100 Rep Pull Up / Dip Workout!

I did something interesting during my “weight training” workout yesterday…

And I’m using the term “weight training” loosely because I never actually touched a weight per say.

My entire workout consisted entirely of just 2 body weight exercises:

– 100 total pull ups

– 100 total dips

100 Rep Pull Up / Dip Workout

Now while I’m a big fan of including body weight exercises (such as these) as part of my regular workout routine, doing an entire Body Weight ONLY Workout is something that I rarely ever do. But it turned out to be a brutally hard training session. It was a real struggle to grind out those last few sets of pull ups and dips as I was getting close to that 100 total rep mark!

Can Body Weight Exercises Build Muscle?

A lot of people mistakenly think that body weight exercises can’t build muscle and that they are only good for “toning & shaping”… Well I’m here to tell you that’s a load of BS!

Pull Ups and Dips are 2 of the best upper body muscle building moves you can do. And I challenge you to give this simple 100 rep pull up / 100 rep dip workout a try for yourself…
It’s A LOT harder than it seems!

In fact, most of the people who read this blog post will not even be able to complete 100 total reps of these 2 exercises the first time they try it.

Now just to clarify things, I’m NOT suggesting that you try and perform 100 total reps in a single set, there are very few people on this planet who could accomplish such an incredible feat of strength. But rather the 100 reps is the total of all your sets combined over the course of your entire workout.

How To Do The 100 Rep Workout…

I would suggest trying this 100 rep workout once a week for the next 6 weeks to help bring up your upper body development. And even after that you could still add it into your routine every now and then to change things up from your regular weight training program.

This is how I went about doing the workout…
I started with a set of pull ups, then did a set of dips, and then took a minute or two rest before doing it again.

I kept a tally of how many sets & reps I performed, and kept going until I hit 100 total reps of pull ups and 100 total reps of dips.

At the start of the workout it felt kind of easy, but I purposely stopped myself at 10 reps per set. This is short of muscular failure for me, and the reason for this is to help pace myself so that I would be able to complete the 100 total reps.

As I progressed through the workout I had to lower the reps per set as muscle fatigue started to set in. But I still managed to complete a minimum of 5 good full range of motion reps on each set right up until the end.

I would suggest that you use a 5 rep minimum as a bench mark of when to call it quits for this workout. If you get to the point where you can no longer perform at least 5 good reps of pull ups or dips, then STOP! At that point your muscles are too tired to go on, your form will be crappy, and you’ll risk injury if you try to do anymore.

Tracking Your Progress…

Each time you do this workout write down the number of total reps and sets that you perform and strive to do better the next time you do this workout. So for the first few times through your goal maybe to actually work up to completing the 100 total reps of each exercise. After you can do 100 total reps, your goal should be to complete the 100 total reps in fewer sets and / or with less rest time in between sets.

I would consider being able to bang out 10 sets of 10 reps of pull ups & dips (with good full range of motion form) and only resting 1 minute in between sets pretty damn impressive!

If you can work up to the level of strength and conditioning you’ll be in awesome shape, and you won’t be complaining about having a thin chest, narrow back, or skinny arms… 😉

Vary Your Grips To Work More Muscle…

As you do each set, I would suggest that you vary the grips that you use for your pull ups and dips.

A lot of gyms these days have pull up stations with angled handles that provide a variety of grip placements, such as the one shown here…

With each set simply choose a different grip. So for your first set you may use an overhand grip, the next set you may use an underhand grip, the next set a parallel grip, wide grip, narrow grip, etc…Pull Up / Chin Up Bars

Pull Up Station With Angled Hand Grips

Each time you do a set just switch up and rotate through the different grip positions. This will work your muscles from a variety of angles and it will also help you to perform more total pull ups over the course of your workout.

You can do the same thing with dips. The gym that I train at has a dip station with adjustable handles that allow you to vary the grip from wide, medium, and narrow. If you have a similar type of dip station at your gym you can vary your grip width with each set.

