Hypertrophy Cluster

Coach, i calculate 1 rm for one isolation exercise then took 80% and try to do 5x10 cluster with 10 sec between reps and 1 min between sets. Made 4x10 1x2 (failure) plan is to use same weight next workouts untill hit 5x10. Which one is better for hypertrophy 10x5 85% or 5x10 80% cluster (there sould be many effective reps) if can’t doe it first time use same weight. Should i imcrease rest time to keep intensity high.

I’m not sure I like this.

Your heart is in the right place. And you seem to be a hard worker. But there are a few things that I don’t like in both strategies:

  1. In both cases I find the volume to be too high. Especially considering that you will be doing other stuff in your workout.

  2. Each would give you 50 effective reps, theoretically. In reality, it’s not as simple. With reps varying in their effectiveness, even if they are “effective reps”. The closer you get to failure, the more effective a rep is. Cluster do not really increase the number of effective reps within a set. In fact it may reduce the number of VERY effective reps by reducing peripheral fatigue from rep to rep. That’s why clusters work well for strength. But rest/pause is better than cluster for growth.

  3. 50 effective reps on a single exercise for a muscle is overkill. Especially, as I mentioned earlier, considering that you will likely be doing other exercises that involve that muscle. For example, a study by Hackett found that 10 sets of 10 did not lead to better gains than 5 sets of 10 with the same weight. The point is that volume quickly gives you a diminishing return. For example, going from 15 to 25 effective rep on an exercise might give you significantly more growth, but adding more effective reps will not add much, if any benefit. And it create a lot of central fatigue, which can decrease your gains.

  4. You are asking about techniques by themselves, without giving me the whole picture. Both scenarios you mention might work, if that’s all that you do in a workout. But if you have 6 exercises in a session, also using advanced methods, it could backfire badly.

  5. What makes a program effective or not is not just about putting a lot of effective pieces together. “I’ll use strength clusters for my big lifts, then lifts from pins on a similar lift, then hypertrophy clusters for a few isolation exercises, then rest/pause for others, and will add weight releasers on my big lifts every 2nd week”… all of that works well. But it doesn’t mean that they will work well when put together.

  6. Building a program to include as many advanced methods as possible rarely works well.