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More Warm-Ups for 3x3-5?

Currently, I approach my strength training (as in heavy, low rep work) in a 3x3-6 style preceded by an “activation” exercise and a moderately loaded warm-up set.

Using my deadlift as an example, I will start with a frog glute bridge followed by a few reps with 80-90 kg (~180-200 lbs; a comfortable weight), stopping before fatigue starts to set in. Then I’ll take a short rest (active or not) and move on to my working sets using 110 kg (~242 lbs), with which I can currently do 3 sets of 3-5 reps (depending on the energy on a given day).

However, as my lifts increase, I’m getting worried that my current approach might with time cause me to move too abruptly to the goal weight, increasing my risk of injury.
Therefore, I’m getting curious about the approach of building up to the working sets with sub-maximal loads for a few reps each, staying clear of fatigue.

The thing is that when I’ve experimented with this approach, I do feel as if my body moves smoother and my body feels better. Yet, I usually do 1-2 reps less than with my usual approach, and at times, I feel too fatigued (despite plenty of rest) to do more than one set with my goal weight.

So I would like to hear your experiences with the build-up approach and get some help in planning such a build-up, my main question being “how many sets with sub-maximal and goal weight should I do?”.

I warm up with 1 plate and i just increase by half a plate(10kg/22lbs) doing 5 reps.
If i want to do some AMRAP test, or max, i will do a few 5s at the start and move to 3s and then last few sets before the main set, i will do just 1s, to save all the energy.

If you cant warm up with lots of sets and do your working sets, then those are NOT your working sets and you are just lifting too heavy or your conditioning is shit.
It would take 9 sets of 5 rep warmups to get up to 5 plate deadlift. The first ones can be done back to back. Then with some 1 min rest, then 2, and the last few can be done with longer rest. Anyways, a deadlift with all its warmups can take 40mins… 60mins if your working weight is above 5 plates.

So if your deadlift is 110kg, start with 5x60kg… 5x70kg…3x80kg…3x90kg…1x100 and then you can amrap your 110kg or do whatever you are doing. 10% increases on warmups is a standard, imo.

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At a Strongman competition, a warm up is a luxury. I discussed this with a fellow lifter at the gym and he keeps warm ups at a.minimum as prep.

In your example, it might look like bodyweight Squats/RDLs for 10-20, followed by some jumps then 70kg for 5, then some more bodyweight stuff, then a single at 110kg before going into your work sets.

I’ve been doing this for a few months, I like it. I don’t think you need a crazy warm up to avoid injury.

Concur. My warm-up for a competition is 3-5 reps with the first implement of the day, unloaded…and that’s it for the rest of the comp

I think warming up is means to an end. If it’s working why change it. If one warm up lets you do more reps, and one makes it feel better either choose which is more important OR find a way to get both.
Maybe keep the extra sets but only do 1 or 2 reps which a few people have suggested.

As an FYI - I’m so haphazard with my warm ups it is crazy.
Example dead lifts. Some times I’ll start light and then add a plate each side. But then if there is a weight on bar I can pull - I’ll just start there. I’ve started a warm up at 75% of my max before. I just pull it for a few singles. And then a few triples. And then I’m warm. Right?

My last warm up sets are at 60 to 70 percent for no more than about 6 reps .
Not had a lot of success with going up and down the weights to get more volume in.

There isn’t a lot of room between 200 (your warm up) and 240 (your work sets). There just aren’t that many sub-maximal sets available. If you hit 210, 220 or 230 you have basically just done an extra work set.

In a few months when you’re pulling 445 for your work you may need a few reps with 225/315/365/405 to get up there.

Also, if you do a warm up and it fatigues you, you can keep doing until it doesn’t fatigue you to build conditioning, mass and work capacity.

Then when your contest is coming up you drop that stuff out to make your training less volumous, heavier and more specific.