Tag Archives: warm up

The 90min Warm Up

Always be ready, you never know when you may have to jump to action.
 
How often are you told to make sure you thoroughly warm up before a training session?
 
Since the earliest days of lifting we have had it engrained that we need to fire up the body, or as it can be know now – RAMP.
 
Raise the Pulse
Activate the desired muscles
Mobilise the required joints
Potentiate the nervous system
 
One common practice these days is that you find people spend 30min or more warming up sometimes, which is just excessive really.
 
If you are an individual who is of immense strength then perhaps 30min is what you need, however from the majority of people 10min would be more than sufficient, most can do just fine on 5.
 
In some cases you may find you can literally step up to what ever it is you’re about to lift and just lift it with no warm up, which from experience is around 70% of your comfortable max, honestly.
 
A great many people have become enamoured with trigger point work, foam rolling, excessive dynamic stretching and other things before they even grab the bar and start lifting.
 
While a warm up is always advisable in some form, if you plan on squatting then warm up with squats and simply warm up in to your working sets, if you feel some strange stiffness else where then in-between squat sets do some gentle stretching/dynamic work (10-20 seconds).
 
The obsession with a comprehensive warm up is getting a bit mad now.
 
There is an old saying – “You play how you practice.”
 
Seeing training as practice is a good mindset to have because it means that you will always be ready to lift something of a decent weight without any real effort.
 
Think about it logical for a second, in the days of manual labour being common for a career, how many of them did a warm up before they started a days graft?
 
None, that’s my guess.
 
If they have do lift beams of 70kg, then they had to lift beams of 70kg, there was no option of smaller ones as a warm up, if there were smaller beams they’d leave those until last and get the heavier more taxing ones out of the way first.
 
The next time you go to train try and keep keep your warm up to 10min or under and aim to maximise your time by being as productive as possible.
 
Here is an example of a sub 5min general warm up:
 
– 20m of crawling and 3-5 chin/pull ups
– Turkish Get Up 3 each arm (increase weight each get up)
– 3-5 single deadlifts or squats increasing weigh each time
 
Alternatively, try 5min of kettlebell snatches with a light to medium bell, trust me you’ll be ready for anything after that.
 
Simple.
 
If you have a day of pressing then simply add in some single presses to the mix and boom, your ready to go.
 
Enjoy,
Ross
Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health

Warning…. Incoming R-A-M-P

This is considered by some to be the most optimal way of getting ready for you chosen activity.
 
You might have heard of this term in it’s non acronym form.
 
-Raise
-Activate
-Mobilise
-Potentiate
 
Today we shall break down what each of these elements means and how you can apply the to your workouts for better lifting and more gains.
 
Okay, Raise.
 
Might seem obvious, it’s getting your pulse up and your blood flowing. It can be from a movement pattern or some other means, dealers choice.
 
Activate, a buzzword or late however it does not mean what people think it means.
 
What it doesn’t mean is doing umpteen isolation or banded exercises to fire each individual muscle, it means performing the movements you will be doing in your workout. First with perhaps bodyweight, then added resistance which is increased as you do more warm up sets.
 
Mobilise, this falls in with the movements you’re going to be doing and can also have crossover from your mobility pattern you did at the start to help get your blood flowing and raise your pulse.
 
Lastly we have Potential which is directly linked with the adding of resistance to your movements in your warm up sets which causes increased muscle fibre/motor unit recruitment, this will help you lift heaver weights.
 
Your warm up might look like this.
 
Mobility routine to raise pulse and mobilise.
 
Warm Up sets on lift to activate/potential muscle.
 
Squats:
 
– Warm Up Set 1 – Bar x10 – feels fine
– Warm Up Set 2 – 40kg x5 – left hip feeling stiff – foam roll 20 sec
-Warm Up Set 3 – 60kg x5 – feels fine
– Warm Up Set 4 – 80kg x3 – left glute doesn’t feel like it’s firing – band around ankle for 15-25x abduction on left leg
– Warm Up Set 5 – 100kg x3 – feels fine
– Warm Up Set 6 – 120kg x1 – feel fine
– Warm Up Set 7 – 140kg x1 – feels fine – last warm up set
– Working Sets 5x5x125kg
– Working Set 1/5 – felt fine
 
And so on.
 
Give it a go and you’ll find your workouts are more productive and also far more time efficient. After all, it’s better to spend 10-15min doing this and being able to get in to your working sets than it is to follow a 30min instgram activation routine before even stepping foot near a bar.
 
If you would like a nice technical read then please take a look at this link:
 
 
Enjoy,
Ross

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health

Wicked Warm Ups

2 Ways to warm up for optimal performance.
 
You are all well educated people, I am sure you have a good warm up in place, however is it the most optimal one for getting the most out of each session?
 
Today you will learn two methods that will allow you to get everything you can out of each weight lifting session. One is a started and the other is on going, enjoy.
 
*Start off with a typical 5min mobility/pulse raiser.
 
1 – The Over Warm-Up Method 
 
Simple, effective and it also helps you improve your movement patters.
 
Here is how it looks, based on working sets of say 100kgx6
 
Set 1 – Bar x5-10 (to dust off the cobwebs)
Set 2 – 40kg x5
Set 3 – 60kg x2-3
Set 4 – 80kg x2-3
Set 5 – 90kg x2
Set 6 – 100kg x2
Set 7 – 110kg x2
Set 8 – 120kg x1
Set 9 – 125kg x1
 
You can go higher if required, but typically you will use 8-10 sets to warm up starting off with a couple of 5’s to get the juices flowing, then 2-3’s for movement pattern grooving and finally singles for neurological facilitation so that your working weight feel like a feather, for the first few sets anyway.
 
