Super High Rep Training (SHRT)

Super High Rep Training
By Dr. David Ryan

Many people have difficulty obtaining a “pumped” muscle. Due to a lack of coordination and genetics, the muscle is worked out, but often not blown full of blood. To obtain maximum results, the common bodybuilder has mastered this approach and seeks it out in the gym, like a Cheetah looking for its’ prey. Super High Rep Training (SHRT) offers the simple way of obtaining the pumped feeling.

There are many supplements on the market to help you obtain and retain a pumped look. Learning what this special feeling is like can be difficult to achieve. There are many products available from Labrada (namely Super Charge and Stim Force) that can help you to get a better PUMP by using this format of training.

Muscle Fiber Types

Muscle is composed of three different fiber types. There are “slow twitch,” also called red fibers, which respond to endurance movements. The body also has “fast twitch,” also known as white fibers and respond to strength or explosive movements. “Intermediate” or grey fibers, make up the last group and can be either strength or endurance, depending on training.

Your genetic code makes up the determination of the percentage of the distribution of those fiber types in your body. This is why some people can be as strong as a draft horse and others can run for miles without breaking a sweat.

Most people in the gym use weights to train only the white fibers. This causes the body to become stale and stops growth or flattens body tone.

Why Super High Rep Training Works

SHRT training is designed to stimulate the muscles by shocking the red and grey fibers that normally do not get stimulated by weight training.

To begin this process, you will find it best to have some of the following items:
• A training partner that can count.
• A simple clock with a second hand

How to Implement Super High Rep Training

To start, pick an exercise that allows you to stop any exercise quickly without the possibility of injury. Bench presses, with a barbell are dangerous since the bar can rest on your neck or chest and cause airway restriction and death. It is better to always have a spotter and use a smith bench or set up a squat rack for safety.

In our example we will use a simple bicep curl movement. First choose a weight that is normally 20-30% of your best repetition maximum. It is very wise to consider less weight with this type of training. The most common mistake with this format of training is to use too much weight.

Begin by performing the movement as many times as possible. As you continue you will fatigue at some number.

In this case let’s say you obtained 50 reps. Some quick math: 50-100 means you have 50 reps. left, so rest for 50 seconds and continue.

This is where that training partner is handy, to keep you honest and to watch that clock. Finish your set and continue towards your goal of last 50 reps.

Typically you will fatigue after another 20 repetitions. That means you have 30 more to go and another 30 seconds of rest.

Continue and keep training then if you get 15 more, rest for 15 seconds, then try and finish. Be sure and continue this subtraction and time appropriate rest until all repetitions are completed.

At the end you will require a full 5 minutes of rest to recover before proceeding with any other exercise. It is always best to perform this type of exercise after you have performed any strength movements.

Typically a few exercises in the hundreds format is all you need for a day for one body part. Stick with only two or three sets of 100s at first.

Hundreds training is extremely effective at stimulating collateral blood circulation around and through a muscle.

Most common weight lifting results in some degree of muscle stimulation and hypertrophy/hyperplasia (muscle growth). Hundreds training will stimulate some growth in males, but also tones muscles in both sexes. Tone will help with fuller muscle bellies and also the shapely look most people desire.
Injuries are often helped by this type of training. Lower weight and higher repetitions will bring new blood and nutrients to an area and results in healing.

It is best to begin with 50 reps as a goal in unconditioned and specifically health condition afflicted individuals. Then progress to the hundred repetition goal as the training response improves.
Various conditions such as arthritis, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia and other musculoskeletal injuries are often helped with this protocol of training.

Individuals who have problems “feeling the pump” that is commonly associated with weight lifting will experience the engorged muscle with this type of training.

Make sure that you can immediately stop a movement or have a spotter take the weight. Do not attempt this training alone.

As lactic acid from your muscles builds up from the higher repetitions, the pain can be devastating. You will “fail” and you will have to stop. As your body fatigues, your mind will quit and the simple math calculations are tougher than you think.

This type of whole body workout is becoming more popular and is a very time efficient way to exercise. It takes time to develop the stamina to sustain the level of intensity to complete a whole body workout and frankly, those that do are in a class of fitness all by themselves.

Many military groups, wrestlers, MMA fighters, law enforcement, football and other team sports will use this protocol to achieve maximum fitness in a shorter period of time.

