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  1. #1
    Registered User harryboomer's Avatar
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    Question Do I need to warm up before lifting weights?

    Hi, I?m 38 and have just started to lift weights a few weeks ago after a break of four years from the gym. Is it preferable to warm up before lifting weights? If so how would be the best way to go about it? At the moment I do five minutes on the cross trainer which is a cross country skiing action, and then I do a few light reps before adding weight.
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  2. #2
    GH15 approved Ka0s's Avatar
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    yea i do about 7 mins on a treadmill at low incline/speed

    then i stretch

    then i work up my way to working set weight ie.

    5 reps bar
    3 reps heavier
    2 reps heavier
    MAIN SET (however much you do)
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  3. #3
    Registered User gbg's Avatar
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    Yes, I usually Warm up 7-10 min
    Stretch
    1st set 12 reps w/lighter weight.
    Pyramid up in weight
    Last edited by gbg; 03-09-2008 at 04:08 PM.
    Being a real lifter is not about a number, or a medal, or somebody else telling you that you are a real lifter. It is about commitment to the iron and strength of purpose.
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  4. #4
    Registered User harryboomer's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies. I haven?t been stretching as part of my warm up, I think I?ll do five minutes stretching as well before I start lifting weights.
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  5. #5
    Registered User ServoScanMan's Avatar
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    On heavy compond lifts (barbell bench, squats, deadlifts, bendover rows), I warm up with 12 reps at about 60% of what my normal lifting weight would be.

    If I do an isolation exercise (tricep rope pulldown), I do it after a heavy compound lift and I don't do a lighter starting weight since I have already warmed up the muscles.
    47yr male, 5'11", 235lbs, BF who knows? (Oct 05)
    48yr male, 5'11", 200lbs, 15.2% BF (Nov 06)
    48yr male, 5'11", 200lbs, 15.2% BF (May 07)
    49yr male, 5'11", 200lbs, 14.5% BF (Aug 07)
    49yr male, 5'11", 200lbs, 13.5% BF (Jan 08)
    50yr male, 5'11", 200lbs, 13.5% BF (Jul 08)

    ....and the height chart says I'm fat...ugh!
    Oh well, I gotta one pack ab.
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  6. #6
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    Originally Posted by ServoScanMan View Post
    On heavy compond lifts (barbell bench, squats, deadlifts, bendover rows), I warm up with 12 reps at about 60% of what my normal lifting weight would be.
    There is actually a "scientific" (MAX OT) way to warm-up/acclimate before doing heavy compound lifts such as the lifts you mentioned, and it works wonders for many. Let's assume you're going to use 200# as a working weight. You'd acclimate like this:

    50% for 12 reps (100#) w/2min rest
    50% for 10 reps (100# " 2min "
    67% for 6 reps (135#) *3min rest*
    82% for 3 reps (165#) " 2min "
    93% for 1 rep (185#) " 2min "

    The percentages are what you need to know/try. Notice there is a 3min rest after the 6 rep set. At least use 2.5 if not the whole 3, as it will matter at that %. I've shared this with quite a few journalers here and they've all surprised themselves with how much weight they quickly increased for working weight. The principle here is to warm-up/acclimate without exhausting muscle. These percentages achieve this goal for most. Try it and see for yourselves . At some point down the road, you'll probably find yourself skipping doing the entire routine, but you'll likely keep a large part of it. And the rest time might seem excessive to some of you, but again, there's a reason for it.

    Originally Posted by ServoScanMan
    If I do an isolation exercise (tricep rope pulldown), I do it after a heavy compound lift and I don't do a lighter starting weight since I have already warmed up the muscles.
    Absolutely!
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  7. #7
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    Originally Posted by harryboomer View Post
    Thanks for the replies. I haven?t been stretching as part of my warm up, I think I?ll do five minutes stretching as well before I start lifting weights.
    I think it's better to stretch afterwards.
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  8. #8
    CARLMAN ntrllftr's Avatar
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    I feel that warm up sets are a must to prevent injury.
    Normally I do 2-3 warm up sets then a moderate weight set then working sets. I will NOT waste any energy by way of cardio prior to lifting weights.
    Every day counts.

    -[][][]---------[][][]-

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    ntrllftr > azstrengthlosscouchpotato
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  9. #9
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    Stretch

    before and after.
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  10. #10
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    My biggest thing is to warm up my rotator cuffs before any heavy days, benches especially. I've injured myself once too many times, and I don't even do curls anymore without warming them up now.
    "Is it REALLY a passion if it gets abandoned the first time things get tough?

