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Warmup Sets

Should I be using warmup sets?

What weights should I be using (as a % of my 1RM)? Should I warm up by doing the exercise in question before I put on the real weight or should I do a warmup for each exercise at the beginning of my workout, i.e. if I’m doing bentover rows, bench press, military press, should the pattern be:

  1. bentover row warmup

  2. set 1 x 10

  3. +10# set 2 x 10

  4. +10# set 3 x 10

  5. bench press warmup


I warm up for each major muscle group that I’m training that day.

I do a full set (the same number of reps in my actual workout set) at about 50% of what I’m going to lift in the exercise. Then 1/2 a set at about 75%. Then a rep or two at 90%. Then start my sets.

Usually, my workouts overlap muscle groups enough so that I only do 2-3 specific warmups.

I don’t know if you consider this part a warmup like you’re asking, but I often do a few complexes with a relatively light weight on the barbell before I start my actual workout. It gets my heart pumping and sweat going a bit. Then I do the specific warmups.

There was an article about warming up a couple of weeks ago. It had a lot of information regarind loosening up specific muscle groups, lower back, …

Anyway, the warm-up sets they recommended went something like this (with wow being your workout weight)
6x 40% wow
6x 60% wow
5x 75% wow
4x 80% wow
3x 85% wow
2x 90% wow
1x 95% wow

and then a 5 minute rest before you get on with your actual work out.
The warmup sets should be carried out one immediately after the other, with only enough time to add the extra weight.

And here’s the link: http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=804576

[quote]Cluster wrote:
Should I be using warmup sets?[/quote]

I think alot of that has to do with your exercise experience. If you’re a raw beginner (let’s say, 12 months or less of consistent training), you’d probably benefit from a more thorough and specific warm-up. If you’ve got some experience under your belt, you can get away with a general warm-up, and then diving into the meat of the workout.

Lots of people have lots of different ideas, of course. I’ve heard anywhere from “1 warm-up set per 100 pounds of working weight” to “no warm-ups, they’re inefficient.”

I’d recommend a general warm-up, something to get your body feeling “ready” for exercise. Anywhere from 2-10 minutes of moving, playing, loosening up, calisthenics, whatever. As far as specific warm-ups, that depends alot on the sets and reps of the workout. If you’re doing 5x5, I’d only take 1 or 2 sets of 3-5, to get the motion down. If you’re doing 3x12, I might not take any warm-up.

Oh man, I totally missed that article. Thanks for the info. I was just diving into my exercises and didn’t feel like I was getting everything out of it.