Cross-training is quickly becoming a popular term in the fitness industry and this involves the principles of SHRT. Individuals participate in exercises that involve higher reps, but performed often in a timed format. This has lead to a competitive format of exercise and national and international competitions are being televised.

Has Super High Repetition Training Being Used By Others?

An example of hundreds training was used with the cast and stunt crew for the movie “300.” Actors were asked to perform a series of 8 basic exercises; squats, power-cleans, bench press, military press, dead-lifts, bent-over rows (or pull-ups), push-ups and single leg lunges.

Each actor had to do 50 reps in each of the series of exercises, with a particular weight goal, starting with approximately the free bar (45 #s) and eventually 135 pounds.

They could not move to the next exercise until all of their repetitions were completed on each movement. Based on the physiques of the actors in the movie, the hundreds training were successful in developing a well toned muscular warrior look.

Recovery from this type of exercise is different than most. Since you are using less weight, the damage to your joints is much less, but the muscle fatigue is high. The saturation of the muscle with lots of drinking water and a healthy diet of protein, simple carbohydrates and low fats is essential to recovery.

Skeptical people will often ask, why not just perform 5 sets of 20 repetitions and the answer is simple: 20 reps only last about 10-40 seconds. Repetitions in the higher range of 50-60 reps, is necessary to change the body’s energy systems to the lactic acid cycle. That evokes a completely different type of exercise response and doesn’t take place until after 45 seconds of constant exercise.

Resting between exercise days is necessary to ensure a 100 percent effort. You will be sore from this type of training, but as you continue to train in this format, you will eventually become very “fit.” If your diet and sleep are in line with your training, you will look amazing.

Dr. David Ryan
Columbus Chiropractic Center Director

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12 Responses for Super High Rep Training (SHRT)

  1. Michael


    January 7, 2013 11:06 am

    I do 1 set of 50-100 reps of 1 exercise per bodypart, 3x a week, and this is good for both fat loss and muscle building. SHRT is the way to go for people who don’t use drugs or supplements, and for people who have difficulty eating a lot of food.

    From what I understand, higher reps = decreased myostatin production and increase anabolic response via increased GH and IGF-1 production, so essentially, SHRT training provides the same benefits as using steroids, GH, creatine, etc.

  2. Joe


    February 3, 2013 11:53 pm

    Should each rep be fast and explosive, or slow and controlled?

    • Michael


      February 5, 2013 7:04 pm

      Go slow enough to prevent momentum (i.e. use a breathing tempo), but not any slower. It’ll push your time under tension too high.

      If you take a second to lift and a second to lower, that’s 100-200 seconds TUT. Any more than that is overkill; 100-200 seconds is lactic acid hell, especially on squats. The idea is to stimulate growth, not end up on the floor puking up your breakfast.

      Stat slow; don’t jump into multiple sets and 1 minute rest periods your first week. Don’t rush into century sets (rest-pausing to 100) right away; stick worth 50-100 reps to failure, and rest long enough between sets for your breathing to return to normal, otherwise you could end up on the floor.

      SHRT is a tough row to hoe; I’ve been doing it for a couple years now, and no matter how good a shape you get in, it never gets easier. If you’re going to do it full time year-round, stick to one set per exercise, and only do compounds, otherwise you’ll burn out super fast. Take it from me: I wear 3XL’s, and I still haven’t reached Dr. Ryan’s level of recommended training (i.e. multiple sets per exercise, century set method). Even for a guy my size, that’s overkill.

      BTW, I got the 50-100 reps idea from Chris Jericho. After the WWE started testing for drugs, a bunch of them started doing SHRT to make up for the lack of steroids. That’s how good it works, if you do it right and don’t push yourself too hard.

      Hope that helps.

  3. Hypertrophy


    February 18, 2013 7:17 pm

    Optimum Hypertrophy is stimulated using a load of at least 70% of your 1RM, once you start using loads significantly less than this you are focusing on muscular endurance rather than muscle growth.
    Hypertrophy is best achieved using high density & intensity and limiting volume to allow for recovery (Especially natural athletes). Work / Time = Density.

