Tip: The Descending Set Bench Press Workout

Train for strength and hypertrophy in the same workout. Here's how.

There are many effective ways to build muscle and strength, yet most lifters get stuck in the 3 x 10 set and rep scheme. Break out of that rut and try the 100 reps methods.

The goal here is to choose an exercise and accumulate 100 total reps for the movement using the descending set method: start heavy and lower the weight as you fatigue, BUT perform more reps. Your goal is to get 100 reps total. One cool thing about this method is that you'll be training in the strength ranges and the muscle growth ranges in a single workout.

Begin with your heaviest weights (after warming up properly). Then every set or every other set decrease the weight. Choose exercises you're familiar with for this setup. Reps of 5-20 work best here.

Here's an example using the bench press:

  • 225 pounds x 6 reps
  • 215 pounds x 7 reps
  • 205 pounds x 9 reps
  • 195 pounds x 10 reps
  • 195 pounds x 10 reps
  • 185 pounds x 12 reps
  • 185 pounds x 12 reps
  • 175 pounds x 14 reps
  • 175 pounds x 20 reps
  • Total reps 100
Tim Henriques has been a competition powerlifter for over 20 years. He was a collegiate All American Powerlifter with USA Powerlifting. In 2003 Tim deadlifted 700 pounds (at 198), setting the Virginia State Record. Follow Tim Henriques on Facebook