Tip: Smash Plateaus With "Big 50" Sets

Gains stalled out? Try this shock training method and break out of that rut.

One of the most intense ways to break a training plateau is by doing 50 rep sets.

  1. Choose an exercise and select a weight that will allow you to perform 25 solid consecutive reps in one set.
  2. Upon completion of the 25th rep, take a 15-second rest-pause while breathing deeply.
  3. Continue on by gutting out a few more reps to failure, then take another rest-pause of 15 seconds.
  4. Continue in this manner until you hit a total of 50 reps.

Hypothetically, your rep patterns might look like this: 25, 8, 6, 5, 3, and 3 = 50 reps. If you have the guts, go for 70-100 reps and extend your rest-pauses to 20 seconds between subsets.

A goal to shoot for when doing a 50 or 100-rep set is to get them completed in 6 subsets or less. Bodybuilders or those with hypertrophy goals will use a weight that's 75% of a 10-rep max and do as few subsets as necessary to achieve a 50 or a 100-rep set.

To really make them intense, they only take a 6-second rest-pause between each subset instead of 15 seconds.