Got a stubborn bodypart? Try shocking it into submission with Moe Elmoussawi’s 1,000 reps approach

Interview by Dave Lee | Photos by Pavel Ythjall


>> For more training philosophy from Weider’s newest athlete, check out “Moe’s Master Plan” in the May issue of FLEX, on newsstands now.

Sometimes complacency can be a bodybuilder’s worst enemy. Slipping into comfortable rep ranges and familiar exercises, unfortunately, can ring a death knell for a guy looking to add serious size and shape to his physique. That’s why the most fundamental tenet of improvement is change. Even subtle variations in your workout can produce new results. But if you’re ready to get crazy sore and thrust your muscles into mass-mode, try Moe Elmoussawi’s 1,000 reps method. It turns out that Moe, who graces the cover of the May issue of FLEX, is not afraid of a little pain in the name of progress.

Moe Says: “When I was 16 years old, I’d go the gym and do one biceps exercise for 1,000 reps or until it felt like my biceps was going to explode. When I thought back to what made my arms my best bodypart, I remembered those workouts. So I tried it for the rest of my bodyparts. Now, I do high reps all the time. The more reps you do, the greater the blood flow to the muscle to deliver more nutrients and oxygen. The results speak for themselves.

Here’s an example of my dumbbell bench press: 40 pounds for 50 reps to warm up, 60 pounds for 40 reps, 80 by 30, 100 by 20 and 140 by 10. That’s 150 reps, including the warm-up reps.

Once I get to my heaviest set, I get all the dumbbells together and do one monster drop: 140 for 10, 100 for 20, 80 for 30 and 60 for 40. Total reps: 250.

I do that for three or four more exercises. If I lose count, I’ll just do a little extra. One thousand reps is the goal, but for some workouts, I may get only 800. If my body is telling me that’s enough, then I pack it in.

As a result of this training, my muscles have a more mature, hard look. For example, prior to 2008, I never had striated glutes. But at six weeks out, I started doing 1,000 reps on my glutes every day and for the first time, there they were. Now I use this method in the offseason, too.”