When I changed this routine I started to have all kinds of “soft tissue” injuries and problems that I had never dealt with before…
I was a 3-sport high athlete in Dallas, Texas… and the sport I ended up getting a full ride in, I thought was my 3rd best sport… Lol.
I see so many athletes go straight into their workout, training session, practice and even sometimes their competitions without doing much if any warm-up prep work before.
How do you expect to get the best out of yourself?
How do you expect your body to give you it’s best?
How do you expect to keep from getting hurt?
How do you expect your body to keep up?
Unless you’re lolly gagging, which I don’t think you are. I mean you wear t-shirts that mean your a beast, take “pre-workout”, and listen to hype music before. So, you are trying to turn up.
I think you want the best.
I think that you want to give it all you have and win, and leave the session knowing that you gave it your all, your best.
And the only way to do that is to get your body, your machine… ready to tackle what ever it faces, whatever intensity or obstacle.
The goal of the actions that you are taking before a workout or competition is to get your body ready to perform at a high level, while reducing the risk of injury.
Here’s the minimum you should do before every intense session:
1. Start with a warm up jog, row, or swim. A slow paced, full body, body weight, warm up movement.
The point of this is simply to get your body warm. I notice that a lot of athletes will skip this step when it is “hot outside”.
That shouldn’t matter. You’re thinking a little wrong about it’s purpose. Think of it this way, you’re trying to “warm the meat down to the bone”. Lol.
You’re not trying to just be warm outside, superficially… but warm all the way down inside.
Breaking a sweat isn’t always indicative of being warm enough, but it’s a start.
If I am running on a track, I like to run about 800m (1/2 mile) to start. And while I am running, it’s nice to job backwards a little and maybe even some side to side.
2. Stretch (Static) NOT dynamic. This one really hurt me. When my routine was first changed, I believe this step was the one that hurt me the most.
It’s really popular and in to do dynamic stretching, but I’ve found that when I do this before my muscles are warm and already feeling elastic, I do more harm than good.
I believe that once you are “warm” from running (or doing some full body, body weight movement) and have then held a few static stretches of all your “major” muscle groups… then and only then are you ready to do dynamic stretches.
I know that I am probably going to get a lot of slack for this, but I can only tell you what has work for me, and what I’ve seen work for high level athletes I’ve been around consistently.
I mean but think about it, you’re asking a muscle to do a movement(s) that’s really dynamic, and reactive, while it’s cold and then think there won’t be any consequences? Or that it’s going to “loosen up”?
If anything I feel it might get tighter at times depending on how much you push it.
3. Dynamic stretches. See, I don’t mean not to do them at all. I just mean that doing them before the two above has been more damaging than helpful for me.
I have actually strained a groin doing dynamic stretches before being warm enough for my body to handle them. Sucks!
At min, you should perform 2-5 different dynamic stretches. Especially targeting the major muscle groups and/or muscle groups your will be using for your workout/competition.
Ex: for a speed workout on the track I might do – A. Side to side leg swings. B. Front to back leg swing. C. Pendulum front to back arm swings
4. 3-5 Sport specific big muscle “form” movements. Using an intense track session again, I might do skipping knee ups, straight leg bounds, running form kick outs, side running form cross overs with snap down, and quick feet for 5 meters.
5. 5-8 Sprints (Gradually getting faster). Your sprints should be between 40 to 80 meters or yards if on a football/soccer field. Gradually pick up speed through each sprint and gradually slow down.
Only reaching a fast pace for a small amount of time then slowly shutting it down. You don’t wanna stop abruptly. Also gradually get faster and faster. Meaning sprint 3 should be faster than sprint 1 and 2.
6. Sport specific movements “technique”. This is where you can start to practice or warm up technique. I’ll use a different example here… When I am playing Sand Volleyball, I might do bump, set, spike to myself or pepper with a partner. Or hand set 20 standing tightly to a wall, or starting taking some swings from my setter.
If I was throwing discus I might start do some drills with the discus, and gradually work into some standing throws, and then into some full throws.
7. Allow for 5-10 minutes rest. You’ve put in a “mini” workout. It’s fine to let your body rest. Your mind rest. Get some water or fluids of choice. Go to the bathroom. Then just relax and get ready to give your all to the workout or competition.
The goal of pre-workout nutrition is make sure your body has enough energy to perform at a high level for an extended amount of time, be ready to sustain increased muscle action, and be hydrated enough to keep blood flowing smoothly and decrease chance of dehydration.
To do that, increase these in your diet at least the night before (hydration should be a constant): increase your carbs (to cover your expected energy expenditure), make sure you have enough amino acids (protein) and calcium to handle increase muscle “firing”, and iron because it basically it’s mission critical to help your entire body get oxygen… (specifically: aides in the production of blood and found in hemoglobin which transfers oxygen into the blood from lungs & in myoglobin which accepts, transfers, stores & releases oxygen in muscles…
…It’s also essential for respiration, immune, and energy metabolism). Warning: don’t over do iron, you should always check with your doc about how much you should have.
SIDENOTE:Kobe Bryant just passed the other day. It was a sad for the world I think. It was a sad day for me, for may reasons I won’t get into here right now.
But I was just listening to a story about a pro NBA player who only played his rookie year.
They were about to play the Lakers and he decided to go in early to get a good early workout in. He had been going through a rough spot and wanted to make some changes to up his game.
He said that when he went into the gym Kobe was in there working out as if he was in a game already. He went on to workout on the other side of the court, all the while Kobe was still going with the same intensity that he was when the rookie walked in.
About an hour later when he was done, he said as he was walking out he stopped to watch Kobe for a second longer and noticed that he was still going at that same intensity.
After the game (in which he said Kobe “destroyed them”…his words) he just had to go over the Kobe and ask what drove him to do that that day… and Kobe told him that he saw the rookie come in the gym, and he wanted that person to know that no matter how hard they worked, or tried, they would never out work him.
The rookie, now an NBA analyst, said that that moment changed his life. Changed the way that he looked at everything that he went after after that moment.
For some reason, it just made me think about what I’ve shared with you about this warm up session.
Most people will look at this and go, I don’t need to do all this. This is unnecessary … I will say that it’s not. And that you should try it for a week or two and see how it goes.
See what your body says. And go from there.
Anyhoo, thank you so much for your time, I hope that it was worth it.
Look forward to chatting with you again soon, and like always… Rootin for ya,