T Nation

Warm-up Sets

In your opionion, is there an optimal number of warmup sets that should be performed before working sets? I’m currently going on feel, but am trying to streamline my workouts to optimize efficiency and minimize any extra sets that may not be necessary.

The minimum to get your body prepared to hit the bigger weights. Some people need more warm up than others.

I don’t need many warm ups weights now a days.

Koing

What poundage do you use in relation to your work sets?

Sn 130, CJ 158

Dynamic stretches,
Sn bar work, OHS with the bar
60 muscle sn
60 PS
60 PS
60 full Sn
80 PS
80 full Sn
90
100
110
115
120
122.5/ 125 if I’m feeling frisky

CJ is even faster
Cj bar work
60 ; 2 jerks
90
110
120
130
140
150
155

Again this is all VERY INDIVIDUAL. You must prepare the body. If you need a few more singles or doubles YOU DO THAT. Don’t injure yourself by taking big jumps you can not take.

E.g. Salimi in the warm up went like this
70
120
170
190
LOL
crazy

Koing

Yeah that’s a confident jump 120kg -> 170kg.

[quote]NikH wrote:
Yeah that’s a confident jump 120kg -> 170kg.[/quote]

He does Sn 217kg and is a beast.

Koing

Thanks for the input, Koing! After doing cleans, is there really any need to work up to top weight in front squats? Would one or two “feel” sets be sufficient?

I always squat before I OLift.

FS I hit a heavy triple and try to increase. If you can’t increase like this I’d increase the FS by doing 3x3. Or BS 4x4. If you aren’t making gains I’d go higher volume for a bit, say 5x5 or 6x6. Try and push your working sets up by 2.5-5kg per week. Yes your OLifts will tank a bit but my training is designed to get your squats up first.

I always say if you can’t FS 230-240kg+ you will NEVER CJ 200kg. You need a good squat if you intend to lift big weights.

If you aren’t making gains in a 4 week period assess what you have done and change it. If you’ve been going heavy but with little volume and you have stalled out, I’d go and hammer up the volume for 2-3 weeks then revert back to going heavy.

Koing

I should note that I am a 33 year old beginner with regards to olympic lifting. Consistently good form is priority, which is why I’m doing the lifts when I’m fresh. Squatting is not the limiting factor, though my numbers did drop quite a bit when I switched from low to high-bar squatting. My best squat is 150 x 5, front squat is 130 for a triple. My best C%J is a mere 85kg, and my snatch is too embarrassing to mention.

130 for a triple means you should be able to make 90/95 110/120 numbers :slight_smile:

Koing

I’m working on it! Powerlifting and bodybuilding are ingrained in my nervous system, it’s taken me a while to learn how to move my feet while holding onto a bar, and you would have gotten a real kick out of watching me the first time I tried pulling myself under the bar! It was messy. As mentioned, my snatch is embarrassing, and I can actually muscle/power snatch more… with red lights across the board!

[quote]BLUE wrote:
I’m working on it! Powerlifting and bodybuilding are ingrained in my nervous system, it’s taken me a while to learn how to move my feet while holding onto a bar, and you would have gotten a real kick out of watching me the first time I tried pulling myself under the bar! It was messy. As mentioned, my snatch is embarrassing, and I can actually muscle/power snatch more… with red lights across the board! [/quote]

I did 35 45 at my first comp after 2 weeks coaching. I think I had to PS as I was failing to full Sn LOL.

Don’t muscle sn or power snatch the bar EVER. Only do the full lifts. Fastest way to learn to lift properly.

But seriously, DO NOT IGNORE YOUR SQUATS. Squat at the end of your technical OLifts.
Koing

Good advice! I’ve been debating on following a modified bulgarian-ish program, doing both lifts plus squats or front squats every workout, with some chins or rows at the end. Will probably only work up to a heavy max once per week, though, and that day will depend on how the lighter sets go. Squats are at maintenance weights, as I am still having to put a lot of effort into keeping my torso upright. Front squats are good, so I will be pushing the weight a bit more on these.

