Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Gettin sweaty - Warming up on Squat day

Sometimes the difference in a good or great workout, and a dogshit one can be narrowed down to one simple factor.

How well did you warm up?

Now before you stop reading because warming up is boring, I want to stress that you can pretty much eliminate -10% days with a good warm up.  You can also turn what might have been an 80%er into a +10% session with something as simple as a good warm up.

So let's talk about gettin sweaty on squat day, before you squat.

I used to walk in on squat day, put a plate on the bar and just start squatting.  I have found that this is really not optimal however, and would have my fair share of shitty squat days.

If you are in a gym here is what I recommend to do so that warming up is not boring, and actually feels productive.

Hip and Ass Machine - I get on this thing, put the pin in the whole stack and knock out two sets of 50 in a kick-back motion.  This is like the warm-up for the warm ups if you will.

Calf Presses with the Good Girl and Bad Girl - This came to be out of convenience.  One of those seated leg press machines is right next to the good girl bad girl machines.  The good girl and bad girl machines are the ones for the abductors and adductors.  This is my general circuit there.....

Calf Raises - 3 sets to a top set of 20-25
Good Girl Machine - 3 sets of 15
Bad Girl Machine - 3 sets of 20

Good girl machine

Go heavy on the calf raises.  This should actually be work.  On the GG/BG machines just keep the reps the same and add a plate from the stack when you can.  This should not be hard but the last set should feel very good, if that makes sense.

Bad girl machine.....daddy like

Now it's time to squat.  Something I have been doing in between sets of squats during the warm up sets, is to do a Cossack squat.  Once I get to anything above 405 I stop and just concentrate on my sets.  I also DO NOT overstretch.

And speaking of stretching,  I spend my static time stretching AFTER I am done with the whole session.  I do not stretch a whole lot before the session or during, outside of the Cossack squats.  If you overstretch you can set yourself up for an injury.  I know, I've pulled some hamstrings doing so.  The Coassck squats help me with my depth really, not that there has ever been an issue there, but I find that it helps me open the groin more for when I squat.

Gettin sweaty at home -

If you are not at the gym here is what I generally do at home (even if it's not logged on the blog).

Bodyweight Squats - Yes just good ol bodyweight squats.  I will do several sets of 10-20 just to get some blood flowing and my legs loose.

After this I will either do lunges to 10 and 2 (think of a clock, and you lunge to the 10 and 2 spot if 12 is straight head) in an alternating fashion, or I will do bench step-overs.  Basically I stand beside my flat bench and step over it with a high knee.  I do not step ONTO the bench, I step over it.  I get my knee high and step in a deliberate fashion.  This is not some kind of plyo/speed thing.  This is to help stretch the glutes and hips.

I will do 3 sets of the lunges usually 10-15 reps.  Same for the bench step overs.

I will also spend some stretching my hip flexor.  Since I lift at home and at the gym, this tends to keep my bases covered and not get monotonous.

Next time I will write about bench and pressing day warm ups and some of it I think will surprise you.


  1. Paul - total agreement on the Hip and Ass machine. Great feeling for warmup. Plus even though it's a machine you're standing, and it's easy to step in and out of. Miss this machine at my new gym.
    Also like a bunch of walking lunges, but much agreement - dynamic warmups, static stretch after.

  2. Paul, I agree! good write up.

    did a silly basic workout last night, and crushed from head to toe.

    r/p flat db

    r/p weighted dips

    5 ramping sets of oly stance squats to 5 rep max, then one back off set of high reps. ass to ankles each set

    just three compound lifts and I am hurting today



  3. Paul, I bought your program and is looking forward to getting into it. I do have a question, though. How long will does it take to get sent to my email?



  4. Greg - Yeah it doesn't take much. No need for a bunch of different things if you are trying to master just a few. That's a proven way to get big and strong as hell.

  5. I do, thanks - and thanks for the cool blog.

  6. I always warm up, but not to that degree. I will give it a try.