T Nation

Cluster Training


Alright, let's have at it. I have tried cluster training according to CT for some time, usually when I plateau on a certain lift. I'm not sure if I have mastered it yet though, as I've yet to see the great gains that are claimed for it (CT wrote a book on cluster training alone...it must be pretty damn useful!)

I'm going to bite the bullet and just put what my definition of cluster training is, and how I use it in my training. Let me know if I need to change my idea, but please people, no lame posts. If you don't have something to contribute, keep your lousy mouth shut :slight_smile:

I have employed cluster sets with numerous exercises, but I like to use it for "easier" exercises to prevent injury. What I mean by "easier" is bicep curls, lateral raises, basically exercises concentrating on one muscle group.

For instance, with seated alternating biceps curls. I will do my usual 4 - 5 sets of hammers, keeping form very strict, but since I am taller I will cheat juuuuuust a tad for a couple at the end (hey I have some lever disadvantages here!). Lets say I've done 4 sets of 15, 12, 10, 10 and the last set I get 8 reps with 50 lbs (each hand). I stop at 8 but still feel like I have one or two reps left in me, at most. I then will count to 15 seconds, or take 5 breaths, whichever comes first. These are deep breaths. Then, I will crank out another 3 - 4 reps per arm. I repeat this process about 5 times so I end up with somewhere in the 20 - 24 rep range with a weight I would normally do for 8.

Ok, go nuts.

Anyone do anything similar? Sample lifts? Pros and Cons?

I will say that I notice an increase in my recovery time...but I haven't noticed much in terms of size, only muscular endurance.


Are you eating a caloric surplus?