Cluster Training

I’ve been experimenting with the following: 1 rep of a 3RM with 15sec rest between reps, until speed drops (usually 5 reps),
reduce weight by 20% and do triples until speed drops off (about 3 triples),
reduce weight by 20% and do triples again - at this point, it feels like I can go on and on. 10secs of rest seems to make my muscles recover enough to keep going and going, so I usually do 3 triples and finish with AMRAP.
Strength gains are phenomenal from workout to workout! (As well as DOMS…). Anyone else experiment with clusters? Maybe some of you went to CP’s seminars and can find it in yourself to share your knowledge…

Hey Baf, I don’t suppose you want to share the cluster training protocal with any of us. What types of strength gains did you make? I hate to be asking you a question especially when you posted the question, but Poliquin has never done a seminar anywhere near where I live. So I have to go off his articles.

I posted my training program in an earlier post, but anyway:

This is the last phase of an Ian King- inspired 12 week/4 phase program…
Day 1: Bench 3 sets of 3 (step-loading) set4: multiple triples and singles with 10-20s of rest (cluster training), finishing with incline DB 1 triple-drop set and 1 set of 21s. Biceps: 2 sets of 3 (step-loading) 1 set of clusters, 1 set of 21s. Day 2: Squats 3 sets of 3 (step-loading) 3 reps of heavy partials, 1 set of 10 explosive reps, 1 set of 15. Rest on day 3. Day 4: Chins and JM-presses: same as Day 1 Day 5: Deadlift same as Day 2. Rest day 6 and 7. Repeat. Calves, Abs trained on Days 2 and 5. Forearms and Rotator Cuffs on Days 1 and 4. One session of passive stretching during the weekend (Day 6 or 7). Protein in the range of 1.3-1.5 times bodyweight in lbs. Carb/Protein/Fat 30/40/30%. If you need any other info, just ask.

What is a JM press?

A JM-press is an exercise from Westside Barbell/Simmons - and is basically a cross between a close-grip bench press and a french press. You bring the bar down to your chin, pause, rotate the bar slightly towards your chest, and press up. Really fries your tris…Could substitute with benches, though.

I got some questions for ya… So cluster training is doing singles or triples, resting 10-20 seconds, then some more singles/triples and repeating this over a few times? How many of these should you do? This seems to be geared towards strength, right? Where did you get the macro ratios, 30/40/30 and how do you determine total calories? Lastly, this seems like a strength cycle, what are those 21’s doing in there? I guess for a back-off set, probably a good idea to elicit some hypertrophy. Thanks in advance for any info.

The singles and triples are done until speed drops, then I reduce the weight. You want to stay 1-2 reps short of failure all the time - except maybe the last AMRAP (As Many Reps As Possible). Total calories? If you go with protein at 1.5 times bodyweight, and calculate this to be 40% of calories, it should make it a simple calculation… I use a T-dawg influenced diet, except that this was a mass cycle and I wanted to stay more in an anabolic state, so I upped carbs a little. You’re right about the 21’s - used as a back-off set to stimulate more hypertrophy (exhaust all the muscle fibers).