Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Pre-Workout Warm Up Exercise Routine

One of the most neglected aspects of weight training and one of my biggest pet peeves is NOT performing a proper warm up. How often have you seen a novice lifter walk into the gym right off the street, and then go straight into a set of bench presses or bicep curls?

(Note: I hope you aren't that guy, and if you are then you really need to watch this video below :-)

This exact scenario happened not too long ago at the gym when
I was in the middle of my workout and it was down right sad...

This skinny young guy walked in by himself, I'd say he was in
his early 20's. He went over to the bench press, tossed his
jacket on the rack next to him and then put 185 on the bar.

He plopped his butt down on the bench, un-racked the bar, and
it dropped like a rock and literally stapled him to the bench!
All he could do was yell out "Help!"

I was amazed that someone could be so stupid...

First to attempt a 1 rep max with no warm up,
and second to do it with out having a spotter.

Anyway, I walked over deadlifted the bar off his chest,
racked it for him, and just shook my head in disbelief.
I didn't need to say a word, he was already embarrassed
enough as it was.

While he maybe lucky and get away with this kind of careless
training for a little while, he is eventually going to get
seriously hurt, it's just a matter of time.

The stronger you get, the more intensity you can generate
with your training, and the more important doing a proper
warm up becomes.

That's why I just posted up a YouTube video showing my personal warm up exercise ritual that I like to perform before each and every workout I do in the gym. It only takes about 10 minutes, and trust me it's time well invested.

The key here is to simply get the blood flowing, elevate your core temperature, warm up your tendons, joints, and ligaments and prepare your body both mentally and physically for the workout that's to follow.

Check out the video clip below to see my personal "Pre-Workout Warm Up Ritual"...


  1. Hey Lee,

    Why is there no stretching in your warm-up? When I don't stretch before doing squats/deadlifts I don't get my max ROM.

  2. Good point Mischa, this is the general warm up that I do before each and every workout. Then prior to each major exercise I'll go through progressively heavier warm up sets for those as well. So for example, if I was squatting I'd start with:

    The bar x 5
    135 x 5
    185 x 5
    225 x 5
    Etc... all the way up to my top working weight.

    You'll notice that I don't do too many reps on warm up sets and burn out. I still want to save my strength for my heavy sets, so that's why I limit myself to sets of 5 reps for warm ups.

    As for stretching, I don't like to do any cold stretching before training. It's better save your stretching for after your workouts when your muscles are already pumped and warmed up.

    I have a full article about stretching at:

    If you go through a general total body warm up like is shown in the video, and then perform progessively heavier warm up sets working up to your max weight for each exercise, you should have no problem being able to perform a full range of motion for your working sets.

  3. Hey Lee! This is a very valuable info on warm-ups. I am a beginner in weight lifting, been doing this more a little over 2 months and the value of warm-ups to prevent unncessary injuries is just so important. I like your warm-up ritual and I think I am going to adapt them to mine (if you don't mind). Thanks for giving valuable tips and pointers. God bless u Sir!

  4. Hi Lee, is there any specific reason that you did not include a jog in your warm up routine?

  5. Re: Kyle
    Watch the video again right from the start, I explain this while I'm on the elliptical machine.

  6. i have been going to the gym for 3 months i have lost 60 pounds but i still cant come up with a workout routine what is good for a beginner