Warm Up?

Morning Guys,
 
Do you warm up properly?
 
Yes, No, Maybe… You don’t know?
 
Depending on the exercise you pick and your training goal a warm up can last anywhere from 10min to perhaps half an hour. Yep, 30min of warming up is not uncommon among stronger lifters for movements such as the squat, however typically 10-15 min is usually enough to get to where yourself ready.
 
When it comes to lifting weights the most optimal way to warm up if with some gentle soft tissue release, appropriate mobility and then moving on to the exercise itself where you will perform multiple sets of moderate to low reps while steadily increasing the weight to facilitate muscular activation.
 
A squat warm up might look like this:
 
(All % are based off of 1RM)
 
1 – Standard Warm Up to Working Weight.
 
BW x 12-15 – potentially 10 standard and 3-5 light jumping squats for more activation.
40% x 8 – Be sure to keep the same tempo through every warm up set.
60% x6
70% x4
75% x2
77.5% x1
 
Working sets are 5×5 s at 80%
 
This could be a standard warm up for most people, for more experienced athletes more sets may be needed that could potentially go over their working weight for the day to facilitate more muscle fiber recruitment.
 
2 – Potentiation Warm Up
 
BW x 12-15 – potentially 10 standard and 3-5 light jumping squats for more activation.
40% x 5 – Be sure to keep the same tempo through every warm up set.
60% x5
70% x3
80% x2x2
85% x2x2
90% x1
 
Then on to working sets of 5×5 at 80% 1RM. By warming up to a weight over the desired working weight you will not only physically feel better as you’ve made your body recruit more fibers, you will also feel stronger psychologically as the 80% will no feel respectively light.
 
3 – Ramping
 
One of my personal favorites for a warm up is a a simple and steady Ramp to a top set which is follower by 2-5 further working sets at that weight (you can do more if you choose). The premise of a Ramping set is to change the angle to a mechanically stronger position when you hit failure, however as mentioned above you can stay with the weight you stuck on for X-reps and just do some straight sets until you start losing form, speed or reps.
 
BW x 5 – What ever rep number you’re going for you keep those reps the same in every set.
40% x5
50% x5
60% x5
70%x5
80% x5x3-5 sets
 
*You could go up in 5% jumps, the choice is yours.
 
4 – Activation Warm Up
 
Another great way of warming up is to combine one of those methods with some simple plyo or stability movements when warming up, either before or after the main movement. E.G Squats+Jump Squat, Bench Press + Clap Push Up, Shoulder Press + Overhead Med Ball Throw, you get the idea.
 
Squat 40%x5 + 3 Squat Jumps – BW
 
Or you can do it he other way around –
 
3 Squat Jumps – BW + squat 40% x5
 
The options are varied and each has their own merits. Personally I would recommend Starting off with a Ramping style warm up as it will leave very little room for error, a 5-10% increase is usually sufficient each set until you hit your working weights. A quick 5min foam rolling and mobility before hand plus 10min of this and you’ll be feeling great with confidence to smash some Rep PB’s.
 
Enjoy,
Ross
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