Vargas-Molina, Salvadora | Romance, Ramónc | Schoenfeld, Brad J. | García, Manuelb | Petro, Jorge L. | Bonilla, Diego A. | Kreider, Richard B. | Martín-Rivera, Fernando | Benítez-Porres, Javiera. Effects of cluster training on body composition and strength in resistance-trained men. Isokinetics and Exercise Science. Pre-press, pp. 1-9, 2020
Cluster Training (CL) is an alternative to traditional training where intra-set breaks are incorporated. Positive effects have been reported on sports performance. However, there is little research on body composition in trained subjects. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of three cluster training (CL) protocols comprised of different intra-set rest (RIntra) and blocks of repetitions (BK) on strength, power and body composition in individuals maintaining a high protein diet.
Twenty-nine resistance-trained male participants were randomized to RIntra 20 s and BK 3 RM (n= 8, CL1), RIntra 40 s and BK 3 RM (n= 7, CL2), RIntra 20 s and BK 6 RM (n= 7, CL3), and control group (n= 7, CG). All participants performed two sessions per week of lower-limb resistance training for 8 weeks.
There were significant changes in FFM in CL1 (0.9 ± 0.5 kg, P= 0.001, ES = 0.17), CL2 (0.6 ± 0.5 kg, P= 0.010, ES = 0.14) and CL3 (0.6 ± 0.4 kg, P= 0.011, ES = 0.14) but not in CG (0.4 ± 1.1 kg, P= 0.323, ES = 0.13). Likewise, significant increases were found in the cluster groups (CL1, 14.5 ± 12.3, P= 0.012, ES = 0.80; CL2, 10.1 ± 4.3, P= 0.001, ES = 0.60; CL3, 9.5 ± 4.9, P= 0.002, ES = 0.45) but not in CG (9.0 ± 9.0, P= 0.057, ES = 0.55). There were no significant changes for any group in CMJ.
We conclude that a RIntra of ∼ 20 s in CL protocols with 3 RM blocks in multi-joint exercises of the lower-limb is sufficient to elicit significant training adaptations; no additional benefits were obtained using longer rest intervals.