’t see what logical reasons we could have to engage in sets resembling ultras marathons.
In general, a classic sets has 8 to 12 reps, which is the ideal range for muscle hypertrophy. However, the body sometimes needs a real trauma to gain muscle and to carbonize the fat: this double objective can be achieved by increasing the number of reps, even if it involves a substantial reduction in the loads handled.
What are the benefits of the 100 sets?
The basic principle of training in a sets of hundred reps is that of muscle confusion: it is pushed to the extreme and inflicts on the muscles an “experience” that they have never or rarely experienced before! For the body it is a total shock.
Occasionally doing a sets of 25 reps until complete exhaustion is one thing, but if you multiply that by four, you go squarely into another dimension. A sets of hundred reps causes intense burning and tests for pain tolerance.
However, this method of training is much more than a masochistic manifestation of physical resistance: it is based on well-established physiological bases.
The sets of 100 for weak points?
These sets of 100 are often advised to catch up with a “weak point”. The problem is that in absolute terms, the weak points do not really exist as is generally understood. Indeed, our genetic inheritance alone will decide whether you will have large shoulders, short and thin calves, and so on.
In reality, a weak spot is often a muscle group that you do not work, insufficiently or badly. There is therefore no reason not to benefit the other muscle groups from the benefits of the 100-repeat sets.
Another advantage of the one hundred reps ses is that they act efficiently on both fast-twitch (FT) and slow-twitch (ST) fibers. Since the loads used are relatively lightweight, the fibers with slow contraction (predominantly endurance) are mobilized at the beginning of the sets, when the exercise remains easy.
As these fibers fatigue, the fast-twitch fibers (intervening in short and explosive movements) take over.
Most of the muscles are composed of a mixture of fast (white) and slow (red) fibers, causing both types of fibers through these prolonged sets, the muscle is exhausted.
How to use this method?
The exercises you select for your sets of one hundred repetitions must be basic and will be done with a very light load: this is why this program is perfectly feasible at home.
Indeed, it lends itself quite to exercises such as pumps, squat to body weight, dips between two benches. No need to have 35 kg dumbbells or heaps of discs of different weights.
Despite its name, this method does not require one hundred repetitions, rest-pause (very short rest period of 10-15 seconds) is allowed.
If you want to rest only one or two times during the sets, select a load corresponding to 20% -30% of your maxi on 10 reps: align 60 reps, blow some Seconds, then perform another 40 reps.
If you prefer to work with a slightly heavier load:
- Take one with which you can do between 20 and 25 reps.
- After reaching muscle failure, recover 15 seconds and continue to align as many reps as possible until failure, that is, about 10 reps for most practitioners.
- Whenever you get to muscle failure, you get up to 15 seconds before continuing the sets.
The key to training the 100 reps is not to exaggerate, because such intensity can lead to overtraining. Plan this method / program for up to 2 weeks and not more than once every 3 months.
Example of a training protocol
Session 1: Trapeze – Pectorals – Triceps brachial
- Horizontal row 100 reps
- Dips (only the lower half of the movement so as not to overload the triceps) 100 reps
- Lying triceps extension 100 reps
Session 2: Ischios – Quadriceps – Triceps sural
- Stiff legged deadlift 100 reps
- Squat bar neck 100 reps
Standing Dumbbell Triceps Extension 100 reps
- Seated extension 100 reps
Session 3: Shoulders – Dorsals – Biceps brachial
- Dumbell press 100 reps
- Close grip pulldown 100 reps
- Incline Dumbbell curl 100 reps
Repeat this cycle twice a week. You will have 1 day of rest per week for 2 weeks!
As a result of this protocol, take a week devoted to muscle recovery and rebuilding. During this week of rest, do not leave your muscles completely inactive! Do 3 days of moderate workouts (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) accompanied by 20 minutes of moderate cardio .
The idea is to bring blood muscles with nutrients to optimize recovery. For example, take 4 sets of bench press with an average load (60% of the RM), take 2 minutes of rest then switch to another muscle. After 2 weeks hyperintensives, do not put back to work heavy without consolidating your acquired; “Patience and length of time are more than strength or rage” Jean de La Fontaine.