While your workout likely includes several more movements set/reps than this, let’s say your main lift today is:
Three opportunities to make 5 solid lifts.
Those three sets go by pretty fast.
Were they your best effort?
Did you set yourself up for success?
Back in the day I would always say, “Ugh, the first set always feels like shit and never feels as good as subsequent sets.”
Then I took a step back and looked at the program and realized how much I was cheating myself, my efforts, and wasting time spent in the gym by not bringing out my best effort.
Because I blew off my warm up.
Lifting is awesome and so rewarding - I love it! But, in the past, warm ups had been seen as boring and just something I had to get through before actually doing what I wanted. It wasn’t that I didn’t DO the warm up. I totally did the warm up! I just didn’t put much, if any, thought into it. I went through the paces, jumped through the hoops.
“Did you warm up?”
“Yes, of course!”
Not so much in hindsight. Did that contribute to my injury?
Am I training smarter these days?
Don’t wait for injury to wise up.
Start. Right. Now.
Here’s my new outlook and explanation of warming up:
My time is precious. So is yours. I used to hurry through my warm up to get to the work out and have a shitty first (sometimes more) first set. But is that really efficient? Is that really making the most of your precious training time?
It’s inefficient. It’s not actually following the program. It’s not making those three set your best to get the most out of the programming and getting the most strength gains from that workout.
“Ugh.” is all I’ve got when I think back on ALL of those times I glossed over the warm ups. Now days here’s what’s going on before I lift:
Give yourself enough time and be on time: feeling rushed is a terrible way to start a workout.
Cardio: get that blood pumping and moving from head to toe. You’re going to need every single muscle cell to lift on that heavy day or bust out those reps on your hypertrophy set. Energize and oxygenate allllll the cells. You should finish a little short of breath and with a little sweat going on. Not huffing and puffing. Not drenched in sweat.
Dynamic stretching: hit the mats for swings, moving and stretching paying attention to kinks and ROM issues. Activate with Crossover Symmetry.
Focus: bring out that lacrosse or tennis ball, and foam roller for workout specific targeting.
I’ve read so many places that little warm up is needed before getting into your working sets but for THIS Master’s Division, post injury competitive athlete. I allot 20 minutes of FOCUSED, INTENTIONAL warm up.
Do you know what your body needs for a warmup?