Take 10 minutes to warm up to work weight for the metcon.
Exposure 5 of 8
3 Rounds For Time:
10 Power Clean and Jerks 165/110
The run starts toward 4th Avenue then to 3rd Ave. and back. The Cleans are Power and the Shoulder-to-Overhead are anyhow, the most efficient way being a Push or Power Jerk. The weight should be on the heavy side for reps. On the fast end, they may be done touch-and-go in sets of 3-6, but bailed singles are also appropriate. Scale load accordingly.
Post time and Rx to comments.
Sarah M. bringing down the house at last night’s CFSBK Art Show. Thanks to everyone who performed, showed art, attended, and otherwise made it a great evening. And thanks most of all to Kate R. for organizing the event!
Warming Up a Lift
By Noah Abbott
Originally posted on 2.3.2015
Are you the type of person who would give a speech to a packed house without practicing it first? Would you dance at a wedding without having a drink or two to lubricate your get-down muscles?
If you are one of those rare souls that is eternally ready to perform at full intensity and proficiency at a moment’s notice, you can ignore this article. For the rest of us humans, I’m here to talk to you about how we should approach warming up our barbell lifts.
General Barbell Warm-Up Guidelines
First, let’s preface that this approach has greater applicability for the “slow” barbell lifts (squat, deadlift, presses, etc.) than the “fast” or Olympic lifts. While the principles apply generally to Olympic lifting, the unpredictability and technical aspect of those lifts means they will be warmed up in a slightly different manner (extended barbell drills, more singles, etc.).
So, here’s the easy part. When we warm up our lifts, we will always start with the empty bar. This is good practice for 500# and 100# squatters alike, for reasons I will delve into later. The only exception to this rule is the deadlift, where light bumper plates are needed to elevate the bar so we can get into a proper starting position. We want to generally take 3 or 4 warm-up sets to get to our working weight. Sometimes, if our work sets are very sub-maximal, we can take slightly less. If we are sore, trying to iron out some wonky movement patterns, or simply have learned that our body responds well to some higher warm-up volume, we can take slightly more. Still, it shouldn’t take much more than a handful of warm-up sets to be ready to rock.
With that in mind, let’s take a theoretical athlete warming up to squat 155x5x3 (to be clear, that’s five reps for three sets). I’ll outline the athlete’s warm-up, and use it to illustrate a few points:
Don’t Let the Appetizer Spoil Your Dinner
First, and most importantly, notice that as the lifter nears their work weight, volume decreases, moving from 5 reps when its light all the way down to 1 when its fairly heavy. You want your warm-up to be just that—something to get you prepared for your work sets, without diminishing from them. While your brain understands the difference between 145 and 155 pounds, your body will distinguish very little between the two as far as fatigue is concerned. In this example, 145 represents 93.5% of the lifter’s working weight. A set of 5 at this weight would amount to that lifter performing something so close in stimulus to their work set that it is operationally indistinguishable. For a novice lifter who is working with very sub-max weights, this might not be a problem. For someone near the end of a linear progression or attempting something relatively challenging, this could be the difference between success and failure. Your last warm-up set is simply to prepare your body and mind for your heaviest weight of the day- your work sets.
Taper Your Jumps
The next thing to consider while looking at our theoretical lifter is that each jump in warm-up weight is slightly smaller than its precedent as the lifter nears their work sets. I’ll do the math for you:
The reasoning behind this is to make sure that as we move towards heavier weights we are being a bit more cautious with our jumps. This could be thought of as the “don’t dive headfirst into the freezing lake” effect.
This doesn’t need to be approached with the precision seen in our example. It is certainly most important for the last warm-up set or two and the jump between your last warm-up and work sets. Truth be told, I had to work backwards and massage the numbers a bit to make sure each jump was smaller than the one before it. When we account for the reality of time constraints, working with partners, and annoying 2.5# plates, this is simply a rough guideline to consider when planning warm-ups.
Know Your Body
Here comes the part when I tell you to that all of the preceding circuitous rambling is highly dependent on personal characteristics, preferences, and experience, and can vary from day to day. For instance, I know I like my last warm-up to be very close to my work weight—within 5 or 10 pounds. Others are more comfortable taking larger jumps, it’s highly personal. Over time you will learn what works for you, and some days you may feel like you need a little extra warm-up, either because you feel sore or cold or because you need some extra practice before “shit gets real.” Listen to your body, consult your journal, and don’t feel too locked into one specific way of doing things. Also, keep in mind that as your strength increases, your relative jumps must increase as well—don’t get stuck making the same jumps, or else you will need to either make a giant leap between warm-up and work sets or take about 9 warm-up sets to get to work weight.
Intention Through Your Warm-Up
Lastly, here’s a thought process to guide your through your warm-ups. This golden nugget of fitness wisdom was imparted to me by the Celestial Bodhisattva David Osorio, Blessed Be His Hamstrings, and has been invaluable to me in my own lifting. The following guiding principles are arranged to be considered in order, from your first warm-up (WITH THE EMPTY BARBELL) through your last warm-up set, and are cumulative—don’t discard them from your thinking as you move forward, simply shift your mental prioritization.
Position: For your first warm-up set, pay attention to your positioning, range-of-motion, and whether each joint action and limb segment is doing what they are supposed to (knees out, wrists straight, etc.). With the empty bar, it is easy and safe to make corrections or even pause in a position to work thing out. Make sure you have done so before moving forward.
Balance: After you add some weight to the barbell for your second warm-up set, you will now be better able to feel slight deviations from balanced position. Pay attention to bar path and where your weight is in your feet throughout the entirety of the lift. The weight is still light enough that you can slow or possibly pause the movement to make corrections. Make sure you are well balanced before your next set.
