How do I warm up? Get it right and SFW!
First off this week;
Thank you to all of the EliteFTS readers.
The front office released the Top 20 list for 2016 and it contained four of my Coaching Logs.
That’s a huge honor to me.
My goal for you in 2017 is to consistently piss excellence and deliver content that you WANT to read and content that helps you or those you coach.
With that goal in mind, here I am about to start my stream.
One of the most frequent questions I get is possibly the most misunderstood aspect of training:
How do I warm up?
It never fails to amaze me that people get this wrong so many times.
- They do too much
They do too little
They do the wrong things
They focus on minutia
They turn it into a whole ‘nuther training session
Let’s go over this a little; the reasons you warm up all boil down to one thing:
- to have a productive training session.
A productive training session is one where you:
are able to move properly quickly
lift your intended weights perfectly
set yourself up for success after the session (you don’t get injured)
allow the training effect (strength/hypertrophy/speed etc.) to occur
A lack of a proper warm up can lead to injury over time.
You read that right.
Failure to properly warm up will lead to injury over time.
Look at a lot of us older lifters. How many of are all banged up?
Some of it is from the mileage we put on our bodies and some of that mileage was caused by shitty warmups.
Back in the day, you went in the gym and tossed a few 45’s on the bar and that was your warmup.
If you were smart you did a few shoulder circles with 5 pound plates before you benched.
I’m not kidding. This was done all over. It was the norm.
Don’t’ believe me?
Ask Stevie P.
Now, we know better.
So, I ask again, How do I warm up?
Let’s break your warmup down into three phases.
Yes, these are not the terms we usually hear. I like to think about movement first in my warmup and for those I coach.
Your movement warmup can be done many different ways but it should include something to get your heart rate up a little and make the tissue warmer so it responds
to the demands we will place on it.
The easiest way for many people with a wide range of goal is to do some type of dynamic warm up.
The Parisi Dynamic Warmup DVD is a great resource if you don’t know how to do one.
You can also do something easy if you are not in the mood or need more attention.
Again, this is just to get your core temp up a little and make the tissue more responsive.
This is also based on climate. If you live in a hot climate and you walked or rode your bike to the gym, you can skip this.
If you train in a cold climate or at TPS where I keep the heat LOW and it’s a little cold, you should do something. It doesn’t need to take long.
The next phase of the Movement section is to address mobility.
Mobility is day to day, as my head coach Kevin Cann always says. This means that you may need different movement prep today versus tomorrow.
EG: You squatted Monday and your hips and lower back are tight on Wednesday. You better address that before you hit the bench.
Your movement issues may also be chronic, like me.
Some of you will have issues that require a lot of work on a regular basis, such as:
I suggest doing a self assessment daily before you train. You can do a formal one like we have clients do or you can just go by feel. If you’ve been training for any real amount of time, you know where you are tight.
Acumobility balls and the Eclipse roller are probably the best mobility tools I have ever seen.
Pick three or four movements (they are on the Acumobilty site for free) that will address your needs today and have at it.
This should take about 5-10 minutes at the most for the majority of lifters.
If you are a complete train wreck like me, maybe this IS your warmup.
Personally, I have skipped everything else for the past few months except for the specific drills Dr. Cox has advised me to do for my issues and I am pissing sweat and excellence after using the Acumobility balls and roller.
I don’t need anything else at this point.
On to Phase 2: Nervous
I love having clients do things to get their nervous system primed to fire FAST.
For younger lifters and youth athletes, the Dynamic Warmup from Paris or your own variant of it will do for the most part.
But: if you are a looking for more, add in something dynamic to make you go fast.
Think about your session and do things specific to it for the day.
- Medicine ball slams
Phase 3: Specifics
This is where we see a lot of weight gets left on the bar.
Don’t sabotage yourself here.
The specific warmup is what you do for your main exercise, such as the squat.
This is where you pyramid up in weight to get to your work sets.
This is not the time to accrue volume.
This is the time to prep your body to fire in the correct order and to handle the workload to come.
Remember: how you get to your working weights depends on how much you lift.
A 700 pound squatter needs more warmups than a 135 squatter.
Let’s look at both.
A 700 pound squatter will look something like this:
- Bar x 5
135 x 5
225 x 3
315 x 1
405 x 1
455-495 x 1
495-545 x 1
545-585 x 1
585-635 x 1
Plates and quarters.
I love them.
Stop doing sets of 5-10 on your warmups!
You are not looking to accrue volume. You are getting ready for work.
Save the volume for the Assistance/Accessory work.
Here is a 135 squatters’ warmup:
- Bar x 5
75 x 3
95 x 1
115 x 1
Not plates and quarters, but they’ll get there.
This is by no means the definitive guide to warming up. Rather, food for thought.
The next time you ask yourself How do I warm up, think of this log and run back to the internet and read it.
In case you missed the four article I had in the Top 20 for 2016, here they are:
Find me on Google-search for Total Performance Sports Malden, Mass. The Best Gym in Boston, Facebook too.
Oh, yeah, follow us on Instagram too. TPSMalden
Vincere vel mori