Im wondering what the similarities/differences are between these two methods. Also, I haven’t been able to find clear definitions distinguishing the two. Heres what I understand them as:
*A set of reps broken down into smaller “clusters”, seperated by short rest periods
*Usually trained with heavier loads (ex. 3-5rm)
*fatigue and failure usually avoided
*Always re-rack the weight in between clusters
*All clusters contain the same number of reps
Ex: Bench - 5-6rm load, 2x3x3 each set is 3 reps, rest, 3 reps, rest, 3 reps REST
*One long set is used, but rest is interspersed between reps as fatigue builds
*Usually trained with moderate-light loads (ex.8-20rm)
*Usually pushes fatigue high and inches toward failure
*USUALLY doesn’t re-rack weight while resting
*Usually one total set done
*The mini-sets do not have the same number of reps, but reps are dictated by fatigue
Ex: 20-rep squat Taking a 10rm load, peform about 8-9 reps, then rest, then perform a few more, then rest, and repeat until you reach 20.
Now I dont think these are textbook definitions, but for the most part accurate. I see many advantages to doing rest-pause by re-racking the weight while resting.
So here are my opinions of the two methods.
*I think the big difference between the two is FATIGUE. IMO clusters are more of a strength-density method where fatigue is avoided, while rest-pause is more of a fatigue-delaying method. In rest-pause you are pursuing fatigue, but you are trying to get more reps in before fatigue takes over.
And im speculating; based on what ive seen others do, that clusters are best used on the big lifts that most resemble sporting events, whereas rest-pause is better used on supportive musculature to increase strength-endurance.
So just a basic example: A powerlifter might use clusters for bench, squat, and deadlift variations, but then use rest pause for rowing, incline pressing, hip/back extension, and hamstring movements.
So those are my opinions of the two methods, but I’d like to hear what others think, and how you would use the two methods for different goals (strength, endurance, hyertrophy)???