Cluster Sets

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Luke
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Cluster Sets

Post by Luke » Thu Jan 16, 2020 5:28 am

Read Thib's article here https://www.t-nation.com/training/tip-m ... ing-method which is a glowing endorsement of cluster sets. Given what he covers, if you're wanting to build just strength say, what's the need to bother with sets of 5 consecutive reps when this looks less taxing and you get better quality reps anyway?
Cluster training is my go-to method for rapidly increasing strength. It never fails. Clusters consist of rest periods between all the reps in your set. One set becomes a series of single reps with very short rest periods in between.

While you can do clusters with any type of loading and rest intervals, the traditional cluster requires you to use a load of around 90 percent of your 1RM (which is normally your 3RM load) and do four to six reps with that weight.

You'd do so by resting anywhere between 10 to 20 seconds between reps depending on the exercise. A set could look like this:

Unrack the bar and do rep one
Rack the bar and rest 15 seconds
Unrack the bar and do rep two
Rack the bar and rest 15 seconds
Unrack the bar and do rep three
Rack the bar and rest 15 seconds
Unrack the bar and do rep four
Rack the bar and rest 15 seconds
Unrack the bar and do rep five
Rack the bar – end of set

Clusters allow you to get as many growth-producing reps as you normally would in a higher-rep set, without having to waste energy doing reps that don't contribute to growth
Also in other T-Nation news, does anyone see the Donnie Thompson vs T Nation flare-ups? Good entertainment every so often: https://twitter.com/T_Nation/status/1210077782967013377

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Re: Cluster Sets

Post by SubClaw » Thu Jan 16, 2020 2:47 pm

That reminds me of an old John McKean's routine:

Unrack the bar and do rep one
Rack the bar and rest 15 seconds
Unrack the bar and do rep two
Rack the bar and rest 15 seconds
Unrack the bar and do rep three

Rest three minutes.

Unrack the bar and do rep one
Rack the bar and rest 15 seconds
Unrack the bar and do rep two
Rack the bar and rest 15 seconds
Unrack the bar and do rep three

Rest three minutes.

Unrack the bar and do rep one
Rack the bar and rest 15 seconds
Unrack the bar and do rep two
Rack the bar and rest 15 seconds
Unrack the bar and do rep three

The end.
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Re: Cluster Sets

Post by Hanglow Joe » Thu Jan 16, 2020 4:52 pm

Cluster sets work great with kettlebells. I used to do them and liked the results Today, for me they're an injury waiting to happen.

Depending on how heavy you want to go, you can start with a 45 seconds rest and work your way down as you get stronger to 15. Or just do one rep every 15 seconds and add reps.

Day 1
Military Press and Pullups. Double 55's or 70's
Presses
1-3 reps every 15 seconds. 5X. Rest 3 minutes, Repeat 4 more times. Ended up being 75 presses Rest 5 minutes and then do pullups

Same with Pullups

Day 2
Front Squats and Double Snatches. 70's for the squats, 45's or 55's for the snatches

Same thing.

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Re: Cluster Sets

Post by SubClaw » Thu Jan 16, 2020 6:01 pm

Hanglow Joe wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 4:52 pm
for me they're an injury waiting to happen.
Why is that?
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Re: Cluster Sets

Post by Hanglow Joe » Thu Jan 16, 2020 6:04 pm

Whether it's Escalated Density Training or squeezing a certain amount of reps in time, I end up popping my sacrum.

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Re: Cluster Sets

Post by SubClaw » Thu Jan 16, 2020 7:16 pm

Hanglow Joe wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 6:04 pm
Whether it's Escalated Density Training or squeezing a certain amount of reps in time, I end up popping my sacrum.
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Re: Cluster Sets

Post by Hanglow Joe » Thu Jan 16, 2020 9:24 pm

It's usually the 3rd or 4th time in EDT when it happens. Sucks. Still can do complexes and chains though. The heavy shit days are over. Use mostly 45's and 55's now.

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Re: Cluster Sets

Post by Fat Cat » Fri Jan 17, 2020 1:02 am

Nothing says, "I want to increase my work capacity across broad time and modal domains," like popping your taint.
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Re: Cluster Sets

Post by Shapecharge » Fri Jan 17, 2020 2:39 pm

HangingLow...there's so much comedy potential here I'm at a loss as to where to start. Serious querstion...how do you fix it rehab it?

