The impact of accommodating resistance as part of a cluster set to enhance acute lower body power

Rights statement
Awarding institution
  • University of Strathclyde
Date of award
  • 2024
Thesis identifier
  • T16937
Person Identifier (Local)
  • 202182209
Qualification Level
Qualification Name
Department, School or Faculty
  • Accommodating resistance, which involves the use of single link steel chains, has diverse applications in sports for altering biomechanical characteristics and enhancing peak power output in established training methods. Furthermore, the use of cluster set training has become popular in strength and conditioning, with scientific research showing conflicting results on its effectiveness. This study aims to assess the impact of accommodating resistance methods during a cluster set to enhance lower body power and to examine its effects on forces during squat movements. It also seeks to explore optimal barbell loads and the benefits of incorporating the cluster technique into resistance training. Twelve participants with resistance training experience underwent two sessions: one involving a 1-repetition maximum (1RM) back squat with chain familiarisation, and another with repeated submaximal back squats using accommodating resistance. During the second session, participants performed three repetitions at 60% 1RM with varying percentages of chain resistance (20%, 25%, and 30%) on portable force plates (PFPs). Output characteristics from each chain mass attempt were compared to traditional movements, revealing that traditional movements generally produced greater output benefits than accommodating resistance (p < 0.05), with the 25% accommodating resistance showing the most favourable results. Acute lower body power improvements were most noticeable during the traditional back squat movement with the use of cluster sets (p < 0.05), although accommodating resistance demonstrated advantages in peak acceleration (m/s²). It can be argued that this slight decrease across various output measures isn't substantial enough to significantly affect performance, especially considering the biomechanical benefits of accommodating resistance. This suggests that in practical S&C sessions, if accommodating resistance is preferred over traditional methods, the accommodating chain mass should be set at 25%. This study contributes to understanding the optimal prescription of movement intensity in accommodating resistance training and the necessary equipment for effective data collection and athlete monitoring. It also uncovers concepts that enhance future research understanding, such as the benefits of incorporating chains to diversify exercises and prevent performance plateaus. Additional insight was gained into the practice of lightening the eccentric phase by utilising chains, which helps alleviate delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and promotes faster recovery, thereby allowing for more frequent high-intensity training sessions. Furthermore, cluster set training promotes proper movement patterns, reduces injury risk, and enhances athletic performance by maximising effort during concentric movements, activating type II muscle fibers. Additionally, incorporating the cluster technique enhances data collection efficiency, promotes proper movement patterns, and reduces injury risk, offering valuable insights for future strength and conditioning practices.
Advisor / supervisor
  • Sykes, Dave
  • Childs, Craig
Resource Type