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Warm Up and Poundage Loading

Hey Guys,

I guess it’s kinda rediculous for me to have gone this far without properly warming up. Since it occured to me in the gym that this WILL cause injury if not corrected, can anyone give me their protocol for warming up? Today when I did my first strength session ever (a bit different with only 4-6 reps) I (on bench press for instance) went from the bar, to some lat pulldowns (to warm up for chins) to some rotator cuff work, back to a little heavier bench (60 lbs. w/ dumbells), back to lat pulldowns, back to bench etc. in this fashion, until I ended w/ 90lbs for my last bench warm up. I then proceded to work with 150 lb. sets of 4 reps. Is this okay? Also, I had trouble “guessing” what was the load I should use for 4 reps, do I have to just kinda feel that out, or is it actually worth finding my 1 RM and doing percentages off of that? I guess that was addressed in GET BUFFED! with a “percieved” weight loading or whatever. Thanks.

I use something similar to Ian King’s warm-up suggestions: 10-15 min light cardio, 10-15 min stretching, and then several warm-up sets. For example on a 5RM squat: 10 reps body weight squats, 10 reps with bar, 6 reps at 60%, 3 reps at 80% of first work set. After I finish my squats, I’ll usually do 1 light set of my next exercise to get the feel of the movement down and then go straight to the heavy stuff.Also Chad Waterbury has a good article about overshooting and warm-up at his site (check one of his t-mag articles for a link).

I basically use the one by Ian King. I do 10 min light cardio, some stretching and then 2-3 warm-up sets in the 10, 6, 3 rep range (or something like that). No need to check your 1RM for that purpose - your guide should be the load of your first workset. Sometimes I repeat a warmup set if I ‘don’t feel right’ yet.
The most difficult thing I find is the 10 min. cardio in the beginning. I have to change this from time to time since, funny enough, my body adapts to the warm-up and makes it little effective. I wonder if other people have the same experience. And finally I’m not a big fan of warming up and cooling down. But it improves performance and recovery (between sets as well as from workout to workout) a lot.