T Nation

Warm-up Sets for Assistance Count for Total Reps?


Currently doing Coffinworm template.
It says during leader 0-25 reps for the 3 assistance categories. Is the warm up counted towards this?

F.e bench day
Bench Coffinworm
Squat 5x5
Incline dumbell bench 3 x 6 - 8
Pendlay Row 5x5
Single leg press 3 x 6 - 8

After squat I should prolly warm up for the rows. Jumping to 5x5 110 kg seems a bit crazy. Do I need to count the 1 or 2 warm up sets?


I don’t think you would normally need warm up for assistance beyond the mobility, jumps/throws, and main lift. If you do a couple of light sets to get yourself ready for the assistance work, I personally wouldn’t count those towards the number in the category.

If you did a warm-up set or two on the rows will you still have time to complete your workout? If you did a warm-up set or two on the rows will your recovery still be fine?

If the answer to both questions is yes and you want to add a few warm-up sets on the rows, go for it.

Just remember that you need to be smart about how you program your assistance with any program, but certainly for Coffinworm. For me, personally, if I was running Coffinworm I wouldn’t be doing any assistance work that was so heavy I needed to warm-up to that weight, and I wouldn’t recommend that to anyone. I’m not saying it can’t be done; just be smart about your assistance and make sure you are able to recover fully.

I did warm up yesterday for the rows, I did go fairly heavy, guess about rpe 9 of the last set. I just went by feeling a little bit. Don’t have any Doms atm.

I am curious though as I have my deadlift main work today. The day after bent over rows. So maybe not the smartest programming, but hey I’m still a noob.

I follow the programs to the T now though. Just had those few little questions still. About the warm up. As I did warm up sets for the main work, in this case bench. And also for the supplemental, in this case squats. And just wondered if I needed it also for the pulling movement, as I didn’t do any pulling warm up sets prior.

The only thing bothering me from yesterday is a little ache on my right inner elbow. But that happens time to time, when I bench heavy… Wonder if I need to buy an elbow sleeve, and if that will help. Guess I will go very light today on the assistance.

I am coming from a program with bench focus 5 days a week, though. So maybe that explains the elbow probs. In that case wendler programs will fit me better, to let it rest a bit.

As someone that’s run Coffinworm as meet prep I would definitely recommend against doing any kind of assistance lift that needed a real warmup. Especially when you get to the anchor cycle(s). IMO Pendlay rows aren’t a good idea for this program. I used Kroc rows and I did them a little lighter than I usually do. I’d do one set with an 80# db for around 10 reps then do a set all out with 100#+ depending on how I was feeling.


Assistance exercises, with any program in general should be light enough that no warmup should be needed IMO. Especially if its done following a main lift and in the same session as your main lift.

Yeah man, when a program calls for 0-25 reps of assistance, that’s basically telling you to do little to none and definitely nothing hard. Most certainly not 5x5 on barbell rows.