Hello, muscle mavens, and welcome to our latest slice of workout wisdom. Don’t worry, the title was just clickbait (you fell for it sucka!) and we aren’t going to be discussing any “controversial theories” that something may be happening to our planet or that humans may have some role in it (!!!!) …nope, today the warming we’re talking about is all happening internally- how do we get ourselves properly warm for lifting weights?
Let’s kick off with the heart (and heat) of the matter: a good General Warmup. This is the unsung hero of any workout, particularly weightlifting. General warmup is your system’s wake-up call, the bugle alarm for your muscles, joints, and tissues to shake off their slumber and embrace the hustle.
How does one warm up generally, you ask? We want three main things to happen: 1) we raise our core body temperature, 2) we mobilize and lubricate our joints, as we prep our tissues for the glorious stress that’s to come, and 3) It’s about reminding your body how to move correctly, practicing, grooving, and honing our movement patterns so they’re as smooth as a jazz flute solo.
But before we lift the curtain on our weightlifting symphony, we need to address a common misunderstanding: the difference between “warmup sets” and “work sets”. They’re as different as lamb and tuna fish, my friend. Your warmup sets are just that: the preamble, the prelude, the introduction to the main body of work.
For the warmup sets, we start with an empty barbell – just like an artist starts with a blank canvas. We then add a splash of color (or weight, in our case) in 3-4 sets. The first strokes are bold, encompassing bigger jumps in weight. As the picture starts to take shape, the brushstrokes become more refined, the weight increases more gradually, bringing us tantalizingly close to our working weight. These reps will go a long way to building up your “bank account” of good reps, so don’t skip them!
Just as the intensity of the colors on the canvas ebbs and flows, so do your reps during the warmup sets. Picture an artist at work: large, sweeping strokes (more reps) to lay the groundwork, gradually refining down to the minutest details (tapering to one rep) at around 90% of your working weight. A word to the wise, though – don’t let your warmup sets steal the show; your work sets are the star of your workout. Or, in simpler terms, don’t let your appetizer spoil your dinner! This final warm up set is a great time to assess and make a final decision about your work sets for the day- don’t be afraid to “attack in a different direction” if things are feeling a little off, or to push the pace if you are feeling great!
Now, while we’ve provided a blueprint, remember that warming up is an art, not a science. Each artist has a unique style, and each weightlifter has a unique warmup routine. Some of you might want to take smaller jumps in weight or do fewer warmup sets. Others might want to test the waters closer to their working weight with their last warmup set. That’s perfectly fine. At Lumos, we celebrate individuality and encourage you to find the warmup routine that best suits your style.
In conclusion, at Lumos Fitness Collective, we consider the warmup routine as much a part of your workout as the heavy lifting itself. Not only does it prepare your body and mind for the workout, but it also significantly reduces the risk of injuries, helping you train smarter and safer. So, don’t treat your warmup as an optional extra; embrace it as the foundation of your successful workout. Ready to feel the heat and get your weights grooving? Join us at Lumos Fitness Collective and let’s warmup to the idea of being stronger together!