In my last article I talked about the importance and efficacy of Reverse Pyramid Training.
While most people intuitively understand that it makes sense to start each workout with the heaviest weight you can lift, this MUST be preceded by an adequate warm-up.
Why is it so important? You simply don’t have access to 100% of your strength ability without a proper warm-up. So we need to get this right.
What are the objectives of a warm up?
Raise your pulse
Raise your body temperature
Mobilise the joints/increase synovial fluid
Acclimate to lifting heavy loads (both physically and mentally)
There are many ways to warm up. Getting the warm-up right depends on the type of training you’re undertaking.
Just as you must select the correct type of training to suit your goals, you must also select the correct type of warm up to MAXIMALLY benefit your bodybuilding workout.
Typically, there are 3 components of a warm up:
However, as Muscle Hackers we can scratch ‘stretching’ off our list.
Stretching a muscle can cause it to temporarily weaken. This is sometimes referred to as “Stretching-Induced Force Deficit”.
While athletes with different goals can and SHOULD stretch, we shouldn’t and don’t need to.
If you are stretching before your workouts, you will experience increases in your lifts from your very NEXT training session by warming up in the manner I’m about to describe and omitting the stretching component.
Here’s the point: we can mobilize joints, get our pulse and body temperature up, and acclimate to heavy weights with just 1 method…
Doing a lighter version of our first working set.
Here’s how to warm up optimally for a THT workout:
(OPTIONAL) 2-3 minutes light-moderate aerobic activity e.g. cross trainer. This is your ‘pulse raiser’. I personally don’t bother with this component, but such a low intensity activity won’t do you any harm either.
10 reps at 50% of your first working set weight. For example, if you are about to bicep curl 50Kg on your first set, curl 25kg for 10 reps.
Rest a minute.
1 or 2 reps at 90% of your first working set.
Rest a minute.
Now perform your first working set
I would also add the option of a third warm-up set for heavy lifts like deadlifts, squats, and leg presses.
If your workout commences with one of these lifts, you may want to insert 4-5 reps at about 70-75% of your first working set between the 2 warm-up sets above. This is how I personally warm-up for these big lifts.
When you’re working more than one body part you’ll have to warm-up the second muscle group separately before you hit it. For the full-body HIT-THT workout, the initial warm-up set and working set of squats is sufficient to get the whole body warmed-up.
Now, when you’re done warming up you possess a short-term quality that you must use immediately – you are at your STRONGEST!
From the second set onwards you’ll get a little weaker. So this is the time to hit your heaviest weight!
Try this out with your very next workout and reap the benefits!
And always remember…
Train With Intensity!
Image credit: o0bsessed
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