The warm up matters.
In a typical class, you’ll see a few elements. You’ll see a board brief, a warm up, a strength/skill work, and some conditioning work.
We all like skill/strength work. It’s fun! It’s exciting! We love pulling heavy weights, squatting, pressing, developing gymnastics skills… all the good stuff! Same with the metcons! That antsy feeling you get when the clock starts counting down… throwing down with your friends… it’s awesome!
What’s less exciting are the warm ups. They can be tedious. They can get repetitive… and if coach says to take it at a “conversational pace” it can’t be all that serious, right?? The warm ups tend to turn into a time to go to the bathroom, check Instagram, finish getting on all your gear together… etc.
But here’s the thing… if you want to do better in your skill work, strength work, and metcons, you better be sure you’re putting in the effort in your warm ups. The warm up matters. Your effort in the warm up matters.
Why does the warm up matter? I’m so glad you asked!
Let’s look at the physical side of the warm up. Obviously the purpose is to get the blood flowing, shake out the stiffness, and get ready to rock in the metcon, skill, or strength. If you look closer, you can see some real magic happening.
One of the best ways to get the body warm for whatever we are doing after is to pick exercises that are going to best mimic what we will be working later. Some of them are pretty obvious… for a front squat day, we might goblet squat. You can see the transferable properties that a goblet squat would have for a front squat… the weight is loaded in the front, and you’re squatting! Easy! There will always be transferable properties in our warm ups. It just makes sense!
But there is an aspect of skill development that we can sneak in there as well while also getting you prepped for movement. For example, we warmed up for push presses today with shoulder taps in a handstand. The direct mimic would be prepping the body to support weight overhead while needing to maintain midline stability. The skill development aspect would be a handstand walk, and handstand endurance! Sweet! Getting better at gymnastics while warming up for some barbell work! Efficiency at its finest!
Have you ever felt like some days the warm ups can be pretty challenging from a total rep standard (dang coach, that’s a lot of squats!)? That’s because they are! At a low intensity, you can still develop work capacity through volume accumulation. During some of our warm ups, we will carefully push and expose you to greater levels of work. It might mean we do 15 air squats a round instead of 10… or we throw slight variations into basic movements to create more time under tension (pausing at the top of the ring row, or the bottom of a squat). You can increase your work capacity and overall fitness levels by sticking to the prescribed warm ups on the board rather than cutting the reps short.
These warm ups will also do a great deal of good for your mind as well if you put forth your best effort. Have you ever approached a bar and psyched yourself out because you didn’t feel warm? Or maybe felt you couldn’t perform at a high enough level during the metcon because you didn’t “get warm” until the second or third round? If you follow the carefully crafted and designed warm ups that we put forward, these thoughts won’t go through your mind. A solid warm up will lead to a solid training session. Period.
We don’t write these warm ups just to kill time. We write them to properly prepare your body and mind for the work you’re about to put in. Being serious about your warm up is just as important as being serious about your skill/strength/metcon. That doesn’t mean we don’t want you to talk, tell jokes, catch up with your friends, and have a good time. Far from it! We WANT you to have an awesome time, and we want this to be the best hour of your day. The best part about our warm ups is that they are mainly prescribed at a conversational pace… meaning, you can still chat with your friends AND get a great warm up in for your session 🙂
Our job is to get you fit and healthy. The warm up is one part of the equation to help you get there.
28 down, 3 to go.
Owner and Head Coach: CrossFit Yellow Rose
ACSM Certified PT
ACE Certified PT