Effect of High-Volume Cluster Sets vs. Lower-Volume Traditional Sets on Accuracy of Estimated Repetitions to Failure.J Strength Cond Res. 2023 Jun 01; 37(6):1191-1198.JS
Davies, TB, Li, J, and Hackett, DA. Effect of high-volume cluster sets vs. lower-volume traditional sets on accuracy of estimated repetitions to failure. J Strength Cond Res 37(6): 1191-1198, 2023-This study investigated the effects of resistance training using cluster (CLUS) vs. traditional (TRAD) set structures on the accuracy of estimated repetitions to failure (ERF). Nineteen healthy male resistance trainers (age 21.0 ± 4.4 years) were randomized into 1 of the 2 bench press training routines performed for 6 weeks. Cluster (n = 10) performed 6 sets of 5 repetitions at 85% of 1 repetition maximum (1RM) with 30-second interrepetition rest and 3 minutes of interset rest. Traditional (n = 9) performed 3 sets of 5 repetitions at 85% 1RM with 5 minutes of interset rest. Maximum repetitions at 85% 1RM was performed before and after intervention to assess error in ERF and mean concentric velocity (MCV). The ERF, rating of perceived exertion, and maintenance of MCV were assessed throughout the intervention. Rating of perceived exertion was lower for sets 1-3 in CLUS compared with TRAD from weeks 1 to 4 (effect size [ES] = 0.8-2.4, p ≤ 0.04). The ERF was greater for sets 1-3 in CLUS than in TRAD during all intervention weeks (ES = 1.0-5.1, p ≤ 0.04). Maintenance of MCV was greater in CLUS compared with TRAD for all sets at week 1 (ES = 0.76, p = 0.002) and sets 4-6 at week 6 (ES = 0.77, p = 0.006). After the intervention, error in ERF did not change, and no differences were found between the groups. Findings indicate that accuracy of ERF does not improve after resistance training using set structures that induce different transient fatigue-related effects when using high loads in experienced resistance trainers.