I have been training heavier for about a year and am not certain how many warm-up sets I should do on my first exercise?
The thing to keep in mind during your warm-up sets is you want to progressively introduce a heavier weight without approaching the point of fatigue. This can be accomplished effectively in 4 or 5 warm-up sets.
How Many Warm Up Sets?
I generally do 4 warm-up sets for my first exercise. Each set I increase the weights and reduce my reps. This allows my mind and body to get acclimated to the exercise and to heavier weights without fatiguing my muscles before I attack the heavy, muscle building sets in a 4-6 rep range.
You don’t want to expend any more energy than necessary during your warm-up sets. You want to keep them efficient but you also want to make sure you are physically and mentally ready to handle maximum overload.
The exact amount of sets this takes may vary a bit from person to person and even vary depending on the movement but as a general guideline I would recommend 4 or 5 warm-up sets on your first exercise.
How Long Do You Wait Between Warm-up Sets?
When I am doing my warm-up and acclimation sets I am not only getting my body ready to handle maximum overload, I am also getting my mind ready too. Therefore, it is important to perform your warm-up and acclimation sets in the same manner as you would your heavy, muscle-building sets. You want to use the same control and execution as you would with your maximal weights.
I wait approximately 2 to 3 minutes between warm-up sets just as I do between my working sets. Following the same pattern during warm-up and acclimation sets gets me ready for maximum overload both physically and mentally. Always use the same controlled negative and explosive positive motion on all your sets, warm-up or heavy.
Don’t minimize the importance of “warming-up” your mind as well. Keep your concentration and focus high during your warm-up sets and you will be even stronger when you go for maximum overload in the 4-8 repetition range.
Warming Up With Cardio Before Weight Training?
Do you warm-up with a few minutes of cardio before you lift weights?
I don’t do any type of cardio as a warm-up for my weight training sessions. I warm-up on the first exercise I am going to perform using a series of warm-up and acclimation sets.
My goal during warm-up sets is to progressively introduce a heavier weight without approaching the point of fatigue. Progressively increasing the weight and decreasing my reps as I approach my first heavy working set gets my mind and body ready to handle maximum overload without pre-fatiguing the muscles or expending unnecessary energy.
I feel that using this protocol is the most effective and efficient way to warm-up for your weight training sessions.
The current leg workout I am following starts with calf exercises. After I train calves should I do any more warm-ups before I begin squats?
It is important to efficiently warm-up a muscle group before it is subjected to direct overload with heavy in the 4-8 rep range.
Proper warm-ups will make you stronger for your working sets and will guard against injury by progressively introducing a heavier weight without fatiguing the muscle.
When you are moving from one body part to another during the same workout you want to warm-up on the first exercise of the new muscle group. In this case after you train your calves before you start heavy squats.
This will acclimate your body and mind to using heavier weights as well as give you a chance to get comfortable with the exercise before you attack your sets with maximum overload.
An efficient warm-up strategy is very important!