Warmup Sets 101

Warmup Sets 101

Warm-up sets are a crucial component of any successful training program when it comes to exercising. They help to get your body ready for the bigger loads and higher intensity of your main workout. On this episode of The New Helix Experience podcast, Tim Frey shares about Warmup Sets 101.

You’ll Learn:

  • Introduction to Warmup Sets 101
  • The Purpose of Warmup Sets
  • How to Structure Your Warmup Sets
  • The Role of Mobility Exercises and Stretching
  • Common Mistakes to Avoid
  • Practical Applications and Tips


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Hey guys. Today we are talking warm up sets 101, so I’ve had a couple of requests for more scientific based episodes slash educational ones and warm up sets. The I mean like same as the rest periods podcast. Bit of anecdotal.

Type of thing you kind of need to work out what works for you. The limitations that you’re under and if you have unlimited time.

If I had an unlimited time to train like 2 hours plus, I would be doing it differently than if I had 60 minutes to train.

But you need to work out what works for you and the limitations you’ve got. There’s best case scenario, and then there’s just the case scenario so.

I’ll give you all the information today. You can work out whatever method is going to work best for you, but come up with a method and actually stick to it and use it.

That’s the best way to ensure that you’re going to get results like. Same with warming up in terms of stretch.

Mobility, activation, those types of things. I have a method that works for me. It doesn’t necessarily work for everyone else.

That’s completely up to you. So warm up sets are an important component of a well bounded but real rounded training routine.

They’re typically the low intensity sets performed before the main workout to prepare the body for the upcoming training.

Generally, like the the point of it is to reduce your prevalence or prevention of injury optimised performance in the gym and increased blood flow. Rest body temperature, activate muscles and like get the nerve system jacked up and fired up.

Warming up properly can massively reduce your injury risk and increase your performance during the session, so you know the main points and purpose of warm ups.

That’s are increased.

Blood flow, get blood flow pumping and going through the area, increase mobility to improve joint mobility and flexibility. This can basically help you move freely throughout a workout.

And then we’ve got neural activation. Warm up tests are really good to activate the nervous system, get the connection between the brain and the muscles activated and firing. Then we’ve got mental preparation.

So mental prep is.

Like your ability to like hold a heavy load on.

Your back and.

Prepare for what?

Is coming up in terms of the session ahead.

A cool strategy you can use for mental prep is to actually do, say, if we’re training, you know, three by three at 80%, you could actually do one Rep at 90% to mentally prepare yourself for the heavy loads. Then you could do back offs from there.

A really good way of training. And then lastly, we’ve got injury prevention. So you know probably the most important benefit of doing warm upsets is your ability to reduce your injury risk by properly preparing the body for the upcoming workout. You know you can reduce your ability to get muscle strains, joint sprains and other injuries that occur.

So how a couple of ways you can structure your warm up sets. We’ve got a percentage based method, a set Rep method, a general specific approach and just a general dynamic stretching approach.

So I’ll go through them now. So the percentage.

Based method this.

Involves using a percentage of your one room to determine the weight for each warm up set a good example.

This would be like an athlete would perform, you know, 50% of the one RM8, followed by 70% for five, and then gradually increasing the weight and dropping the reps from there.

So go 70 for 580 for 390 for one. This is really beneficial for someone who’s looking to maximise their strength gains.

That would be a 5 slot warm up, which is quite a while. Depends how many sets you’re doing in your workout. If you did like A5, set warm up and you did A10 set squat session.

15 sets, man, it’s gonna take you, like, 45 minutes. It’s ******* ages, so it needs to be within the guidelines or the parameters that you have for each of the workout.

Next up we have a set Rep stream game stream. This involves doing a reps game with each one upset so an athlete may perform two sets of eight reps with a lot weight, followed by two sets of five with a slightly heavier weight, and then gradually increase the weight. So you could do two sets 8 two sets of five.

Two sets of three.

Increase the weight as you go. It doesn’t have to be a percentage base. Next up we have the general specific method. This will be starting out with a warm up like jogging cycling.

And followed by exercises that become gradually more specific to the upcoming workout. So I kind of like the general to specific approach with the percentage based approach. So what I’ll do in a warm up.

As they’ll get in, we have like 5 warm up boards in the gym, so we’ve got upper body, lower body, full body ******, clean jerk.

All these specific type of warm ups, So what I’ll do if it’s a lower body session or or a full body, I’ll go and do the full body warm up which will be foam rolling.

No, better the exercises for the joints we’re using. Then I’ll go into more of a intense warm up so getting the heart rate going jumps activating the neural system and then we’ll do a specific, you know, warm ups for the exercise which we’re doing on that day.

And then lastly, we have a dynamic stretching approach.

So this involves dynamic stretching exercises that help activate the muscles and prepare them for the upcoming workout. You know, for a lower body session be like leg swings, you know, hip thrusts, hip circles, those types of things. This approach is useful for, you know, athletes that struggle with mobility and reduce the risk of injury.

