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Warmup Set Counts in Overall Sets?


Just curious if people count the first set (warmup set) as part of their overall sets.

First set/warmup consisting of something around 50% of maximun weight. In other words, not anything super light.


Warm-up set(s) do work the muscle. They certainly affect your performance on working sets. You should keep track of your warm-up as much as your working sets. But I'm not entirely certain what you mean "does it count". Does it count for what?

Oh, and a good warm-up should be more than 1 set and start out lighter than 50%.


Oh totally, if I don't write down in my workout log that I warmup on bench with 135 for 15 reps, then it throws off my whole workout.

If I don't make sure to count it, my chest just won't Grow! When I do that warmup, but don't count it, my pecs just sit there thinking "man I thought we did 5 sets, but you only wrote down 4!? I'm just going to sit here stagnantly until you get your numbers right young man."

Everybody knows that muscles grow because of arbitrary numbers of sets and other mathematical formulas like volume and workload. If people just went into the gym and lifted based on how they felt, always trying to improve on their last performance, who knows what the fuck would happen?


Keeping track of how you warm up and it's effect on workout performance is a good idea ESPECIALLY if you are concerned with something like powerlifting or ME work. It's one of the bigger mistakes new powerlifters make, not knowing how to warm up for a max. Hell, CT now has entire workouts devoted to warming up the nervous system. Warming up is important. Period.

As your lifts progress, your warm ups should too. Warming up for a 405 bench is different that a 315 bench. As your weight changes, you should be adjusting the weights/sets/reps of your warmup too and the only way to actually figure out what works for you and how to progress is to keep a log INCLUDING your warm-up.

With the idea being to warm up muscle and joints, get the blood flowing, wake up the neverous system and movement pattern, all while not tiring the muscle.

Literally, one of the biggest improvements I've made recently is putting effort into figuring out how to warm up.

Now, if you are a BBer, or an ass like mr. popular here, just looking to activate the muscles and doing some 3 by 10 thing, it probably isn't as important.

It's about progression and getting all you can out of your workouts and you have to know what you have done in the past in order to progress.


i meant "count" towards the working set. let's say for bench, you bust out 4 sets, the first one is 135 lbs and the rest is 200-250 lbs range. do u not count that first lighter set?

If someone is doing 5/3/1 than obviously it's not going to count.

another example, when doing bb squats. doing plenty of warmups and activation exercises prior to the working sets can be beneficial to some. So let's say again, the first and only "warmup set" is 135 lbs and the rest is 200 to 250 lbs range, are we counting this first set to the working set?


IMHO it definitely counts as part of the workout. This becomes especially true when you get stronger and your warm-up weights get larger.


If you're doing something like a ramped 5x5, the warm-up sets don't count toward your five work sets. I do the same three warm-up sets before starting my 5x5. As far as progression goes, adding five pounds to any work set while keeping the others the same counts. So, for example:

week 1:
135x5- warm-ups
190x5 <--- first work set
250x5 <--- top set

Week 2:
195x5 <--- added five pounds to this set only

Even though I only added weight to one of the ramp sets, it still counts as progression because I did more work but still nailed the same top set.


Of course it "counts," because you're using your muscles to lift weight. However, most people don't measure progress by how many times they bench 135, if they're maxing out at 500 pounds. If you feel the need to have a rigorously structured warmup, or you're just an ass, you can write down every single set you do and obsess over it. Some people aren't capable of remembering the general warmup they follow and need this.


But a guy benching 500 is going to have warm ups in the 400s And YES those count. I never said rigorously structured and I never said obsess about it. I said it does count and it's important. The warm up can be the difference between hitting 500 and not.


If you bench 500, you're not going to warm up with 400. You would use 400 as a work set. You're gonna confuse people even more if you lump your ramped work sets in with warm-ups.

You are right, though, in that your warm-ups AND work sets largely determine whether you will hit your target or not. Not enough activation? FAIL. Too much fatigue? FAIL AGAIN. As always, you have to figure out what's [u]OPTIMAL FOR YOU[/u].


My 2nd exercise for back yesterday was lat pulldowns heres how it went

80lbs- 8
120 - 6
180- 3
220 - 8
250 - 8
270 - 8
200 - 6

I have no idea where to draw the line but that FELT right. There was no rest between the 80lbs and 220. So I guess all those sets were warmups.