The neurological activation lasts for around 5-10min directly after the last warm up set and then will continue to have a positive effect in the subsequent sets so you have plenty of benefit. You might even be able to get more reps than you have planned with this method because of the extra neural activation you get warming up this way.
 
 
2 – Neural Charge
 
As with the first method this plays to activate your nervous system so that you will be firing the most amount of muscle fibres possible right from the get go, rather than the standard way of making your body recruit more over time through mechanical fatigue – which there is nothing wrong with, however why not get everything going asap, eh? 🙂
 
Due to its unique explosive loading methods in pre-activation movements before the main lifts, Neural Charge Training impacts all levels of neuromuscular function, such as neurotransmitter uptake, excitation-contraction coupling, and motor-unit recruitment. This happens due to the fact you are using a POWER based exercise first, for example: Box Jump before Squatting or Bound Jumps before Deadlifts.
 
When you perform an explosive power based movement you force the body to recruit the deeper type two muscle fibres, then you rest 3-5min tops (you won’t lose the NC effect, as explained above with the over warm up method, it lasts around 5-10min tops). When you get under the bar you will find the focus on generating as much speed as possible in the concentric portion of the lift is greatly accentuated.
 
 
The increased MU Recruitment will allow more weight to be lifted, just be very carful not to use too much volume. You will do this before each lift, you will do well to limit sets/reps to 3-5 for each. A workout may look like this:
 
*Neural Charge – NC. RM – Repetition Max
 
NC – Overhead Vertical Med Ball Press – Aim for max heigh each throw 3-5 reps – rest 3-5min.
A1 – Overhead Press 3-5×3-5xRequired RM loading – Rest 3min
 
Or
 
NC – Squat Jump 30% 1RM, quarter or full squat, land in athletic position (quarter squat for visual reference) – rest 3-5min
A1 – Squat 3-5×3-5xRequired RM loading – Rest 3min
 
^^ It is worth limiting the amount of exercises per workout with this method to 1-3 as it will become very demanding on the nervous system. Remember this is a performance technique, not a fatigue one.
 
Try each and see what works best for you.
 
Be warned, you may break through plateaus with these methods. They are not to be sued if you enjoy being in the comfort zone.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health

Warm Up That Works Wonders

How do you currently warm up?

I was warming up for squats today and noticed some lads doing the same for bench (it is international chest day after all).

The warm up they did was not terrible by any means, it contained stretching, some dynamic work and some reps with the bar/60kg, however the form was loose and the tempo was inconsistent, by the time they got to their working sets the form had changed yet again. I had a brief chat and offered some tips to help tighten said form but the words became lost on the winds.

If you take a look at any videos of high level lifters you will find their warm up sets look almost identical to their working sets. They lift the light weights like they’re heavy and this crosses over to them lifting heavy weights like they are light.

Personally I try not to waste any reps and use every one as a chance to groove solid form and get feedback on how my body is feeling, do you do the same?

There are lots of way to warm up which become more or less relevant depending on your goal, however to help groove your form try warming up with the lift you want to work for that day. Doing around 8 sets of 2-3 reps (perhaps one set of 10 with the bar to dust off the cobwebs) of your desired exercise, you add weight to take it close to or even over your working sets for the day, this will set you up for a good session, both physically and neurologically.

It might look like this:

SQ – Bar x10, 60kg x5, 80kg x5, 100kg x3, 120kg x2, 140kg x2, 155kg x1, 165kg x1, 170kg x1, 5x5x150kg

Here is a nice little article with some good references if you want to look in to this further:

http://main.poliquingroup.com/…/Warm-Up_Tips_To_Get_Stronge…

Moral of the story; your warm ups should be the same as your working sets.

Enjoy,
Ross

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health

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
Unknown

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health

Warm Up? Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That!

Warming up is something or a rarity in commercial gyms, from what I have seen anyway. A lot of people who amble in to the gym almost always follow one of these 2 protocols:

1 – Walk in, load weight to just short of their ‘working weight’ and being.
2 – Spend 10 min on a CV machine (usually the treadmill) then proceed to the bench press.

There will be people who are likely to jump in the mix and stretch before a workout (I am all for mobility before lifting, but i’m personally not a fan of stretching unless it’s specifically required for your activities), this however also isn’t optimal in most cases. Very few people warm up with the move that they are going to be performing, hence why they don’t get the full benefit from a workout.

I would like know your warm up routine. My routine is simple, I will warm up with the movement I am going to be doing for the main lift of that session, Personally I find this helps me find my ‘groove, for example, if it’s squats I would usually do the following:

BW x 10-12
Bar x 10-12
60kg x5
100kg x4
120kg x3
140kg x2
160kg x1

(This would be if I was typically working at 140-150kg for reps)

or

BW x 10-12
Bar x 10-12
60kg x5
80kg x5
100kg x3
120kg x3
140kg x2
160kg x1
170kg x1
180kg x1

(This normally is what I follow if I’m doing a singles routine or going for a PB, but I personally feel nice and prepared for a heavy lifts after a warm up like this.)

How do you warm up?

Warm ups are just that; WARM UPS.

The should be used to make sure you’re getting all the necessary muscle fibres firing, the joints mobilised and your confidence/mindset in place for a good day of lifting. There is nothing worse than a lack lustre warm up, there is no point in jumping straight to a heavy weight because you will end up using the first few sets to get in to your groove and waste precious time/gains.

When you next go in to the gym try to make your warm up not only relevant to your session, but also beneficial.

Enjoy
Ross

1 Comment

Filed under Fitness