Warming Up Is Warming Up, Right?

Warming up is something that most people do not do. They just go straight into heavy lifting. This can be very dangerous. Jumping straight into heavy lifting without warming up could lead to serious injury.
Warming up is something that most people do not do. They just go straight into heavy lifting. This can be very dangerous. Jumping straight into heavy lifting without warming up could lead to serious injury. So you say, "OK, OK, I'll do one light set before I start lifting heavy." That still is not warming up properly. The point of warming up is to get blood and oxygen into your muscles and to get your body ready for heavier weights. I am going to outline the proper way to warm-up. In my example I will use the bench press.
  • 50 X 12 (Warm-up)
  • 50 X 10 (Warm-up)
  • 100 X 6 (Warm-up)
  • 150 X 3 (Weight Accumulation)
  • 180 X 1 (Weight Accumulation) Then the muscle building sets are done
  • 210 X 4-6 (Muscle Building Set)
  • 210 X 4-6 (Muscle Building Set)
The weights used here are an example. You will have to adjust them according to how much you lift. The first three sets' reps should be done quickly. Up, Down, Up, Down, etc. No pausing. The fourth and fifth sets should be done a little slower. The weight accumulation set is just to get your body ready for the upcoming heavy sets. Warming up properly will allow you to lift more.

Now let's say you are moving to the incline bench press. Is it really necessary to warm up again? No. The chest is already warmed up. If you do chest and shoulders on the same day, your shoulders should be warmed up after you are done with your chest routine. I usually start with the front military press. I follow the same rep scheme as outlined above, with different weights, for my shoulders. This goes for every body part. You always want to be warmed up to avoid injury.

An important thing to remember is a warm-up set should never be taken to failure (not being able to do any more reps). If you warm up set is taken to failure, you are wasting energy and fatiguing your muscles. Doing this will hinder your strength and performance during your muscle building sets.

You should never do a set just to do it or a set that does not fit your purpose. Each set should have a reason. Either a warm-up set, a weight accumulation set, or a muscle building set. For example:

    Squats
  • 50 X 12
  • 50 X 10
  • 100 X 6
  • 150 X 3
  • 190 X 1

    That completed the warm-up. Now you go into the muscle building sets.

  • 230 X 4-6
  • 100 X 10 (WRONG!)
  • 230 X 4-6
I have seen people do this so many times. They do so they can "feel the burn." They are burning all right, burning their energy. This unnecessary set not only used needed energy, but also hindered muscle growth. It took away from the pump and overload the heavy set before it created. This should be avoided.

In conclusion, remember to warm-up. Do not warm-up to failure. You do not need to warm-up the same muscle group twice. Avoid unnecessary sets.