This stuff does not need labels. Find a way to get your body ready to lift optimally and do that.

Next week I'll probably do the exact same thing except go for a few more reps somewhere towards the end.


Talking about advanced powerlifting is absolutely fucking pointless in this forum. No one asking a question here is benching 400lbs.

Give practical advice.


This is exactly my point. The labeling is kinda dumb. If you are going into the gym (or a comp) trying to hit a new 1RM everything leading up to the attempt is what I deem a warm up. My point is that the warm ups can have a large effect on your â??working set(s)â??.

And yes a guy benching 500 will probably hit something in the 400 range in order to warm up and get prepared for the 500 (not as part of his working set). I doubt that anyone would do 500 without a 400 first making the 400 not a working set. The point of the 400 is to get prepared for the max effort, not to actually do work. The working sets are the point of doing the exercise, the warm up sets are what you do to get ready for the working sets. 400 would be a warm up.

For example: My bench session from a couple nights ago.

345 3x3
335 2x3

My goal was 345 5x3 (had to drop it a little the last couple of sets). Everything before that was only done to get ready for the last 5 sets. Even the 315x2. Even if it sounds like a touch/heavy set, it was still just warm up because it was only done for injury prevention, and activation. I simply would not have done as well on the 345 without the 315. It really makes a big difference.


I've pointed out that it is increasingly important the more one advances. I, however, wish I had payed more attention to the way I warmed up earlier in my training. Maybe that makes me full of shit.

All I'm saying is that, yes, warm ups matter, yes, they should count in your workout routine and yes, you should put some effort into figuring out what works. I'm not sure how that isn't practical. All the rest of the stuff was brought up due to people contradicting the practical part of my advice.

You can tell me to stop debating, but the advice I offered was entirely practical.

And by the way, the self limiting training stuff you are discussing is pretty advanced BBing stuff and is pointless in this forum. And they may not be benching 400, but they may want to.


This is where the rub is. We're not in disagreement, we're just talking about different scenarios. Going for a new 1RM (or competing in a PL comp) is an entirely different animal from routine training. When you're doing 5x5 or something similar, you accumulate fatigue with each work set. When you're hitting a new 1RM, you're just using the ramp sets for activation. Another way to look at it is: adding five pounds to a 1RM activation set isn't going to make much difference, but adding the same amount to the same set in a 5x5 can make a huge difference.


I get what you are saying but I think you and bonez are discounting the goals of the average lifter/beginner. I think as many people probably have the goal of benching X or squatting Y as adding an inch to their arms, (probably more even). And there are moderate and beginner routines that incorporate a lot of those goals. WSFSB and such.

I even specifically pointed out earlier that it wasn't as important in your typical BBing routines. I swear only half of my posts are getting read.

But I think you guys are dead wrong when it comes to goals of novice lifters. A ton of guys in the gym have lifting goals (bench 225 or whatever) as much as other goals making the powerlifting style stuff perfectly valid.


I'll throw my vote in for not counting the warmup set. Since it's a warmup, the actual weight I use isn't important to me, and I'm also not trying to progress on them. I'm guessing like a lot of people, I take a rough percentage of my max and work up towards whatever my first working set will be. So they're important, yes, but as long as you have a method that works for you for warming up, I don't think there's any need to "count" them or even keep track of them.

It might actually even be more beneficial to not worry about what specific weight you're lifting for a warmup, and go more based on feel. For a real beginner it might be necessary to keep track of and plan warmup sets though, since beginners might not have as good a sense of what a reasonable weight for warming up should be.


I know what you mean, but it takes quite a bit of experience to know when it just feels right. I remember the confusion of being a stark beginner, which is why I tend to categorize things so much when it comes to giving newbs advice. The gray ares need some definition until they get a few years under the bar.


Where did I say anything like that?

You were debating specifics about properly warming up to 400lbs for a guy who is asking how to categorize the different sets he does. If that doesnt qualify as complete overkill I dont know what does.

Rigid structure for warming up doesnt teach self awareness. It teaches reliance on robotic and mechanical methods for training a body that is anything but that. Emphasizing 'training bye feel' is paramount for sustained progress.


But why?

Making mistakes is the best way to learn. Especially when the consequences are simply missing a lift and nothing more serious than that.

It doesnt take experience to know what feels right. It takes experience to know when to make changes. But you have to try many things to know when something DOESNT feel right.