To Warm-Up Well

To Warm-Up Well

Coach G looking mighty dapper before beginning Death Race

Warm-Up: 10 Leg-Swings in All Directions, 8 Squat Jumps for Height, 5 False-Grip Pull-Ups, 5 Serratus Push-Ups, Hip Opener 30 sec.


Bench Press: 5-3-1

MetCon – For Time:


KB Swings (70/50lbs)


Finisher: 400m Farmer’s Carry with the weight you used in the MetCon

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 warm-up correctly hates doing it himself. I may hate to do it, but I know how important it is to stay diligent in this area. 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, more fit, etc. The coaches here have noticed that there are a lot of Ktowners that have a hard time understanding how to warm-up to perform a maximal effort lift, partly because there’s so many of you newcomers!

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 singles working up to your actual working set 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 or 185×1, that way 200lbs won’t seem like such a dramatic increase and your body will be primed to lift that weight after a few minutes of rest.

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 or there is any change in bar speed throughout the lift, there you have it. It should be pretty simple to identify these. These lifts test a lot more than absolute strength. Power, speed, agility, accuracy, coordination, balance, and strength are all variables that contribute to your success in these lifts that we’ve come to love so much.

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 within this window of weight, you shouldn’t need much time at all in between each new effort.

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 a PR at a 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, and always encourage each other with your own “good” habits. When I say good, I mean approved by a coach J

In perpetual warm-up for the next WOD,

Coach CBo

P.S. Hmm, this post sounds familiar

By | 2017-04-25T14:39:04+00:00 June 27th, 2011|CrossFit Ktown Knoxville, Uncategorized|6 Comments


  1. Noel June 27, 2011 at 10:02 pm


  2. Braers June 27, 2011 at 10:25 pm

    Way to copy/paste your blog post. Pfft.

  3. T-Pain June 28, 2011 at 8:32 am

    Some things were said so well the first time that the only logical choice is to say it again.

  4. Miss J June 28, 2011 at 10:00 am

    P.S. That pic was about 8 or 9 hours into Death Race. :-)

  5. G8r Dave June 28, 2011 at 11:03 am

    8 or 9 hours is a long time in an event like that. Not surprised to see that grin even then…

  6. G8r Dave June 29, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    BTW…the farmer’s carry was, by far, the worst element of this programming. IMHAWIO.

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