Century: a hundred; anything consisting of a hundred parts
That is the Noah Webster 1828 Dictionary definition for century, and the one I will be using.
Century Specialization is using the number 100 to specialize in training a physical weakness. It can be used to bring up a lagging body part, or for training a weak movement.
The goal is to reach 100 reps in one way or another, depending on movement and goal. I will visit two ways I personally have used century specialization, as I call it, to further my goals.
First is for bodybuilding, muscle isolation specialization:
For this you pick an isolation exercise that you can do for one large set of 100. I chose calf raises, since I wanted larger calves (one of few body parts not being worked by the heavy lifting I was doing). I performed a single set of a hundred 5-6 days a week for about four weeks, and noticed significant size increase in my calves. You can pick any exercise for this, just make sure you can do 100 straight reps. If you can’t do 100 reps, decrease either weight or range of motion. For calf raises, it is best to do them flat on the floor, or else you may not finish the set.
Curls could also be used, by picking a light stick that can be curled 100 times. Or maybe a pressing movement by using a book. Any movement that hits a muscle lagging behind in size, pick a movement for it you can perform one hundred times and do so once a day, 5-7 days a week, for for weeks. Stay faithful to it, keep up a good diet and sleeping schedule, and watch the muscle get bigger without breaking a sweat.
Second is done in multiple sets, training for a more balanced result of size, strength, endurance, etc:
For this pick a movement you want to reach 100 reps on (such as pushups) to increase reps, or one you can do far few of but hits a desired muscle (such as chinups) to increase strength and size.
I previously followed a century specialization to increase arm size by attempting to hit 100 chinups each day. For this type of specialization, not all the sets have to be done at the same time, and the goal is not to eventually hit one set of 100 reps. You can spread the sets out over the course of the entire day (do this 5-6 days a week for 4 weeks to increase size), or try to achieve them all within the course of an hour (to shock the muscle for more growth, don’t do this nearly as regularly to start off). When I did this for chinups, I spread the 100 reps out throughout the day, in sets of 5-15 or so. I only stuck with it for about two weeks, but I did notice in size in my arms in that time, and my ability to hit more reps also increased. I believe it was around this time, or not long after, that I hit my record of 21 chinups.
Second form of this specialization I am currently doing with pushups. The goal is to eventually hit one set of 100 pushups. I will do my sets 6-7 days a week for the next month, trying to do them in fewer and fewer sets each time. To ease the body into it, it is best to start off achieving 50-60 and ramp it up 10 each day until you’re doing a total of 100 across however many sets each day. Once you begin hitting one hundred reps total, start elimination sets. The goal for this is to achieve one set of 100 at the end of four weeks (or however long you choose to do this).
Only specialize on one movement/bodypart at a time.
You can perform your normal workouts unhindered, by only specialize on one thing at a time. If you want to increase pushups (as I am), then only use century specialization (or any other type) on pushups only, so all that special growth is put into one place. Also, don’t specialize for more then 4-6 weeks without a bit of a break, as your body does need a chance to recover. If you want to specialize for more than that period of time, take a week of of specializing (but not normal training) so the body can recover.
Each form of the century specialization can be used to add around an inch popular muscles, such as arms, calves, chest, etc. in a month’s time, if used effectively.