T Nation

Ultimate Cluster Program Questions

Coach Thibaudeau

I’m going to do the Ultimate Cluster Program again starting next week. I had great results the first time back in the summer

I do have 2 questions going into this next time…

  1. What is the best way to work up to the 90% set on the main lift, 1st exercise of each day?

  2. I slightly tweaked my Lat last time doing this program and I was thinking because of the lats working 3 of the 4 days…on the deadlift day and on both pressing days (chins, rows) may have been too much without enough recovery? Do you have any advice on this?

Thank you for your time.

It honestly depends on the person and the lift.

Some people will need more preparation/ramp up sets on everything, others can go 1 plates, 2 plates, 3 plates, 4 plates in 4 sets.

Others will need plenty of ramp up sets on some lifts and few on others. Personally, I need a lot of preparation sets to perform on the bench but for squat it takes me 2 sets to be ready for the work sets.

On one hand, more sets normally leads to more activation, help you groove the lift better and be more confident. But it can also increase fatigue, lengthens the duration of the adrenaline elevation (whcih can lead to a faster desensitization of the beta-adrenergic receptors) and make the workouts longer (some people can’t stay focused for more than 45 minutes, for example).

So there really is no perfect answer. It’s really about finding what works best for you.

I would keep the chin-ups low intensity. Just 2-3 regular sets, not to failure.

Thank you! I’ll give that a try