To the Cluster style HST'ers

Discussion in 'Hypertrophy-Specific Training (HST)' started by jww13, Apr 12, 2005.

  1. proteus9

    proteus9 New Member


    Can you explain why this is?

    Because in the Customizing HST thread, this is pretty close to an exmple Vicious uses.

  2. I'm new to this, but from what I understand useing the calculator I found my max for 15 reps on all exersizes to B performed then either decreased it by 5 or 10 lbs depending on the exersize. I then start with a weight that by the time I get to my projected weight for that day i've done my 3 or 4 sets for that body part. So that being said by day 6 of of doing 15's I hope to do the amount of reps I found to be my max rep set. I see now at day 5 of doing 15 reps that by the time I get to my projected weight i'm really working hard! I'm noticing a difference too.
  3. I'll tell you what I think.

    The two pathways, as we all should know by now (speaking of those who have been involved in the board for a while) are activated by two different activities.

    ERK 1/2 signalling is activated by high metabolic work, when working with your 15RM, you wouldn't be able to acheive the signalling without some type of hypoxia producing exercise (burn, lactic acid accumulation, byproduct buildup, whatever you wish to call it). If you where to break up the 15's into mini groups of 5 reps or so, this wouldn't cause enough hypoxia stress to create the favorable metabolic input. Unless, you are using some sort of other factor, pulsing reps, peak holds, tourniquet (my favorite :) ).

    Now during the 10's it is a bit more possible and or even advantageous, but again even though the 10's are primarily a strain producing event (P38) the overlap into erk1/2 signalling is still present. In my experience I have found the 10's to stimulate enough of a byproduct response to stimulate erk1/2, not that I have done my own biopsies to prove it but, I do still receive a bit of a burn, so there appears to be an overlap.

    Bottom line my assumption, quoted above, is based strictly on erk1/2 signalling, nothing more.

    Looking at the ideas Vicious posted, or at least what I think you were referring too. His ideas are more based on the relationship between strain and TUL, and how to manage fatique, optimizing strain, sparring ECC and other items during that sliding scale of strain and TUL. His idea is that with the increased strain of the heavier weight it would be best advised to use your heaviest weight and develop the minimum number of reps based on it. Actually I believe he points out a 1:3 relationship, 5's to 15's, if memory serves. Although he makes some very good points, I personally do not use clustering in the same manner.

    My reasoning for clustering is simply to take the TUL variable out of the mix, leaving only Frequency and Progressive load as the variables I work with. Actually frequency would be more of a constant. So in essence what I have is a needed rep system, I need 20+ reps no matter what the load to maintain my needed TUL. This becomes more important during the heavier weights, at least for me. What I have noticed is that as I climb the progressive ladder the less and less I actually can feel the strain, even though the weight is progressively heavier but, when I up the TUL to compensate then I begin feeling the strain again, tightness, slight soreness.
  4. ttboyy2k

    ttboyy2k New Member

    Dkm, do you superset your push and pull muscles? Also, do how much rest time inbetween sets do you take when you cluster to acheive your 20 rep goal?
  5. Yes and No.

    It really depends on the day. What I have been having to do lately is an AM/PM split, during the weekdays, and I decided to go upper/lower on those days, since it was easier for me to transition between the exercises going upper/lower than antagonistic pair.

    On the weekend when I have more time, yes I superset, but only the pecs and upper arms. IE, fly then Bench and antagonist Bi/Tri.

    On the weekends I add some more isolation stuff.
  6. Sorry I didn't answer your second part. I generally wait about 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 minutes between clusters. The way I found that works for me is to move in a mini circuit. IE when working lower I'll do my squats, SLDL, calf raises, without much of a break in between, then take a drink of water, then start again with the same order, repeating until I hit my target reps. For me it works out to about 2 1/2 minutes before I hit the same bodypart.
  7. proteus9

    proteus9 New Member

    Thanks Dan! I tend to forget about erk1/2 and focus too musch on p38. I train as you do with clustering (set number of reps throughout cycle - sometimes slightly decreasing) but broke them up more. I see now the error of my ways early in the cycle. That's what I love about this board. Very intelligent people, who are very generous with that knowledge.


  8. yshemesh

    yshemesh Banned

    i'll try to explain ...

    it's a psychological thing in my opinion.

    the whole idea of avoiding fatigue/failure like the plague may prevent you - psychologically - from reaching your potential.
    you might be able to do more reps than you prescribed to yourself, but you don't, because you want to avoid fatigue.

    now, if you're aware enough of yourself and your abilities, you can perform "working to a rep count" effectively.
    people might get the wrong idea ( and you see that they did ) of avoiding fatigue in any means possible, and then they don't push themselves hard enough.
  9. 9to5lifter

    9to5lifter New Member

    I think that "pushing yourself hard" has more to do with strength gains and not so much with hypertrophy. Anyway, as I see it, clustering is a means to achieve more TUL even when you work close to your maxes.

    I believe it's preferable to add more volume in the expense of avoiding failure all of the time. Let's say that a person chooses to do 2 sets during the current phase (going to failure). He gets 7 reps for the first set, and 6 for the second. In my opinion it would be better if he chose to work up to a rep count of say 15, by doing 3 sets of 5 even if he doesn't go to failure (or so close to failure). The first approach might be better for strength, but the second would be better for hypertrophy.

    Another example. Somebody can get 10 reps on a given exercise going to failure and he does 1 set only (HIT-type). Wouldn't he be better off (size-wise) if he just chose to do 3 sets of 5 (clearly staying far away from failure)? The first option favours the erk1/2 pathway, while the second one favours the p38 pathway, which is more important for hypertrophy.

    However, there is nothing wrong with working to failure during the last workouts of the cycle, as you will be SDing soon.

    All in all, if I had to choose between volume and "intensity", I would choose more volume. Thanks for listening, comments are welcome.
  10. the_dark_master

    the_dark_master New Member

    ...this wouldn't cause enough hypoxia stress to create the favorable metabolic input. Unless, you are using some sort of other factor, pulsing reps, peak holds, tourniquet (my favorite ).

  11. Yes, Katsuu

    Dood had a thread going on at my forum and so does Nwlifter.

    Dood's is called "please pass the Katsuu" :D

    Ron's is "Occlussion"

    Oops I forgot about Sub7's thread called "ACIT" or something like that.


    It appears I have some occlusion fans posting on my forum. [​IMG]
  12. M@x

    M@x New Member

    The Germans Cluster this style (You can tweak the routine if you want to... ) :
    They start at 60% of their 1rm.
    They train 4 times a week.
    10% Increment once a week
    Week 1 30
    Week 2 (the first two sessions) 36
    the 3rd ond 4th session 39
    week 3 (1st and 2t 42)
    week 3 (3rd and 4th 45)
    ...... until you reach 50reps
    They use loaded streches and Stripsets at the last sessions of the week (they start in the 3rd week)

    They start with 6sets of 5 reps and end at 50sets of one rep.

    I think you have got thie idea...
  13. 9to5lifter

    9to5lifter New Member


    Yes, I assume that other techniques are employed in order to get in enough metabolic work (high rep sets, pulses etc).
  14. faz

    faz Active Member

    yes like this

    With clustering, do I up my max to 240 or higher? I can probably get it on the 1st set but each set after that I'm sure I would not get 5 reps
  15. 9to5lifter

    9to5lifter New Member


    If there are no other issues such as injuries or hurt joints, go for it. If you can't do negatives, you can use clustering during your post-5's in order to further increase the load. Just be careful because it will be pretty heavy.

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