anybody have any suggestions on warmup sets(i.e. # of sets, reps, and weight per bodypaert)?
When my first exercise of a training session is a compound movement like bench press, squatts, deadlifts, military press etc., I like to do 5 warmup sets beginning with 1 set of 20 with an empty olympic bar. Each set, I increase 30-50 pounds and drop about 5 reps. The last 2 warmups then are with moderate weight, but with low reps, say 3-5. You don't want to burn out on warmups, but you do want to get the blood circulating to the joints involved and move up to moderately heavy poundages before jumping into the deep end. As a practical example, right now my heavy bench press set is 255 x 8 reps, here's how I typically warm up:
45 lbs (empty bar) x 20 reps
95 lbs x 15 reps
135 lbs x 10 reps
185 lbs x 5 reps
225 lbs x 3 reps
Some people also advocate I doing 1 additional set of your heaviest weight (255 lbs for me) x 1 rep, but after my 5th warmup set, I usually feel loose and feel good to go. I have done that 1 rep warmup in the past at times though.
Some guys might feel a little "wimpy" doing a warmup set with an empty bar, or with 95 lbs. I've been through 2 tendon ruptures now and frankly I don't care what anyone else thinks. Warm up well without burning yourself out is the best advice.
I do about the same except usually 4 warmups.. then also do stretching after I have warmed everything up...
stretching before workout is a bad idea
Why would it be a bad idea?
I was told the same thing about stretching before lifting being a bad thing in all my health, fitness and nutrition classes. I cant remember exactly why but I know that it was a main cause of injury in many atheletes. I think it was more related to cold muscle tears and over stressed joints from heavy stretching before your body was able to "warm up".
It kinda like why people dont just start sprinting right away or in our case, lifting heavy right away. Cold muscles and joints are much more likely to suffer damage then warmed up ones even though most people feel much stronger when there muscles are cooler or unstrained.
We were always taught to slowly work your way up to a significant weight that you like (warmup) and do all major stretching afterwards.
From a Physical therapy stand point. Stretching a cold muscle that hasn't been worked for at least 20 minutes, is the equivelant of racing a car engine that has been sitting in the cold all night and just barely started.
I don't do it until after I have warmed up.. ie 10 minutes on treadmill, the 4 warmup sets.. I don't ever do cold stretching
stretching causes seperation (and less overlap) of actin and myosin filaments. This means less cross-bridges can form and thus less force can be exerted.
I think that only refers to static (muscle relaxed) stretches thought correct? Stretching under load actually causes a more pronounced contraction of the muscle involved? I'm just guessing based on something I read a few years back.Originally Posted by canadian champ
i guess i over simplified my response.
my experiments have shown that there is an optimum stretching point for muscle force generated under a load. However, there is a a rapid decrease in force exerted beyond this maximum point... there is a more drastic dropoff in force than there is increase of force exerted up to that point. Therefore, because we are unable to tell when this maximal "stretch point" has been reached, it would be more beneficial to "under stretch" (ie. not stretch) than over stretch.
I vary the warm up sets I do. If I am using a lighter weight I will do less warm up sets. With the warm up sets I usually stick with about 5 reps for each set. IME I think allot of people burn them selves out before they get to their first work set. If I am going heavey I will do 5 or 6 warm up sets. If lighter prob. about 4
I usually dont do more than 3 warm ups prior to my 1st work set. Sometimes will only perform 2.
Warm ups are just that warm ups, your warm up sets should not tax or even begin to stress the muscle at all, if they do, they will most likely take away a bit from the work set(s) which is the same reason I believe in keeping the reps lower on most the warm up sets, I dont want to burn off any more energy than I have to prior to my work sets.
For warm ups I always use around 50-70% of my predicted lbs on the 1st work set.
Usually I like to do 8-10 reps first warm up set, then 6 reps on the second then 4-6 on the 3rd warm up, then load the bar up for my first work set.
It is somwhat of a modified Max-Ot style of warm up, by warming up this way, it does not even begin to fatigue the muscle at all but does warm me up enough, while using up as minimal energy as possible to save for the work sets.
This would be for the first BP of the day training, following exercises for the same BP I usually do 1 warm up, but it is usually done more or less to estimate strength and to get in the groove of the movement, but on some ex I just may go strait to the work set, depending on the movment, on different BP's on the same day, I again will most likely do only 1 warm up prior to the 1st work set, since I train synergistic BP's together (chest, tri...etc..) the second BP of the day is going to be already warmed up as it is going to get.
That makes sense. One of the reasons that I advocate aggressive stretching post workout is because it hastens recovery by causing deep relaxation of the muscles involved. Of course it also aids in "squeezing" (for lack of a better term) toxins out of the muscle to allow fresh blood to flow in and nourish the muscle.Originally Posted by canadian champ
PC1 has a great handle on warm-ups for heavy compound lifts. That is almost exactly how I would approach, or have a trainee approach that set. Doing descending reps with ascending weight and always taking a rep or three with close to the work-set does much to prime you neurologically and physically for the heavy set.
It is extremely important to gradually work up in weight, as the body will pump fluid between the joints and disks, causing a protective layer and cushioning the load.
A proper warm-up primes you to go heavy. Improperly warming up primes you for injury.
thanks for the info
Just wanted to add that on chest day I always incorporate rotator cuff excercises into my warm up (not enough to fatique the stabilizers, just warm them up). Doing this got rid of the slight RC pain I'd get from heavy bench press and dips.