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Re: Cluster Sets

Post by Hanglow Joe » Fri Jan 17, 2020 2:44 pm

I'd rather pop my pecker but.....

Chiropractor and 3 weeks off. I spent the last hours in my 40's getting re-adjusted. Thankfully it's been 11 months since it's been fucked up.
Or I'll do Yoga with Adriene for 30 days. She's cute but gets fucking annoying around day 10. Show me a hot looking chick, I'll show you a guy sick of fucking her....

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Re: Cluster Sets

Post by DikTracy6000 » Fri Jan 17, 2020 4:45 pm

Hanglow Joe wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 2:44 pm
I'd rather pop my pecker but.....

Chiropractor and 3 weeks off. I spent the last hours in my 40's getting re-adjusted. Thankfully it's been 11 months since it's been fucked up.
Or I'll do Yoga with Adriene for 30 days. She's cute but gets fucking annoying around day 10. Show me a hot looking chick, I'll show you a guy sick of fucking her....
My deceased BIL who was a golf pro, claimed to have been in a bar with Lee Trevino, when he said that.

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Sangoma
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Re: Cluster Sets

Post by Sangoma » Sat Jan 18, 2020 4:36 am

For some reason every time I look at the list of threads in this section I see ClusterFuck. I might need new reading glasses...
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Re: Cluster Sets

Post by ledfistaco » Thu Mar 05, 2020 8:48 pm

This reminds me of Art Devany stuff - he called it "alactic training."
A NEW WORKOUT
FEBRUARY 27, 2007 08:43 PM
I have been doing something rather new in the gym lately. Just getting into it so I am not sure how it will work, but it is a take off on my old idea of Alactic Workouts, which I also called One Fives in my Essay.

If you recall that part of the Essay, I described alactic workouts as workouts that did not produce the abundance of lactic acid that my Hierarchical sets were intended to do. After a warm up on the particular exercise to lube the joints and get the muscles ready, I do 5 one reps separated by a 5 second pause. That means I lift a heavy weight one time, put it down, rest 5 seconds, and then do another rep. I continue until I have done 5-1 reps in all. Then I move to the next exercise.

When you first begin working out this way you may need 15 or 20 seconds to recover before you do another rep. Be sure you are ready for this. Nothing very heavy to begin. Practice excellent form.

I have lately seen this protocol mentioned elsewhere, though I forget where. It is an old idea if you know Evolutionary Fitness, but it now seems to be catching on a bit.

The theory and science behind this is to avoid the fatigue that comes with the build up of lactic acid in the muscle so that each rep is performed with little or no fatigue. This permits perfect form, quick movements, and the handling of heavy weight in a very safe manner. In my view, there is little meaning to the counting of reps. It is the quality of the movement and the execution of perfect form without fatigue that counts. And the challenge of recovering quickly from a strong exertion. If I want to lean out, then I use the hierarchical sets (15, 8, and 4 reps of the same exercise at progressively higher weight to release lactic acid and HGH). I am so lean now that I want muscle quality and power. So, I am doing 5-1 reps on all my exercises, followed by a negative for certain muscles.

This kind of workout is over in very little time and I find it to be immensely productive. It is a bit advanced, so you should introduce 5-1s gradually into your workouts.

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Re: Cluster Sets

Post by SubClaw » Fri Mar 06, 2020 5:54 am

ledfistaco wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 8:48 pm
This reminds me of Art Devany stuff - he called it "alactic training."
A NEW WORKOUT
FEBRUARY 27, 2007 08:43 PM
I have been doing something rather new in the gym lately. Just getting into it so I am not sure how it will work, but it is a take off on my old idea of Alactic Workouts, which I also called One Fives in my Essay.

If you recall that part of the Essay, I described alactic workouts as workouts that did not produce the abundance of lactic acid that my Hierarchical sets were intended to do. After a warm up on the particular exercise to lube the joints and get the muscles ready, I do 5 one reps separated by a 5 second pause. That means I lift a heavy weight one time, put it down, rest 5 seconds, and then do another rep. I continue until I have done 5-1 reps in all. Then I move to the next exercise.

