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​Pick & Mix School of Liftcraft and Liftery - Warming up

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Warming up seems to be a bit of a hot topic at the moment, from stretching to foam rolling and all sorts of weird warm-up exercises, personally?... I don’t do any of that!

Don’t get me wrong, it may help, but honestly, I’ve never noticed much of a difference from the long drawn out fancy warm-ups. Below is how I get ready for a session, I may also do some warm-up sets on the first exercise to get a feel, but this is where I get most of the work in. It’s a quick and great way to get the blood pumping around. This is ideal for those, who like me, don’t do any warm-up stretching, and would much rather just warm up with exercises. I do this kind of warm-up whether I’m lifting heavy or not. Here’s how I warm up for the main body parts in a nutshell (please bear in mind this is for a bodybuilding style routine/split)…

5 sets, 10 seconds rest, 10 reps, pretty slow tempo (focusing on the muscle). I usually also hold for a second on the hardest part (3110 for fellow nerds)...

One (or two if training chest & back together) of the following exercises per workout (some of my favourites)…

Leg training:


  • Leg extension
  • Split squat
  • D/B squat
  • Sissy squat


  • Lying leg curl
  • Seated leg curl
  • Back extension
  • D/B straight leg deadlift

Recent changes: I'm focusing more & more on the same bigger moves, with my favourites being squat variations such as smith machine squat (changing footing each set), sissy squat and front foot elevated split squat...this exercise is pretty nasty with the 10 seconds rest! I've also done this on the leg press and hack squat recently with good results, just remember it's not about throwing on a load of weight... it's a warm up!


  • Assisted pull up (it’s a warm up, don’t do you regular pull won’t be able do that with slow tempo 10+ reps and 10 seconds rest)
  • Single arm cable row
  • Machine row
  • Lat pulldown
  • Ring Row


  • Cable flyes - standing or seated. Hands in or out. Low to high or medium. (rotate all)
  • Machine flyes
  • Push ups (rotate rings on decline and normal push ups)
  • Machine dips
  • Cable press

I always train arms or shoulders after back, chest or legs, so I rarely do any kind of proper warm-up for those body parts other than the odd few sets of curls or late raises.

Give it a whirl! I’m loving it at the moment! Because of the 10 second rest you’re only spending 5 mins or so on that first warm-up exercise, but you get a ton of reps and time under tension in there, plus, an incredible pump! Don’t cheat on the time either, you’re going for 10 seconds or none at all if it's 2 exercises in a superset. It also helps you get into the ‘zone’, rather than long rest periods, chatting and stretching for 20 mins. I personally like to be in and out of the gym! Also found this leads to less injures as it stops you from hitting the bench or squat etc with any serious weight when you’re still cold.

Pro Tip: Wear a few layers at the beginning of the workout for the ultimate gym pump!


P.S Want something else that'll help your workouts? Check out the goodies below!

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