Effects of cluster training sets on muscle power and force–velocity relationship in postmenopausal women

  • Marcelo A. S. Carneiro
  • Gersiel N. de Oliveira Júnior
  • Jairo F. R. de Sousa
  • Samarita B. Santagnello
  • Markus V. C. Souza
  • Fábio Lera OrsattiEmail author
Original Article



The purpose of this study was to investigate whether the higher load resistance training with a cluster training sets (CS) design maximizes muscle power and strength gains when compared to higher load resistance training with a traditional sets (TS) design in postmenopausal women (PW).


Each leg of 16 PW was randomly allocated into two groups: TS (n = 16 legs) and CS (n = 16 legs). Both groups performed three sets of four repetitions at 90% one repetition maximum (1RM), 3 s per muscle action, with a 1.5-min rest interval between sets, twice-weekly, for 8 weeks. Only CS group performed 30 s interrepetition rest periods.


Both groups similarly increased (P < 0.05) thigh muscle mass, muscle strength (1RM), and maximal muscle power. However, whereas the CS increased (P < 0.05) peak power at 40% and theoretical maximal velocity (V0), the TS increase theoretical maximal force (F0). The TS reduced slope of the force–velocity relationship when compared to the CS.


Although both CS and TS design are similarly effective at improving muscle mass and strength and Pmax, TS and CS induce different changes in the force–velocity profile (Sfv) in PW. Thus, our findings suggest that TS may be a preferential RT design if the focus of training is a force–velocity profile more “force-oriented”, whereas CS may be a preferential RT design if the focus of training is a force–velocity profile more “velocity-oriented”.


Interrepetition rest Hypertrophy Muscle strength Older women 



This study was supported in part by the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior-Brasil (CAPES, Code 001) and Fundação de Amparo e Pesquisa de Minas Gerais (FAPEMIG).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

Ethical approval

The study was given by the University Review Board for the Use of Human Subjects (no. 2.654.326, approved by the local Ethics Committee) and was written in accordance with the standards set by the Declaration of Helsinki.

Informed consent

Written informed consent was obtained from all individual women included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia S.r.l., part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Exercise Biology Research Group (BioEx)Federal University of Triangulo Mineiro (UFTM)UberabaBrazil
  2. 2.Department of Sport Sciences, Health Science InstituteFederal University of Triangulo Mineiro (UFTM)UberabaBrazil
  3. 3.Post Graduate Program in Physical Education, Exercise Biology Research Laboratory (BioEx)Federal University of Triangulo Mineiro (UFTM)UberabaBrazil

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