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What is Cluster Training and how can it improve your power?

Are you interested in working and training strength? In the world of fitness and training, there are various methods, some more popular, others more unknown. Such is the case with Cluster Training

This modality of strength training is based on achieving greater strength in a shorter time. Today, it is not one of the methods of strength training that are planned in the improvement centers, although it is gaining followers among high-performance athletes.Discover what Cluster Training is and how it can improve your muscle power.

Cluster Training Guide

Cluster Training in its most direct conception is the training by intervals and repetitions in small groups that allow to intensify the quality and effectiveness of the training.

As the number of repetitions increases, the rest intervals between repetitions is smaller. This results in the muscle performing more training load at the same time of exercise.

What's behind this "obsession" with repetitions and the speed of execution of strength exercises? Proponents of this training methodology claim that it is a system to reduce fatigue and delay its onset.

1. Cluster types to train

In the fitness world, 2 main modalities of Cluster Training are established:

  • The extensive cluster,which involves the execution of 5 or 6 sets of 5-6 repetitions, with 6 maximum repetitions. Rest periods will be 10 seconds per series.
  • The intensive cluster training,on the other hand, contemplates 5-6 sets of between one or two repetitions. Here, 20 seconds of rest are introduced between each of the series.

Which of the two methods is better? Each of them brings a benefit. The ideal is to combine both options within our strength training plan.

The key to making the most of the benefits of Cluster Training lies in establishing small series between the main series, or what is the same, planning variations of the exercises to achieve more variety, more intensity and still respect the breaks advised for each main series.

What is Cluster Training and how can it improve your power?

2. Cluster training methods

The same types of exercises are not required if you train hypertrophy or muscle gain, or if you want to focus on strength and speed.

In this sense, 3 options of cluster work are distinguished.

  • Cluster method for hypertrophy. Since the goal is to increase muscle gain, 4 short sets are organized within the main variety of exercise. Each miniseries must have a minimum of 15 seconds, and a maximum of 30 seconds.
  • Cluster training with focus on speed. Here, we reduce the number of miniseries to be performed, and also the intensity of the exercise. Of course, we maintain the same rest times (15 to 30 seconds).
  • Work maximum strength with cluster training. In this third modality, up to 10 miniseries of each main one are organized, with few repetitions in each series. This makes the intensity greater, with very short rest periods (a maximum of 12 seconds, and a minimum of 6 seconds.

The Benefits of Cluster Training

The main physical benefit we will notice after maintaining the cluster enter for several months is the noticeable increase in our endurance. It seems as if fatigue is diluted between our muscles.

This strengthening allows to increase the complexity of cluster training. Beyond this, and the gain in the quality of training, the athlete will perceive these benefits:

  • Less muscle failure during the practice of repetition exercises at high frequency. Consequently, the body can increase the intensity of training.
  • It generates more level in the peaks of speed and power, which makes it a more than interesting option for those athletes who must focus on the work of its power.

If you apply it to exercises such as the bench press or squats, you will increase the work of strength and power.

What does cluster training science say?


However, we must monitor how much load is recommended to exercise without subjecting our body to important physical changes. It must be taken into account that each and every one of the intervening muscles, as well as the tendons that unite them, will be subjected to this extra effort, with the risk of injury that is run.

So, if you're looking to increase launch power, for example, you have to maintain the current speed of repetitions to minimize the effects on tendons and muscle

However, we must monitor how much load is recommended to exercise without subjecting our body to important physical changes. It must be taken into account that each and every one of the intervening muscles, as well as the tendons that unite them, will be subjected to this extra effort, with the risk of injury that is run.

So, if you're looking to increase launch power, for example, you have to maintain the current speed of repetitions to minimize the effects on tendons and muscles.

What does cluster training science say?

What does cluster training science say?

Is there any scientific research that corroborates that Cluster training is responsible for the increase in musculature and endurance? The truth is that there is no great discovery of how this type of intensive training affects muscle mass and strength gains.

Most research is focusing on breaks between sets as a focus of interest in understanding how to improve training systems. A third line of research focuses on comparing the method, systems and results between the cluster method and the traditional method. 

In conclusion, if you are looking for an intense exercise, highly effective and that increases the variation in training, cluster training is an option to assess slowly

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