How to structure your work out for increased strength output and decreased chance of injury

The warm up is possibly one of the most important parts of a training session, and it’s also the one that is consistently neglected, or formed based off of trial and error as opposed to evidence.

How should you structure your warm-up? What should the purposes of your warm-up be prior to strength training? These are some of the things you might be wondering.

What are a few of the physiological outcomes from a effective warm-up?
• Decreased muscle & joint stiffness
• Increased transmission rate of nerve impulses
• Increased glycolysis and high energy phosphate degradation

Now what should our warm-up purposes be to accomplish the above outcomes?
• Keep it dynamic
• Research suggests that we should increase body temperature, so get a nice sweat on
• 15-20 minutes at 55-60% of max heart rate
• Avoid fatigue build-up associated with moderate or high intensity warm ups, so no sprinting

How can you put these objectives into practice? Here’s how I structure warm-up protocols before a strength training session…

• STAGE 1: Increase blood flow and muscle temperature with general, lower-intensity cardio
• STAGE 2: Take the muscle groups that are about to be trained through their full range of motion. This is the time for slower and more controlled movement.
• STAGE 3: Progress off of stage 2 by taking the muscle groups about to be trained through their full range of motion in a more dynamic manner.
• STAGE 4: Transition into specific warm-up for activity to follow. For example, do 3-5 warm-ups sets on the bench before going to a heavy max attempt

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