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This study aimed to compare mechanical and metabolic responses between traditional (TR) and cluster (CL) set configurations in the bench press exercise. In a counterbalanced randomized order, 10 men were tested with the following protocols (sets × repetitions [inter-repetition rest]): TR1: 3×10 [0-s], TR2: 6×5 [0-s], CL5: 3×10 [5-s], CL10: 3×10 [10-s], and CL15: 3×10 [15-s]. The number of repetitions (30), inter-set rest (5 min), and resistance applied (10RM) were the same for all set configurations. Movement velocity and blood lactate concentration were used to assess the mechanical and metabolic responses, respectively. The comparison of the first and last set of the training session revealed a significant decrease in movement velocity for TR1 (Effect size [ES]: -0.92), CL10 (ES: -0.85) and CL15 (ES: -1.08) (but not for TR2 [ES: -0.38] and CL5 [ES: -0.37]); while blood lactate concentration was significantly increased for TR1 (ES: 1.11), TR2 (ES: 0.90) and CL5 (ES: 1.12) (but not for CL10 [ES: 0.03] and CL15 [ES: -0.43]). Based on velocity loss, set configurations were ranked as follows: TR1 (-39.3±7.3%) > CL5 (-20.2±14.7%) > CL10 (-12.9±4.9%), TR2 (-10.3±5.3%) and CL15 (-10.0±2.3%). The set configurations were ranked as follows based on the lactate concentration: TR1 (7.9±1.1 mmol·l-1) > CL5 (5.8±0.9 mmol·l-1) > TR2 (4.2±0.7 mmol·l-1) > CL10 (3.5±0.4 mmol·l-1) and CL15 (3.4±0.7 mmol·l-1). These results support the use of TR2, CL10 and CL15 for the maintenance of high mechanical outputs, while CL10 and CL15 produce less metabolic stress than TR2.
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... (1) Theme A: Studies comparing a group(s) performing RT to momentary muscular failure to a non-failure group(s) (Amdi et al., 2021;Fonseca et al., 2020;Gantois et al., 2021;Kassiano et al., 2021;Lacerda et al., 2020;Lasevicius et al., 2019;Mangine et al., 2022;S Martorelli et al., 2017;Nobrega et al., 2018;Santanielo et al., 2020;Santos et al., 2019). (2) Theme B: Studies comparing a group(s) performing RT to set failure (defined as anything other than the definition of momentary muscular failure) to a non-failure group(s) (Bergamasco et al., 2020;Costa et al., 2021;Garcia-Ramos et al., 2020;Gonzalez-Badillo et al., 2016;Gonzalez-Hernandez et al., 2021;Gorostiaga et al., 2012Gorostiaga et al., , 2014Karsten et al., 2021;Linnamo et al., 2005;AS Martorelli et al., 2021;Moran-Navarro et al., 2017;Pareja-Blanco, Rodriguez-Rosell, et al., 2020; Pareja-Blanco, Rodriguez-Rosell, Sanchez-Medina, Ribas-Serna, et al., 2017; Raastad et al., 2000;Sampson & Groeller, 2016;Sanchez-Medina & Gonzalez-Badillo, 2011;Shibata et al., 2019;Terada et al., 2021;Vasquez et al., 2013). (3) Theme C: Studies theoretically comparing different proximities-to-failure (i.e., applying different velocityloss thresholds that modulate set termination and albeit indirectly, influence proximity-to-failure), with no inclusion of a group performing RT to momentary muscular failure per se (Andersen et al., 2021;Pareja-Blanco, Rodriguez-Rosell, Sanchez-Medina, Sanchis-Moysi, et al., 2017;Pareja-Blanco, Villalba-Fernandez, et al., 2019;Rodriguez-Rosell et al., 2018;Weakley et al., 2019). ...
