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Wendy Shafranski


July 4, 2024

The Warm-up

My articles typically come about by what I observe in the gym. And people not warming up properly is, unfortunately, a regular occurrence. I’ve done an article in the past about the importance of warming up, but it bears repeating.

Sometimes the offenders are obvious - they stand or walk around during the mobility portion. Some come in late and cut the warm-up short. Others say they warmed up at home or just came from a run. This is not the same as the mobility work we program - that gets you ready for the movements that we are about to perform. And, the more mobile you are the better you will move, feel, perform and be able to protect yourself from injury.

Beyond the mobility work, more warm-up is needed for both strength training and aerobic training and the type of warm-up is different.

For strength training, you must take warm-up sets. During these warm-up sets, treat the movement like a skill and pass through range of motion with perfect technique. A good baseline number is three warm-up sets. The heavier you go, the more sets needed. Very important: you must take moderate, incremental increases in weight. If you slap too much weight on the bar and your body isn't ready for it, you are at an increase chance of injury.

For aerobic workouts, we typically program two sets of the machines/movements to be used in the workout. In this portion, the goal is not only to fine-tune technique, it’s to get your heart rate up. All too often, we see people on a Sunday stroll, moving at a slow pace or even worse, “saving it” for the workout. This only results in your heart rate spiking DURING the workout which negatively affects your performance.

Our goal is to make our members independent so if they aren’t at our gym they know how to warm-up properly.  

The message is this: warm-up with intention. Feel the end ranges of the mobility work. Take plenty of warm-up sets for strength training, using that time to work on the skill of the lift. Get your heart rate up during an aerobic warm-up to avoid bonking during the workout.

If professional athletes need an effective warm-up, then we all definitely do! You will not only perform better, but your body will thank you.

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