The warm up is underrated because it’s more than just General Physical Preparedness (GPP) which is your standard warmup including movements like spiderman, goalie stretch, and jumping jacks that will get you ready for a general workout.
Warmup sets as a whole are also highly underrated and people don’t use them to the fullest capacity and even don’t use them throughout the workout enough.
You want to take this important time to make decisions about your workouts and how you are feeling. Don’t just go through the motions, as it’s over 10% of your daily workout and is not a time to just tune out!
Think of a baseball pitcher coming in and throwing 100 mph. That never happens! They warmup to get the body ready and ramp up to that maximum performance when they hit the field.
It’s for reasons like this that we’ve changed the way we warmup over the years, and a lot of that was in part of the opportunity to provide everyone with their own individual spot in the workouts. This was key to executing our vision of an optimal warmup, because it provides you with the time and equipment to do warmup sets of the exercises in the warmup so that you can get more out of your workout.
- It also provides you with important practice on the movements (important for beginners)
- Lubricates the joints (important for older and/or stronger individuals)
- Reminds your body of the movement pattern
- It gives you the opportunity to see how you are feeling today for that exercise
- It gets your mind ready
- Increases performance (as going into a heavy weight right away is a shock to the body)
- And of course it gives you a RAMP up towards the weight you will be using in the workout because there is nothing wrong with doing multiple warmup sets before you get into a challenging weight for the prescribed reps and sets that day.
Here’s an example:
- Let’s say we have split squats in the workout for 4 rounds x 8 reps.
- You are thinking of doing this with 30lbs for the workout today based on previous workouts.
- In the warmup, we give you 20 secs per leg on this exercise, you grab a pair of 10’s and do 6 reps/leg.
- In round 1, you grab the 20lbs in each arm and do 8 reps.
- Then in round 2, you grab the 25lb dumbbells and do 8 reps.
- Now that you are feeling “warmed up”, you grab the 30lb dumbbells that you intended and do this for your 3rd and 4th round for 8 reps.
- Let’s say though on another day, after round 3, you felt great with the 30lb dumbbells and you did 8 reps easily, then in your 4th round you move to the 35lb dumbbells and do 7 reps.
You always want to be listening to your body. Training is listening to your body. Competition is ignoring your body.
Let’s say though on another day, your warmup gave you info, like your knees were sore, we’ll then, you can make an adjustment after the warmup sets and maybe take a step back and do the 25lb dumbbells for 8 reps or even 10-12 reps for your 2nd, 3rd, and 4th round. It’s ok to grab a lighter weight some days and do a few more reps. This will feel better on the joints and still leave you with a training effect for the day.
- Think of every set like that.
- Can you go heavier for the next set?
- Should you go lighter for the next set for a few extra reps?
- Every set you want to have this mentality (always listening to your body)
Committed to your success,
Josh Saunders, BS, CSCS
P.s. In true BEFIT fashion, how we RAMP up your warmup has multiple meanings – not just ramping up the weight during the workout! You can read more here.