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Warm up – A necessary evil?

“I don’t want to waste my energy warming up”   “I’ll just warm up under the weight” Discussions I’ve had in the past with people I coach.
I’m not usually one for long winded posts but this is something I feel can have a huge impact on training making the difference between a great session and a frustrating and/or failed one. Personally I see the warm up as the most important part of my training, and I see it as part of training not some precursor necessary evil. The majority of sessions my time spent ‘warming up’ is vastly greater than the time of my actual programmed work sets.

Yes one of the aims is to raise your heart rate, breathing, blood flow etc to prepare you for work but it’s much more than that. For example today my programme has the sum total of 8mins in work sets, why wouldn’t I want to ensure that my body, and mind, is primed and ready for that so I get the most out of them and manage to put my most in?

So for this my warm up session normally consists of: initial muscle releases, stretching and activation work so I can start waking up my body and try to ensure my range of motion, stability and joint positioning allows my muscles to express maximum force in the direction I want them to when it comes to the work. Then I spend a good amount of time working up through sports specific movements (in this case girevoy sport) from light weight to heavier, waking my brain up! This is almost my main technique work for the session, feeling through the lifts, going back to release or activation work for specific areas if I feel something is ‘off’, getting my mind focussed in on co-ordination, proprioception, force, power and relaxation, and trying to get the brain and body working together. Usually when I get up to the working weights for the day I’ll do some additional pacing sets so I get a feel for the movement and breathing at the prescribed pace.

And after wasting all that energy I’ll start my 8mins work for the day!


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