Warming Up Properly
I dedicate this for BradG. It might help that third set of yours. I got this info from Max-OT and even though I don't still do Max-OT, I still do these warmup techniques.-
How NOT to warm-up
Let's use the Bench Press as an example here. For sake of description we'll say that 275 is the maximum for 3 reps. Here is how most people do a bench workout.
They load the bar with 135 pounds and do about 10 or 15 reps. They'll rest a few minutes and then go to 185 pounds. Here they do another 10 reps. Then they go to 205 pounds and do about 10 reps. After a little rest, they go to 225 pounds and do 7 or 8 reps depending on how good they feel.
So far that is 4 sets. Now throw on 20 pounds to 245 and do about 7 reps. That's set number 6 and they haven't even started to build muscle yet. From here they take the 10's off and put on some 25's. At 275 pounds the barely knock out 3 reps.
Can you point out the mistakes here? They warmed up. No question about that, but they did so at the expense of strength and overload. In other words, their technique for warming up resulted in poor or inadequate muscle fiber stimulation and overload due to premature muscle fatigue.
Here we are going to take the Bench Press and show you a proper warm-up technique that will allow you to lift more weight on your heavy sets. Remember, more weight - more overload - more muscle.
Again well use 275 as your heavy weight. If you typically warm-up and train like I pointed out earlier the 275 will feel a lot lighter this time.
First Set: 135 x 12 reps (warm-up)
These should be good smooth reps. Not too slow and not to fast. Your main goal is to increase blood flow and get the feel of the movement and the weight. After this first set you should rest about 2 minutes.
Second Set: 135 x 10 reps (warm-up)
Same weight as before. Rhythm should be a little faster this time. Not much faster. Rest about 2 minutes.
Third Set: 185 x 6 reps (warm-up)
This should be a deliberate set done at a moderate pace. This is the next step in weight acclimation. It should feel light and 4 reps should be very easy. Rest about 2 to 3 minutes before the next set.
Fourth Set: 225 x 3 reps (weight acclimation)
You should follow the same rhythm as in the last set. 3 strong reps. Rest 2 minutes before next set.
·Fifth Set: 255 x 1 rep (weight acclimation)
That's right, just 1 rep. The purpose here is weight acclimation. This should be a strong, powerful and deliberate rep.
Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Sets: 285 x ??? reps (muscle-building)
These are the muscle building sets. Very important. These are the only sets that produce muscle growth. All the sets leading up to these heavy sets are merely warm-up sets and are treated as just that and nothing more.
"Do Not" Specifics:
1. Do not pyramid unnecessarily.
One of the worst training methods ever introduced is pyramid training. This is where you start out light and then add small increments of weight with each set - going to failure each set until you get to your heaviest set. After the heavy set you then lighten the weight just opposite to how you increased it on the way up. Then you complete reps to failure for each set on the way down.
As I said, this is probably the least efficient way possible to build muscle yet it is the most common training approach used today. So if you are training this way the first thing you should ask yourself is - Why do I do this?
When you structure your sets like this, for whatever muscle group you are training, you deprive them of not only the overload they are capable of, but also the overload needed to induce efficient muscle growth.
2. Never go to failure on a warm-up set.
This is the ultimate training sin. Never, ever, ever, ever, go to failure with a warm-up set. This is the perfect way to sabotage a workout and stop muscle growth dead in its tracks.
3. Do not warm-up the same muscle group twice.
Never re-warm a muscle group just because you have proceeded to a different exercise.
Examples: There is no need to warm-up on the Leg Press after a squat routine. There is no need to start out light on Barbell Curls after finishing Dumbbell Curls. Likewise, there is no need to start out light on Cable Rows after Barbell Rows.
Just seems like a heckuva lot of sets--8.
I'm guessing tho' since you don't do the 'warmup' sets after the first exercise, you'd still do the 'acclimation' sets? Or for the next exercise you go right to the 'working' sets?
Warmup-135 x 10 (slow)
Warmup-135 x 8 (faster)
Acclimation-165 x 4
Acclimation-195 x 2
Acclimation-210 x 1
Set 1-225 x 6-8 reps
When I do all the pre-sets, I don't use alot of rest time between. Maybe 1 minute because the acclimation doesn't fatigue me in the least.
As for other warmups for other exercises, you don't need them. I never do any other warmups because you don't need them. Maybe an acclimation set is possible due to various angles, but the purpose of acclimation sets in the beginning is to prepare your joints/ligaments for the heavy load. After your first exercise lifting heavy for a few sets, I don't think it's necessary. But, say after bench you do inclines. I usually use a plate per side and rest it on my upper chest just to stretch it out so it's good and ready. So, I'd advise simple loaded stretches in between exercises to prevent a tear/injury from forming.
Nice job 0311. Pyramid looked nice to me but after you explained why its not so good I'm gonna stop it.
(Right now for me that would be 70-75#DB bench--each hand--well, actually I did 80's today)
Well, according to them, yes. But, my example was for someone who isn't following Max-OT's 4-6 reps. So, it's beneficial IMO to do more reps with that weight and go from there. Max-OT's standpoint is if you can do 225 x 5, then start with 235 x 5. This warmup I posted is a good guideline to give people a rough idea of the proper way to warmup. Depending upon who's doing it, the weight used, reps needed...That'll dictate how to incorperate this into their plan.
For your average Joe Blow weightlifter looking for hypertrophy->mass...I recommend the above example, using that same weight but more reps. For strength->mass, I recommend their example using 4-6 reps and adding more weight. Please note that 4-6 reps does achieve hypertrophy, but to a smaller extent.
For Max-OT training, I feel it's perfect to begin your training routine with. Results in both strength and size come quickly in the first few weeks IMO. After that I recommend changing gears (periodization) and both condensing muscle groups together and adding more reps (8-12) followed by a week off.
135 x 12
1 minute break
135 x 10
1 minute break
185 x 8
1 minute break
225 x 5
275 x 3
295 x 1
315 x 1
It looks like alot for me, but I wasn't even breathing heavy. It almost felt like a wste of time, but of course the next three sets told me otherwise. The pooint of all the warmups is just to get the blood flowing, not, "Oh shit, 4 more THEN my working sets after that!" For you, it shouldn't take you but maybe 10 minutes. It's not like you need alot of warmups for the weight you use (no offense)
I'll try it this week during my routines. And since it's pretty much just for the first exercise it shouldn't be that bad.
Contrary to some of my other posts on bb.nt, I really do have an open mind. Now I just have to get that mind right(lol).
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