LISTEN: Table Talk Podcast Clip — Jim Wendler's Garage Gym Warm-up

TAGS: table talk clip, garage gym, warm up, Jim Wendler

COACH columnist

After decades as a beat-up old powerlifter, what do you do for a warm-up?

Vincent Dizenzo, Jim Wendler, and Matt Rhodes, the retired meathead super-trio gather, and listeners in a similar state of wear-and-tear want to know: How do you warm-up, boys?

To put it simply, you don’t warm up that much.

All three of them have tried every warm-up under the sun, with dozens of different moves cycled in and out., They’ve cut it down to the least amount of movements possible the longer they’ve been in the game.

Jim Wendler has now transitioned to doing some form of resistance training every day and he does yoga every morning. Now that he is not beating the hell out of his body with powerlifting training, he doesn’t need much of a warm-up. With fatigue properly managed and a holistic training method prioritizing conditioning and mobility on top of maximal strength, an extensive warm-up does more harm than good.

He has cycled through a few warm-ups but here’s an example of one he still uses very often: Grab a kettlebell, do ten goblet squats, five bottoms-up presses, then five snatches. Repeat for five to ten rounds. The focus here is warming up the entire body in a short amount of time, with little equipment or movement around a home gym with a limited footprint.

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Matt Rhodes has a simple warm-up using one tool. He lays down on his back with one end of a band looped around his foot and the other in his hands. He stretches his hamstrings with a straight leg position, lets his leg fall away from his body to stretch his groin and adductors, then across his body to stretch his glutes. Then he shifts that leg to a figure-4 position to stretch the glutes in another angle. That’s the whole warm-up (once repeated with the other leg). If he remembers, he does some duck unders underneath the hurdles to help warm-up his hips, but it’s not mandatory. He is done in three to four minutes.

Vincent Dizenzo does 15 back raises on his very beloved professional-line back extension. This is the only thing that he has kept consistent in his warm-up and he has to keep it in. Here’s the rest of his warm-up: Forward and backward bear crawls (30-40 feet), side to side crawls, 15 push-ups, and 15 squats. It’s not too complicated and requires very little equipment. His warm-ups used to grow more and more complicated and he’d become frustrated with an inability to do it all. Now with the less he does, the better he feels. Even as someone with a long history in strength sports, he still fell victim to information overload and paralysis by analysis. His advice is to ignore social media entirely when creating your warm-up and training program.

“Compliance is the science”.

Your training program, your diet, or your warm-up are the ones that you can successfully follow consistently, and see results from. If you can’t stay consistent, it doesn’t matter how theoretically perfect your plan may be.

Text By Mason Nowak

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