Warmup question

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pdellorto
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Post by pdellorto » Sun May 11, 2008 8:22 pm

I'm guilty of using the phrase "getting the blood pumping." I mean it figuratively...if it's not moving you're dead and I'm calling an ambulance. Figuratively I mean get the heart rate up, get a little sweat going, get the body used to the idea that you're going to ask it to start doing crazy crap.

I know I've worked out in the past with NO warmup, just went right into a few warmup reps and then started on my maximum effort or a hard workout. But I can't say for sure if it helped or hurt...and I'd rather spend the extra time warming up just to be sure. Even if it's just a placebo effect I feel better about having done it, and if I get hurt yanking up a heavy weight without a warmup I'll feel pretty stupid.


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Post by bob » Sun May 11, 2008 8:58 pm

It's allright. Nothing to be guilty about! No harm done.I used that term and figured everyone knew what i meant. My muscles seem to feel more receptive after a light warmup.Just enough to get a litlte sweat going.I've lifted w/o warming up just to see the difference, even i it's endurance type lifting and i feel somewhat stiff, so i like to warmup first. After my workout, i usually stretch or go on the cross ramp for a couple of minutes. BTW i've tried all of Ron Jones shoulder exercises. I feel looser already. I even e-mailed him with a couple of questions and he was kind enough to respond. I'd like to try his dynamic stretches next.

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Post by pdellorto » Sun May 11, 2008 9:29 pm

bob wrote:BTW i've tried all of Ron Jones shoulder exercises. I feel looser already. I even e-mailed him with a couple of questions and he was kind enough to respond. I'd like to try his dynamic stretches next.
That's nice that's he's answered his emails. I've also got prompt email answers from a few folks in the past - Eric Cressey and Mike Robertson both answer their emails. Both gave me outstanding customer service when I bought stuff too. I've gotten email answers from a couple other folks, mostly Crossfit affiliates.

Heck, Paul Kelso gave me his phone number while he was still living here in Japan. Nice guy, took a good chunk of time to talk to me about training here. Gave me some great advice about living in Japan, too, which was a bonus. Too bad he went home before I realized I should get my ass over to his city (a few hours away by train) and get some coaching. But I'm an idiot. I always see my best options as they receed in the rear-view mirror.

Peter

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Post by bob » Sun May 11, 2008 9:40 pm

For those who are nice enough to take the time to talk to you and share what they know are passionate about what they do.Others treat it only as a business and won't give you the time of day.

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Post by KPj » Mon May 12, 2008 4:43 am

bob wrote:BTW i've tried all of Ron Jones shoulder exercises. I feel looser already.
This is very important. You tried the shoulder exercises you were told about, and it felt effective. I get into debates all the time the about warming up. The hardest thing I find is getting the people I argue with to actually try it. One of my friends done a dynamic warm up and said he felt like he just done a lifting session (he had loads of imbalances).

I do dynamic warm ups, from the same sources as Peter (magnificent mobility & inside out). I have 2 lists of at least 10 movements I do prior to training. Both warm ups have critical things in them that i always need, like scap push ups for example, but one warm up is more lower body focused and the other is more upper body focused to switch between (i do an upper lower split).

I used to do the "quick run and light sets" warm up. I was never sure that it done anything. Light sets always seemed to be good though, and I still do some for my first exercise or 2. I'm convinced that the quick run type warm up does next to nothing. Get's your hard rate up and........... well, it gets your heart rate up :-)

The reason I know dynamic warm ups are effective is because I actually fixed a host of imbalances, and I would put it down mostly to my dynamic warm up. I could be sitting in work all day, then the last few hours, would get a sore back from sitting. After a few dynamic exercises, i'll go from stiff and sore to loose, pain free and more motivated. It also 'gets the blood flowing', at first the movements are quite challenging and take a lot out of you, then it's a case of 'they're as hard as you make them'. You should be able to atleast 10 movements in 10 minutes and this should leave you loose, sharp, and slightly out of breath!

'studies' have apparently shown all sorts of benefits to dynamic movements. It's just something i've never questioned purely because I don't need any more convincing.

