Food & Fitness

The Return of the 100 Reps Challenge

You may remember that back in December 2008, I hosted a month-long 100 reps challenge. These days I’m feeling it more and more that my strength training isn’t quite “up to snuff”, so we’re going to embark on the 100 reps challenge once again this year to squeeze some strength training into our schedules! When my workout buddy Alana and I met up at the gym last week, we were pumping out the push ups and found that, much to our chagrin, we were literally collapsing on the mats from a workout that, last spring, we were both considerably more capable of carrying out.

While I really emphasize that we shouldn’t compare ourselves to other people because everyone is so different, I do think that comparing ourselves to ourselves is an excellent way of marking progress (or deterioration of progress!). Only we know what we are capable of doing, and if we were once able to do something (and age or health concerns etc haven’t changed us considerably), and we are no longer able to do it as easily, it’s a good idea to examine what has changed and how we can improve ourselves. Hence the return of the 100 reps challenge this year!

The main premise of the 100 reps challenge is to complete 100 reps of a single exercise every day. We do a different exercise every day. The challenge lasts for the month of December. Every morning I will post the new exercise. We might have to perform 100 bicep curls on Day One, 100 front raises on Day Two, and so on. The extra challenge involved in this is that there actually won’t just be one exercise per day, there will be two: one for upper body and one for lower body (or for the core). When I post the new exercise for each day during the month of December, I will also post an explanation for how to correctly perform the two exercises for your benefit. Pictures and/or videos may accompany the description.

Over the course of the day, 100 reps really isn’t so bad. You can break it down into five sets of 20 fairly easily (or ten sets of ten). The weights that I will be using are going to be 8 lbs. I may kick it up to 10 lbs on some days, too. You can also feel free to use soup cans or filled water bottles or books if you don’t own free weights. I’ll try to post a lot of body weight exercises so that they will be accessible for more people. There will likely be some exercises that include the stability ball, but these exercises can also be adapted if you don’t have access to one (and when I do include stability ball exercises, I will also include the variations of the exercises).

Compared to other challenges we’ve embarked on, I’d say this is one of the easier ones- all it requires is a few minutes out of your day to strengthen and tone your muscles. If you find that the holiday stress is crashing down upon you, then this is the perfect way to take a couple minutes to yourself and to keep those muscles in decent condition until the New Year. As I said last year, side effects of this challenge are that you may get stronger and realize just how capable you are when you put your mind to something, as well as potentially discover an increased motivation to exercise. It’s win-win! Who’s with me?

I shall be recycling some of the exercises that we did last year at this time, but I’ll also be adding some from books, magazines, YouTube, and from anywhere else that has good exercises to incorporate here. If you have any exercises you’d like to see during this challenge, or any muscles that you’d like to specifically target, just let me know and I will ensure that your request is granted.

Stop by tomorrow for Day One of the 100 Reps Challenge!


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