    • Dr. David Ryan


      February 18, 2013 7:44 pm

      Well first of all the issues of hypertrophy and hyperplasia are still debated. So tagging a percentage on that 1RM is a rather debated topic alone. Frankly it would depend on the percentage make up of the fiber types. Hypertrophy depends on the individual and also the dietary and hormonal factors associated. Did you want to offer a reference for you thoughts?

      • Lancemc85


        March 7, 2013 4:06 pm

        I am currently prepping for a men’s physique competition in May and I’m a trainer myself and have been for nearly a decade. I have a trainer specifically for my show to prep me and we do various styles to hit all of the muscle fibers in the aforementioned article. I’ve recently become introduced to SHRT and I really have to tell myself on a regular basis that I’m not going to lose size by implementing these techniques alongside the others such as drop sets, clusters, max contraction principles, H.I.T. and of course many other standard and unorthodox training programs. It really seems to all be working well, but of course, just like with any other athlete, the mind gets involved a bit and begins to make me wonder if I’m losing muscle density or size with this. Usually, we use the super high rep techniques often enough to add to the higher intensity workouts, but now that I’m in my hard dieting and cutting phase, we’re supposed to increase it a bit more. This is the part that with dieting and this technique, that I’m really hoping the end results are what we’re hoping for. This individual is highly educated and has lots of bodybuilding experience, so I definitely trust the programs, but still a bit anxious to appear small or emaciated on stage. Thanks for the article and information! Really enjoyed it. Any thoughts on the if I’m being a bit paranoid about losing muscle size and density with this? I’m prepared to lose some size due to the carbohydrate and water loss over the next 12 weeks of course. Just trying to make sure I don’t lose any of the muscle I’ve worked so hard on for the last 15 years. Thanks! Be blessed!

        • Administrator


          March 7, 2013 5:40 pm

          Hello my friend. Since you have a coach the best advice I can give you is to trust his plan and get the mind our of the equation. It is natural to think that you are getting smaller as you do a contest…happens to the best of us. Just be sure to not let that bother you and simply continue with the plan as laid out. At this stage of the game the worst thing you can do is second guess the plan and try new things. Keep up the great work and best of luck on your show! Lee

          • Lancemc85


            March 7, 2013 6:07 pm

            Thanks for the input! I certainly appreciate it. My apologies if I came off as if I were searching for some sort of “free” tips, etc. People do that to me on a regular basis rather than either paying for a coach/trainer or utilizing that little tool we call “google”. 😉 Just wanted to note that my coach was implementing similar techniques which seemed to be effective thus far, but wanted to see if there were any particular “red flags” to doing SHRT at this point of precontest training. I will definitely take your advice as I know I must remove the mental aspect somewhat to avoid any hindrances toward my goal. I really enjoyed that article. Thanks again!

        • Michael


          March 8, 2013 12:55 pm

          Lance: century sets were a popular tool in the pre-golden age of bodybuilding, before steroids were introduced to the culture. Reeves figured it out, and after that, it became everyone’s secret edge for awhile. If it worked for those guys, there’s no reason it won’t work for you.

          The 300 program is a documented example of what a man on a diet can get from SHRT style programs. I personally went from a size 2XL shirt to 3XL’s in a year doing SHRT, while losing 85 pounds. I don’t know of any other program that allows you to simultaneously bulk and cut at the same time, nor any that claim to do that with such drastic results.

          If you don’t get the results you want from your trainer’s program, then from what you’ve described, he’s probably overtraining you; you don’t need to be doing all that stuff on top of SHRT. I suggest you stick with it until after the contest, then think on it for awhile. I got my results with the program I posted in this thread, which is absolutely minimal, and Reeves got his results doing a single century set for each bodypart 3x a week. Don’t get bent out of shape over it or fire your trainer just yet; it’s just some stuff to consider for your next training cycle.

          Good luck and success to you with the competition.

  4. Denny Tate


    May 29, 2013 11:16 am

    Finally someone has enough knowledge to let people understand that very high repetitions eg 50 to 100 or more can be extremely effective in producing hypertrophy. I have experienced exceptional growth executing reps in this manner. Outstanding article!

  5. Dom


    June 3, 2013 9:25 pm

    How often should the weight increase?

    • Michael


      June 18, 2013 5:21 pm

      when you can do 100 reps straight, add 20 pounds to the bar, repeat.