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Barbell Warm-Up

Hey Vic City,

As we get closer to our in-class Powerlifting Total (June 3rd/4th), and we get more familiar with what weights our body's are able to lift, we should start having a plan for our warm-ups on lifting days.

Ideally you'd have a true 1 rep max to work off, but if you've never built to a max single before, we can predict what our max might be based on sets we have completed. Common heavy sets that we have done in past classes would be a max 3 rep or 5 rep max. Any max effort set between two reps and ten reps can be used to help understand what our maximum roughly is.

There are a few different formulas to predict a 1 rep max, but this one is easy and fairly accurate in most individuals. A 2 rep max is roughly 95% of your 1 RM, a 3 rep max is 92.5%, 4 would be 90%, and 5 equates to around 87.5%. As you work your way down to 10 reps it becomes a bit less accurate but you would continue to decrease 2.5% for each rep.

If I was trying to predict my back squat 1 RM and knew that I have completed 5 reps at 225 (using beyond the whiteboard is very helpful for memory), I would punch 225 into a calculator and divid by 0.875. This would indicate my 1 RM to be roughly 257 pounds.

I can use all this information when I'm warming up for any barbell lifting session (minus snatch and clean - too technical), specifically for our Powerlifting Total. A rough guideline that I use when warming up, would be as followed:

Empty barbell x 10 reps 60% x 5

40% x 10 70% x 3-5

50% x 10 75% x 3

This is a great guide, because regardless if your max is 100lbs or 500lbs, percentages are relative, and will feel roughly the same for everyone.

In a class scenario, if the skill called for 6 x 3 building to a heavy (not max) set of 3, hit those first 4 or 5 sets listed above in the warm-up time before the timer begins, and start around 70-75%, then over the 6 sets you can build - 70/75/80/85/88/90 or 75/77.5/80/82.5/85/87.5, something around that, using how you feel on that day as information to guide you as well.

In the scenario where we are trying to hit the heaviest weight (powerlifting total), we don't want to accumulate too much fatigue leading up in our warm-ups. Hit those 6 sets listed above, then aim to increase the percentages by 2-5% and drop the reps to single reps from 85% and heavier.

How I would go about trying to hit a 1 RM after those 6 warm-up sets, go for 2x80%, 1x85%, 1x90% 1x95%, 1x98%, 1x101%.

As far as how to fit all those sets into a time frame, the warm-ups can be done fairly quickly, and depending on your max some earlier sets might be very repetitive, so adjust as needed. If your max is 100 pounds then going empty bar to 40% (40lbs), to 50% (50lbs) might be unnecessary, so maybe empty bar, 50%, 70% might make more sense. Not a lot of rest is needed with the light weights either. Often resting while walking to grab your next sets of weights is sufficient, until you get to the working sets.

A couple rules of thumb would be:

Increase the rest as your weight gets heavier.

Make smaller jumps as the weight gets heavier (10% is appropriate from 40 to 50% but not from 90 to 100%.

I hope this helps to give you some confidence going forward in classes and for our Powerlifting Total. When a coach asks what your plan for weights are, you can adjust your regular answer from, "I don't know.." to "I'll start with this weight for 10 then this weight for 5.."




Training Wednesday - Thursday

WARM UP: EMOM rotations x 4 each - 30 jumping jacks, 10 DB thrusters, 16 goblet walking lunges

WOD: Team Pacemaker

For this workout, you will be in a team of three people. You'll work in relay format with one person working at a time. Note that the bike is the "buy in" - so you only have to get it done once!

Work two paces on your 300's - steady pace out and a full effort on the way back, including a strong acceleration to get going.

Rx: AMRAP in 30 minutes of: 100/160 calorie bike buy in, switching every 30 seconds until you are done that calorie amount.

Then in the remaining time, AMRAP repeats of 300m run with 20 air squats at the 300m turnaround marker. Each run counts as 1 rep (buy in counts for nothing :)

FG: 80/120 calorie bike, 10 air squats at the 200m turnaround, consider 20 min time frame

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