Not many people realize this but implementing a smart warm-up protocol before lifting weights could easily help you increase performance and get more out of your workouts in the gym.
The two biggest mistakes people make when warming up for a strength training session is a) they skip it or b) they overdo it.
Newsflash: Floating around on the elliptical for 15 minutes while reading US Weekly is not a very useful primer for lifting heavy stuff.
Neither is performing a few arm circles and leg swings, then proceeding to load a barbell with the heaviest weights you can handle three minutes after you have walked in through the gym doors.
A proper warm up should get your core temperature up to the point where you’re sweating, it should lubricate the joints, prime the nervous system for the upcoming working sets and it should both activate and pump up the muscles.
One thing you should remember is that you don’t want to kill yourself during the warm-up, thus sapping your energy before the actual workout has begun but you also shouldn’t be afraid of a little pre-fatigue to the point where you’re simply going through the motions and getting no real benefit of what you’re doing.
In this article we’ll take a look at how to setup an intelligent warm-up plan, which will allow you to lift more weight while decreasing the risk of injury. I’ve broken the protocols into upper/lower templates, because many of our clients follow upper/lower training programs.