Sometimes it’s the simplest of things that end up being the hardest. You don't just walk onto a basketball court for the first time and drain non-stop 3-pointers or go hit the football field throwing perfect spirals. Every skill you acquire takes practice to be perfect. The same goes for exercises in the gym. Before you start benching 300lbs you probably had to work your way up from 100lbs or even less, and with that progress comes understanding warm-up and form, and how execution plays a part in your journey. Below I talk about understanding the difference between general and specific warm-ups, as well as a tiny rant on form. I also included a sweet exercise for all of you to try. So have fun, be smart and train like a Beast!
The goal of the warm-up is to prepare your body for the activity at hand. Now keep in mind there are 2 different kinds of warm-ups, the general and the specific. The names are pretty self-explanatory, but in the interest of being thorough, I’ll just give you a quick breakdown. The general warm-up consists of movements that do not have a specific motion to the actual activity you’re about to perform.
The specific warm-up mimics movements that are very close to the actual activity. I highly recommend you do a general warm-up like a 5-minute treadmill jog before hitting the weight room. I also recommend that you do a specific warm-up like push-ups or bodyweight squats before doing bench press or squats.
One of the biggest topics I always speak about is form! Why? Because so many folks mess this up! Being brand new in the gym, we allow ourselves to be taught on how to perform exercises by how others around us are doing them and that's wrong. Although some might be doing it right, most are doing it wrong and all that does is open up a butt-load of doors for future injuries. All the exercises I write down can easily be found on Google, Youtube, or even be seen on most workout apps for proper execution and form. In the end, I would rather you do 10 reps of a lighter weight with perfect form than just 1 rep of any weight with improper form.
- Arnold Press 3-4 sets x 6-8 reps - Choose a weight that allows you to transition though the movement smoothly.
- Cable Lateral Raises 3 sets x 10-12 reps - To add more tension you can start with the cable behind your back instead of the side of your body.
- Cable Upright Rows 3 sets x 15 reps - Full range of motion is important. Drop the weight fully extending arms and drag it upwards on the body allowing your elbows to point to the ceiling at the top.
- Single Arm Standing Rear Cable Pulls 3 sets x 15-30 reps - Position your body, get your leverage and focus on contraction. Do not allow the rest of your body to sway or compensate for the weight.