    If it is then I suggest finding another passion because things will be tough MUCH more than they will be easy."

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  11. #11
    Registered User harryboomer's Avatar
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    Opinion seems divided on cardio and stretching but the general consensus seems to be warm up with some lighter weights?..Thanks for the info, all the best harryboomer
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  12. #12
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    I read an article that recomended warm up but not stretching before, it gave the reason that it weakened the connective tissue slightly just before the lift increasing the chance of injury as opposed to lessening it, it did say stretching just after lifting is good because it increased the over all flexibility but gave your streched muscles and joints a chance to heal before the next session of load.
    I cant seem to find it again though but if I do I'll post it.
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  13. #13
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    Originally Posted by chodan9 View Post
    I read an article that recomended warm up but not stretching before, it gave the reason that it weakened the connective tissue slightly just before the lift increasing the chance of injury as opposed to lessening it, it did say stretching just after lifting is good because it increased the over all flexibility but gave your streched muscles and joints a chance to heal before the next session of load.
    I cant seem to find it again though but if I do I'll post it.
    I've read a couple of these articles and a few have been posted here. My trainer suggested this and she seems to be right, warmup before - stretch after. Each injury I've had was on a day I didn't warmup properly and stretching helps me to not be so sore the following day.
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  14. #14
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    I warm up by increasing the weight as I go. but my first set of any compound movements is always with the bar for about 15-20 reps. followed by adding weight and moving up from there.
    It's difficult to stand out if you're too busy trying to fit in. ~

    On the verge of losing it and beating the f'ck out of a random stranger......
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  15. #15
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    i've heard stretching before could lead to injury. I warm up on elliptical machine for 5min. Sometimes i warn up doing crunches.
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  16. #16
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    ideally you want a light warm up (walk/jog depending on your fitness level) 10 minutes (your shooting for a light sweat)

    then if you want to stretch before dont do static make sure its dynamic http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/md47.htm dynamic might even boost your work out a bit (DONT STRETCH COLD ie. without a warm up)

    after that start with your first lift (one that costs the most energy) and do warm up sets that look like this
    50% of weight your going do your working sets with - 10 times
    70% of working set weight - 6 times
    80% - 3 times
    90% - 1 time.

    after that you should be good to go your joints will thank you.

    static stretching after you working is great just not before
    "Training, school, and life are not terribly complicated. They're not easy, but like I said, they're not complicated either." - Jim Wendler
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  17. #17
    Registered User ServoScanMan's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by dbx View Post
    There is actually a "scientific" (MAX OT) way to warm-up/acclimate before doing heavy compound lifts such as the lifts you mentioned, and it works wonders for many. Let's assume you're going to use 200# as a working weight. You'd acclimate like this:

    50% for 12 reps (100#) w/2min rest
    50% for 10 reps (100# " 2min "
    67% for 6 reps (135#) *3min rest*
    82% for 3 reps (165#) " 2min "
    93% for 1 rep (185#) " 2min "

    The percentages are what you need to know/try. Notice there is a 3min rest after the 6 rep set. At least use 2.5 if not the whole 3, as it will matter at that %. I've shared this with quite a few journalers here and they've all surprised themselves with how much weight they quickly increased for working weight. The principle here is to warm-up/acclimate without exhausting muscle. These percentages achieve this goal for most. Try it and see for yourselves . At some point down the road, you'll probably find yourself skipping doing the entire routine, but you'll likely keep a large part of it. And the rest time might seem excessive to some of you, but again, there's a reason for it.



    Absolutely!

    Dbx, glad to see you are back.

    Thanks for great the info!
    47yr male, 5'11", 235lbs, BF who knows? (Oct 05)
    48yr male, 5'11", 200lbs, 15.2% BF (Nov 06)
    48yr male, 5'11", 200lbs, 15.2% BF (May 07)
    49yr male, 5'11", 200lbs, 14.5% BF (Aug 07)
    49yr male, 5'11", 200lbs, 13.5% BF (Jan 08)
    50yr male, 5'11", 200lbs, 13.5% BF (Jul 08)

    ....and the height chart says I'm fat...ugh!
    Oh well, I gotta one pack ab.
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  18. #18
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    Originally Posted by Barry Bonds View Post
    before and after.
    x 2
    "Never give up. Don't ever give up." - Jimmy V.

