CFW Guide: Part 4 - Cluster Sets

By Jordan Sharp | 2016-11-22

Cluster sets are sets with internal (intraset) rest periods. They allow for an increased amount of total weight lifted + more reps which helps to build quality muscle mass.

For example, instead of doing 3 sets of 12 reps, you break the reps down into 3’s, so you do 3 reps, then rest for 20 seconds, then do 3 more, and so on. It allows you to get more reps out whilst maintaining the high weight. The short rest period enhances the overall performance, which is why cluster sets add great variation to your training.

And with hundreds of different variations you can mix it up completely, depending on what your goals are. In the example above, you can see that we have manipulated the amount of reps done and the intraset rest.

Let’s say we wanted to build our endurance & strength. Originally we would bench press 12 reps for 90KG.

If we perform the 3+3+3+3+3 cluster sets, because of the 20 second intraset rests, we would be able to perform 15 reps of the same weight, increasing the total volume of reps. If we wanted to get even heavier, you could switch from doing 6 reps at 90KG, to doing 2+2+2 (30 second intraset rest) reps at 100KG. The same amount of reps are performed, but with 10KG more weight.

Think of all that muscle growth!

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