What you need to bear in mind though is that dynamic movements are BASICALLY just body weight exercises. They just generally challenge you in more difficult movements and positions, and they're very 'joint specific' - if you want them to be. It's not one of these new ground breaking concepts, it's actually a very basic concept, but refined, which i;'m sure most will agree makes it all the more 'believable'.

In short - Just try it.

KPj


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Post by Jungledoc » Tue May 13, 2008 4:43 am

bob wrote:Jungledoc- Were you referring to my comment about "getting the blood moving" to warm up? As a layman, please enlighten me as to what physiological changes the muscles go through during this phase. I used that term for lack of a better one. Regards.
No, not you in particular. Lots of people use that phrase, and I don't know how literally they mean it. I can't tell you much about the physiological changes, because I don't know, either because of my simple ignorance, or because not much is known, or because it is not well publicized. Probably a combination of the three.

Circulation in muscle increases in proportion to the activity of the muscle, and probably influenced by overall activity as well. I just don't know if there is any advantage to starting with a small increase in circulation with a little muscle activity, before going on to greater activity, knowing that my body knows how to increase the circulation as needed. I'm pretty sure that blood flow is not a critical factor in warming up. If there is benefit, it is probably in raising the temperature of the connective tissues, or just loosening them prior to heavy exercise.

I just wish the people who write exercise web sites would say things like "I suggest such and such warm up, because it feels good to me," rather than "it is very important to warm up like this, and here are the 12 benefits of doing it my way," and then listing a bunch of unsupportable claims.

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Post by KPj » Tue May 13, 2008 5:43 am

I would love to fish out some studies for you, but I'm not really sure what your getting at, to be honest.

Is it the increase in blood flow that your questioning?

Or just generally ranting about people making wild claims without backing it up? (not that there's anything wrong with that)

One thing you need to bear in mind is that the 'research' is generally behind the weight lifters. Before the 90's, there wasn't that much research done on resistance training at all. Most research just confirms what long term lifters already know...

In fact, the more I learn, the more i'm starting to think that the research is just catching up with things lifters from the 60's have known for, well, decades.

My point is, if you wait for the research to come out and dictate your workouts, then you won't get much done...

KPj

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Post by amivan » Tue May 13, 2008 7:26 am

To be more specific, your body performs optimally at a temperature of 103 degrees Fahrenheit, the reason this helps with strength performance is because warmed muscles have a greater enzyme activity, greater nerve conduction velocity, and a decreased resistance to change in muscle length. These 3 changes allow for a greater force production.


Now, as for when people say, get your blood flowing, that's actually either accidentally or (i'm sure) purposefully correct. because with exercise your blood flow in working muscles can increase up to 20-fold, this is because blood flow to visceral tissue such as the liver, spleen, and kidney will experience up to a 80% drop in blood flow. This occurs to meet the elevated metabolic demands of the body placed on it by exercise. As you said it is dictated by the intensity of the exercise.

Why wouldn't this be beneficial is what I want you to think about? What does our body use vasoconstriction/dilation for oftentimes? thermoregulation. really these two things are related. id make a little more sense but im weary

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Post by Jungledoc » Tue May 13, 2008 9:56 am

KPj--Yeah, the ranting part.

Amivan--I'm not imagining that increased blood flow to working muscles is not beneficial. I'm saying that the body "knows" how to increase blood flow appropriately to working muscle when and where it's needed. It happens, because it's a built-in process. So what's the implication if I tell someone that they need to do this stuff "to get the blood flowing"? That it won't flow if they don't do this stuff. Is the body so inefficient at regulating blood flow that we need to do things to get it to work right?

Same thing with the thermoregulation. No doubt that the temp increases with exercise. I'm asking (really, I'm asking--I hope I don't sound like I'm putting down the warm-up routines that people have found to be practical) whether a warm-up routine is necessary, or even helpful to make that happen? And if so, what is the actual outcome difference for me?

When I am able to do literature searches, I end up wading through hundreds of titles of esoteric-sounding physiology studies (which may be important, but they don't answer my questions) for every relevant-sounding title. Then getting the text of the actual paper is another challenge. I'm not saying that the kind of research I'm interested in isn't out there, but I don't have ready access to it.

