The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effects of different configurations of repetitions within a set of deadlifts on the mechanical variables of concentric force, concentric time under tension, impulse, work, power, and fatigue. Eleven resistance trained men (age: 21.9 ± 1.0 years; deadlift 1 repetition maximum: 183.2 ± 38.3 kg) performed four repetitions of the deadlift exercise with a load equivalent to 90% of 1 repetition maximum under three different set configurations: Traditional (continuous repetitions); Doubles cluster (repetitions 1 and 2, and 3 and 4 performed continuously with a 30 s rest inserted between repetitions 2 and 3); Singles cluster (30 s rest provided between repetitions). The order of the sessions was counterbalanced across the subjects and the mechanical variables were calculated during each repetition from the synchronized signals recorded from force platforms and a motion analysis system. Relative to the Traditional set, the insertion of rest periods in the cluster set configurations resulted in greater time under tension (p < 0.001) and therefore, greater impulse (p < 0.001) during the repetitions. Reductions in power were observed during the cluster sets compared to the Traditional set (p = 0.001). The Doubles cluster set resulted in greater fatigue scores for power compared to the Traditional set (p = 0.04). The influence of cluster sets on mechanical variables appears to be mediated by the mechanical characteristics of the exercise (i.e. stretch-shortening cycle) and the competing physiological mechanisms of fatigue and potentiation.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.