I’ve always had a passion for health and fitness (I’m currently studying nutritional medicine.) However, it wasn’t until I started training at Ignite that I fell in love with CrossFit and the awesome community that came with it.
CrossFit has helped me reassess what fitness means to me and shifted my focus to performance. The human body continually amazes me with what it is capable of and that fascination is what led me to become a trainer; to help others find their own strength and confidence!
I’d love to make it to Regionals one day but even if I don’t, I’ll have enjoyed every step of the chase.
If I’m not working I’m usually here training so if you see me on the floor please say hi! I don’t bite that much. 🙂
Every now and then a client will tell me that they don’t feel like they’ve warm up until they’ve reached their second or third working set.
In my experience, this generally means that the client is probably not putting enough time into their warm up.
They might be in a hurry or feeling lazy (we’ve all been there), or simply don’t see the benefit in spending so much time warming up. Surely 2 minutes on the rower is enough?!
WELL my friends, this is certainly not the case, which is why I thought it a good idea to set the record straight and break it down: the importance of the warm up.
GENERAL WARM UP – the first thing you do when you get to the gym (on the way to the gym for some of you!)
Purpose: Provide blood flow to the muscles and prepare you mentally for your workout
How: 3-5 minutes at 70% effort either rowing, on the bike or the treadmill. Basically anything that gets your heart rate going and your blood pumping.
Hot tip: mix in some full body movements like burpees or bear crawls to make sure the blood is flowing in all body parts. This will also help loosen up the joints.
MOBILITY WARM UP – all the stretches with the funny names can get a bit confusing, especially when you’re just starting out, but warming up the joints is SUPER important before you begin your workout.
Purpose: loosen the joints, increase range of motion & correct limitations to reduce your chance of injury during your workout.
How: this warm up is more specific to the exercises you will be doing during your workout.
E.g. If you are squatting, you will need to warm up your glutes, hips and adductors.
If you are bench pressing, your warm up should be aimed at your chest and shoulders.
Hot tip: add in extra mobility for any super tight areas that you have, to get the most out of your workout. Ask a trainer for guidance if you’re unsure.
SPECIFIC WARM UP – if you are using a barbell or heavy dumbbells in your workout, it’s important to prepare your body for the specific exercise with a few warm up sets.
Purpose: fire up the muscle fibres, prevent your body from being shocked by heavy weight, strengthen the mind muscle connection, practice the movement to make sure you’re on point and moving safely.
How: start with the bar to focus on speed and technique and switch on your nervous system.
Following this, 2-3 weighted warm up sets are ideal if you are lifting heavy. This will increasingly fire up the muscle fibres and climatize your body to the gradually heavier weight, preventing the ‘shock’ to your body of your working weight.
Hot tip: you can get away with 50-60% of the reps for your warm up sets, just enough for your body to ‘feel’ the weight and fire up those fibres accordingly!
An example of a progression for a working set of 10 reps might be: 10 reps with empty barbell, 7 reps at 50% of your working weight, then 5 reps at 75% of your working weight.
So there it is guys, be a bit more generous with your warm up and feel the difference in your working sets. You’ll get more out of your workout and fell better in general!