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Monday, July 1, 2013

How to Warm Up Properly Before Working Out

Before we workout, we always want to warm up, and I’ve talked to you a little bit about the importance of warming up, but I had a lot of guys followed up to that article and ask, well, how do you warm up? So we’re going to jump into that today. Before we do, go ahead and click the like button down below, it the article is helpful so I know to make more, and subscribe so they come directly to you. So you know the importance of warming up, and there are two warm ups that we want to do when going to the gym.

General Warm Ups

The first is just a general warm up, and the second is a specific workout. So we’re going to talk about the general workout first, and the general warm up is just to get our body temperature up. It’s to tell our body, hey, get ready man, we’re about to work out, some pain’s coming your way, and we’re going to prep for that so you’re not hurt. It’s sort of raising your temperature level, getting fluids running through your joints, so that you’re less likely to hurt yourself.

This is an area where I see a lot of people focus on the specific activity instead of the outcome. Taking this specific example, they say, what do I need to do? Do I need to run for 5 minutes? Do I need to run for 10 minutes?

No, you want the outcome, which is having you warmed up. That’s what we’re shooting for here, so it’s not the specific tactic; it’s where we end up at.

So, working backwards from there, what I’m going to say is that the goal of the general warm-up is for you to have a light sweat going. You don’t need to be drenched; you just need to have a light sweat going.

Getting a Light Sweat Going

So whatever it takes for you to get a light sweat going, that’s a good indicator that you are kind of warmed up where you can move on to lift and do your specific warm-ups. Here’s what I do for some of my general warm-ups. If I’m actually at the gym, I’ll run on the treadmill, for five to ten minutes, maybe 5.5. It really varies. I’ll run until I feel my body temperature up and have a light sweat going. That’s my body’s way of saying, "Hey, alright, I’m ready to bring it on, let’s do this!"

Specific Warm Ups

Once you’ve done your general warm-up, now it’s time to move on to the specific warm up. The specific warm up is where we don’t have to do it for every exercise, but you do it for the big compound lifts or squats, bench presses, those types of exercises.

The point of the specific warm up is to literally target the muscles that you’re about to work, and let them know that there’s some pain coming their way. The goal being to help prevent you from getting injured, so you can stay longer in the gym and work out and reach your goals.

What I do when I’m doing a specific warm up is, start with the bar first, because it’s a good warm up to focus on form; form is a skill, and skills are improved with practice. So you start with just the bar, no weight- that’s really more of a mental warm up more than anything. Then you can slap on some weight.

Now, how much weight do you put on? It’s really going to vary depending on what you’re lifting. I always start with light weight, and I’ll do two to three sets. Two to three sets, this is really some tactical stuff. The goal of the specific warm up is to get a pump going. We’re already warmed up, we’ve got a slight sweat going, now we want to get a pump going, to let the muscles know we’re going to lift. Generally, you can achieve that in two to three sets. As far as the reps, it can really vary depending on the weight you’ve put on. I try to focus on, again, form and going through the motion and getting blood to the muscles. I wouldn’t put on so much weight that it’s really draining from your strength, and you’re taking away from your fitness training. That’s a little too much. You don’t want it so light that you could throw the bar and catch it if you’re doing bench presses.

You want a happy medium, and it’s just about finding that. Those are the parameters and hopefully that should be enough for you to start and go to the gym and work on. Don’t go and expect that you’re going to have this perfectly the first day, that’s not the goal. The goal is to start, use those parameters and find a good workout set that works for you. Just start there, use those as your guidelines, and if it helps, you can report your notes in your workout log, because you should be using one of those to track your overall weight. Good luck in your fitness endeavors.


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