Cluster Training is an extremely useful method for strength building. It’s essentially a way to mitigate fatigue, allowing you to get more reps with a certain weight than you could with a straight-through set. You perform a small cluster of reps, take a short ret, then another small cluster of reps, then a short rest, then repeat for whatever framework you’re doing overall. Then you take a longer rest, then you can repeat the cluster again.
Recent studies have shown some controversial findings that high-rep training is as effective as the traditional medium rep training for muscle growth. If you missed it, check out my two previous articles:
In this article I will show some examples of how high-rep sets can be implemented in a serious weight lifting program, and look at the results of some studies that have investigated this.
In a previous article I reported the controversial results of a study that compared the muscle (myofibrillar) protein synthetic response of a traditional “bodybuilding” high-load low rep workout (90FAIL) to a higher rep low load workout (30FAIL), both taken to failure 1. If you haven’t read that article, here’s a lowdown:
The workout with higher rep lower load sets (30FAIL) was equally effective in stimulating muscle (myofibrillar) protein synthesis as a workout with low rep high load sets (90FAIL) 1. But more notably, the high-rep low load workout (30FAIL) resulted in a more prolonged muscle protein synthetic response and a greater elevation of muscle protein synthesis rates than the low rep high load workout (90FAIL) 24h after exercise, and also induced a greater stimulation of anabolic signalling pathways 1.
However, this study was an acute study with measurements taken for only 24 hours after one single workout bout. This doesn’t tell us whether higher rep sets would lead to long term increases in muscle mass, which is what we are ultimately interested in. Well, the same research group just published an actual 10 week training study 2 to find the answer to this nerve-itching question….
In this vid, we do some thick bar/thick handle training, which should be part of any program where maximal functional strength is the goal. For more info, also see my write on the topic HERE.
Latest vid from Panama: Leg day with Fitness Model Ariadna González Fontelio!
I use the Prowler with tac teams I have worked with on their performance/fitness, myself, and various athletes from all walks, and nothing comes close as both a conditioning tool and a whole body strength tool.
It is without equal as a single piece of equipment one can own that covers the full spectrum of fitness. Vast majority use it as a GPP/conditioning tool, and it’s great for that. Very few use it as a true strength/power builder, and that’s a mistake. Pile some serious weight on it, and it’s killer for strength/power developer. I have posted many Prowler related vids here in the past. Just came back from the gym where I did an all Prowler leg workout with my buddy Big Lee Rosenberg. Death by Prowler!
As a rule, I prefer to train antagonist muscle groups together (chest/back, etc) but Pam wanted to do Chest/Shoulders…
On looking at the vid, she’s doing more or a KB high pull (which is what I wanted) vs a KB swing, and I should have written it as such in the vid workout write up. Oh well….
While in Panama recently, I trained at a gym chain down there called PowerClub. Great place and may be doing some business with them in the future. I did a simple chest & back day and kept volume on the lower side. Check out this great gym and my workout while in Panama City, Panama!
Are you one of those old school gym rats who believe heavy and low 6-10 rep resistance training the best stimulus for muscle growth? If so, you’re not alone. Many of us (yours truly included, so I’m not pointing any fingers) believe that the best stimulus for muscle growth is heavy lifting in the 6-10 rep range. However, recent scientific findings show that the classical heavy and low 6-10 rep training might not be the best way to induce muscle anabolism…
As regular readers of the BrinkZone should know by now, I’m a big fan of sled work. Drag sleds are a “must have” item in my view, but the Prowler sled takes sled work to the next level. The Prowler sled has become a staple of many people’s training. However, although many who use the Prowler know what an amazing conditioning tool it is, I find few appreciate it as a true strength tool. It’s like viewing the squat as a conditioning exercise, but failing to see the squat as a movement for developing maximal strength!
The Prowler uses virtually every muscle in your body, either directly or indirectly, and is as basic as it gets. Why do so many people put a few little weights on it and run the thing around like some aerobic toy?! But seriously, the Prowler is great for conditioning (using lighter weights and pushing for speed) but it’s also great for strength and hypertrophy. If you have access to one, load that bitch up with all the weight you can stand, and push it 75-100’ for 2-3 cycles with 3-5 minutes between sets. Tell me if it’s not one of the most brutal leg workouts you have ever experienced! I find heavy Prowler work translates very well into other areas of strength training and or conditioning work.
Finally, don’t forget about my First Annual Prowler Charity push off. Great prizes, fun time, and for a great cause!!!
Info on the competition HERE
Below is a recent max Prowler day for yours truly. My new personal best on the Prowler sled O death…did that weight for 3 cycles (75′) with 3 – 5 mins between “sets.” I had serious case of Prowler flu by the end of the last cycle.