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Train To Gain: Warm All Over

How to properly prepare your body for a weight workout.

Q: I need to know the correct way to warm up. I’ve been getting a lot of minor but annoying training injuries, due, I’m sure, to improper warmup. Can you help?

A: You’re wise to appreciate the need for a warmup. You should begin your workout with a general whole-body warmup. I believe cleans and presses, power snatches, light presses followed by squats or five minutes of vigorous calisthenics are all good as a preliminary warmup, which gets your whole body ready for training; however, you need more.

Weight training places a very intensive stress on the muscle group that a particular exercise emphasizes. Thus, though you’ve gotten your body generally prepared for exertion, it’s best if you precede each exercise with a specific warmup, particularly when you’re training with heavy weights. It’s wise to do two progressively heavier warmup sets before going for the maximum all-out set or two. Use rep ranges between five and eight per set. Doing adequate warmups makes good sense.

Take the extra few minutes to let your body get into the groove of each exercise. A quality program doesn’t consist of a lot of exercises anyway, so doing your warmups conscientiously shouldn’t take much time’and it’s time well spent. IM

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