T Nation

Low Rep Warm-up Sets

I have something to admit. For most of the time I’ve been training, I suspect I’ve been doing ‘warm up’ sets too heavy & too intense, thus hindering the amount of iron I end up being able to throw around. Let me explain…

Previously, if i was to do DB curls, I would have done 8-10 reps on 12.5kg db’s, had a bit of a rest (no more than a minute), then go straight onto the 15kg db’s, for 8-12.

The Sunday just gone, I attempted (and acheived) a squat 1RM. I put together a warm up plan, that involved small reps in lighter weights, triples, doubles & singles…and I smashed what I thought would be my 1RM.

So this week i’ve been doing that type of warm up for general training, lighter, low rep sets, before I move onto the…i know some of ya’s don’t like this expression ‘working set’. And what d’ya know, I’m a lot fcuking stronger than what I thought! My 4 staples (BP, SQ, DL & MP) are about to go up in weight by a country mile!!!

I can’t believe how much time i’ve wasted! Well, it’s not really wasted…juz miss used!

kool?

im proud of you buddy! (but maybe not the right forum or way to post this?)

I wasn’t sure where to post it, haha…mods, feel free to relocate the thread!

I’m goin to give a BP 1RM a go tomorrow!!!

I think a lot of people make this same mistake. The warmups should be just enough to prepare you for your heavier sets, but not so much that they detract from them.

Congrats on figuring that out.

Well, the 1st step is admitting you have a problem.

Very cathartic isn’t it?

[quote]Polish Rifle wrote:

Very cathartic isn’t it?[/quote]

i’d agree with you, if i knew what u meant lol

[quote]TheOlympian wrote:

i’d agree with you, if i knew what u meant lol[/quote]

As an adjective, cathartic means psychotherapeutic or emotionally beneficial; viewing art or listening to music may be cathartic experiences.

[quote]Polish Rifle wrote:
TheOlympian wrote:

i’d agree with you, if i knew what u meant lol

As an adjective, cathartic means psychotherapeutic or emotionally beneficial; viewing art or listening to music may be cathartic experiences.[/quote]

then i am forced into a very round corner where I have to agree with you! haha…good one mate!

The same thing applies for general warmups as well. 5 min general warmup is more than enough

Besides, if you want to do dynamic stretching, it can be done in between sets of exercises versus just doing it all before your first big exercise of the day.

[quote]gainera2582 wrote:
The same thing applies for general warmups as well. 5 min general warmup is more than enough

Besides, if you want to do dynamic stretching, it can be done in between sets of exercises versus just doing it all before your first big exercise of the day.

[/quote]

Not to hijack, but avoid your dynamic stretching before and during lifting, it will reduce the amount of maximum force you can produce while training. Better to stretch after or on another day.

actually, that’s a good point Sahwn. Frank Zane (my fav, all time bodybuilder) promotes stretching between reps. He gives a scientific reason behind it. i’ve forgotten it, it has something to do with keeping the muscle warm & ready. What dya think?

[quote]shawnhavoc wrote:
gainera2582 wrote:
The same thing applies for general warmups as well. 5 min general warmup is more than enough

Besides, if you want to do dynamic stretching, it can be done in between sets of exercises versus just doing it all before your first big exercise of the day.

Not to hijack, but avoid your dynamic stretching before and during lifting, it will reduce the amount of maximum force you can produce while training. Better to stretch after or on another day.[/quote]

Presumably you mean to avoid static stretching?

[quote]TheOlympian wrote:
actually, that’s a good point Sahwn. Frank Zane (my fav, all time bodybuilder) promotes stretching between reps. He gives a scientific reason behind it. i’ve forgotten it, it has something to do with keeping the muscle warm & ready. What dya think?[/quote]

Look up Doggcrapp and extreme stretching. The idea (I think) is that it stretches out the muscles further promoting more growth and holding the stretch to the point of burning pain gets a shit ton of blood into the area which helps recovery.

We are trying to stretch the fascia with the stretch… there are other benefits involved(igf-1 levels, hyperplasia maybe, etc) but that’s the goal.

No wonder you look glum in your avatar. Good luck!

[quote]Scott M wrote:
We are trying to stretch the fascia with the stretch… there are other benefits involved(igf-1 levels, hyperplasia maybe, etc) but that’s the goal. [/quote]

Yup, what he said!!

for me , when squatting , warming up is also a function of getting into a good groove . I like bare bar for sets of 8 to 12 , then 95 for about 8 reps for a couple more sets…enough to get a good back-pump going . this seems to get the squat motion feeling right . then on to 135 and beyond

I hadn’t actually taken stretching into consideration. Thanks for that guys. I shall now endevour to do low rep sets, with stretching in between.

This new found strength, has given me such a new hunger for iron that I haven’t had for quite a while!!! There are machines that I can move the whole stack…mind you, there’s plenty of plates & DB’s that kept starin at me, darin’ me to move them!!!

I would stretch after your sets, the type of stretching we are talking about is very painful and will zap your strength if you continue to work the same movement/bodypart. It’s like another exercise in itself.