Earlier this summer, we shared with you an intense total-body workout we found on Pinterest: the 100 workout. We loved how exhausted the 20-minute routine left us—not to mention the burn we felt for days after. This week, we were excited to try out the leg edition of the workout to see if it was equally as awesome.
We sat down with Chau Bui, a trainer for the popular workout program Crossfit, to see if the 100 workout for legs was hardcore enough for Crossfitters. Bui said she was impressed by the intense focus on every part of the legs, including quads, hamstrings, calves, abductors, adductors, and the gluteus maximus.
How to Perform the Workout
The routine is structured in a descending pyramid format: You start with 100 squats and decrease by ten reps as you finish the remaining nine moves. You’ll complete the workout with exercises such as reverse lunges, mountain climbers, calf raises, and burpees.
Watch out for the deadlifts, as Bui says this would be the hardest move for a beginner, and even for herself as a professional trainer. Take the time to learn proper form in this complex move to avoid injury.
“I would recommend this workout to anyone who is looking to get a good lower-body workout but is not as focused on gaining strength. It could be used by Crossfitters, as well,” she says.
How to Cater the Workout to You
Bui recommends that beginners start by performing 10 reps of each move for a total of 100 reps in the workout, rather than risking overworking new muscles.
“You’ll still challenge your lower body while being able to focus on form,” she says.
Advanced students would benefit from adding some light weights or resistance to certain exercises, such as substituting kettlebell swings for the bridge lifts. Adding a half- or one-mile run at the end would give the workout an added cardio aspect.
“This is a challenging lower-body workout that is worthwhile if someone has gotten the basics down,” says Bui. “But without careful guidance from a coach, you could hurt your back, so take the time to learn proper form.”
Personally, we prefer the original 100 workout, purely because you engage your entire body for 20 minutes rather than limiting the focus to just the lower body. But if you’re looking to tone your legs, the 100 workout for legs is a great place to start.