It’s important when you start lifting weights that you begin with a good foundation and proper practices to ensure that you are making the most of your gym sessions and setting yourself up for long-term success. The goal of a productive fitness regimen is to see improvements in our body composition, health, strength, and long-term fitness sustainability. How many times have you jumped into a new hobby or job and realized quickly that you are in over your head with a boat load of content, information overload, and crash and burn before you even get started, let alone accomplish what you set out to achieve?
Ideally, I’ll be able to help set you up for success in the gym by following a few fundamental training tips. Once we’ve explored the basics, we can then dive deep into all the juicy details about training and make some gains!
Before we get into specifics on training itself, I want to make sure that we go over a few things that are essential to getting the most out of your training.
One of those things is a PROPER WARMUP
Clients will ask me all the time what weights they should be using for their exercises. A proper warm-up is where you can determine what weights YOU should be using. By practicing good form in your warm ups with:
you will be able to determine what weights to use when performing your working sets.
A proper warm up shouldn’t give you a pump and it shouldn’t get you super sweaty. It is essentially a rehearsal to be deliberate and meticulous with your lifting form to:
Proper execution when performing a lift is a huge opportunity to make the most of your time in the gym and see improvements both physically and with the amount of weight you are able to lift.
Proper execution of a lift is more important than the amount of weight you can lift. As you continue to progressively overload in your program, it’s important that you keep good form in your warm up sets which should translate to your working sets to avoid injury.
An example of a proper warm up on squats for me would be to perform:
A set of squats with perfect form with the bar. (Warmup set 1)
Progress to a bit more weight (115lbs) and make sure a set of 6 or so are perfect and I feel good. (Warmup set 2)
Then I’d add a bit more weight to the bar for 155lbs and I’d do a set of 3-4 making sure everything was in alignment and my breathing was proper. (Warmup set 3)
I’d rest for a few minutes and then I’d load up the bar for my first working set (215-225lbs) to try to target a rep range of 6-8. (Working set 1)
If anything was off on my warmup sets for any reason, I would skip squats for that day. A warmup is a rehearsal, and if you can’t get the rehearsal right, you should fix the issues before continuing on to the main event.
Now you know how to properly warmup for your workouts and make the most of your lifts.