... A number of studies (as part of Theme B) investigated neuromuscular fatigue and muscle damage in response to RT performed to set failure versus non-failure Garcia-Ramos et al., 2020;Gonzalez-Badillo et al., 2016;Gonzalez-Hernandez et al., 2021;Gorostiaga et al., 2012Gorostiaga et al., , 2014Linnamo et al., 2005;AS Martorelli et al., 2021;Moran-Navarro et al., 2017;Pareja-Blanco, Rodriguez-Rosell, et al., 2020Pareja-Blanco, Rodriguez-Rosell, Sanchez-Medina, Ribas-Serna, et al., 2017;Raastad et al., 2000;Sanchez-Medina & Gonzalez-Badillo, 2011;Shibata et al., 2019;Vasquez et al., 2013), with most studies demonstrating these short-term responses are exacerbated when RT is performed to set failure. For example, when RT was performed to set failure versus non-failure, greater delayed neuromuscular fatigue (assessed >30-min post-RT via jump height, lifting velocity, isometric force, or maximum voluntary contraction) was observed in six studies (Gonzalez-Badillo et al., 2016;Linnamo et al., 2005;Moran-Navarro et al., 2017;Pareja-Blanco, Rodriguez-Rosell, et al., 2020;Pareja-Blanco, Rodriguez-Rosell, Sanchez-Medina, Ribas-Serna, et al., 2017;Shibata et al., 2019) and greater acute neuromuscular fatigue (assessed ≤30-min post-RT via lifting velocity, peak power, or peak force) was observed in four studies (Garcia-Ramos et al., 2020;Linnamo et al., 2005;Sanchez-Medina & Gonzalez-Badillo, 2011;Vasquez et al., 2013). ...
... A number of studies (as part of Theme B) investigated neuromuscular fatigue and muscle damage in response to RT performed to set failure versus non-failure Garcia-Ramos et al., 2020;Gonzalez-Badillo et al., 2016;Gonzalez-Hernandez et al., 2021;Gorostiaga et al., 2012Gorostiaga et al., , 2014Linnamo et al., 2005;AS Martorelli et al., 2021;Moran-Navarro et al., 2017;Pareja-Blanco, Rodriguez-Rosell, et al., 2020Pareja-Blanco, Rodriguez-Rosell, Sanchez-Medina, Ribas-Serna, et al., 2017;Raastad et al., 2000;Sanchez-Medina & Gonzalez-Badillo, 2011;Shibata et al., 2019;Vasquez et al., 2013), with most studies demonstrating these short-term responses are exacerbated when RT is performed to set failure. For example, when RT was performed to set failure versus non-failure, greater delayed neuromuscular fatigue (assessed >30-min post-RT via jump height, lifting velocity, isometric force, or maximum voluntary contraction) was observed in six studies (Gonzalez-Badillo et al., 2016;Linnamo et al., 2005;Moran-Navarro et al., 2017;Pareja-Blanco, Rodriguez-Rosell, et al., 2020;Pareja-Blanco, Rodriguez-Rosell, Sanchez-Medina, Ribas-Serna, et al., 2017;Shibata et al., 2019) and greater acute neuromuscular fatigue (assessed ≤30-min post-RT via lifting velocity, peak power, or peak force) was observed in four studies (Garcia-Ramos et al., 2020;Linnamo et al., 2005;Sanchez-Medina & Gonzalez-Badillo, 2011;Vasquez et al., 2013). Indeed, numerous studies (Gonzalez-Badillo et al., 2016;Moran-Navarro et al., 2017;Pareja-Blanco, Rodriguez-Rosell, et al., 2020;Pareja-Blanco, Rodriguez-Rosell, Sanchez-Medina, Ribas-Serna, et al., 2017;Shibata et al., 2019) suggest the time-course for recovery of neuromuscular function was between 24-and 48-hours when RT was performed to set failure, supporting the notion that muscle groups should be trained less frequently if RT is performed to set failure, although the time course of recovery may also be influenced by the exercises performed (e.g., longer recovery periods may be required for multi-joint exercises (de Camargo Jbb et al., 2020)) and the volume-load completed. ...
