T Nation

For Those (Idiots) Who Don't Warm Up

I know there are those of you on here who don’t think they need to warm up at the gym. I have something for you to read. I don’t know if you think you’re too strong or cool to warm up…either way; I don’t care. Just read.

" I read a really good article earlier this week written by Chris Cooper titled Warming Up to PR�??s. One of my biggest pet peeves as a strength coach is when I see someone walk in, do their dynamic flexibility routine, and then walk over to the deadlift platform and load the bar up to the same weight they did the previous week without �??warming up.�?? One of the main points in the article I feel has a lot of relevance to people is the concept of interference, or, anything that limits your ability to recruit motor units.

As Cooper states, your body places a natural limiting feedback process on all muscles (controlled by the golgi tendon organ) that behaves like a speed limiter on an engine. Think of it this way. Imagine a car with an onboard computer that allows you to go faster if your brakes are well tuned or limits your top speed if your brakes are worn. The same concept applies to your body.

The key to warming up is to disinhibit your muscles ability to interfere with recruiting motor units. You can�??t just load the bar up with your PR weight right off the bat. You have to gradually work up so that you allow the golgi tendon organ to slowly turn back its injury or avoidance response. The body has to be �??teased�?? its way into it. Kind of like sex with your girlfriend. Unless it�??s drunk sex, then it�??s fair game."~Tony Gentilcore

Link to Article:
http://www.bostonherald.com/blogs/entertainment/step_up/

Think twice and read once.

Nice read, thanks for that.

I always think of ‘warming up’ as skipping or jogging to get your heart rate up before you start lifting, which I rarely do.

I think of what’s described there as ‘working up’ but i agree, its essential

Personally, I also find i have to work up much more thoroughly fo deadlifts than anything else. Maybe to do with the amount of muscle recruited?

Link within the article is fantastic too

http://www.elitefts.com/documents/warm_up_to_prs.htm

perfect timing for me too!

I can’t stand these guys who don’t warm up. Its funny to see a guy start benching (since people rarely squat or deadlift in a gym) with 135 lbs and maybe finish with 185 lbs.

Empty bar for warm ups has done well for me. Even if I squatted 800+, I’d still do my first set with the bar. Just seems wrong not to.

I usually just warm up 2 sets with the bar, slap two 45’s on and warm up another set and then gradually increase weight.

I don’t see how one actually CAN put their (near) PR weight on the bar on the first set. I’m usually strongest 4-5 sets into my workout…

Well my question would be…noobish I know.

When warming up, are you warming up for each body part/exercise? I might warm up a little for my first lifts, but I generally don’t for subsequent ones.

Whats the rule of thumb for this?

I never warm up for curling in the squat rack. For everything else, it’s warm-up sets, acclimation sets, then working sets.

I don’t think I’ve ever even seen one of your “idiots”. It’s just not natural to go right to heavy.

[quote]johnward82 wrote:
Well my question would be…noobish I know.

When warming up, are you warming up for each body part/exercise? I might warm up a little for my first lifts, but I generally don’t for subsequent ones.

Whats the rule of thumb for this?[/quote]

Just common sense really. You should warm up a muscle group, like starting light on decline presses for chest. But then it would be silly to go back to an empty bar if your next lift is flat bench. You chest is already prepared.

Thats what I figured. I warm up that muscle group, say get ready for my squats, and call myself prepared for the rest of my legs.

I usually do 3 or 4 warm up sets for my 1st exercise which is usually the big one for the day and then 1 set with a lighter weight before I move into work sets for the rest of my exercises.

That is a personal choice though.

[quote]Synthetickiller wrote:
I can’t stand these guys who don’t warm up. Its funny to see a guy start benching (since people rarely squat or deadlift in a gym) with 135 lbs and maybe finish with 185 lbs.

Empty bar for warm ups has done well for me. Even if I squatted 800+, I’d still do my first set with the bar. Just seems wrong not to.[/quote]

I warm up with 135lbs for my bench, squat, and deadlift. Even for benching, just the bar is worthless now for a warmup. I might as well not have anything i my hands and be punching the air. In fact, anyone who has been training for a decent length of time SHOULD have no problems warming up with 135lbs.

I spend 5 mins on the treadmill, then do some ‘small’ stretching (nothing major) and then some light sets.

For squats I warm up at 135x5, then 225x5 then go to whatever im doing.

Bench is arm circles, few pushups, 135x8 then whatever.

Deadlift bw form, 135x8 then whatever.

Starting Eric C’s Max Str program and it has a TON more stretching… going to be interesting doing all that before lifting but i’ll do it to see how it goes :slight_smile:

I start every workout with at least 5 minutes of warmup activity. This is usually some jumping jacks, squat thrusts, and a few minutes on the rowing machine. I don’t go max power on them, I just try to break a small sweat. For each of my core lifts, I usually rep out a few with just the bar, then a couple reps with 135. Deadlifts, I only warmup with a couple reps with 225 just to make sure nothing feels funny. I find that doing squats first really warms up my whole body.

I always start with the bar for benching and squats, and then go to 65kg.

I start deads at 65kg.

[quote]Tattoo85 wrote:
Synthetickiller wrote:
I can’t stand these guys who don’t warm up. Its funny to see a guy start benching (since people rarely squat or deadlift in a gym) with 135 lbs and maybe finish with 185 lbs.

Empty bar for warm ups has done well for me. Even if I squatted 800+, I’d still do my first set with the bar. Just seems wrong not to.

I warm up with 135lbs for my bench, squat, and deadlift. Even for benching, just the bar is worthless now for a warmup. I might as well not have anything i my hands and be punching the air. In fact, anyone who has been training for a decent length of time SHOULD have no problems warming up with 135lbs.[/quote]

There are plenty of people who do warmup without a bar in their hands just to get their joints moving. How long have you been training? How banged up are you? Most people who have been training for a decent length of time seem to like starting their warmups light in the hopes of preventing any further injury.

OP, I’m just curious, is this how you always give advice, calling people idiots and ending with “I dont care, just read”?

[quote]KBCThird wrote:

There are plenty of people who do warmup without a bar in their hands just to get their joints moving. How long have you been training? How banged up are you? Most people who have been training for a decent length of time seem to like starting their warmups light in the hopes of preventing any further injury.

[/quote]

agreed. after a couple of injuries (just strains, thank God), I always start (for BP) with some light rotator cuff work, stretching and then rep the bar a couple of sets before working up gradually.

squats and deads are the same: light work, stretch, gradual increase.

great article as well, btw.

I warm up! Woohoooo!

Magnificent Mobility and Maximum Strength both have incredible warmups.

[quote]Tattoo85 wrote:
Synthetickiller wrote:
I can’t stand these guys who don’t warm up. Its funny to see a guy start benching (since people rarely squat or deadlift in a gym) with 135 lbs and maybe finish with 185 lbs.

Empty bar for warm ups has done well for me. Even if I squatted 800+, I’d still do my first set with the bar. Just seems wrong not to.

I warm up with 135lbs for my bench, squat, and deadlift. Even for benching, just the bar is worthless now for a warmup. I might as well not have anything i my hands and be punching the air. In fact, anyone who has been training for a decent length of time SHOULD have no problems warming up with 135lbs.[/quote]

Anyone who has been lifting for a decent length of time SHOULD know better than to post some BS like that!