Become Unbreakable with 100 Rep Sets
🕑 5 min read | Jason Barbour
It’s incredibly frustrating to be making great progress towards your fitness goals only to be derailed by injury. One of the most common, yet debilitating training injuries often involves the tendons.
Even minor tendon injuries can cause people with high pain thresholds the need to modify workouts or skip training sessions all together. To make things worse, tendon issues can take what seems like forever to improve.
Tendons have very little vascularization compared to muscles which means they don’t get the same supply of nutrients and oxygen to promote healing.
Tendons also shrink as we age, losing the ability to absorb force.
Thicker Tendons = Greater Strength, Fewer Injuries & Less Joint Pain
The more force you can absorb, the more force you can safely produce. And a thicker tendon will be able to absorb more force. When we land from a jump or the foot strikes during sprinting, we’re often absorbing 2-6x our bodyweight. Something to think about if you’re a Crossfitter or weekend warrior.
Weightlifters and bodybuilders are certainly not immune to tendon injuries either. Tendons don’t increase in strength at the same rate as muscle tissue. You may have experienced this first hand by making big gains in your bench press or barbell curls and then started experiencing bicep tendonitis. As your muscles got stronger, the tendons became overworked and inflamed.
Who else should work on tendon thickness?
- anyone 40 and over
- competitive athletes
- anyone with a history of tendon injury
Use 100 Reps Sets & Build Thicker Tendons
Since we know that tendons don’t get as much blood flow as the surrounding muscles, we can use ultra high rep sets to “force” more blood into the area. The increase in nutrients and oxygen will allow the tendons to regenerate faster and better adapt to a training stimulus.
Since a set consisting of 100 reps will obviously need to be done with lighter weights in order to complete it, this type of training can be done fairly often and is easy to recover from.
Some of my favorite ways to incorporate 100 reps sets include:
As a finisher
Pick an exercise at the end of a workout and complete 1-2 sets of 100 reps.
As an extra workout
Pick 1-3 exercises and perform 1-2 sets of 100 reps. I like to go with exercises that work areas I trained the day before. For instance, if I squatted yesterday, I may pick some high rep movements that drive blood into my patellar tendon. This will do wonders for both muscle and tendon recovery.
As an energy boost
These workouts rarely take more than 10-12 min and can be done just about anywhere since you don’t need much weight. They are great for getting you re-focused and your mobility feels awesome when you’re finished.
Some of my favorite 100 rep exercises:
- Quad Fall Outs
- Isometric Split Squat
- Banded Good Mornings
- Banded Leg Curls
- Reverse Wrist Roller
- Supported Reverse Flyes
- Seal Rows
- Banded Pulldowns
- Isometric Push-up Hold
- Cable Curls
- Tricep Pushdowns
Where does nutrition fit in?
Several nutrients have been found to reduce tendon inflammation and actively encourage tendon regeneration.
Metabolic Meals’ Grass-Fed Beef Burger with Fontina Cheese and Garlic Roasted Pistachio Broccoli is a rich source of proteins, fats and micronutrients that support tendon health.
Some of these foods include:
- Proteins high in glycine (poultry, grass-fed beef, bone broth and fish)
- Vitamin C rich cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and brussels sprouts)
- Omega-3 rich foods (salmon, sardines, grass-fed meats and chia seeds)
Jason Barbour is the CEO of Metabolic Meals and a builder of e-business brands that help people live healthier lives. For over a decade, Jason worked closely with top athletes and executives to improve their performance through nutrition, fitness and lifestyle modifications. He now focuses on using technology to give people a more personalized path to achieving their wellness goals.
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