    "I won't quit while I'm behind. If I do, how will I ever get ahead." - Alex Harb (my cousin)

    The only person you have to impress is yourself. But it's nice for others to take notice too.

    Life keeps me busy. My workouts keep me sane.

    I may get out played, but I will never get out hussled.
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    Originally Posted by chodan9 View Post
    I read an article that recomended warm up but not stretching before, it gave the reason that it weakened the connective tissue slightly just before the lift increasing the chance of injury as opposed to lessening it, it did say stretching just after lifting is good because it increased the over all flexibility but gave your streched muscles and joints a chance to heal before the next session of load.
    I cant seem to find it again though but if I do I'll post it.
    Indeed it has been tested and is a proven fact that Stretching after a work out is the best time to stretch. Although solid evidence isn't 100% saying you should never stretch before a work out, but 80% of studies have shown a decrease in injury to those who ONLY stretch AFTER work outs.

    Tests have also shown, about the same number of injurys happen to those who DONT stretch at all, or Stretch before hand "also before and after". But a solid decrease in injurys happen to those who only stretch after a work out.

    Hope this helps

    Most people dont understand that this only truely applies to Strength training.
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  20. #20
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    wow strong blast from the past for a 1st post
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  21. #21
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    You are always suppose to warm up and stretch to prevent injury and next day soreness.
    "Fear nothing"
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  22. #22
    Registered User plmb1's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    warmup before...........stretch after...........
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  23. #23
    08' is ours... Lwoodfootball's Avatar
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    Depends on what you are doing. If you don't stretch before a hard workout then you can pull something. Thats why for every sport you always do a light jog then stretch......
    "Fear nothing"
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  24. #24
    Registered User gbh903's Avatar
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    The Max OT method as outlined by dbx has worked very well for me. I have seen an increase in growth and strength with fewer injuries.
    I LOVE LIFTING.
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  25. #25
    Registered User plmb1's Avatar
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    Smile

    Yes, otherwise you will end up injured..........good luck.
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  26. #26
    I'll Rest When I'm Dead ironwill2008's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Bando View Post
    wow strong blast from the past for a 1st post
    Seems to happen a lot, around this time of year!
    No brain, no gain.

    You can't out-train bad nutrition.

    "The fitness and nutrition world is a breeding ground for obsessive-compulsive behavior. The irony is that many of the things people worry about have no impact on results either way, and therefore aren't worth an ounce of concern."--Alan Aragon

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  27. #27
    Kezznips strong Bando's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Rock1987 View Post
    Indeed it has been tested and is a proven fact that Stretching after a work out is the best time to stretch. Although solid evidence isn't 100% saying you should never stretch before a work out, but 80% of studies have shown a decrease in injury to those who ONLY stretch AFTER work outs.

    Tests have also shown, about the same number of injurys happen to those who DONT stretch at all, or Stretch before hand "also before and after". But a solid decrease in injurys happen to those who only stretch after a work out.

    Hope this helps

    Most people dont understand that this only truely applies to Strength training.
    Originally Posted by Lwoodfootball View Post
    You are always suppose to warm up and stretch to prevent injury and next day soreness.
    Methinks these two are one and the same user
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  28. #28
    08' is ours... Lwoodfootball's Avatar
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    Deffinatly not the same user.....
    "Fear nothing"
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  29. #29
    Registered User deerhearse's Avatar
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    On heavy days like bench, back or legs, I start with a moderate amount of weight in which I can pump out 15-20 reps.

    In the bench, for example, I start with about 17-20 reps at 225 lbs to warm up, then get heavier from there as my workout progresses.

    My 42 year old body needs "some" warm up, especially if I take a week or two off (like around these holidays!). Gym closed from before Christmas till I go back Monday January 5th!

    If I'm on a 5 day split routine, like normal, I require much less warm up before going heavy.

    Sometimes I warm up on the machine weights before doing free weights, but not often.
    "VENISON: THE OTHER RED MEAT!!!!"

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  30. #30
    The Cake Is A Lie! StressMonkey's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by EZ-Bar View Post
    ideally you want a light warm up (walk/jog depending on your fitness level) 10 minutes (your shooting for a light sweat)
    This is what I do. A few minutes jumping rope, on the treadmill, etc.
    There will come a day when I tire of listening to 80's music. That day is not today.

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