T Nation

Clusters and Tempo for Strength

Hey guys, just looking at ways to start manipulating my sets in the future. I’ve never really manipulated much other than weights/reps, and some very elementary periodization. So I’m going to get my feet wet with the aforementioned title. I’m sure I’ve said it 100x, I’m much more focused on strength, but I am conscientious of my body comp as well.

I guess I just need a basic understanding of these 2 training methods…

I understand what they are at the core, ie Tempo being 0-0-0-0 (eccentric, pause, concentric, pause) and clusters, I have a loose grasp of, but not enough to think about how to program for strength (or even if i should)

I guess some questions are:

What are good methods of these for strength?

Would tempos be better for working sets, or maybe backoff/volume sets?

I’m thinking clusters may really shine if I start them towards the latter half of a program, to recruit more fast twitch muscle fibers?

For strength, are these something you can program through say… a whole 9-12 week program? Possibly switching to more aggressive 1:0:1:0 timing as the program starts to wrap up to mimic a meet day?

I appreciate any input!

Thibs just did a couple articles on clusters a few weeks ago, breaks it down perfectly. I’ve been following a version of it, seeing good strength results.

We use clusters as part of our main lift training. We wave the loads for each of the three lifts much like Cube. Whatever lift is light (70 per cent or under), is a cluster. The total reps and reps per set are guided by Prilepin’s chart.

Usually it looks something like 5x2, 1x10 or 5x5 or 10x2 or whatever, with rests between sets ranging from five to 15 seconds. Mosty it’s 10 seconds.