There are situations in life where I am extremely patient.
A difficult person/customer.
Being put on hold.
Putting in work to realize results.
Sticking with a vision to try to make it a reality—to name a few.
One area where it took me a long time to be patient was realizing the importance of an intelligent approach to warming up for a productive exercise and ultimately a productive training session.
When I first started training with weights I had a mindset that I wanted to put every ounce of my being into my work and would often do a warm up scheme that in retrospect wasn’t serving me very well.
For a while I actually just jumped directly to my working sets and on a few occasions this not so bright approach came back to bite me as you can imagine in the form of various muscle strains.
I guess my thinking at that time was that I would have more energy/strength reserves if I just went right to it.
Learning from some of these bad experiences I did start to employ a warm up but this time it was the opposite approach.
I warmed up too much.
For instance if I was doing bench presses it would go something like this:
Then follow with a working set scheme of:
225×3 or possibly even 2 reps.
Using the example above and employing what I like to call reach sets into the warm up, this would be in my opinion a better approach:
115×5 (Warmup set #1 roughly 50% of your work sets for 5 reps.)
170×3 (*Warmup set # 2 roughly 75% of your work sets for 3 reps.)
235×1 (*Warmup set # 3 (reach set) 105% of your work sets for 1 rep.) This is a strategic component of the warm up in which you not only get a “feel” for the heavier work that is looming, but there is also a psychological boost as you will then reduce the weight for your working sets:
Most likely your results will be improved from the example above, something like:
More effort can be focused on the work at hand and gaining a few reps each workout will pay long term dividends.
There are of course situations in which you will have to customize your warm ups—for instance someone that is older, someone with an injury, or someone that is in the upper-limits of their strength capacities may need to add additional sets such as before the 50% warm up set they may need to install a preceding set of roughly 30% of your work sets for 7 reps and so on.