Sets, Reps and Warm-Ups

Having fun in the outdoor training area here at Dino Headquarters.

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

Two quick notes and then we'll talk
sets, reps and warming up.

1. The Dino Files

We did a combined May-June issue of
the Dinosaur Files and it was a big

So we're going to do a combined
July-Aug issue this time.

We're looking to finish it up and
shoot it out the door in the next
couple of days.

I'll send an email when it's ready.

In the meantime, if you missed the
April issue - or the May-June issue -
go here to grab them:

May-June Dino Files

April Dino Files

2. Heavy Partials Rock!

My new course on heavy partials
has been getting great reviews
from readers - and that's not a
surprise - because heavy partials

You can grab the little monster
right here:

3. Sets, Reps and Warming Up

I get a ton of questions about sets,
reps and warming up.

The other day, someone asked about
the proper percentages for warm-up

For example, if you are doing 5 x
5, with one working set, where do
start and how do you progress
from set to set?

What percentage do you use for
your first warm-up set?

What do you use for your second
warm-up set?

And so on?

That's a good question - I get it all
the time - so here's the answer.

Percentages are guidelines, not some-
thing that is carved in stone.

The purpose of warm-up sets is to
prepare you for your working set(s).

As long as you get to the working
set(s) well warmed up, loose, limber,
mobile and strong, everything is fine.

And if it takes 7 sets of 5 to get there,
that's fine.

There's nothing magic about 5 x 5.

If you need to do more warm-up sets,
then do them.

Also, use progressions that make it
fast and easy to change the weight
ion the bar.

If I stuck to a certain percentage and
was using 137, 157 and 169 on my
warm-up sets, I'd spend all day
trying to figure out how to load the
bar to get there on each set.

It's much better to do 135, 155 and
either 165 or 170.

Or, if you're using a kilo bar and kilo
plates, 60 k (132 lbs.), 70 k (154
lbs.), and 75 k (165 lbs.).

The point is - make the loading (and
the math) fast and easy.

For example . . .

I once trained with a barbell that
weighed 20 pounds with the collars
on it.

It was an exercise bar, with exercise
plates calibrated in pounds.

So for clean and press, I would start
with 120 pounds and make 20 pound
jumps - all the way from 120 to 250
pounds, which was my working weight
for 10 singles.

I did that because the 20 pound jumps
were fast and easy. Throw a 10 pound
plate on each side, tighten the collars,
and lift.

Fast and easy - no wasted time.

Of course, that also let me make a
smaller jump from my last warm-up
set of 240 pounds to my first working
set with 250 pounds - which is often
a very good idea.

It makes the working set feel lighter
and easier if you make a short jump
to get there.

At that time, I also trained with a York
Olympic barbell and pound plates - and
did bottom position squats with it.

I started with 135 and made 90 pound
jumps until I got up to 405 pounds -
then did a 30 pound jump to 435 - and
then 15 pounds to get to 450 - where I
did 10 singles.

Again, note that the last jumps were
smaller - because I was getting close
to that 450 pound working weight.

Two other quick notes:

1. Always begin with a good total body
warm-up - make it 10 or 15 mins - and
focus on the joints and muscle groups
you will be training that day!

2. If you're an older trainee, you need
more warm-up time than when you
were younger - and the more candles
on your birthday cake, the more time
you need for an effective warm-up.

a. Go back and re-read that.

b. Then go back and re-read it again.

c. And a third time. It's very important.

Anyhow, I hope that helps!

As always, thanks for reading and have
a great day. If you train today, make it a
good one - and be sure to grab the Dino
Files if you missed it - and ditto for the
new course on heavy partials!

Yours in strength,

Brooks Kubik

P.S. For more real-world, no-nonsense
strength training advice, grab these:

Strength, Muscle and Power

Dinosaur Training: Lost Secrets of
Strength and Power

Gray Hair and Black Iron

P.S. 2. Thought for the Day

"If your fortune cookie says that
today is a training day, pay close
attention to it."

- Brooks Kubik


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