Every program needs direction; and in the majority of instances that direction comes in the form of a goal or a set of goals. A lot of guys want to bench 300 or ladies might want to lose an inch off of their waist lines. Having goals like these make programming much easier and a lot more focused than that whole horse shoes and hand grenades deal. Should program goals stop at over-arching goals such as these and the subsequent goals that are developed to achieve them? We say nay, and so should you. A solid and productive warm-up can make the difference between an awesome training session and a day in the gym that never should have been, so why not use goals to make warming up a focused effort. Beyond Strength warm-up programs are based around the four central goals outlined below. Understanding that each part of our warm-up programs are aimed at achieving one of these goals makes warming up quicker, more efficient and more productive. Without further ado, here are the four goals we build every warm-up to achieve.
Central Nervous System Excitement
Consider your nervous system the power plant for your body. Nervous system control is the basis of all movement, without priming it for work performance potential declines significantly. Using elements of your warm-up to get your CNS firing on all cylinders can turn an OK work out into a record setter!
Raising Core Body Temperature
It is called a warm-up, right? So, getting your body temperature up is a lot of what warm-ups are based upon. But, why is it so important? The two main reasons are enzymatic activity and joint lubrication. The enzymes that help your body use energy work more efficiently at higher core body temperatures, boosting the amount of energy you’ll be able to use! Elevating your core temperature also increases blood flow to muscles and joints, preparing them to move more efficiently and reducing the risk of injury.
Improving Movement Quality
You know how the old saying goes, quality always wins over quantity. It may ring even more true when it comes to training. Doing 50 reps on the bench with terrible form isn’t nearly as productive as 25 solid reps. Warm-ups are a great tool for improving quality of movement, both in the gym and in life, because if you aren’t moving properly then everything else becomes somewhat of an after statement.
Improving Movement Capacity
Not everyone is born with innate athleticism, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be developed. Being subjected to drills that challenge body awareness regularly can dramatically improve athletic ability. These drills can help you retain the athleticism you’ve always had, or develop new athletic abilities you never thought that you could acquire. Besides, what’s the fun in being big in strong if a game of back yard football would put you on the couch for a week?
Start basing your warm-ups on these four principles and you’ll see a dramatic difference in the way you move and feel before you train.