T Nation

Cluster Set Volume

If performing 3 full body workouts per week, using Omni-contraction system methodology, is it advisable to add in some extra arm work at the end of the session or just leave it out for the block?


A squats 2-3 sets of Miller clusters
B military press 2-3 sets of Miller clusters
C deadlifts 2-3 sets of Miller clusters
D chin-ups 1-2 sets to failure
E1 French Press Rest pause
E2 biceps curls rest pause

Doable? Or too much being that I’d be going right back to an isometric full body workout, using clusters, in a couple of days?

That amount of volume is fine provided two things:

  1. Your overall stress outside of training isn’t high and you are sleeping well.

  2. You are used to the whole-body work.

A pro athlete I train had trouble recovering the first 2-3 weeks on the system because he wasn’t used to whole-body work. So I took out assistance work for that time. Once he was better at handling the workouts we threw it back in.

A pair of assistance isolation exercises should not be an issue with this workload, but if you find yourself not recovering well you could add a 4th workout to the rotation. I call it a gap workout, where you do your assistance work (only lower demand exercises).

So the rotation becomes:

Day 1: Whole-body eccentric
Day 2: Whole-body isometric
Day 3: Whole-body concentric
Day 4: Gap workout

Someone with a lower overall stress level would do the following:

Monday: Whole-body eccentric
Wednesday: Whole-body isometric
Friday: Whole-body concentric
Saturday: Gap workout

Someone who might have a harder time recovering could train every other day. For example:

Week 1
Monday: Whole-body eccentric
Wednesday: Whole-body isometric
Friday: Whole-body concentric
Sunday: Gap workout

Week 2
Tuesday: Whole-body eccentric
Thursday: Whole-body isometric
Saturday: Whole-body concentric

Week 3
Monday: Gao workout
Wednesday: Whole-body eccentric
Friday: Whole-body isometric
Sunday: Whole-body concentric


Makes perfect sense—thank you.

If I roll with the gap workout option and use bigger accessory movements on that day (leg curl, seated row, some dumbbell shoulder workout, etc.) instead of arms, can I still keep the rest pause for arms at the end of the whole body workouts?

If so, how many sets would you suggest? Just one rest pause set?

I am confirming because I’m a volume junky and always end up overdoing it. For once, I want to be true to recovery (esp after watching your YouTube video on natural training) but also don’t want to lose any results or be feeling like I didn’t do enough.

If you are a volume junky I’d suggest not adding the direct arm for 3-4 weeks. That alone will help you out. And after that time, if you feel like you both NEED and CAN do a bit more arm volume, add it in.

Makes perfect sense—thank you.

Last one, I promise!

Normally on off days, I perform some light “trigger session”. Just some pump work done with bands or MAYBE pulleys. Would this be detrimental to do the day before a full body workout?

It’s how I stay feeling “jacked”, even if just in my head.