There are a variety of ways to warm up, ranging from an extended cardio session to almost none at all. Each has its drawbacks and merits. Do whichever one you feel comfortable with or gives you the best results. Beginning trainers should stick with the first and second types of warm-ups while advanced trainers may wish to try the third type.
Light Set Warm-Up
This type of warm-up is for advanced trainers only. Do a set of ten reps with 50% of the weight you're going to be using for that exercise. That's it. Your body can be trained to work fine with this type of limited warm-up.
- If you usually do an extended warm-up, work down to this level slowly.
- This method has the advantage of conserving energy for work sets.
- For exercises
where you will be using low reps and very heavy
weight (close to your max), you may want to
do a low-rep progressive warm-up. For example,
if you are doing deadlifts with 405 pounds,
do 5 reps with one plate per side, 2 reps with
two plates, 1 rep with three plates, and maybe
1 rep with three and a quarter if you feel you
need it. This type of pyramid warm-up doesn't
exhaust you but still prepares your body for
heavy work. This type of warm-up is the best
for when you going for a one-rep maximum attempt.
The limited warm-up is especially appropriate for those whose jobs involve sudden physical labor without the time to warm up, e.g. firefighters (you will never see a firefighter walk around for ten minutes, stretch out, then do a few push-ups before running into a burning building to pull somebody out).
It conditions your body to be able to handle sudden physical activity without injury.