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Purpose:

To analyze performance during the execution of a maximum number of repetitions (MNR) in a cluster-set configuration.

Method:

Nine judokas performed 2 sessions of parallel squats with a load corresponding to 4-repetition maximum (4RM) with a traditional-training (TT) and cluster-training (CT) set configuration. The TT consisted of 3 sets of repetitions leading to failure and 3 min of rest between sets. In the CT the MNR was performed with a rest interval between repetitions (45.44 ± 11.89 s). The work-to-rest ratio was similar for CT and TT.

Results:

MNR in CT was 45.5 ± 32 repetitions and was 9.33 ± 1.87 times the volume in TT. There was a tendency for the average mean propulsive velocity (MPV) to be higher in CT (0.39 ± 0.04 vs 0.36 ± 0.04 m/s for CT and TT, respectively, P = .054, standardized mean difference [d] = 0.57). The average MPV was higher in CT for a similar number of repetitions (0.44 ± 0.08 vs 0.36 ± 0.04 m/s for CT and TT, respectively, P = .006, d = 1.33). The number of repetitions in TT was correlated with absolute 4RM load (r = –.719, P = .031) but not in CT (r = –.273, P = .477).

Conclusions:

A cluster-set configuration allows for a higher number of repetitions and improved sustainability of mechanical performance. CT, unlike TT, was not affected by absolute load, suggesting an improvement of training volume with high absolute loads.

The authors are with the Dept of Physical Education and Sports, University of A Coruña, A Coruña, Spain. Address correspondence to eliseo@udc.es.

International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance