The 1,000 Rep Challenge is one of my go-to workouts to track my progress and to measure my levels of fitness. I do this workout once a month in my gym, using the same weights to see if I can get any closer to reaching 1,000 reps in total, or at least attempt to beat my previous number of reps. Quite frankly, I have never met anyone who got a 1,000 reps in the end, but I usually manage over 900 reps which gives me hope that one day I can get there!
What is the 1,000 Rep Challenge
The circuit consists of 10 exercises, a mixture of body weight ones and those that require a piece of equipment. Given the high number of reps, the weights used tend to be lower as the goal is not hypertrophy. The clue is in the name -the idea is to complete a 100 reps of each exercise to get 1,000 reps in total. There is a time limit, of course, which adds an extra challenge. You race against the clock as you only have half an hour to complete the circuit. This is the very workout I tend to push myself the hardest at as I enjoy the adrenaline rush which comes from racing the clock and competing against my previous score.
How to approach the 1,000 Rep Challenge
- As always, quality and good technique comes before quantity, so focus on good quality reps to make them count!
- You can do the exercises in any order you like! As you will see, the moves are a mixture of cardio, upper body, lower body and core dominant exercises, so you can use active recovery by strategically alternating between the exercises to give one body part a rest whilst you are working on the other. This way you can maximise your time spent on doing the exercises, without needing to stop much before tackling the next exercise. You might want to do a bit of planning in advance to decide the order you want to do the exercises in.
- My usual plan of attack is to do the reps in increments of 20 or 25, and focus on 3 different exercises at a time as a “circuit within the circuit”. For example: box jumps (cardio)/pushups (upper body)/sit ups (core).
- I normally complete those exercises first which are “quick wins” i.e. I can do them relatively quickly. For example, it takes me a lot less time to complete a 100 squats than completing a 100 situps. This is a good way to get the reps in early on as you will inevitably slow down a bit in the second half as you are growing tired.
- Lay out your equipment in a way that makes it easy to switch between exercises, remember that literally every second counts!
Equipment needed for the 1,000 Rep Challenge
Get your stuff ready in your workout space:-
- Slam ball (9/10kg)
- Kettlebell (12/16kg)
- Barbell (10kg)
- Plyo Box (medium height)
How to warm up for the 1,000 Rep Challenge
Start your workout with a 5 minute warmup to get your heart rate up a bit and to get your muscles ready for some intense work. You can use the following moves to prepare your body for this intense challenge:-
- Jog in one spot
- Arm circles to the front and back, then across the body
- Jumping jacks
- High knees
- Heel flicks
- Spotty dogs
- Couple of burpees
- Mini sprints on the spot
- Mountain climbers
- Squats and lunges
- Pushups on knees
The exercises within the 1,000 Rep Challenge
If you do not have a clock on the wall, set your stop watch to a 30 minute countdown. Have a pen and piece of paper ready with all the exercises written down so that you can score your reps, and then add up all the reps at the end.
After you’ve completed the 1,000 Rep Challenge
Most importantly, pat yourself on the shoulder for powering through this really intense circuit! After you have managed to catch your breath and had some water, do not forget to stretch down and foam roll to give your shattered body a bit of (well-deserved) TLC. I usually consume a protein shake after intense workouts like this to help my body recover. Remember to make a record of your final score which you can aim to beat next time.
Think about what you could do better when you do this workout again – for example, could doing the exercises in a different order help?
My latest score on the 1,000 rep challenge is 920, can you beat it? I would love to hear how you get on!