Heavy max once a week makes sense for most people. You need to get more working sets and doubles in your training as a beginner.

Push the squats but not at the expense of horrific form. Keep your form good. If your form is falling to bits it’s too heavy.

How about one day a week do one lift each and then another do both lifts? Just see how you feel. Some days you feel much better than others.

Koing

I’m handling a high training frequency very well, and since I’m often using light weights to work on form I have no problem doing a session with both lifts almost every day. As the weights increase, I’ll likely split the workouts up and add in some pulls, but for now I’m going to concentrate on the full lifts and front&back squats. The schedule I’ve put together has me doing front squats twice per week, 1 heavy and 1 light, and one squat session with more moderate weights (this will eventually become a heavy session, as I am adding weight every week, as form allows).

How long have you been olympic lifting? Are you self taught/coached? If it’s still early days I’d recommend doing relatively high volume with light to moderate weights to focus on form/technique and consistency. Pulling at this stage will probably be more beneficial and you can reduce later, depending. By high volume I mean 3-5 reps and 4-8 working sets.

Try overhead squats, shoulder width grip in warm up and cool down to aid trunk positioning/stability/mobility - empty bar should suffice, squat down as far as possible staying upright, bar directly overhead, feet flat and hold the bottom position for several seconds for 10 reps; you will probably be able to get very slightly deeper each rep and perhaps try a slight bounce around on a few too, sounds silly but it helps prepare the joints etc and a lot of elite lifters do this type of thing if you catch any warm up room/training hall vids.

If you stick with Bulgarian/daily max effort their routine was basically as you said, front squat, snatch, clean and jerk most sessions, training twice a day, 6 days a week, occasionally doing powers, only pulling when injured and often working between 90-100%+ doing multiple sets with daily max, short recoveries and some degree of wave loading. For the rest of us pulls are probably advisable for loading/volume and you need to be very attuned to what your daily max really is eg 1 day could be a PB/PR the next may be 80%.

Would be great to see a video no matter what the technique is like, we all started somewhere! In answer to your original question there’s some good Russian material translated by Andrew “Bud” Charniga Jr, on the dynamic-eleiko site, re warm up etc, I think it suggested circa 7 sets in competition, but as Koing says it’s all about finding what works for you, in every aspect. Very best of luck!

Thanks for the response! To tell you the truth, my head is spinning a bit from all of my research on lifting styles and programming, which is another reason for me just to stick with a basic meat and potatoes routine. At least until my technique catches up with my strength. As soon as I can rub a few extra dollars together, I plan on setting up a couple of training sessions in Toronto at the Kanama training centre. 1.5-2 hour drive to a city I don’t like, but there don’t seem to be any other decent coaching options close to where I am.

I want to hit a 100 kilo C&J by August. As for the snatch, I forsee a lot more work without much, if any, weight increase for at least a few more months.

You’re welcome. Sounds like a good plan. it is easy to get information overload/paralysis by analysis :slight_smile:

Btw following on from Koing, with your leg strength you’ll easily lift a lot more very soon with better technique!

[quote]Charlietr wrote:
You’re welcome. Sounds like a good plan. it is easy to get information overload/paralysis by analysis :)[/quote]

Totally agree.

Do not read too much in to the indepth analysis of things. You should focus on learning to lift correctly, to move the bar properly, get the fundamentals down. Do not read too much in to programming, research etc. It will seriously bog you down.

I’ve seen way too many people online read way too much in to the SMALLEST THINGS that literally DOES NOT MATTER when you can’t even sinclair 250 points!

Side note a guy I’ve been working with a bit has done 60 105kg after 6 weeks training in a comp. Cn 110 with about 12hrs training. Tall 6’1 guy, 92kg, lean, FS 130 x3, 19yrs old, super keen, solid young talent. He had a pre existing shoulder issue so hasn’t Sn at at all, only up until last Tuesday!

Koing