Tension: As we approach our third set, there should be a moderate amount of weight on the bar, and we can begin to set our intention (‘sup yoga?) to creating tension. Focus on bracing, pulling your ribcage down, and bracing your abs. Make sure your knees are driven out, your shoulders are pulled back, or whatever specific element needs to be tight and packed for your movement.
Focus: This may be the most overlooked, and possibly most important part of your warm-up. Your last set, at a weight that is virtually identical to your work weight, is your dress rehearsal. Now is the time to practice all of the singularity of purpose, tenacity, and heart you will bring to bear for your work sets. Go through your little ritual, stomp and stamp, grip the bar like you’re gonna break it, whatever works for you. Treat it like it weighs more than your work weight. If you do this right, it should feel easy and smooth, and inspire confidence for your work sets. If you are lackadaisical in your approach it will feel heavy and make you feel that much more uneasy about your work. Let it all hang out.
By now you’ve warmed up your synapses, and certainly your eyeballs, by reading this missive. While it may seem unnatural to spend this much time examining what amounts to a simple preparatory period for our work, keep in mind the 7 P’s: Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance. If performance is our goal (and it is) that planning is our pathway to that goal.
Walk it with heart, determination, and intention. Peace.
Veteran lifters: How do you approach your warm-ups? Tell us in the comments!
Yesterday’s Whiteboard: Front Squat | Partner WOD
2016 CrossFit Invitational Events Released CrossFit Games
Toni Morrison on the Artist’s Task in Troubled Times Brain Pickings
Arturo R. says
-Wear high socks-
15 min AMRAP w/Partner
5 Ring Dips
10 Cal Row
15 Burpees over erg
11am with Arturo
WOD in 12:37 Rx.
Could not push on the runs and focused so much on getting the clean right that my jerks were mostly push presses.
Loving these metcons on Thursdays and Sundays this cycle.
WOD: 9:46 Rx
Was able to cycle some triple or doubles at the start of each set, but always ended in singles.
FSQ: 135 x 3, 155x x 3, 175 x 8.
Partner WOD with Natalie and Gerry, not sure about what time we finished, but was happy to get through the 50 push ups and 50 pull ups.
Then played around a bit…
Deadlift: 205 x 10 x 4 (Touch and go)
Played around with kipping T2B – can do some doubles
1 min test on the Assault Bike: 25 cal.
Pretty low energy today so just wanted to get work done.
Rx in 14:07
Runs were verrrry slow.
Samir Chopra says
10AM with Foxy Brown
Subbed a 400m row, and 135lb power cleans and 15 push-ups per round.
Finished in 10:58.
Great thanks to everyone at AG today who helped me push through a panic attack PTSD moment brought on by a rope climb. I can not imagine a more positive, supportive group of people. Coach Ro thanks for making me face my fear. So much love to you all.
Allie B says
Art show was amazing! So much passion, drive, and talent!
C&J: worked up to 98, decided on 88. Did grace at 73 last time. 14:31. Scaled, correctly I think!!
AG was pretty inspiring. Fun to see a peer conquer a fear and Ro make a very inclusive and safe space during the rope climbs. We have gotten so good at rope climbs thanks to AG! Wish they could be incorporated into WODs more, but it's probably hard with so any members. Anyway, a couple of us grappled with kipping legless rope climbs which was super fun!!
Klove and I partnered on the wod– 2 burpee away from 6 rounds. Wish I could take a rest day tomorrow, but I can't bc of thanksgiving. Quads are fried.
Chas C. says
10 a.m. w/JB & C.Fox.
C&J Metcon: 13:07 @ 150#. JB said "heavier than Grace" so I initially lowballed myself at 145 (because my Grace time is slowww), but felt good while warming up and went a little heavier. Still probably too light, ironically, but grateful for the opportunity to work on form. Few press-outs on the overhead work but managed to get into a rhythm during the second set that helped me get under the bar more efficiently.
Seconding Charlie's appreciation for the long metcons on Thursdays and Sundays this cycle. They teach me a lot about what I have to reinforce in my Olympic lift technique, but also surprise me when I learn what I'm capable of.
Maybe it's because I'm heading out of town this week for Thanksgiving, but I've been thinking a lot about the posts that trickled in here after the election about what a place of comfort this gym is, regardless of who you are or where you come from. I woke up this morning feeling pretty down about a lot of things and dragging my heels about coming in. When I finally made myself get out there, I was working hard and laughing along with you guys. Sorry to get all sentimental, but it's a great space. Thanks, CFSBK team.
Cold AF says
It's cold! New hoodies please???
Loved the artwork yesterday and the performances by Sarah, Whit and Brett were incredible!
WOD in 15:38 I think
C&Js at 103.
I almost did this at 108, but glad I didn't. Ro suggested I do 103 and push the runs since I'm not good at running. Well I sucked at both today. I tried to push the runs but the wind was unforgiving. C&Js weren't the greatest today. Starting position wasn't good, didn't catch the bar high enough and had some press outs on the jerks.
Speaking of unforgiving wind…debris crashed through my apt window and shattered it. 🙁 Thank goodness for having wonderful neighbors who cleaned up the mess and patched up the window while I made phone calls to make sure it gets fixed this week. sigh.
Rope climbs. I agree with Allie's sentiments about Ro creating a safe space for Sasha to face her fears! Congratulations, Sasha! I was so happy to witness that moment!
I tried legless rope climbs. Had a swing and a miss on the first attempt, then made it a couple of inches on my second attempt. Ok, maybe more than a couple.
Partner WOD with Allie. The burpees over the erg after rowing are KILLER! Major quad burn.
Fun day until I got home!
Great job Sasha!