Archives For warm up

I didn't hit any 1 rep maxes this week, but I did get a bench press 3RM at 320lbs and 5RM at 300lbs. No videos unfortunately.

With only a few more days left in 2012, I'm not sure if I can break any more PR's this year.

But that doesn't mean I'm not going to try!

We'll see what happens this upcoming week. Maybe I'll just throw on some fractional plates and get a 0.5lbs PR on my lifts haha.

Anyways, here's something I wrote this past week that you might have missed:

And check out these articles:

  1. Developing Your Own Training Philosophy By Chase Karnes
  2. You Are Not Overtrained By Mike Tuchscherer
  3. Warm Up By Mike Robertson

Well, I finally hit that 495lbs high bar squat! I think I missed that weight 2 or 3 weeks in a row. I think a 500lbs high bar squat is just around the corner.

And also nailed a 510lbs low bar squat the next day. Short-medium term goal: 550lbs. Long term goal: 600lbs. Still a long way to go...

Anyways, here's some of my blog posts you might have missed:

  1. Q&A About My Heavy Warmup
  2. Ironmind Neck Harness Review
  3. Cardio Equipment worth $400+ that I scored for $120. Time to burn some fat!

And here are 3 solid articles I came across this week that I think you should check out:

  1. What Differentiates The Chinese? by Kirksman
  2. 3 Press Fixes by Justin Lascek
  3. Reps: Strength Training Pixie Dust by Paul Carter

Q&A: Heavy Warm Ups

September 25, 2012 — 2 Comments

Here’s a question from ShawnAcker from Fitocracy about my squat warm up:

Hey bro was looking at your workouts mad squats im hoping to eventually get to a high weight myself.. had a question tho..

Is there any reason you do light weight 1st ( as a warm up ill assume) but then you go right to heaviest but back down to lighter weights again.. do you find that helps?

I was told you were never suppose to go from heavy to light.. if that really matters i dunno.. but obviously your doing something right

My Answer:

Yes, going from a heavy weight during warm ups to a lighter weight for the work sets makes the load feel a lot lighter.

I got the idea of warming up to a weight that is heavier than the working set a few months ago. I also read about it from Charles Poliquin:

Basically the idea was to warm up to a weight that is a little heavier than the working set, so when you start doing squats on the working set, it will feel lighter.

Also, I read of something similar from Nick Horton: but he writes about squatting up to a max, and then dropping down and doing a few backoff sets.

John Broz's method also goes up to a max squat, and then does a bunch of backoff sets.

Kirksman, who apparently trained with the Chinese weightlifting team writes about Chinese lifters going for a "daily max" then dropping the weight and perform more reps:

What I've been experimenting with lately is hitting a heavy single (or double), before performing my work sets.

Currently for high bar squats my last "warm up" set is a single at 460lbs, and

My current high bar squat 1RM is 490lbs.

460lbs is challenging (94% 1RM), much higher than my working set of 395lbs, but it is not so difficult that it takes away from my work set. Once I hit my work set, 395lbs feels like nothing. I haven't tried squatting to a max every workout (yet) but it sounds exciting.

I also think that squatting heavy (90%+ 1RM) multiple times per week will get me, at least psychologically, accustomed to squatting loads near my 1RM and not be intimidated by heavy weights.


  • 350lbs: 5,5,5,5,5

Bench Press

  • 240lbs: 5,5,5,5,5


  • Tried a new way to warm up; did 1 rep during my last warm up set with a higher weight than my work set
  • Last warm up set for squat was 365lbs x 1
  • Last warm up set for bench press was 265lbs x 1
  • This makes the main set (which is a lower weight) feel much easier

I haven't watched the 2011 version of Conan the Vegetarian Barbarian yet (and not sure if I ever will), but the original Conan starring Arnold Schwarzenegger was simply awesome.

The theme song "Anvil of Crom" from Conan the Barbarian (1982) gets me real pumped up before training and makes me want to unleash some ruthless aggression on the barbell. Listen to it below:

Here's another one from Conan the Destroyer:


Anyways, here are some good reads this past week.

Stuff You Should Read

  1. John Alvino has the answers the question "What's better: Sumo or Conventional deadlifts?"
  2. Charles Poliquin explains the best way to warm up for strength training (I have to try out using a higher weight than my work set...makes perfect sense!)
  3. Chinups/Pullups are a staple upper body exercise, however not everyone can do them on a straight bar without experience pain in the wrists, elbows or shoulders. Jason Ferruggia shows you a better way to do chinups