When you first begin working out this way you may need 15 or 20 seconds to recover before you do another rep. Be sure you are ready for this. Nothing very heavy to begin. Practice excellent form.

I have lately seen this protocol mentioned elsewhere, though I forget where. It is an old idea if you know Evolutionary Fitness, but it now seems to be catching on a bit.

The theory and science behind this is to avoid the fatigue that comes with the build up of lactic acid in the muscle so that each rep is performed with little or no fatigue. This permits perfect form, quick movements, and the handling of heavy weight in a very safe manner. In my view, there is little meaning to the counting of reps. It is the quality of the movement and the execution of perfect form without fatigue that counts. And the challenge of recovering quickly from a strong exertion. If I want to lean out, then I use the hierarchical sets (15, 8, and 4 reps of the same exercise at progressively higher weight to release lactic acid and HGH). I am so lean now that I want muscle quality and power. So, I am doing 5-1 reps on all my exercises, followed by a negative for certain muscles.

This kind of workout is over in very little time and I find it to be immensely productive. It is a bit advanced, so you should introduce 5-1s gradually into your workouts.
That's basically, the way I pull from the floor. I should try to explore it further, adding some other exercises.
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Re: Cluster Sets

Post by Sangoma » Sat Mar 07, 2020 5:23 am

The first guy to come up with alactic training was Verkhoshansky, I think. In his bookThe Block Training System in Endurance Running.
It was pretty revolutionary at the time.

One group or runners trained the traditional was - lots of various types of running. The experimental - about 40% less running, but considerable amount of strength training - repeated series. Similar to Pavel's Q&D (why did he have to bastardise the name!). All highly trained runners. Both groups progressed during the three years of study. Experimental group considerably more so. In example, 3000m time improved by 11 seconds in experimental and by 4.5 seconds in control group.

Similar way, sort of, Selouyanov's training:



Bad ass coach and trainee. Start from 3:00 minutes. Ten reps with pauses. They recommend ten sets, but building up to it slowly.

The idea - avoiding serious fatigue, avoiding metcon effect. Get the muscles to buzz rather than go flat.
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Re: Cluster Sets

Post by Sangoma » Sat Mar 07, 2020 5:24 am

Double post
Last edited by Sangoma on Sat Mar 07, 2020 9:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Cluster Sets

Post by newguy » Sat Mar 07, 2020 5:04 pm

95% of the people training have no need or business worrying about things like "avoiding fatigue."

These methods are appropriate for professional athletes who have high workloads.

Your regular person who has a job, not a professional athlete, etc. doesn't need this nonsense. Regular people need to figure out how to work harder in the hour or so they train. Not avoid fatigue.

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Re: Cluster Sets

Post by Sangoma » Sat Mar 07, 2020 9:34 pm

newguy wrote:
Sat Mar 07, 2020 5:04 pm
Regular people need to figure out how to work harder in the hour or so they train. Not avoid fatigue.
In my opinion and experience with patients this is the single most harmful belief that keeps a lot of people from exercise. Work harder in a given hour. The more tired you are at the end the better. Special bonus if you throw up. End up naked in a pool off blood. Crossfit. Boot camp.

Sports professionals do their sport full time, have perfect coaching, nutrition dialled in, scheduled sleep and pharm support - these guys are supposed to reduce fatigue and gravitate towards 80/20 in terms of easy/hard training. Now, Average Joe who has full time (and some) job, takes care of the family, often doesn't get enough sleep, his nutrition often not ideal - this guy should do the opposite and not to avoid fatigue and work harder. How does this make sense?

Exercise should be invigorating, not exhausting. Physiology of mortals is inferior in relevant aspects compared with the elite athletes, and it makes it more important for the Average to reduce fatigue. The amount of mental energy is limited, and the "harder" mentality eventually runs out of gas. Alactic training protocols get you to work harder without burning out. What can possibly be wrong with it?
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Re: Cluster Sets

Post by newguy » Sat Mar 07, 2020 10:08 pm

Sangoma wrote:
Sat Mar 07, 2020 9:34 pm
newguy wrote:
Sat Mar 07, 2020 5:04 pm
Regular people need to figure out how to work harder in the hour or so they train. Not avoid fatigue.
In my opinion and experience with patients this is the single most harmful belief that keeps a lot of people from exercise. Work harder in a given hour. The more tired you are at the end the better. Special bonus if you throw up. End up naked in a pool off blood. Crossfit. Boot camp.

