Effect of different set configurations on the kinematic variables during a power snatch

Author Identifier

Tsuyoshi Nagatani


Date of Award


Document Type



Edith Cowan University

Degree Name

Master of Medical and Health Science by Research


School of Medical and Health Sciences

First Supervisor

G. Gregory Haff

Second Supervisor

Kristina Kendall

Third Supervisor

Ken Nosaka


When designing resistance training programs, several training factors can be modified to align the resistance training program strategies with the periodised training plan. One modifiable training factor is the set configuration, which can be globally represented as: a traditional (TRAD) set or a cluster (CLU) set. To date, the effect of using TRAD and CLU sets during the bench press and back squat has been extensively investigated. However, there is no known studies that have compared the mechanical response, barbell trajectories or internal load effects (e.g., metabolic, cardiovascular, and perceptual responses) of performing power snatches with TRAD and CLU sets. In addition, there is no known research that has examined the ascending cluster (A-CLU) set, where the training load is progressively increased for each repetition during the set. As such, the broad aims of this thesis were to determine the acute effects of TRAD, CLU, and A-CLU set configurations on power snatch performance.

Ten strength-power athletes were recruited for both study I and study II. In Study I, subjects completed 3 sets of 5 repetitions at an average load of 75% of 1RM with a TRAD, CLU, and A-CLU set configuration to (i) determine the effects of set configuration on peak velocity (PV), peak power (PP) and internal load; and (ii) determine whether a post-activation performance enhancement effect (PAPE) occurs in response to a A-CLU set training protocol. In study II, a series of sets performed with TRAD, CLU, and A-CLU set configurations was examined to determine how set configuration impacts the barbell trajectory during the power snatch.

The primary finding of this thesis was that there were no statistically significant differences in PV and PP responses between TRAD and CLU sets. However, subjects were able to better maintain PV, PP and barbell trajectories, while experiencing lower internal loads during CLU sets when compared to TRAD sets. Alternatively, although barbell trajectories were maintained, the subjects displayed significant decreases in PV, while experiencing higher internal loads during TRAD sets. In addition, the subjects displayed decreases in PV and a larger barbell loop when the first repetition of each set was compared to the fifth repetition during the A-CLU set protocol. Conversely, PP increased across each A-CLU set as a result of lifting heavier loads. Finally, our hypothesis that a PAPE effect would occur during an A-CLU set training protocol was not supported.

Taken collectively, when programming CLU sets it may be warranted to utilise higher training loads ( > 75% of 1RM) than those used in this thesis. Finally, based upon the data collected, A-CLU sets may be useful for acutely enhancing an athlete’s ability to maximise power output. However, coaches should be aware that using A-CLU sets likely results in alterations to the athlete’s lifting technique during the power snatch. As such the A-CLU should be reserved for more advanced weightlifters and athletes.


Author also known as Yoshi Nagatani

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