VIDEO: How To Warm-Up For Weight Lifting When You Feel Sluggish

How can you warm-up for heavy weight lifting effectively, and how many warm-up sets do you need? Before you get into your lifts, do you even need warm-up sets?

That last question is easy. Yes. Yes you do. That is, if your goal is to lift the most weight during your session, to improve strength, or to test your max, a good warm-up is mandatory.

How To Warm-Up For Weight Lifting When You Feel Sluggish

Everyone is different in how many warm up sets they need to give their best performance on heavy squats, deadlifts, bench press, cleans etc. As well, each individual will also have different needs depending on the day. There are some days when we walk into the gym and feel great. Other days, you feel like you have no pop. No juice. No mojo under the bar. So how do you adjust and respond? Aside from cranking some Muddy Waters on your headphones, how do you get that mojo working?

 
 

When it comes to how to warm-up for weight lifting, I recommend having a predetermined 'feel good' weight, which I describe in detail in the video above.

Pick a weight that’s around 80% of your one-rep-max as a starting point, and then adjust for what works best for you. The idea is that this weight is heavy enough that it gives you a good indication about how ready your body is to handle heavy loads. At the same time, it’s not so heavy that it will cause very much fatigue that could take way from heavier work sets.

Warm-up as normal until you reach your ‘feel good’ weight. If it moves well and feels solid, keep on going. But if it feels a little slow, stay at that weight until it, well… feels good. Don’t progress to heavier and more demanding sets until it does.

I recommend doing anywhere from 2-5 sets of 1-rep at that weight with moderate rest between sets. Focus on perfect technique, lots of body tension, and moving the weight up quickly and aggressively. Lower your weight back at a regular speed.

I’ve seen this work countless times. Some days we need more sets to rev up our nervous system, and this is a great way to do it without accumulating much extra fatigue. Some individuals require more warm-ups than others.

If you’ve been in the gym long enough you know that some small percentage of workouts just don’t feel good. For whatever reason, you’re having a high gravity day and everything feels like a million pounds. You’ll still have those days, but many times a proper warm-up to fire your nervous system up will let you perform, even on days when you initially feel sluggish.


Peter Roberts