By Rob Macdonald
Photo by Rob Macdonald

There are some workouts you just can’t get enough of.

They make you fit. They make you sweat and boost your energy. They push your limits, both physically and mentally.

And they make you crave more.

This 100-rep back squat or bench press challenge does all of the above. It rejuvenates me and shocks my system by maximizing the intensity. I do it when I stop progressing, and I need to bust through a plateau.

It’s simple: You load up a barbell, and do either 100 reps of the squat or press in less than 10 minutes.

You must choose the right amount of weight, though. If you’re using two plates, you’re just warming up.

Beginners, use 60kgs. Once you complete all the reps less than 10 minutes, put 85kgs on the bar. And when you finish the challenge with 85, move up to the big boy weight of 100kgs.

Some guys will ask me to adjust these numbers for their body weight.

Here’s what I tell them: Shit in the real world weighs what shit weighs.

You can’t push a button to magically alter the mass of something. But if you work toward these weights, I promise you’ll see progress across the board.

As for a strategy, I recommend aiming for 10 reps a minute. Set a timer to beep every 30 seconds. Every time it sounds, do 5 reps.

Some people like to frontload the first 5 minutes—but don’t go too hard. It’s easier to stay out of a hole than to climb out of one. To gain a bit of a lead, you can start with 6 reps every 25 seconds until you start to get a little tired.

Even though you’re going hard and fast, form should still be a priority.

For the bench, go to full lockout at the top. Let the bar touch your chest at the bottom, but don’t let it bounce off your torso. Keep your hips on the bench the entire time.

For the squat, let your hips go slightly below parallel at the bottom of the exercise. When you push out of the hole, stand up all the way, snap your hips forward, and flex your glutes hard.

Fair warning: This isn’t supposed to be easy. It’s supposed to be gruelling. But that’s what makes you change and makes you get better.