How to Approach Warm Up Sets

Ok, So I’m officially in week 1 of my program. I started out getting used to my exercises and finding my weight for work sets, but I feel like I don’t have the right approach to my warm up sets. I was wondering if I could get some help and pointers. I don’t know if I should be doing more reps with less weight, more weight with less reps or somewhere in between for warm up sets. Or does it depend on the exercise?

For example, my program has two warm up sets and two work set. First work set is 6-8 reps and second is 10-12 reps. For bench I currently am doing 155 and 135 for the two work sets. What would be reasonable for the two warm up sets before that? For reference, today I did 10 reps at 95 and 115 for my warm up sets.

Another example I have is that I am doing slight decline overhead dumbbell tricep extensions. My weights are 25 and 20 for the two work sets respectively. What would reasonable warm up sets be? For reference, I did 10 reps with 10lb for both warm up sets.

***In any of the work sets, if I get the max reps (i.e., 8 or 12) with that weight, then I move up in weight next workout.

What you’re doing is fine if you have plenty left in the tank to hit the working sets. Don’t overthink it.

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@ChickenLittle Right on.

Should I increase my reps/weight on my warm up sets to the point I can handle and still make my work sets or just leave it as is and really focus on the work sets?

An ancillary question: to what extent do warm up sets help build muscle? At all?

Leave it as is and concentrate on the work sets.
They aren’t about building muscle but about injury prevention. You build more muscle by not getting injured and staying consistent with your training.

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Warm up sets should be extremely easy to perform. IMO, they don’t need to be high reps. I have done warm up sets of 2 to 4 reps.

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@ChickenLittle @RT_Nomad Thanks! This is helpful and reassuring. I felt lost in the weeds there for a little bit wondering what these were for. I had never done warm up sets before, but this clarifies it for me.


Ill second chickenlittle…staying healthy for long periods of time is EVERYTHING. Now that im old and training around injuries i realise just how true this is.

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