The Power of Cluster Sets

Cluster sets are sets that contain built-in rest periods of 5-20 seconds. Cluster sets increase overall training volume in any given workout, which naturally leads to an increase in muscle building potential.

Cluster sets work almost like a standard 5x5 in that you'll perform the same amount of reps for every set while slightly increasing the weight during each set.

So let's say you're deadlifting today with loads of 270, 280, 290, 300, and 310 pounds. Every "macro-set" contains 3 "micro-sets" of 2-2-1. After every micro-set you'll rest for 15 seconds before continuing on to the next micro-set.

After you've completed all three micro-sets, you'll rest a full 90-120 seconds before beginning another macro-set of micro-sets.

I know, this can be confusing to follow. Here's what it looks like:

Macro-Set 1

  • 270 x 2: Rest 15 seconds
  • 270 x 2: Rest 15 seconds
  • 270 x 1: Rest 90-120 seconds

Macro-Set 2

  • 280 x 2: Rest 15 seconds
  • 280 x 2: Rest 15 seconds
  • 280 x 1: Rest 90-120 seconds

Macro-Set 3

  • 290 x 2: Rest 15 seconds
  • 290 x 2: Rest 15 seconds
  • 290 x 1: Rest 90-120 seconds

Macro-Set 4

  • 300 x 2: Rest 15 seconds
  • 300 x 2: Rest 15 seconds
  • 300 x 1: Rest 90-120 seconds

Macro-Set 5

  • 310 x 2: Rest 15 seconds
  • 310 x 2: Rest 15 seconds
  • 310 x 1: Rest 90-120 seconds

Cluster sets allow you to use heavy weights while implementing short recovery periods to regenerate phosphate, thereby allowing you to squirt out a few more reps.

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