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How to Improve your warm up in the Gym.

“Right lads, 5 laps, 20 pushups and 10 sprints”

I can still hear old coaches that I had shouting this at me at a massive intensity even though we were only just warming up!!

By the time you were finished, you were mentally fatigued (this was after all, the tenth same warm up up in a row) and you then had to complete the usual static stretch consisting of “hammers”, calfs, quads and maybe, the groins.

That same mentality is thankfully moving away from sports in Ireland. People now involved in medium to high level sports now appreciate the value in science based warmups and enjoyable ones at that.

I myself prefer the R.A.M.P system which means you Raise the body temperature, heart flow and blood flow, Activate the key muscles you will work in the session, Mobilise the key joints in the body and finally, Potentially perform high intensity patterns and skills you intend to do in the session.

That usually takes me 12 minutes to complete out on a training field with a group of 30 guys.

Its clear, concise, fun and most of all gives the players confidence that they are ready for anything without the risk of injury.

Time wasting in warm ups can be mind-numbing for any individual. Thankfully people are seeing the light but as the old saying goes “they haven’t gone away you know”!!

In many gyms, I still see people spending 20- 30 minutes warming up. Fitness Instructors are telling them to hop on a treadmill for 15 minutes, static stretch for 10 and then possibly hitting the cardio before weights session!

If you are in a gym that does that then run..away!

That i’m afraid is an Instructor who doesn’t want to coach or is unable. You see, its easier to throw someone (literally) on a treadmill than show them a overhead squat.

Its easier to say 15 minutes on the bike level 1 than it is to show them how to do soft tissue release work with a PVC pipe.

Theres a lot of teaching involved before you actually begin to train. The coach and client want results now, so why waste time.

At Total Fitness Solutions, we implement a slightly different system of warming up than I use out on the training field.

A olympic lifting coach from scotland once told me that in a lifting session, why warm with anything other that what you are lifting with i.e the bar.

In my sessions I use a method called W.T.W.

That stands for Warm-up, Time, Workout.

In my warm up I complete :

6 minutes of Soft Tissue release on a hockey ball or sliotar,

Overhead squats 3 sets of 8 ,

Hip flexor stretch,

Push ups 3 sets of 8,

Pull ups 3 sets of 8,

Hip thrusts body weight 2 sets of 10.

Then I perform the time session:

Goblet squats x 10 reps,

Kettlebell swings x 10 reps,

Goblet squats x 10 reps,

Kettlebell swings x 10 reps,

Goblet squats x 10 reps,

Finally I am ready for W, which is my workout.

At no stage am I wasting time nor am I swinging my arms in front of the mirror or warming my shoulders up with two 5kg weights when I am about to do squats!!!

Bottom line people, time is crucial in our daily lives so when you train you actually train, not warm up stupidly for 30 minutes of your session.



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