100Up Summary

I’ve decided to end my experiment with the 100Up exercise. Today would have marked the end of the fourth week of doing it on a daily basis, except that I stopped doing it four days ago.

For the first three and a half weeks, I think it was doing some good. I saw (or was willing to believe that I saw) some improvements in leg strength, form, and ease of motion when running. However, as I moved from doing all minor sets (walking in place) to including more major sets (running in place), my left hip began to hurt. That’s the hip I broke six years ago. I had hoped the 100Ups would strengthen the chronically weak soft tissue there, but, in the end, it was doing more harm than good.

I still think the 100Up exercise is a good one. It just doesn’t work for me. I can run long distances, and am running more quickly than I used to, without any trouble at all. But lifting my knees as high as is needed in the 100Up exercise seems to place an undue amount of stress on my hip, and the results aren’t good. It may be that I can strengthen the hip by doing deep squats, and so might try that. Or it may be that I’ll simply leave well enough alone, and continue what I’ve been doing so far.

As I’ve said before, the “experiment of one” continues…



  1. Today I was wondering about these 100-ups. I realized I hadn’t heard a peep about it in months and I knew you were trying these out so I tracked down this post of yours.

    It seems to have had all the characteristics of a fad. It came out of no where as a long lost running exercise, but there was nothing to support it. Given the sudden silence in the room, I’m guessing your experiences are not unique.

    1. I think there are people who are still doing them. I’ve read through George’s original book, and also read quite a bit about George in Tim Noakes’ “Lore of Running.” George was a legit (and legendary) ultra distance runner, but exercise science has come a long way since him. I think 100 Ups’ brief resurgence was simply due to Chris MacDougal’s endorsement of it. Now we’re all back to our regularly-scheduled programming. 🙂

  2. That sounds fair enough and probably a wise course of action. Pushing it could go either way, and is it really worth it? I’m stupid enough to push on when I know I shouldn’t, and I can’t say that’s ever helped. I hope that hip feels better soon.

    1. Thanks, Stig. I’ve been guilty of pushing too hard in the past, either from stupidity or cussedness, and eventually learned to take it a little easier. Also, I tend to pay more careful attention to what my body is telling me these days.

    1. Thanks, Steve. I took a couple of days off running, and had a couple of hot Epsom salts soaks, which together seem to have done the trick. At any rate, the hip felt fine on both yesterday’s and today’s runs.

  3. Alan,
    I’m sorry to hear that you had hip pain in the same hip that you broke. However, I have weak hip flexors, relative to the rest of my lower body, and I’ve experienced minor discomfort in both hips when moving to the major exercise. Not the working new muscles discomfort either. I’m not sure if this is a combination of knee height and force when landing, both of which would be my own fault, or if it’s a fault of my weak/non limber hips. I agree with you that it’s a good exercise, but I think the minor might be more good than the major.

    1. I think the major issue with me is impact. It may be that the minor sets did the job of strengthening my hip flexors, but doing majors (none too gracefully, I might add) stressed the soft tissue over much. That’s why I think squats might help, as they’d strengthen the glutes. Or perhaps I should just go back to doing only minors I’ll wait a while and see.

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