The Importance of Warming Up Before A Work-Out


Weight training can be as complicated or as simple as what you like to make it. There are basic principles to follow just like anything in life. The problem is when we look for shortcuts. I get text, emails, and phone calls about how to execute the different set types we have set up in WebFit. Some people think I created the terms. Some think they are made up adjectives that are indicative into how I feel about them (Stretching = "Boring and you don't want me doing anything" - Standard Sets = "I Like You" - Supersets = "You Need To Work A Little Harder" - Circuits = "I'm Mad At You or Punishment".  Haha! While all those gestures are funny. They are false. I only utilize science to help you get closer to your goal in a safe, yet effective fashion.

When the principles of weight training are used correctly, your results can be astounding. The science of weight training is my passion and sharing that is my goal. My goal is to educate you in a crash course on set types; what each of them mean, and the benefit of them when performed correctly.

"Static Stretching" Stretching is the deliberate lengthening of muscles in order to increase muscle flexibility and joint range of motion. Stretching activities are an important part of any exercise or rehabilitation program. They help warm the body up prior to activity thus decreasing the risk of injury as well as muscle soreness. Flexible muscles can improve your daily performance. I often see individuals who have a hard time doing day to day tasks such as putting shoes, picking up groceries, changing light bulbs, cleaning the house and putting on your clothes. Stretching increases blood flow to your muscles. Blood flowing to your muscles brings nourishment and gets rid of waste byproducts in the muscle tissue. Improved circulation can help shorten your recovery time if you've had any muscle injuries as well. Here are some things to keep in mind when performing stretches: * Bouncing as you stretch can cause small tears (microtears) in the muscle, which leave scar tissue as the muscle heals. The scar tissue tightens the muscle even further, making you even less flexible and more prone to pain. * If you feel pain as you stretch, you've gone too far. Back off to the point where you don't feel any pain, then hold the stretch. * Don't hold your breath while you're stretching. * The benefits of stretching are many and have been proven through various studies over time. A study done in the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy showed that, "Static stretching is effective at increasing Range Of Motion. The greatest change in ROM with a static stretch occurs between 15 and 30 seconds." Typically static stretching is done at the beginning of a workout prior to doing a dynamic warm up and after a light warm up of some sort of light cardiovascular activity. This quick 5-10 minutes allows you to calm your mind and start actively thinking about the time you are about to spend at the gym. It also allows you to come down off any stress while priming your body for exercise. This is essential to your success not only in reaching your goals but also for quality of life.


"Dynamic Warm Up" The main purpose behind a dynamic warm-up is to increase the blood flow to the exercise musculature, and to increase the nervous system awareness. You're trying to stimulate that awareness to the exercises that are going to follow. It's the steppingstone before you actually start doing more intense exercises. It should be the first part of our workout; and it's absolutely critical because it warms up your tissue temperature prior to starting your workout and will allow you to perform more efficiently. Because most cardio activities are performed with relatively small ranges of motion and are dominant in one plane (straight ahead, such as walking, running, cycling, stair climbing, elliptical, etc.), it is important to incorporate movements that move the body in more complete ways. This should include full ranges of motion, rotation and side-to-side movements.

These two different set types are often skipped because of a lack of time, not interesting, and some just don't see the benefit. But to be honest, these are the most important of them all. Because without them, you will not be able to get into and out of life positions efficiently (squatting, deadlifting, pressing) or perform exercises correctly. This is the core to any and every exercise program. So please don't skip these two important pieces. They could be the very thing that takes you to the next level.