The Percentages Question!

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

Steve Holloway sent in the following
email in response to yesterday's
message about poundage progression
and breaking through sticking
points. (If you missed it, check
it out on the Dinosaur Training

"As always, great information, Brooks.
In regards to the warm up sets. What
percentage of your max lifts would you
suggest using for the warm up sets?

I have been training for nearly 20
years; but reading your articles and
listening to you on Super Human Radio
has re-lit my fire for the Iron Game.
Please keep up the great work.

Stay Strong,


Steve -- Thanks for your feedback and
your kind words, I'm glad to hear that
you're back in training. It's the best
thing you can do for yourself.

As far as warm-up weights go, I don't
base them on percentages. I base them
on how many warm-up sets I'll be doing
and what I'll be using for my working
set (or working sets, if I plan to do
multiple working sets).

Then all you do is figure out a good
starting weight and make even jumps to
get to your working weight.

For example -- if you're doing 200 pounds
for 3 x 5 in your working sets, and you
plan to do three warm-up sets, then
try something like this:

140 x 5

160 x 5

180 x 5

200 x 3 x 5

If you're going heavier, you can make
bigger jumps from set to set. For example,
if you're doing Trap Bar Deadlifts for
3 x 5 with 405, you might do something
like this:

135 x 5

225 x 5

275 x 5

325 x 5

365 x 5

405 x 3 x 5

The really important warm-up set is the
one before the first working set. You
need to make that set feel smooth and
easy -- but it has to be heavy enough
to get you ready for the working set,
and it can't be so light that it's a
big jump to the working set and the
working set feels impossibly heavy
on the first rep.

So don't sweat the percentages. Plan
on doing a logical progression that
starts out light and easy and builds
up in a sensible fashion to your
working set(s). The goal is to be
100 percent prepared for your working
set. Not tired, but energized -- and
ready for bear!

To everyone -- that's a common question.
I hope this helped to clear things up
for anyone who was wondering about it.

As always, thanks for reading and have
a great day. If you train today, make
it a good one!

Yours in strength,

Brooks Kubik

P.S. For more about sets, reps and how
to put them together into great workouts,
grab these books from Dino Headquarters:

P.S. 2. My other books and courses are right

P.S. Thought for the Day: "Strength training's not
rocket science, but you do have to think things
through." -- Brooks Kubik