T Nation

Cluster Training


i'm decently strong for my size but not very strong, i can bench 235, squat 285 and deadlift 315 at 135 lbs. But when I can't use 90% like it says i should be able to for 3 sets of 5 cluster reps. I've been using 10x3 lately, i did 10 sets of 3 on incline with 145 pretty easy this week, but last week i could barely get 3x5 cluster reps with 155 and my 1RM on incline is somwhere around 185-190. I dunno maybe my work capacity for heavy lifting is low, i'm not sure. Anybody got any ideas?


oops i shoulda put that i weigh 145lbs, and also i thought i'd add that i can do 10x3 with 225 for squats and barely can do 250 for 3x5cluster reps. This all seems weird to me?


Dude it sounds like your work capacity is low, you're out of shape. Increase your work capacity by utilizing GPP.


Well i would think my work capacity is low to, but i think my work capacity has actually risen here lately because my workouts aren't taking near as much out of me as they used to. I've been doing bodyweight GPP, kettlebell circuits and farmers walk on my off days. But i usually do my max effort exercise more like westside so i really only do one set of like 3 reps for heavy weight. So thats like a difference of doing 3 total reps at like 90 or 95% and doing 3x5 cluster reps for 15 total reps at 90%. So i'm thinking my work capacity for heavy weights is down and if i do clusters for a while then go back to max effort my strength will probably go up. But not being able to do very much for clusters still kinda confuses me.


Strength went up quite a bit today on my clusters. I used 160 on incline for 3 sets of 5 cluster reps each, i think i even could have gotten 165 which would actually be 90% of my 1RM. So my work capacity for heavy weights might be going up a little. I'm loving the clusters right now, it gives you volume and heavy weights which is exactly what i need for mass. I really want to get stronger so clusters are an ideal thing to go along with other high volume training like 10x3. I'm just doing regular clusters right now for one more week then i'm switching exercises and moving to medium rep cluster, i'll do 3 sets like this. 3 reps, rest 10-15 sec, 2 reps rest 10-15 secs, then 1 more rep. I'll do that for 4 weeks then go back to the maximal effort method for a 1 or 3RM and hopefully my strength will sky rocket.


That's pretty good strength for your size, IMO. Maybe not by competitive standards, but compared to most guys under 150 lbs at any gym.


Yeah i work out at a unversity gym and there are alot of guys bigger than me that are at the same strength levels i am and some are even weaker, and i dont consider myself strong at all. Sucks for them, haha. But i'm really curious to see what clusters are going to do for my maximal strength. I love training max singles and triples but they just didn't give me enough volume so i switched to clusters and i'm slowly putting on some size right now. So we'll see how it goes.


Fpor cluster sets, take your three rep max for the sets. When you can 3x5 cluster sets, increase the weight by 5lbs. Cluster training is a great way to blast through plateaus. However, if you have never done it before then start with a rest pause program. See my article here at T-mag.


I thought i should use around my 3RM for clusters and my 3RM on incline is about 175 and i really think there is no way i could complete the 3 sets of 5 reps with 175. I'm going up to 165, maybe 170 for my next workout so we'll see how that goes.


Cluster training and 10x3 is working GREAT for strength for now, my strength is going up every workout in my clusters and 10x3. Last night i squatted 235 for 10x3, and did RDL's with 200 for 10x3. The RDL's were pretty easy too, my hamstrings seem to almost get stronger during the workout. I still haven't put on any weight yet though because i'm training to take my calories up slowly so i can gain quality weight. I"m moving up from 2900 to 3200 calories right now. About 300 grams of protein, 250 to 300 grams of carbs, and 90 to 120 grams of fat. And right now i'm weighing in at about 148 lbs so. I have one more week of doing 10x3 then i'm going to go down to 70%1RM and do 5 reps sets with 1.5 min rest untill i can't complete the 5 reps. And i'm going to do medium rep clusters, 3, rest 10 sec, 2, rest 10 sec, 1. for 3x6. I also use the repitition method after my 10x3 workouts, so i'll do like flat db presses for 3xmax, trying to get around 30-40 reps on the first set. I'm loving it right now, just need to pu the calories.


Performed my upper body 10x3 session today, and it went good, but felt a little sluggish.
Incline bench- 150-10x3
seated row-130-10x3
preacher curl- 75x5,5,5,3
lying extension-70x5,5,5,5
pulldown- 80x55 reps in 3 sets
pulldown- 30x55 reps in 3 sets

I'm thinking i'm going to hit it hard one more day this week for my cluster leg day, then next week i'll back off on intensity and volume, then change some exercises and rep schemes around. This my 3rd week so its about time for a down week.

But one thing i thought was weird is that my weight was way down about 3 or 4 lbs from yesterday and i've been eating plenty of food, maybe not even to gain yet, but definately enough not to go down. But at the end of the workout after drinkin my during workout shake i was back up to 148. Could i be overtrained or just dehydrated?


oops that second pulldown was suppose to be flat db press.