Warming Up To 2 Work Sets

Question

I’m using the 11 % solution you wrote about in The Blueprint Bulletin. How would you warm up ramp up the weight, before the 2 work sets?

Answer

This is a great question, but my answer is probably going to raise eyebrows and be controversial. Nevertheless, it’s what I do (and have done for around the past 10 years). Here goes…

Step by Step

I first perform some groin stretches. Pulled my groin once sprinting, not fun. After that, I perform 1 or two sets of leg swings.

To perform these, grab an upright support of some sort (a power rack works well) and swing your leg forward and up but also back, trying to increase the height of each as you build up the reps.

I only perform 1 or 2 sets of 10, doesn’t take much as you’ll feel it in your hamstrings, quads but also your hip flexors (notoriously tight in most males).

NOTE: I have in the past not stretched at all, but found after 40 they seemed to help.

The following warmups are based on my work sets of 400lbs for 2 sets of 5:

First warmup set: 370 for 1 rep
Second warmup set, 390 for 1
Third warmup set: 410 for 1
Fourth warmup set: 430 for 1
Final warmup set: 450 for 1

Now strip 50lbs off, rest for 10min and perform your work sets of 400 for 5 (which as you can imagine, feel a whole hell of a lot lighter than 450).

Rationale

First, I work from the premise any strength athlete may be called upon to use his max strength at moment’s notice.

For example: I was once asked in Jiu Jitsu to close the distance, put a guy in a ‘C fold” and take him down. A C fold is essentially grabbing a guy around his waist, picking him up off his feet, holding him there a split second then driving your head into his chest as you pull his waist in with your arms.

Well, this guy was close to 300lbs, biggest guy we have. Instructor says you probably can’t lift him so just do what you can.

“That was all it took. So I put him in the C fold, lifted him off his feet
A lot of eyebrows went up. The point is though, I didn’t get a warmup. If you need your strength to lift a car off your kids or defend your own life, you won’t be getting one either.

Third, I’m a big believer in conditioning the CNS to “see” higher and higher warmup weights. Which means while I warm up first with 370×1 today, in another 3 months or so I might bump it to 375. So I didn’t just start at 370. I began with warmups of 270 years ago, and when I felt I was ready, bumped the weight up.

Finally, if you warm up the way most people do you’re just shooting yourself in the foot.

I’m talking about a warmup that looks something like this: 135 for 10, 185 x 10, maybe 225 for 8, then 250 for 8, 275 for 5, 300 for 5, 335 for 3, 365 x 3, 390 x 1.

Congratulations, if you do the math that’s a whopping 10,365lbs.

IMO, that’s a great way to deplete your muscles of a drastic amount of chemical energy. The energy you now WON’T have at your disposal, when it comes time for your work sets.

Compare that if you will to my warmups, which add up to just a little over 2,000lbs. I wind up with 5x’s more chemical energy And oh BTW, when I get to my work sets, they feel light as a feather.

Bottom Line

You may opt for a less drastic version of what I’m suggesting, but in time you’ll find it. A final word on what everyone’s thinking: Injury potential. I’ve been doing this for over a decade on most big lifts. Never once an injury. Let me say that again: Not one injury (and that includes a full decade of doing it – north of 40).

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Coach Rob Regish

Coach Rob Regish

Rob Regish is an internationally recognized name in the field of health and fitness. He's been a weekly contributor to Superhumanradio.net for almost a decade, answering listener questions from around the world.

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