The Magic of Cluster Sets _ T NATION.pdf - The Magic of...

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22/06/2021 The Magic of Cluster Sets | T NATION 1/7 Cluster sets are sets with built-in, short rest periods of 5-20 or so seconds. They allow for creative manipulation and combinations of volume and intensity. Yep, that covers it. Training volume is needed for growth. The amount, however, depends on the individual. Some freak shows seem to just touch weights and grow. Others (i.e., the rest of us) need more volume and more calories. Consult materials from any training certification governing body and you’ll find rhetoric about sets of 8-12 with 70-80 percent of one-rep maximum. Volume-wise they’re not far off – 4 sets of 8 supplies 32 reps; 3 sets of 12 gives us 36. For a big lift that’s trained hard, this is sufficient growth volume. Intensity-wise, however, these protocols are steeply lacking. High-threshold motor units – the ones best suited for hypertrophy – are best recruited at high training intensities, accompanied by greater motor unit synchronization and greater muscular force. The requisite muscular tension needed for successfully completing a higher-intensity lift sends the message to the brain to bring out the big guns. (As always, we return to the nervous system.) by Todd Bumgardner () May 15, 2013 () C AT E G O R I Z E D U N D E R T R A I N I N G | MENU ()
22/06/2021 The Magic of Cluster Sets | T NATION 2/7 This happens, too, during straight sets, but only as fatigue is reached. Cluster sets allow for motor unit synchronization, high levels of muscular force, and the recruitment of high-threshold motor units without fatigue. Heavier weights for more reps, gives us bigger muscles. Think also about the metabolic disturbance created by session density. Since rest periods are easily manipulated while working at higher relative intensities, more load is handled in a shorter amount of time. As rest periods are cut there is a big metabolic disturbance. That’s why you often hear growth hormone likes heavy weights and little rest. We need to build volume and stress while maintaining intensity, so we’ll build our size clusters using doubles and triples. Intensity, however, remains relatively constant – volume and rest are manipulated to elicit a training effect. Week Sets Cluster Reps Rest Intensity Rest – Sets 1 4 2-2-1 * 15 sec. 7-8 90-120 sec. 2 4 2-2-2 * 15 sec. 7-8 90-120 sec. 3 5 3-2-2 * 15 sec. 7-8 90-120 sec. 4 4 3-3-2 * 10 sec. 7-8 90-120 sec. 5 4 3-3-3 * 10 sec. 7-8 90-120 sec. 6 5 3-3-3 * 10 sec. 7-8 90-120 sec. * The dash signifies the rest taken between clusters. (- nation.com/products/alpha-male? utm_source=tnation&utm_medium=article&utm_campaign=alpha_male_legal_tbooster) During the last week of this progression, 45 reps are completed at a high intensity in eight and a half minutes. That’s enough stress and density to make anyone grow.

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