In the coming weeks we will be exploring common fitness facts and fitness myths that we hear frequently from magazines, the internet and our clients…
In the first of this 10-part series, we discuss whether you should do a cardio warm-up before weight training…
It is true that you should warm up before starting any exercise program.
Gently stretching out and warming up your muscles before (and after) you exercise is the best way to prevent against painful sports injuries, tendinitis and reduced flexibility. A dress rehearsal of the exercises you are doing that day is the best way to warm up and we can do this by:
1. Go through the first 3-4 exercises and increase intensity through each exercise. e.g. 25% First Exercise, 50% Second exercise, 75% third exercise and 90% fourth exercise.
2. General mobility of areas that are tight/weak which in most cases are lower back, pec minor and hamstrings then 50% warm up on the very first exercise of your workout around 10-12 reps, resting 30-45 seconds between the first warm up set then 75% warm up weight of the same exercises at 6-8 reps …. then you’re ready to go.
So we encourage you to warm up before you train – always movement, never static stretching.
Static stretching can overstretch the muscle before you exercise so mobility type exercises are recommended.
If you are weight training then doing any type of cardio warm up, bike, rower, treadmill etc is really a waste of weight training time. Why this “cardio warm up before we start” school of thought is still around is because this was a marketing tool used in the 80’s to get people to use cardio equipment and so gyms would buy more cardio equipment. There is no scientific or practical reason for this….
To get the real benefits of static/PNF stretching you need to do it AFTER YOU TRAIN, either straight after your workout at the gym or at home (keep your body warm)