Article
While proximity-to-failure is considered an important resistance training (RT) prescription variable, its influence on physiological adaptations and short-term responses to RT is uncertain. Given the ambiguity in the literature, a scoping review was undertaken to summarise evidence for the influence of proximity-to-failure on muscle hypertrophy, neuromuscular fatigue, muscle damage and perceived discomfort. Literature searching was performed according to PRISMA-ScR guidelines and identified three themes of studies comparing either: i) RT performed to momentary muscular failure versus non-failure, ii) RT performed to set failure (defined as anything other than momentary muscular failure) versus non-failure, and iii) RT performed to different velocity loss thresholds. The findings highlight that no consensus definition for "failure" exists in the literature, and the proximity-to-failure achieved in "non-failure" conditions is often ambiguous and variable across studies. This poses challenges when deriving practical recommendations for manipulating proximity-to-failure in RT to achieve desired outcomes. Based on the limited available evidence, RT to set failure is likely not superior to non-failure RT for inducing muscle hypertrophy, but may exacerbate neuromuscular fatigue, muscle damage, and post-set perceived discomfort versus non-failure RT. Together, these factors may impair post-exercise recovery and subsequent performance, and may also negatively influence long-term adherence to RT. KEY POINTS (1) This scoping review identified three broad themes of studies investigating proximity-to-failure in RT, based on the specific definition of set failure used (and therefore the research question being examined), to improve the validity of study comparisons and interpretations. (2) There is no consensus definition for set failure in RT, and the proximity-to-failure achieved during non-failure RT is often unclear and varies both within and between studies, which together poses challenges when interpreting study findings and deriving practical recommendations regarding the influence of RT proximity-to-failure on muscle hypertrophy and other short-term responses. (3) Based on the limited available evidence, performing RT to set failure is likely not superior to non-failure RT to maximise muscle hypertrophy, but the optimal proximity to failure in RT for muscle hypertrophy is unclear and may be moderated by other RT variables (e.g., load, volume-load). Also, RT performed to set failure likely induces greater neuromuscular fatigue, muscle damage, and perceived discomfort than non-failure RT, which may negatively influence RT performance, post-RT recovery, and long-term adherence.
... If, however, the strength and conditioning professional decides to implement hang derivatives, it is recommended that lifting straps are used to help alleviate grip fatigue and ensure lifting technique is maintained. It appears that the back squat and bench press are the most explored exercises in the recent scientific literature on cluster sets, presumably due to the simplicity of these exercises (25,59,118,119,130). A possible limitation of employing cluster sets with these exercises is that the athlete has to place the barbell into a rack prior to every intra-set and inter-repetition rest interval and remove the barbell from the rack following the rest interval, which may lead to the accumulation of additional fatigue (18). ...
... To achieve these goals, a hypertrophy training program generally involves low to moderate intensities and higher overall volumes (34, 102,104). During this phase, traditional sets may be favorably used over cluster sets as previously published literature has demonstrated greater muscle activation, metabolic, and hormonal responses for traditional sets when compared with cluster sets (25,30,76). These acute physiological responses have been considered to be prerequisites for hypertrophy (57,(87)(88)(89) volume set without experiencing repetition failure before the prescribed number of repetitions is completed (86). ...
... Additionally, if cluster sets are implemented with higher training loads, a moderate to high repetition training set (i.e., eight to twelve repetitions), shorter rest intervals between individual repetitions (e.g., 5-10 seconds), or clusters (e.g., 15-30 seconds) may be a viable option to be chosen. When this is done, the provided recovery will facilitate the maintenance of performance, allow for the use of higher training loads (47,118), and still provide some degree of fatigue that may provide a stimulus that facilitates hypertrophy (25,28,118) (Figure. 2). ...