In the end, I want outcome data. If I devote a certain amount of my time to a particular form of warm up, will it significantly reduce my chances of injury, will it help me increase my strength and endurance faster, will it make me healthier in any way?

A lot of the warm up advice you see is obviously useless. Some sounds like it might be useful. Dynamic stretching sounds interesting, and I'm planning to give it a try. Ron Jones has a 5-minute routine that seems pretty practical.

Here are couple of the sites I mean:
http://www.brianmac.co.uk/warmup.htm
This site advocates "at least" 30 minutes of warm up, and 20 of cool down. At this for a workout that I'm trying to do in 45 minutes (which I haven't yet accomplished, by the way).

http://www.mydr.com.au/default.asp?article=2339

And, yeah. I know about the weariness. I'm going to bed. Most of you have only been up for a couple of hours.

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Post by Chris_A » Wed May 14, 2008 11:23 am

Warm-ups have been shown to positively effect immediate post exercise muscle function.
http://coachsci.sdsu.edu/csa/vol122/weerapon.htm

However, it has been shown that warm-up does not affect overall recovery at all.
http://coachsci.sdsu.edu/csa/vol122/evans.htm

When warming up, it has been shown that a respiratory warm-up coupled with a exercise specific warmup produces the greatest gains in performance (4.4% increase in performance).
http://coachsci.sdsu.edu/csa/vol122/volianit.htm

When warming up, it has been shown that heavy warm-ups do not affect muscle metabolism, thus a light warm-up is sufficient.
http://coachsci.sdsu.edu/csa/vol122/thistlet.htm

It has been shown that a specific warm-up (light activity involving the intended ROM of the exercise) is all that is needed and stretching can be excluded.
http://coachsci.sdsu.edu/csa/vol122/zakas.htm

When it comes to stretching, it has been shown that too much stretching reduces performance.
http://coachsci.sdsu.edu/csa/vol122/nelson.htm

Also, stretching may predispose muscles to injury.
http://coachsci.sdsu.edu/csa/vol122/carter.htm

A very interesting thing to note about “warming up” is that it can literally mean an increase in temperature of the muscle itself. As such, it is possible to “warm-up” in a beneficial manner, not through activity, but through an external heat source.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11380276


All of these articles and more can be found here:
http://coachsci.sdsu.edu/csa/vol122/table.htm


Basically, it has been shown that a light warm-up through the ROM of the intended exercise has the most benefit both in performance and immediate post exercise operation. But, warm-ups do not seem to effect extended post exercise recovery. So, it appears the best warm-up would be a light set of the intended exercise. For example, a set of 12-15 reps at 50% of the intended working weight.

Edited to add: Personally, I've found that doing a few warm-up sets before I go heavy prevents injuries (at least for me). It seems that whenever I skip warm-ups, that is when something gets sprained or pulled. Perhaps it is because the muscles were cold, or maybe it's because I hadn't gotten my body into the mindset of the ROM of the exercise? Either way, warm-ups help me avoid injury.

And I'm sorry for using the "it has been shown" terminology. I don't really know how else to say it....especially since there are so many studies out there, and many of them are contradictory to one another. I think a lot of studies need to be re-worded and stated as "It has been shown in this particular test group that may or may not be similar to your physical type, conditioning, and genetic makeup....." :wink:

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Post by Jungledoc » Wed May 14, 2008 11:15 pm

YEAH! That's what I want.

Sometime in the next few days I'll get those read. It sounds like a good site for more.

I've also been doing some searching of the medical literature. Like I said before, most of what I found is esoteric, but a few looked interesting and/or useful. Unfortunately, it is a little time-consuming to use the search service that we have access to here. This service gives me full-text access to only some of the papers that are found.

You're right about studies coming to conflicting conclusions; I deal with that in the medical literature frequently. Often the study population skewed or methods used are not the ideal. You're also right that authors should be more cautious about how they state their conclusions. I don't mind "it has been shown" if it really has been shown, and the person saying it can offer the source, like you do in the post. I get tired of hearing it used when it really meant "I think this is want someone meant when he once told me what he had heard from someone." :lol: One has to keep looking at the studies, comparing what they say to other studies and to your own experience (using due caution in interpreting your experience, of course) and not being afraid to change your thinking when your old ideas are challenged.


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