Sports professionals do their sport full time, have perfect coaching, nutrition dialled in, scheduled sleep and pharm support - these guys are supposed to reduce fatigue and gravitate towards 80/20 in terms of easy/hard training. Now, Average Joe who has full time (and some) job, takes care of the family, often doesn't get enough sleep, his nutrition often not ideal - this guy should do the opposite and not to avoid fatigue and work harder. How does this make sense?

Exercise should be invigorating, not exhausting. Physiology of mortals is inferior in relevant aspects compared with the elite athletes, and it makes it more important for the Average to reduce fatigue. The amount of mental energy is limited, and the "harder" mentality eventually runs out of gas. Alactic training protocols get you to work harder without burning out. What can possibly be wrong with it?

Whatever hardgainer.....

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Sangoma
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Re: Cluster Sets

Post by Sangoma » Sat Mar 07, 2020 11:57 pm

Vocative case requires the use of a coma. So it should be "whatever, hardgainer...." Not that your reply added anything to the discussion, but at least don't butcher an elegant language.
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Re: Cluster Sets

Post by newguy » Sun Mar 08, 2020 2:33 am

Sangoma wrote:
Sat Mar 07, 2020 11:57 pm
Vocative case requires the use of a coma. So it should be "whatever, hardgainer...." Not that your reply added anything to the discussion, but at least don't butcher an elegant language.
Whatever nerd.....

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Re: Cluster Sets

Post by newguy » Sun Mar 08, 2020 2:42 am

But enough of the silliness.

Professionals have to reduce fatigue because strength training is just a part of their total workload. They cannot really afford to have their strength and conditioning program cut into their technique work, sport specific conditioning, practice, etc.

And they are nowhere near as dialed in as you allude to. A lot of them (professional athletes) are complete fucktards (as are regular people.) They party hard, fuck all night, wake up hungover, cheat on their diet, etc. etc. etc. And this not just the male athletes....

I hear what you are saying. But I suspect you are wrong. Most people are working out to get bigger/stronger/lose fat/look better. And generally if that is not happening it's not because they are generating too much fatigue. It's usually because 1. Diet sucks and then 2. Not working out hard enough.

Obviously I am not saying that you need to work until you throw up or pop your sacrum.

But crossfit bashing aside people in those boxes are working their asses off and their physiques reflect it.

For almost all regular people, being able to produce more fatigue per set/session is going to be the goal.

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Re: Cluster Sets

Post by Sangoma » Sun Mar 08, 2020 10:32 pm

I reckon a trainee has to produce volume of work, not fatigue. Most people cannot handle a lot of strain all of the time, that's normal. That's why the popularity of Boot Camps, for example, quickly peaked and then went down. Techniques such as Easy Strength, A+A, 40-day workout, GTG are all designed to take away the mental strain - and at the same time to accumulate the combination volume and intensity. Once a good fitness base is built it is a natural desire to test yourself and go balls to the wall. Occasionally.
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Re: Cluster Sets

Post by newguy » Mon Mar 09, 2020 4:51 am

Sangoma wrote:
Sun Mar 08, 2020 10:32 pm
I reckon a trainee has to produce volume of work, not fatigue. Most people cannot handle a lot of strain all of the time, that's normal. That's why the popularity of Boot Camps, for example, quickly peaked and then went down. Techniques such as Easy Strength, A+A, 40-day workout, GTG are all designed to take away the mental strain - and at the same time to accumulate the combination volume and intensity. Once a good fitness base is built it is a natural desire to test yourself and go balls to the wall. Occasionally.
The training protocols/techniques you mention all suck. No one uses them. Not even the people who wrote them.....

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Re: Cluster Sets

Post by SubClaw » Mon Mar 09, 2020 2:04 pm

newguy wrote:
Mon Mar 09, 2020 4:51 am
The training protocols/techniques you mention all suck. No one uses them. Not even the people who wrote them.....
I do train Easy Strength style all the time.

Granted, my lifts are for shit, but still...
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