Article
Altering set configurations during a resistance training program can provide a novel training variation that can be used to modify the external and internal training loads that induce specific training outcomes. To design training programs that better target the defined goal(s) of a specific training phase, strength and conditioning professionals need to better understand how different set configurations impact the training adaptations that result from resistance training. Traditional and cluster set structures are commonly implemented by strength and conditioning. The purpose of this review is to offer examples of the practical implementation of traditional and cluster sets that can be integrated into a periodized resistance training program.
... If we analyze scientific studies in which the responses of different set configurations on the strength exercise velocities were observed [25][26][27], we will often see the adoption of a variable pace. In cyclical modalities, the variable pace strategy is one in which we observe fluctuations in velocity throughout the exercise [1] (gradual velocity loss, followed by an increase in a constant cycle). ...
... However, it may be that this phenomenon does not occur in the movements of acyclical modalities, especially if traditional sets are adopted, as it can lead to a high applied force loss, not providing the proper recovery to increase velocity, as can be seen in the studies cited previously [25][26][27]. Furthermore, the deliberate decrease in velocity in the early stages of the WOD during the negative pacing strategy assumes a more extended time under tension. ...
... However, in the health context, it may be that the inclusion of short programmed rests can generate lesser feelings of discomfort and displeasure that are more relevant during a medium-duration WOD, given the longer duration. This result may lead to less metabolic, mechanical, and perceived fatigue without significant performance loss, as shown by García-Ramos et al. [25]. Their study found that the inclusion of 5 s of recovery between each repetition in 3 sets of 10 repetitions in the bench press led to lower blood lactate concentrations and less velocity loss compared to performing traditional sets with the same load intensity and inter-set rest interval. ...
Article
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Empirically, it is widely discussed in "Cross" modalities that the pacing strategy developed by an athlete or trainee has a significant impact on the endurance performance in a WOD in the AMRAP, EMOM, or FOR TIME model. We can observe at least six pacing strategies adopted during the cyclical modalities in the endurance performance in the scientific literature. However, besides these modalities, exercises of acyclical modalities of weightlifting and gymnastics are performed in the "Cross" modalities. These exercises may not allow the same pacing strategies adopted during cyclic modalities' movements due to their motor characteristics and different intensity and level of effort imposed to perform the motor gesture. In addition to the intensity and level of effort that are generally unknown to the coach and athlete of the "Cross" modalities, another factor that can influence the adoption of a pacing strategy during a WOD in the AMRAP, EMOM, or FOR TIME model is the task endpoint knowledge, which varies according to the training model used. Thus, our objective was to evaluate situations in which these factors can influence the pacing strategies adopted in a self-regulated task with cyclic and acyclic modalities movements during an endurance workout in the AMRAP, EMOM, and FOR TIME model. Given the scarcity of studies in the scientific literature and the increasing discussion of this topic within the "Cross" modalities, this manuscript can help scientists and coaches better orient their research problems or training programs and analyze and interpret new findings more accurately.
... Previously, researchers have shown that a CS acutely attenuates fatigue development and allows the maintenance of mechanical performance (24,39) along with creating lower metabolic and hormonal stress (7,11,26,29,30,41,43) compared with TRD configurations. However, most studies comparing mechanical performance between CS and TRD structures have used only one type of instrumentation or used solely kinetic or kinematic data (6,7,11,15,26,28,41,43), which may result in bias in the calculation of variables, especially power output (4). ...
... Previously, researchers have shown that a CS acutely attenuates fatigue development and allows the maintenance of mechanical performance (24,39) along with creating lower metabolic and hormonal stress (7,11,26,29,30,41,43) compared with TRD configurations. However, most studies comparing mechanical performance between CS and TRD structures have used only one type of instrumentation or used solely kinetic or kinematic data (6,7,11,15,26,28,41,43), which may result in bias in the calculation of variables, especially power output (4). To date, only a few studies examining the effects of CS configuration have combined both kinetic and kinematic data (16,29,30,40), which seems to be superior when measuring force, velocity, and power (4). ...
