Warm Up, Don't Beat Up
Are you struggling to improve your main lifts? One possible reason - which is something I see a lot of - is that you could be overcooking your warm up sets.
As an example, let’s say you're trying to improve your bench press – your goal is to lift 80kg for 8 reps but you can’t budge past 6. You begin by warming up with 40kg for 12 reps, then hit 50kg for 10 reps, go for 8 reps at 60kg and finally push out 6 reps at 70kg. Now it’s time to improve that max effort lift and guess what, you’ve already knocked out 36 reps using moderate weight and fatigue is setting in. See the problem?
Warm up sets should be used to get a feel for the movement, prepare your body for your max effort lift and to get your CNS (Central Nervous System) firing. You should never be struggling under these loads or working within close proximity of fatigue. Here’s how that warm up should look to allow for the best chance of success…
1st Warm Up – Bar Only x 10 reps (primarily for movement pattern)
2nd Warm Up – 40kg x 5 reps
3rd Warm Up – 60kg x 3 reps
4th Warm Up – 70kg x 1 rep
1st Working Set – 80kg x 8 reps
Muscles Warm [Y]
Blood Flowing [Y]
CNS Firing [Y]
If you think you may be guilty of getting a little over-enthusiastic in the build up to your workings sets, start warming up smarter and watch the PB’s begin to flow.