Warm-Up in Fitness Training: More muscles, fewer injuries in 10 minutes.
Warm-Up! Warm-up in fitness training? To warm up, we start today with a quiz question.
What accelerates muscle growth and definition yet is often ignominiously neglected in training?
So what is essential in every muscle-building training plan?
Exactly: The Warm Up in Fitness training!
Wait a minute: warm-up accelerates muscle growth? As a matter of fact!
And you will immediately know why.
What I found out yesterday really shocked me!
As I warmed up on the elliptical and mentally reviewed this article, I decided to do a little survey and find an answer to the question:
“How many gym-goers actually warm up before strength training – and how many skip the warm-up?”
The cardio equipment in my gym is right between the locker room and the training area, so it’s perfect for a statistical sample.
The result was clear: 8 out of 10 gym goers elegantly skipped the warm-up before their training and went straight to action in a training session they almost could have saved themselves.
I wonder if gentlemen also prefer the cold start during sex.
In either case, not only are they missing out, but they are also taking a significant risk.
Why do warm-up in fitness and workout belong together?
Imagine getting into your dream car. You love this car because there is only one in the world. Already looking forward to feeling how the engine fully develops its power.
You turn the ignition key. You hear that incredible sound as the engine kicks into gear.
Would you push your sweetheart’s cold engine to the limit on the first kilometre? Would you hammer in first gear without depressing the clutch first and then fully depress the accelerator?
I guess not.
Many athletes think they can save time by skipping the warm-up in fitness: “Hey, I’d rather skip the 10-minute warm-up and do a few extra sets of bicep curls instead! I’m sure I’ll build even more muscles with it!”
Quite the opposite: what makes intuitive sense at first glance is more than counterproductive. If you skip the warm-up in fitness?
- you risk lengthy injuries to muscles, tendons and joints.
- your muscles don’t perform at their best. This makes muscle-building training ineffective and maybe even extra!
Many athletes are unaware of the second point: a cold muscle cannot develop its full strength potential.
You only set a training stimulus that lets you get better if you fully utilize your muscle. And you can’t push a cold muscle to its limit – because it’s not able to call up the power that is literally dormant in it.
Let me put it another way:
“If you start muscle-building training without a warm-up, you not only risk long-term injuries that ruin the supposedly ‘saved’ time many times over. You should also expect minimal to stagnant training’ successes’.”
So if you want to get the most out of your training, there is no way around the warm-up.
What is a warm-up in fitness training?
Are you still sitting in your dream car? Good, because it’s precisely the same with our dream body: it wants to be brought up to operating temperature first.
During the warm-up, you pump blood into your muscles and warm them up. Warm muscle structure is more resilient and less prone to painful strains and muscle fibre tears.
Another effect is that the so-called intramuscular coordination improves, i.e. more muscle fibres can be activated simultaneously during exercise.
The result: You have more strength and move more weight!
We understand warm-up to mean what we actively do to start training or competition in optimal physical condition.
The warm-up in muscle-building training consists of two parts, both of which are carried out in a very low-intensity aerobic zone:
- General warm-up
- Specific warm-up
In the first part, the general warm-up, you bring your body up to temperature. You prepare the muscle group to be trained for the upcoming exertion with the specific warm-up.
Roger? Let’s do it!
The 10-minute warm-up for maximum training success
A perfect warm-up doesn’t have to last longer than 10 minutes and consists of two parts.
1 – General Warm Up
Light aerobic training is the easiest way to get up to operating temperature. You can use cardio equipment (bicycle, rowing ergometer, cross trainer, treadmill, etc.), jogging, or jump rope.
- What does light load mean? You are optimally on course if your heart rate is around 60% of the maximum.
- How much time should I allow for the general warm-up? So much until you start sweating. For most people, that’s 5-7 minutes. Athletes who have passed the “40” should take about twice as much time.
- I bike/jog to the gym. Does that also count as a warm-up? Yes Perfect. If you and your gym aren’t neighbours and you move around long enough: Go for it!
Are you sweating already? Nice. So now we’re moving towards the devices.
2 – Specific Warm Up
Here are two excellent ways to warm up the muscle groups you’re working on.
- Specific weighted warm-up: Start with the standard first set, but only use half your workout weight. Let’s say you plan to do a few reps of the 80 kg barbell bench press. Then you start with a warm-up set, for which you only use 40 kg. On the one hand, you increase the mobility of your muscles, tendons and joints and prepare your nervous system for the upcoming stress.
- Bodyweight-specific warm-up (without weights): If you want, you can also use your body as a warm-up tool.
Let’s say you want to start with 10 reps on the bench press and don’t feel like switching plates for the warm-up set.
On, in the push-ups with you!
Do a total of 30 reps before going full-weight into your training set.
Even if you’re one of those people who are so busy that they schedule their own sex with their partner in their schedule, you can (and should) always take a few minutes for a proper warm-up before a workout.
It’s nothing more, just a few minutes.
And you already know how you plan things.
Do I really have to? The lion isn’t warming up either.
A few years ago, I read an interview with American fitness dad Jack LaLanne in the edition of Outside magazine, who made a clear statement on the subject of warm-ups:
“The warm-up is the quirkiest s**t I’ve ever heard of. 15 minutes for a warm-up!
Does a lion only warm up when it gets hungry?
‘Oh-oh, there’s an antelope. I’d rather do some warm-up exercises first.’
He just takes off and kills the prey.”
I like Jack LaLanne. His direct style and the clear words, and I like animal documentaries because human behaviour has many parallels.
But I also think Jack should watch the lion a little longer. The lion also increases when he wakes up by stretching extensively.
The lion intuitively knows the current state of research and training practice: the better you warm up, the more you can do without injuring yourself.
Warm-Up in Fitness Training – Conclusion
The perfect warm-up lasts 10 (15 for more experienced people) minutes:
Start with light aerobic training, and then prepare the specific muscle groups of your training day for the upcoming exertion with or without weights.
The warm-up in fitness is critical if you work with high weights or few repetitions in muscle-building training.
The heavier the weights you lift and the lower the number of repetitions, the higher your risk of injury – if you start training cold.
As I said: I want you not to make my mistakes again. And, of course, in youthful carelessness, I also tried out the time-saving cold start for you.
Did not work.
4 reps heavy deadlift – hamstring – 3 months rest from running.
3 months of training time saved if you want it that way. I didn’t mean it that way back then.