... The CS2 protocol kept the force, velocity, and power values constant during the 3 sets. These findings are consistent across a variety of resistance exercises, including back squat (11,26,40,41), power clean (14,16), unloaded (28) and loaded jumps (1,15), and BP (1,7,8,25). By contrast, another study reported no differences in mean force during the BP exercise with 6RM load, comparing TRD and CS structures (6). ...
Article
The aim of this study was to compare the effects of different cluster set (CS) configurations on mechanical performance and electromyography (EMG) activity during the bench press (BP) exercise. Fourteen strength-trained men (age 23.062.4 years; height 1.7660.08 m; body mass 78.3612.2 kg) performed 3 different protocols in the BP exercise consisting of 3 sets of 12 repetitions at 60% of 1 repetition maximum with interset rests of 2 minutes, differing in the set configuration: (a) traditional sets (TRDs), (b) cluster sets of 4 repetitions (CS4), and (c) cluster sets of 2 repetitions (CS2). Intraset rests of 30 seconds were interposed for CS protocols. The mean propulsive values of force, velocity, and power output were measured for every repetition by synchronizing a linear velocity transducer with a force platform. The root mean square (RMS) and median frequency (MDF) for pectoralis major (PM) and triceps brachii (TB) muscles were also recorded for every repetition. Force, velocity, and power values progressively increased as the number of intraset rests increased (TRD,CS4,CS2). The CS2 protocol exhibited lower RMS-PM than CS4 and TRD for almost all sets. In addition, TRDs showed significantly lower MDF-TB than CS2 for all sets and lower MDF-TB than CS4 during the third set. In conclusion, more frequent intraset rests were beneficial for maintaining mechanical performance, which may be mediated, from a neuromuscular perspective, by lesser increases in EMG amplitude and attenuated reductions in EMG frequency.
... The highest MV value of each set was used for statistical analyses. Unlike previous studies that used a velocity loss to quantify fatigue within a set (11,15), the maximum velocity of each set was collected in this study to assess the development of fatigue during the training session. ...
... In line with previous research, the nonfailure protocol allowed the maintenance of higher velocities than the failure protocol (11,13,28). A 221.7 and 23.5% velocity loss between sets were observed for the failure and nonfailure protocols, respectively. ...
Article
This study aimed to compare acute and delayed markers of mechanical, neuromuscular, and biochemical fatigue between resistance training sessions leading to or not to failure. Twelve resistance-trained men completed 2 sessions that consisted of 6 sets of the full-squat exercise performed against the 10 repetitions maximum load. In a randomized order, in one session the sets were performed to failure and in the other session the sets were not performed to failure (5 repetitions per set). Mechanical fatigue was quantified through the recording of the mean velocity during all repetitions. The neuromuscular function of the knee extensors was assessed through a maximal voluntary contraction and the twitch interpolation technique before training, immediately after each set, and 1, 24, and 48 hours post-training. Serum creatine kinase (CK) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) were measured before training and 1, 24, and 48 hours post-training to infer muscle damage. Alpha was set at a level of 0.05. A higher velocity loss between sets was observed during the failure protocol (-21.7%) compared with the nonfailure protocol (-3.5%). The markers of peripheral fatigue were generally higher and long lasting for the failure protocol. However, the central fatigue assessed by the voluntary activation was comparable for both protocols and remained depressed up to 48 hours post-training. The concentrations of CK and AST were higher after the failure protocol revealing higher muscle damage compared with the nonfailure protocol. These results support the nonfailure protocol to reduce peripheral fatigue and muscle damage, whereas the central fatigue does not seem to be affected by the set configuration.
... In relation to La accumulation, TT showed higher values in this parameter after training with respect to cluster configurations. This is in agreement with previous studies that examined the effect of different set configurations on metabolic responses [17,19,23,39]. ...
