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Muscle Sport Magazine

Warming Up – An Important Yet Frequently Overlooked Aspect of Training

By Gregg Valentino – The number one way to prevent injury in the gym is to warm-up properly. You can’t expect to just walk in, throw your gym bag down next to a bench, and start throwing up lifetime bests on a pressing exercise. Your body isn’t ready for that and you’re more than likely going to injure yourself. If not today, then maybe tomorrow. It will happen.

 

You can prevent injuries before they occur by warming up the muscles. You’ll hear me talk about this a lot: You have to get blood into the area. You have to get blood flowing and let the muscles and joints know that some real work is coming along.

I’m not a big fan of stretching before a workout. I think there’s value in it after training, but beforehand, the best method of getting ready for a training session is to warm-up using weight that is very light for you and, while executing proper technique, start using the muscle.

 

Something that’s very important to touch on that is often neglected on warm-up advice is that people just assume one or two sets is enough. It’s probably not. It certainly was never enough for me during training and it’s probably not enough for you. In warming up, you’re looking to, again, get blood flowing while also preparing your joints, ligaments and tendons and further, brining up your body temperature. It’s not just called “warming” up for a reason.

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You might find that you need five or six sets of an exercise to properly prepare and have adequate blood flow. That’s perfect. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. If you’re training with partners and they’re not properly warming up, and they’re urging you to just get into the flow of working sets with them, don’t do it if you aren’t ready. It’s your body. Make sure you’re giving it adequate care. One serious injury can, potentially, derail your training for life. Don’t let someone else tell you that you’re ready to go heavy if you’re not. Only you know when it’s time to dig deep. Listen to your body.

 Excerpt from “Essentials of Bodybuilding” by Gregg Valentino with Nathan Jendrick.

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