Change up your workout with cluster sets

Try cluster sets to add volume to your workouts.

These days, everyone is time-poor. Not only that, we want our results yesterday. But it’s hard enough to get to the gym in the first place, let alone put in the work to see progress in your fitness goals.

One way you can speed up your weight training workouts and also spark new muscle growth is to try cluster sets.

What’s a cluster set?

Cluster sets combine reduced rest time and increased time under tension to give you a workout you won’t forget.

Instead of performing, say, 10 reps in a row, with cluster sets you briefly rest between groups of reps. So, instead of 10 in a row, you do five reps and rest for 20-30 seconds and go again.

This not only cuts down your overall set time but it is one heck of an intensity technique.


There is some research to back this up too. A 2015 study compared cluster sets with traditional sets. Participants performed squats using both types of sets and were measured in terms of power output and time under tension, as well as had blood tests to measure hormone levels.

The researchers found that cluster sets produced more power and more total reps overall. In addition, there was less metabolic stress with cluster sets with a similar anabolic hormonal response.

So give cluster sets a try to up your volume and see gains in no time.


Oliver, J.M., et al. (2015.) ‘Acute response to cluster sets in trained and untrained men.’
Eur J Appl Physiol. 2015 Jul 17.DOI:10.1007/s00421-015-3216-7

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