... Our results show a greater loss of mean velocity in the last sets (3rd and 4th) in the TT compared to both CLs, suggesting greater neuromuscular fatigue. These results are in agreement with previous studies that have shown a greater loss of performance in protocols with rest at the end of each set[19,[35][36][37].This progressive loss of movement velocity during the sets could generate an undesired effect on neuromuscular adaptations[15], which can be partially attenuated by the use of cluster training configurations. All training groups performed each protocol reaching or near muscle failure in the last repetition. ...
Article
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This study compared the perceptual responses, physiological indicators and technical parameters between different training protocols focused on upper body exercises. A randomized crossover design was performed, and 12 trained individuals (age: 27.1 ± 5.7 years; height: 173.7 ± 10.7 cm; BMI: 23.9 ± 2.3) completed three resistance training sessions under different protocols separated by at least 72 h: traditional training (TT) (4 x 6 repetitions at 85% of 1RM with 120 s of rest between sets), cluster 1 (CL1) (4 x 2+2+2 repetitions at 85% of 1RM with 15 s of intra-rep rest and 80 s between sets), and cluster 2 (CL2) (24 repetitions at 85% of 1RM with 15 s of inter-set recovery). Before training, arterial blood pressure (BP) and repetitions to failure of pull-up and push-up (FT) were collected. Muscle oxygen saturation (SmO2) in the chest and movement velocity were evaluated in barbell bench press during the training session. After finishing, lactate, BP, rate of perceived exertion and FT were assessed. The percentage of velocity loss (TT: 19.24%; CL1: 5.02% and CL2: 7.30%) in the bench press and lactate concentration (TT: 8.90 mmol·l-1; CL1: 6.13 mmol·l-1 and CL2: 5.48 mmol·l-1) were significantly higher (p < 0.05) for TT compared to both CLs. RPE values were higher (p < 0.05) in TT compared to CL1 (7.95 a.u. vs. 6.91 a.u., respectively). No differences (p > 0.05) were found between protocols for SmO2, BP, FT, pain or heart rate between set configurations. Cluster configurations allow one to maintain higher movement velocity and lower lactate and RPE values compared to a traditional configuration, but with similar concentrations of SmO2.
... In this sense, completing a greater number of repetitions before reaching that threshold may trigger greater adaptations [8]. Therefore, coaches may look for intra-set strategies, such as cluster configuration [9] and inter-set strategies [10], that allow athletes to perform more repetitions before reaching a specified threshold of velocity loss. ...
Article
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Abstract: The aim of this research was to verify whether the application of percussion therapy during inter-set rest periods increases the number of repetitions performed before reaching a 30% velocity loss threshold during a bench press exercise. Methods: Twenty-four male university students participated in this study (24.3 ± 1.3 years; 77.5 ± 8.3 kg; 177.0 ± 5.6 cm; 24.7 ± 2.6 kg·m−2). Participants were randomized into two groups: a percussion therapy group (PTG) and a control group (CG). They performed 4 sets at 70% of a one-repetition maximum before reaching a 30% velocity loss threshold with an inter-set recovery of 3 min. Results: The PTG performed a greater total number of repetitions compared to the CG (44.6 ± 4.8 vs. 39.5 ± 6.8; p = 0.047; ES = 0.867). No differences were observed for the different movement velocity variables and fatigue control (p > 0.05). Conclusions: Percussion therapy is an effective method to delay the loss of movement velocity in the bench press exercise.
... Traditional set configurations of RT usually involve a number of repetitions performed in a continuous fashion without any pause in between. However, several configurations of cluster-set RT (CS-RT), which includes intra-set rest periods, have been studied with interest in the recent years [26][27][28][29]. This strategy has been reported as a time-efficient tool to attenuate the loss in mean propulsive velocity, power, and peak force [30,31], and to improve the exercise adaptations in strength-trained individuals [32,33]. ...
