How to Warm Up Before Lifting Heavy Weights

Avoid injury.

Zack Harris
Practice in Public

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Photo by Alex Shaw on Unsplash

I think people overthink the warm-up way too much.

Some coaches will tell you to spend 30 minutes foam rolling before you touch a weight. Other coaches will tell you to stretch for an hour. Then yet another coach will tell you stretching is bad. They’ll all go back and forth on what the most “efficient way” to warm up for a workout is.

We can get a good idea of what’s most efficient by identifying what it is we’re trying to accomplish during the warm-up in the first place:

  • Fire up the nervous system
  • Improve technique
  • Prepare yourself to lift heavier weights
  • Reduce risk of injury

I recently posted a YouTube video that provided a super simple example of how you can check all of those boxes — it’s as simple as a few warm-up sets that start off light and get progressively heavier.

Pretty boring, huh? No Theraguns, no massaging ourselves with pool noodles … just kind of, ya know, lifting weights (with good technique through a full range of motion).

You can check out the video here, but a quick recap is as follows: Let’s say you want to work up to a heavy set of 350 pounds for five reps. I used the barbell deadlift as an…

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Zack Harris
Practice in Public

I write about health, wealth, and self improvement. Fitness & nutrition coach. Finance major & money nerd. linktr.ee/zackharris - IG: zackharris01