Want to increase your training volume but don’t have heaps of time to bang out set after set in the gym. Here's how to up volume without spending hours in the gym.
Try cluster sets.
With cluster sets, instead of performing your reps continuously, you briefly rest between groups of reps. For example, instead of doing 10 reps and rest for two minutes and then do another 10 reps, you do five reps, rest 30 seconds and then another five reps.
A 2015 study actually compared cluster sets with traditional sets for squats. The subjects’ performance was measured in terms of power, time under tension, as well as blood levels of lactate, testosterone, growth hormone and cortisol. The results showed that cluster sets produced greater power and more reps overall, resulting in a greater total volume load. Cluster sets also put less metabolic stress on subjects than traditional 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. [Epub ahead of print]