Article
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Creatine monohydrate (CrM) supplementation has been shown to improve body composition and muscle strength when combined with resistance training (RT); however, no study has evaluated the combination of this nutritional strategy with cluster-set resistance training (CS-RT). The purpose of this pilot study was to evaluate the effects of CrM supplementation during a high-protein diet and a CS-RT program on lower-limb fat-free mass (LL-FFM) and muscular strength. Twenty-three resistance-trained men (>2 years of training experience, 26.6 ± 8.1 years, 176.3 ± 6.8 cm, 75.6 ± 8.9 kg) participated in this study. Subjects were randomly allocated to a CS-RT+CrM (n = 8), a CS-RT (n = 8), or a control group (n = 7). The CS-RT+CrM group followed a CrM supplementation protocol with 0.1 g·kg−1·day−1 over eight weeks. Two sessions per week of lower-limb CS-RT were performed. LL-FFM corrected for fat-free adipose tissue (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry) and muscle strength (back squat 1 repetition maximum (SQ-1RM) and countermovement jump (CMJ)) were measured pre- and post-intervention. Significant improvements were found in whole-body fat mass, fat percentage, LL-fat mass, LL-FFM, and SQ-1RM in the CS-RT+CrM and CS-RT groups; however, larger effect sizes were obtained in the CS-RT+CrM group regarding whole body FFM (0.64 versus 0.16), lower-limb FFM (0.62 versus 0.18), and SQ-1RM (1.23 versus 0.75) when compared to the CS-RT group. CMJ showed a significant improvement in the CS-RT+CrM group with no significant changes in CS-RT or control groups. No significant differences were found between groups. Eight weeks of CrM supplementation plus a high-protein diet during a CS-RT program has a higher clinical meaningfulness on lower-limb body composition and strength-related variables in trained males than CS-RT alone. Further research might study the potential health and therapeutic effects of this nutrition and exercise strategy.
... Shorter set configurations that include rest periods between clusters of repetitions are an effective strategy to attenuate fatigue and maintain mechanical performance (i.e., force production, movement velocity, and, as a consequence, power output) during RT sessions (36). In addition, higher blood lactate (7,8,24) and ammonia (26) concentrations, hormonal response (growth hormone and cortisol) (26,27,37), and muscle damage indicators (i.e., creatine kinase) (26) have been observed after longer set configurations. ...
Article
The appropriate dosage of resistance training exercises helps to promotes physical and physiological adaptations and decrease injuries. The aim of the study was to analyze the effects of the different intra-set rest after eight weeks of resistance training on morphological variables, maximal strength, and jump performance in physically active university students. Twenty-five students (15 men and 10 women) were randomized by sex and distributed in Control Group (CG) (n=8) with rest only at the end of the series; Experimental Group 1 (EG1) (n=9) with an intra-set rest of 30 s, and Experimental Group 2 (EG2) (n=8) with four intra-set rest of 10 s. Morphological variables [body weight, bipedal height, body mass index (BMI), fat mass and muscle mass], maximum upper body strength (bench press and military press), lower body strength [parallel squat (45°) and deadlift], as well as countermovement jump (CMJ) were measured. All three groups obtained a significant increase (p<0.01) in body weight and BMI, as well as an essential reduction (p<0.01) of fat mass. Muscle mass increased significantly (p<0.01) for both CG and EG1. Maximum upper- and lower-body strength increased considerably (p<0.05) across all three groups and for all exercises, while the CMJ notably increased for CG and EG1. There are no significant changes between the different intra-set rest, when using the same volume, intensity, and total recovery time during the exercise series; thereby, there is an equivalent increase in muscle mass, maximal strength, jump performance, as well as a fat mass reduction.
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This study aimed to compare mechanical, metabolic, and perceptual responses between two traditional (TR) and four cluster (CL) set configurations. In a counterbalanced randomized order, 11 men were tested with the following protocols in separate sessions (sets × repetitions [inter-repetition rest]): TR1: 3×10 [0-s]; TR2: 6×5 [0-s]; CL1: 3×10 [10-s]; CL2: 3×10 [15-s]; CL3: 3×10 [30-s]); CL4: 1×30 [15-s]). The exercise (full-squat), number of repetitions (30), inter-set rest (5 min), and resistance applied (10RM) was the same for all set configurations. Mechanical fatigue was quantified by measuring the mean propulsive velocity during each repetition, and the change in countermovement jump height observed after each set and after the whole training session. Metabolic and perceptual fatigue were assessed via the blood lactate concentration and the OMNI perceived exertion scale measured after each training set, respectively. The mechanical, metabolic, and perceptual measures of fatigue were always significantly higher for the TR1 set configuration. The two set configurations that most minimized the mechanical measures of fatigue were CL2 and CL3. Perceived fatigue did not differ between the TR2, CL1, CL2 and CL3 set configurations. The lowest lactate concentration was observed in the CL3 set configuration. Therefore, both the CL2 and CL3 set configurations can be recommended because they maximize mechanical performance. However, the CL2 set configuration presents two main advantages with respect to CL3: (1) it reduces training session duration, and (2) it promotes higher metabolic stress, which to some extent may be beneficial for inducing muscle strength and hypertrophy gains.
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BACKGROUND: Cluster training is being increasingly used to develop muscular power. OBJECTIVE: To determine the effects of short inter-repetition rest (IRR) periods on the capacity to maintain maximal levels of power output. METHODS: In a first session, 16 active-duty soldiers performed a progressive loading test to establish the load linked to maximal power (optimal load, OL), and the half squat 1-repetition maximum. In Session 2, six individual sets of repetitions performed to failure (or a maximum of 20 repetitions) were conducted using the loads OL, low (LL, 15% below OL), and high (HL, 15% above OL) as quickly as possible. For each load, participants performed one set without rest between repetitions (CR, continuous repetition protocol), and another set with 6 s of rest between repetitions (IRR protocol). RESULTS: The number of repetitions participants performed before exceeding a power loss threshold of 15% were higher in the IRR versus the CR protocol by 218% (11 vs. 35), 86% (7 vs. 13), and 175% (4 vs. 11) for LL, OL, and HL, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: A 6 s interval between repetitions is sufficient to induce partial recovery in participants, and could therefore improve muscle power output.
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This study investigated the effect of introducing different interrepetition rest (IRR) periods on the ability to sustain maximum bench press throw velocity with a range of loads commonly used to develop upper-body power. Thirty-four physically active collegiate men (age: 21.5 ± 2.8 years; body mass: 75.2 ± 7.2 kg; height: 176.9 ± 4.9 cm) were tested during 2 consecutive weeks. During the first week, the maximum dynamic strength (repetition maximum [RM]) in bench press exercise was determined (RM = 76.7 ± 13.2 kg). The following week, 3 testing sessions were conducted with 48 hours apart in random order. In each day of evaluation, only 1 load (30%RM, 40%RM, or 50%RM) was assessed in the bench press throw exercise. With each load, subjects performed 3 single sets of 15 repetitions (15-minute interset rest) with 3 different sets configurations: continuous repetitions (CR), 6 seconds of IRR (IRR6), and 12 seconds of IRR (IRR12). The decrease of peak velocity (PV) was significantly lower for IRR12 compared with CR and IRR6 at least since the repetition 4. No differences between CR and IRR6 protocols were found until the repetition 7 at 30%RM and 40%RM and until the repetition 5 at 50%RM. The decrease of PV during the CR protocol was virtually linear for the 3 loads analyzed (r2 > 0.99); however, this linear relationship became weaker for IRR6 (r2 = 0.79–0.95) and IRR12 (r2 = 0.35–0.87). These results demonstrate that IRR periods allow increasing the number of repetitions before the onset of significant velocity losses.
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