Increase Your Strength, Performance and Safety With Warm Up Sets

Its very important that you don’t jump straight into your working sets before performing some warm up sets first. 

These warm up sets will prepare the muscles, joints, mind and central nervous system for heavy lifting. A proper warm up will decrease the risk of injury, maximise central nervous system stimulation and muscle fibre recruitment, without fatiguing your muscles.  

The warm up should involve a series of increasingly heavy sets which bring you quite close to the working weight you intend to lift. As the weight increases your reps will decrease to avoid excessive fatigue. Below is an example warm-up protocol you can use:

Set 1. Perform a light set of 10 repetitions, normally performed with just the bar or light dumbbells.

Rest 45-60 seconds

Set 2. Another set of 10 performed with around 50% of the actual working weight.

Rest 60 seconds

Set 3. Perform 5 repetitions with around 70-75% of the actual working weight.

Rest 60 seconds

Set 4. Perform 3 repetitions with around 80-85% of the actual working weight.

Rest 60 seconds

Set 5. Perform 1 repetition with around 90-95% of the actual working weight.

Rest 2-3 minutes, you are now ready to perform your actual working sets.

The warm up gives the central nervous system time to acclimatize itself to nearly the maximum weight you will be lifting, this will increase your strength for your actual working sets. That’s why spending the time to warm up properly is definitely worth the time. Here’s another effective warm-up you can use if your short on time:

  Set 1. Perform 6 repetitions with around 50% of the actual working weight

Rest 60 seconds

Set 2. perform 3 repetitions with 70-75% of the actual working weight.

Rest 60 seconds

Set 3. Perform 1 repetition with around 90% of the actual working weight.

Rest 2-3 minutes, you are now ready to perform your actual working sets

Here’s how your warm up sets would look like if you were using a working weight of 100kg:

Set 1. 50kg X 6 repetitions

Set 2. 75kg X 3 repetitions

Set 2. 90kg X 1 repetition

You do not need to perform these warm up sets for every exercise you perform. One warm up sequence at the beginning of your workout for a muscle group is plenty. If you warm up your chest with a bench press you wouldn’t necessarily need to warm up your triceps or shoulders. Definitely perform some warm up sets for squats and deadlifts. 

Thanks for reading guys I hope this short article has helped, now go lift some mammoth weight! 

 

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