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Everyone needs to read this post! That’s right…I’m talking to YOU!

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Everyone needs to read this post! That’s right…I’m talking to YOU!

Jeanie knows how to warm-up for that 115lb DL!

Michelle lifts large, but only after the necessary evil that is the warm-up

Warm-Up: 10 Push-Ups, 10 Ring Rows, 10 Serratus Push-Ups, 50 Jump Ropes x’s 3

Skill: Double-Unders

Skill: Turkish Get-Up

Turkish Get-Up: 1RM

MetCon – 3 Rounds for Time:

5 Man Makers (50%BW/30%BW)

Farmer’s Carry (40m)

Finisher: RDL 3×10 (315+DL = 135lbs, 200-315DL = 95lbs, 100-200DL = 65lbs, 100-DL = 45lbs)

-Time to come clean to CrossFit Ktown…I hate to warm-up. Yeah, that’s right, your stickler of a coach that hassles you all to correctly warm-up hates doing it himself. I may hate to do it, but I know how important it is to execute it properly. We give you guys a different warm-up everyday to keep things a little less mundane and to help mimic the actual WOD that day. JUST DO IT, that’s all I ask…for that is not what type of warm-up I’ll be addressing today.

-I’m talking about the warm-up that comes before our max effort lift. We lift quite a bit at CFKT, in fact we lift A LOT. We try to milk linear gains (consecutive PR’s every time we lift) for as long as we can, and in order to sustain these gains some certain tasks must be followed. You’ve heard us preach about fish oil, nutrition (Paleo), recovery (stretching post WOD & at home, sleep), mobility (KStar), and an assortment of other things that will assist us in getting stronger, faster, etc. Us coaches have noticed, especially me, that there are a lot of us Ktowners that have a hard time understanding how to warm-up to perform a maximal effort lift.

-Science class. Warming up does exactly what the words imply. These exercises warm up the body’s core temperature. When one “warms up” they are activating enzymes throughout the body that are essential  for the large amount of reactions that occur while we are exercising. If you’ve ever tried to MetCon or Squat a 5 rep max without warming up, then you know what I mean…it’s miserable (not to mention you will fail miserably). Our body’s energy system depends on those enzymes for maximal body function. A proper warm-up will also facilitate more blood flow to your muscles as well via hemoglobin! There are a whole slew of reasons that we need to warm-up, not to even mention priming our central nervous system.

-How do I warm-up for a 1RM DL compared to a 1RM Snatch? There’s quite a big difference here. Use your noggin, and with a little help I think YOU should be able to deduce the answer.

*Slow Lifts – Deadlift, Squat (whatever kind), Press, Bench Press, and all supplemental lifts to these. HINT: If the bar moves slowly, then use these rules. These lifts test our absolute strength.

1. Start with light weight – ALWAYS start with the bar, it’s a slippery slope when you start adding weight to every initial warm-up attempt. Next thing you know you’re “warming up” with 80% of your max load. I’ve seen it happen…don’t be a dummy.

2. Start with at least 5 reps – I prefer to have AT LEAST two sets of 5 warming up, most of the time 3 at different weight.

3. Decrease reps as you approach your working weight – A few sets of 3, a set of 2, and a single sound good to me. If I’m trying to achieve a 3×5 squat PR at 200lbs, would it help or hurt me to squat 185×5? Probably not, however if my previous warm-up attempt was at 150×5, then I wouldn’t recommend putting on my working weight yet. Grab a set of 185×2, that way 200lbs won’t seem like such a dramatic increase.

4. Take time to rest between your last few warm-up sets and your working set – Some of you guys are getting REAL strong. Make sure you’re resting longer than the amount of time it takes to put more weight on the bar before you lift again.

*Fast Lifts – These are all the O-lifts. Clean & Jerk, Snatch, Snatch Balance, Clean & Snatch Pulls, Rack Jerks, and all supplemental lifts. If the bar is moving fast, there you have it. It should be pretty simple to identify these. These lifts test a lot more than absolute strength. Power, speed, agility, coordination, balance, and strength are all variables that contribute to your success.

1. Start with the bar – Same as the slow lifts. That should be easy to remember.

2. Begin with at least 3-5 reps – These lifts are very dynamic, use these reps to address your numerous bad habits. Becoming mindful of our natural tendencies will contribute to our success of throwing large weight over our heads! 0-40% of your PR should be easy and will help clean up those nasty habits. 40-70% will start to get heavy, it’s okay to go singles here. Do NOT neglect to get in plenty of reps here, you shouldn’t need much time at all in between new efforts.

3. Not so fast!! – Smaller increment jumps should be employed as we approach our maximal load. More times than not, we are attempting a 1RM in these lifts. Remember, we aren’t testing absolute strength here, there are other factors that require many repetitions in order to sync up to establish a 1RM. I’ve seen soooo many clients fail to PR because they made a 20lb jump to achieve their new weight. This is NOT a recipe for success. Once you are within 15% of your PR, you should be making very conservative jumps. Making a 5lb TOTAL jump (not 5lbs on each side) should be standard within these percentages of your 1RM.

4. Failure? No big deal… – Unlike the slow lifts, we have a very good chance at a successful effort if we fail the first attempt. Pick yourself off the platform, rest, regain your morale, and do it again!

-Use these as a road map, not a definitive guide. As you progress in your strength, you will need to “prime the pump” even more. I hope this helps you guys!

In perpetual warm-up for the next WOD,

Coach CBo

By | 2017-04-25T14:39:24+00:00 November 17th, 2010|CrossFit Ktown Knoxville, Uncategorized|7 Comments


  1. rachael the diva November 17, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    Boss…I too hate warm up but I promise to follow the rules a little bit better. I love your informative posts, keep up the great coaching and I’m sure the whole club will follow your lead.

  2. Rise Up November 18, 2010 at 9:54 am

    I love warming up, sometimes I even do a little extra…Just sayin. =o)

  3. The Food Hound November 18, 2010 at 10:15 am

    Awesome info!! I always thought of warm-ups as more of an injury prevention step than a mechanism to improve your lifting success. My exercise physiology knowledge has thus been enriched!

  4. crossfitktown November 18, 2010 at 11:08 am

    Warming up correctly is essential for injury prevention, food hound. You are completely right! There are a plethora of reasons why one should warm-up properly, I only addressed the tip of the iceberg.

    Coach CBo

  5. Ben November 18, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    Great map of the warm up process CBo. The other part of the warm up that I like is getting your mind right. All of us have many things on our mind either before we begin the day, at the end of the day, or come May 15th… But getting a good warm up in helps (me) zone out and think of the task at hand so that I progress the best I can.

  6. Dougie Fresh November 18, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    Warm up is my expertise.


  7. KPvogel November 18, 2010 at 8:48 pm

    Thanks for taking the time to write this out, Caleb! It is SUPER helpful!

Comments are closed.