So let’s talk the role of mobility exercises and stretching. You know, it’s not specific, but important to touch on and chat about, especially as this is an educational podcast.

So you know the role of mobility exercises and stretching is improved your joint mobility. Do you want to pick mobility?

Exercises and improve the range of motion or flexibility of the joints you’re using. So if we’re doing a squat session, we want to be really targeting ankles and hips.

Essentially, they’re going to be the main things that we want to target during that session next time we have like enhanced muscle activation to stretching and mobility exercises too.

You know activate, quote, unquote the muscles that we’re using in terms of like activation exercises. This hammer on the squat, you know, there would be more benefit to activating your glutes and hip flexors than there would be upper bed activating your shoulders during a squat session because they’re going to be the prime movers towards it. So we just want to think like specifically what are we actually?

Going to accomplish during the session that’s ahead, we want to be activating those next time we go to increased blood flow flow, you know stretching mobility exercises stretch like bone rolling, anything like that is going to help deliver oxygen and nutrients to that area.

Worst thing you can do.

When you’re warming up or going through warm up sets is doing nothing specific about the exercise we’re doing.

People that do that like they rock up to the gym 2 minutes before the session, don’t stretch to a 5 minute active warm up and get into it.

It’s like it ******* baffles me. They’re just not putting themselves in the right frame of mind and.

Then like you’ve.

Got people that show up 30 minutes.

Really. And they basically just rolled around on a front roller for 30 minutes, talking like that’s not going to do anything to increase your performance. And they wonder why they don’t get as good results.

Let’s talk reducing muscle tension, so stretching, mobility, those types of exercises reduce muscle tension and tightness. This can be especially important for athletes who spend heaps of time sitting.

So if you someone spends heaps of time sitting anything on the front of your body like hip flexors, quads, those types of areas are going to get really jacked up and tight.

Everything on the back is going to get long and weak, so it’s short and tight, long and weak, and always works.

That it’s like the curse of the 21st century is, you know, people sitting at desk so long, you know, funny enough, I’m sitting at a desk right now recording this podcast.

But you know it’s it’s not good for you and you need to get yourself out of that position before we go to try and take yourself into a crazy position and you put heaps away on your back.

In the squat.

And then the.

Last thing, with mobility activation exercises improves the mind body connection, so it gets your ability to connect your mind and body.

You know, if we’re stretching a hamstring or we’re stretching a quad or stretching a hip flex, we can have our ability to think about connecting those areas and stretching those areas properly, which also helps with having a better session. So some common mistakes to avoid before we get into specifics.

Not warming up enough. It’s just common as I just went through, you know, skipping or or, you know, rushing the entire warm up *******.

Probably cripple your results in the gym.

Next one is.

Doing too many warm up sets, I find this is super common, especially in mind you people are doing warm up sets like 20 minutes before the session. I personally like three sets and I’ll go for wine in a minute.

Next one is using too much weight so people are going too heavy too quickly. Also depends on your your strength levels.

Next one is neglecting their mobility exercises before. This is ******* crucial. If you’re squatting, you need to hit mobility and activation exercises that are going to improve your.

Especially if you have discrepancies or or issues with your squatting.

And then the last thing is not adjusting the warm out warm up for the workout.

So it has to be specific and has to be low intensity or high intensity. Let’s talk practical application and tips.

I would always start out a warm up. You should start out a warm up depending if you’re into it with five to 10 minutes. Low intensity cardio walking, that type of stuff. Add in.

Firm rolling and then into general mobility exercises for the session ahead.

Then you want to start with a specific warm up for the workout you’re going to do. If you’re doing a lower body squat based session, you should be doing mobility or warm up exercises to enhance that session. Then we want to adequately load up the bar.

For the session ahead, which I’m going to go through now.

So always think about warm up sets is is low intensity or high intensity? That’s even warm up in general, it always should start out with, you know, from rolling, walking on treadmill, riding a bike, something super chill finishing with dynamic stretching then into specifics of actually doing the loads that are going to come up in the set.

Head firm rolling to dynamic stretches, then onto the bar. My favourite and most simple warm up method is 5315 reps at 70%, three reps at 80 and then one Rep at 90.

Really good warm up routine if you’re even going less weight than 90% for your working sets because it gets you nearly activated.

Really simple and good way to do it depending.

One time, if you’re someone that is.

Freaking out about time, then freaking out about not having enough time. Then this is great if you’re someone that tends to over warm up.

This is also great. This is a method I would stick with and just see how you go for it and then in terms of like rest periods between these, this is not like something that you need minutes of rest.

Between warp sets they are at a sub-Max weight so you can get away with resting a little bit less.

Once again, the best method of training is just with partners. So, if you’re in a group of two or three or four, it’s perfect.

The inbuilt rest periods are in there, every under 70% of five. Everyone does 80% of of three reps, 80%.

Everyone does 90 at one. Then you get into your working sets. It’s like the perfect stop for training.

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