Disclaimer up front—yeah, it's that kind of challenge. Don't even consider doing the hardcore version of this challenge unless you are an experienced lifter who can perform 20 continuous reps with 225 in the bench, deadlift, and squat with good form. That last part is important. This challenge is supposed to, you know, challenge you—not end you!
So are you scared away yet or licking your chops? If the latter is the case, then you're just who we're looking for. Big lifters know that systematic progression is crucial to getting big and strong, but it'll only get you so far on its own. Sometimes, even the best systems get stale and monotonous, and you need something a little different to up the intensity and overcome a plateau.
In a word, sometimes it's great to be challenged.
For this particular path away from the norm, we asked MusclePharm Hardcore Series athlete Lind Walter to put together an epic challenge that would leave any participant questioning their sanity.
He happily obliged and delivered something brutally intense: a 225-pound, 250-rep challenge. And then, because he's that kind of guy, he performed it himself.
250 Reps? Seriously?
You read that right. It's a pretty simple idea, but the execution of it, well, that's another matter entirely. It's focused around the three big lifts: squat, bench, and deadlift. You can perform it in any gym with a rack, a bench, a bar, and management that doesn't mind you howling and grunting.
Now it gets fun. To finish the challenge, you simply have to get 250 reps like this:
- Squat: 100 reps
- Deadlift: 100 reps
- Bench press: 50 reps
The order of the movements doesn't matter. In other words, you can start with squats or end with them—whatever works for you. The reps and sets also don't matter. Simply get it all done as quickly as possible, and track your time.
If that sounds like your kind of sick fun, but you know 225 is too much for you—seriously, be honest!—we've got you covered. Strip a plate from each side and complete the challenge using 135 or whatever weight is appropriate for you. Trust us, even 135 pounds will kick your ass!
The 250-Rep Challenge
Hardcore: Use 225 pounds.
Demigod: Use 135 pounds.
Mere tough-ass mortal: Use any weight you know you can handle for about 20 reps with good form.
To give you a sense of the madness you've got in store should you choose to accept the challenge, Walter volunteered to give it a test drive. Needless to say, the intensity of it all snuck up on him quickly.
"With MusclePharm's new Hardcore Series in me for a few weeks now, I have come up with a few Hardcore workouts that I feel will give some amazing results," Walter promised on his Instagram page. "Check it out!" That is, if you dare.
Bench press 50 reps
Walter chose to perform the bench press first, blowing through his reps in an impressive 3 sets. Can you match that? Considering that Walter has worked hard to get his strength back after shoulder surgery, 50 reps at 225 pounds in any arrangement was an impressive feat.
"It wasn't easy, but I was able to knock it out in just 3 sets," said Walter. "I'm going to time it next week and try and beat it the following."
Deadlift 100 reps
This was a killer, even for someone like Walter, who boasts impressive strength and can deadlift more than 600 pounds. Most people are accustomed to doing deadlifts in low-rep sets, so even if their max is far above 225, 100 reps as fast as possible catches up with them in a hurry. Walter stayed focused on speed and explosiveness, knocking out all 100 reps in just 5 sets, but there was nothing easy about it.
@MusclePharm #HardcoreSeriesWorkout Part 2: Deadlift 225lbs 100 reps This was a lot harder than I thought, it took me 5 sets to complete. I haven't trained high reps forever, the complete opposite of my normal routines. I got as many reps as I could before my low back filled with blood and got too pumped. Focusing on speed and explosiveness ...Last 25 were brutal! #HardcoreMindset #HardcoreU #TeamMP #MPNation #IBleedGreen #WeLiveThis #bodybuildingcom #deadlift #powerbuilding #bodybuilding #LindWalter
"This was a lot harder than I expected," Walter said. "I haven't trained high reps forever. It was the complete opposite of my normal routines. I got as many reps as I could before my low back filled with blood and got too pumped. The last 25 were brutal!"
But Walter wasn't done yet.
Squat 100 reps
One intense 20-rep set of squats has been considered a game-changing challenge for strong lifters since before any of us were born. But how about five times that many reps? Get ready to have far more than your strength tested. You'll need strong lungs and an iron stomach to stay standing through this.
@MusclePharm #HardcoreSeriesWorkout Part 3: Squats 225lbs 100 reps The last part of this workout being squats. I was beat up from the deadlifts so I went at a steady pace not trying to break a speed record just trying to complete all 100 with proper depth and form. Ass down, eyes to the sky. Questions, comment? #HardcoreMindset #HardcoreU #TeamMP #MPNation #IBleedGreen #WeLiveThis #bodybuildingcom #powerbuilding #bodybuilding #LindWalter #Squats
Walter saved his best work for last, knock out 100 reps in a consistent fashion, displaying great form and depth throughout, even as things became increasingly more difficult. He pushed through his fatigue and soreness, but never redlined until the very end. That's a good note to remember when you tackle this yourself.
"I was beat up from the deadlifts, so I went at a steady pace, not trying to break a speed record," Walter said. "Just try to complete all 100 with proper depth and form: ass down, eyes to the sky."
Words to live by.
250 the hard way
This isn't a conventional workout by any stretch, but it's a great go-to if you're feeling up for a random challenge or if you want to test the strength you've been building. The first time you do it, it will probably eat you alive. But come back a week later and try to beat your time—or even just reduce the sets—and watch your strength skyrocket when you go back to your normal training schedule.
Think you're ready to tackle this challenge? Post your weight and time in the comments below and tag MusclePharm on your social media channels!