Wrecking before training.
Sounds bad doesn’t it. Well, guess what? you most probably are guilty yourself of doing this. To most of us who lifts at least three times a week a minimum, we barely think of how important warming up is, so here i am writing something up to hopefully make you see why i think it is if not the most important part of training. If getting injured is your priority in training then don’t read on (this article is not for you), but if optimal performance, progression, faster recoveries between sessions and staying injury free (or at least nothing big to talk about) is something you want then read on. Lets talk about warm ups. There is many types of warm ups from the five to ten mins on the treadmill to something more specific which can include dynamic and multi-planar stretches, but let me just gather some of the more general or “mainstream” types of stretches. Below you will be able to categorize yourself….. hopefully, and see which type of stretching you are currently doing and which are the type(s) of stretches you SHOULD be doing.
1. The “short time” warm up:
He comes, he sees and he conquers. A very typical scenario all over the world in the gym, where the person walks into the gym, jumps on the treadmill or bike for about five to ten minutes of time jus paddling or walking. Right after that, BAM!..hits the free weights for 40-45 mins.
2. The “rambo” warm up:
Walks in the gym looking pumped and confident. He takes out all the tools to release himself of “tight spots”. Rolls around making the floor his bed doing foam roller for the next 45 mins before his “ACTUAL” workout! Just like Rambo, he has an array of tools to get things right, a foam roller, lacrosse ball, tennis ball, kettlebell, stick, bands, and not forgetting he would always be in his right war gear (fully suited to work out hard). Only to have yourself watch this guy squatting a quarter rep for his squats and moving like a champ.
3. The ‘Longevity” warm up:
Almost close to being Rambo but with less array of tools. He starts stretching and doing things which if a girl is doing in the gym, get a bit too porn some would say. Nevertheless, this person will start mobilizing in multi dimensional approach, rolls on the floor, a wee bit of dynamic movements to add gradually, spends 20-30 minutes prepping the body for the workout. When he is all limber and primed…he.works.out.
4. The “Energizer bunny”
Starts off with a bit of a dynamic warm up, plenty of movements to involve multiple joints moving together. Then starts jumping around like as if netball was the game being played, prancing around. Jumping ropes, getting sprints in, air squats etc…all this before the workout. Spends 15-20 minutes of warm up time.
5. The “season veteran”
He knows where and what he wants. Walks up straight into his bench, he gets his set up for the bench press ….jus an empty bar. Slowly, he builds up the weights and gets into his wok set, much later after warming up. Incorporating tempo training, ballistics, partial reps and looking jacked for the weights that your granny shops with. (Some are known for taking up to 45mins to jus warm up!)
6. The “lightweight”
Starts of with little to no weights at all. Spends the next ten mins doing the same thing and starts working out on the first set on the same weights and then cranking it to the next level where he or she will move more after the set than the actual work set, per se the quarter squat.
There you have it, your mainstream profiles of people and how the warm up with certain specifics and time length. So you ask which is the correct one then? which one should you start applying now? Great, here is the answer. Warming up depends on your current level of fitness, goals and knowledge of why you should do certain things certain way. The mainstream profiles that you just read about has nothing wrong them except the last one named “lightweight”, due to the fact that lightweight will not warm up the muscles, joints and ligaments for loading and thus will have a higher chance of injury rather than progressing. To sum it up, in other words, whatever you do for warm ups is just to be able to gradually increase your body temperature and allowing you to lift more or load more weights unto you lowering the chances of injury(ies). Remember, it is better to take longer warm up session till you WARM UP properly or you can seriously injure yourself!
Hope you enjoyed the read!