T Nation

How Do You Warm-Up?


Curious to know how some of you warm up. I usually just do 3 sets of 5, 3, and 3 reps with 40, 50, and 60% of my max. Thinking about doing some foam rolling before i do that though


Depending on how the joints feel, I might do some of Defrancos agile 8. Once I work the kinks out (if I have to at all), I'll do rotator cuff/shoulder girdle warm up before bench and some back extensions and band ab/ad-duction before squat/dling. After that, I just go up starting with the bar in 50 lb increments till I get close to an ME set and do 5-20lb increments. My joints have thanked me immensely.


i do something along the lines of
1x5 @ 40%
1x5 @ 50%
1x3 @ 60%
Then my Work sets


Usually something like this:

  • 3-5 minutes of Stick or PVC/ball rolling (upper or lower depending on the day)
  • 5-7 minutes of mobility and dynamic flexibility work
  • 1-2 minutes of activation movements (e.g. jumping squats, pogo hops, explosive push-up and pull-ups)
  • movement warm-up sets, I don't go off % for these, its usually something like 12,8,5,4,3,1,1 (less for light top sets more for heavier)




usually if its a lower body da, just do some foam rolling then warm up with weight
1 plate each side 3x3
2 plates 1x3, 1x2
2 and a quarter or 3 for last single, then hit work sets


Always do bench/squat with 95lbs and DL for 135 on the first set so its not actually 30% but that number seemed close enough to make sense of what I actually do.

30% x 10
sometimes 35% x 8 if I feel like it will help
40 x 5
50 x 5 or 3
60 x 3
Whatever this weeks 5/3/1 numbers call for so usually 7 or so sets total


30% x10
50% x8
70% x6


PVC pipe and/or rumble roller

Cressey's warm up/mobility exercises out of his Maximum Strength book

Shoulder prehab on MP/bench days

The daily PVC pipe rolling has done wonders for my recovery.


I foam role and do lower body and shoulder mobility work to loosen every thing up. But you should definitely foam role. Makes a HUGE difference, just make sure your doing it right. Ive seen people just lay on the thing for 10 seconds and complain its not working. But when done right it helps your lifts soooo much


First time I foam rolled, I did my entire body and it was uncomfortable as hell. I also felt really weak and tired for a couple hours afterwards almost as if I were sick.


I think you just admitted that you need to do it more often. If you're doing it everyday consistently for several months then you can come back and complain.


you should start with the bar...only exception is deadlift where it's kind of a pain to bend down that far to pick up an empty bar lol.


I don't understand why you would put 100's of pounds on your body without taking the joints and muscles through the intended range of motion with minimal weight first. For upper body work I always start with the bar. So if I'm working up to 315x5 on the bench my sets would look like this:


Or for military:


For squats I will try to hit depth with the bar but usually go to 135 and work up in plates and quarters.

On deads I usually work up in bigger jumps, like:


Use your warm up sets to feel out the weight and make sure your body is ready for what your going to do, hence a large number of reps per set is not necessary. If you're using a large number of reps to literally get warm, why not either do a couple minutes of gentle cardio or wear a sweatshirt?


When i workout in the morning, I like to do a few calisthenics nowhere in sight of failure and usually i dont get a slight burn, just a good blood pumping feeling. When i workout in the afternoon or at night and i have been fairly active during the day, i skip those.

(after that) I usually dont stick with a 50%, 60%, etc. I like to keep the barbell with as few plates on as possible. for example a few weeks ago i squated 205lbs for 5x5(try not to laugh) i did 95sx5(two 25s each side) 135lbxx5(two 45s each side) 185x3(two 45s, 25s, each side) and then my worksets.

Although, i am definately not a veteran, I'm sure warmups varry alot between me and high level powerlifters.


I do similar. I take longer depending on how heavy I'm working up to. On 5RM and lower days, I take a good half an hour before I even touch the bar for my main movement.


Lower days: Back raises, decline situps, leg swings, DB swings (sometimes a hip flexor stretch before leg swings). Then start with the bar if squatting or 135/225 if deadlifting conv/sumo.

Upper days: swing a light dumbell around for a few minutes then some band shoulder traction (target pecs, lats, rear delts/upper back, sometimes tris), then mil press and muscle snatch with the bar. Start benching and mil pressing with just the bar. Recently started adding light cable flyes to address a pec issue.

Foam/LAX ball rolling, mobility work, and extra band traction is done in the morning.