Some gyms may have the V-Bar Dip Station, as shown here…

This will allow you to vary the width of your grip simply by gripping the handles closer or further out. And you can also face inwards or face outwards to change the hand position as well.V-Bar Dips

V-Bar Dip Station

What If You Can’t Even Do Pull Ups / Chin Ups???

If you are like most people, you are going to find that doing Pull Ups / Chin Ups is A LOT more difficult than doing dips. In fact, for a lot of folks simply doing a single pull up is a struggle. So obviously this routine here of doing 100 total pull ups is only applicable to more advanced trainees.

But if you suck at doing pull ups, then I’ve got the solution for YOU…

Progressive Pull Up Program Progressive Pull Up Program!

“How To Master The Pull Up &
Build A Massive Muscular Back!”

It’s no secret that the key to building a huge V-shaped back is mastering pull ups and chin ups. Show me a guy who is really good at pull ups and you’ll show me a guy who has a HUGE muscular back!

If you struggle with performing pull ups and chin ups then you need this program NOW! Because I’ll take you through a complete graduated pull up video training system.
All basis are covered here. Right from the out of shape beginner who can’t even do a single pull up with bodyweight, right on up to the advanced muscle-head who can bang out multiple sets of weighted pull ups!

Progressive Pull Up Program


About The Author


Lee Hayward is a former competitive bodybuilder and muscle building coach who has been online coaching people since 1997. His work has been featured in several international magazines such as: FLEX, Muscle Insider, Muscle Mag International, Testosterone, Ironmag, and Forbes. Lee's main focus right now is with helping men over 40 - who don't want to be fat anymore - lose the gut, build muscle, and get back in shape. If you're ready to "Start Again" for the last time and finally build a lean healthy body that you can be proud of, just e-mail Lee to discuss a realistic action plan that's right for you... lee@leehayward.com


Comment navigation

  • Eddie

    Hi Lee, I’m nearing the end of your 12 week workout program and having seen a satisfactory amount of progress, I plan on going through the program once again. You prescribed a 2 days on 1day off, then 2 days on 2 days off cycle for your program and I’m wondering how I can squeeze this exercise into my workout. Thank you for all you do for people seeking to live healthier better lives, Lee!

    • To do this you would simply take one day per week for just pull ups and dips. Depending on your work capacity and recovery ability you maybe able to just add it in to your current routine. Or you may need to modify your schedule to allow more recovery time. When you start doing high volume pull ups and dips you’re going to be sore at first, so it would be a good idea to schedule a full day of rest after each pull up / dip workout.

  • Josh,

    Rather than thinking of doing a workout “indefinitely”, just try it for the short term and see how your body responds. If you like it and are making progress – then keep doing it. But if you hit a plateau, or you feel like it’s too much volume, getting too monotonous, etc. Then change it up and do something else.

  • mark appleby

    Hi Sir – Im an ex Military guy, I was fit and strong.
    I suffered a really bad accident in Kosovo 4 years ago and its left me wrecked. Brain surgery and facial rebuild, my back and ac joints were left battered and broken. I’ve had surgery now and im back in the gym working out. I cant do 5 press ups, I cant do 1 heave – frustrating to say the least. I can still bench 200 pounds but cant press up its bizarre.
    im losing weight and getting stronger in all that I do, I will take any advice Sir.
    My flexibility is really poor due to my back injuries – C5-6-7 – T 4 -5 S1 L1.3

    Thank you

    • Sorry to hear about your accident and injuries. The best thing you can do to improve from here is to focus on what you can do now, rather than getting hung up on what you used to be able to do at your peak. A simple total body workout routine using mostly machine exercises is what I’d recommend. The key is perform moderate activity consistently, while keeping the intensity low enough so that you don’t aggravate old injuries. I have a good beginners total body workout that you can follow for now at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqXMbW4rMI0

  • Ive done this workout many years ago , and I got pretty Buff ! It works !!! I actually came up with it by trial ? 100 reps . Its a brutal workout , but once or twice a week is needed because of its high intensity impact on the body ! Best old school system , hands down !!!

    • Thanks for sharing your feedback Wade, this workout is very simple, yet very powerful.

Comment navigation