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Work and Warm Up

A lot of times I get questions about what the numbers on the board mean in regards to weightlifting sets. A typical rep scheme will look something like this ?3×5? so this means three sets of five reps. So you will do three separate working sets of five reps, increasing in weight each time.

Now you may have noticed a few different things in that last statement, one of them was the distinction ?working? sets. What does that mean exactly? Well after a while of CrossFitting you will realize that you have to warm up to certain weights whether its Deadlift or Snatch. There are two different types of sets in weight lifting: working sets and warm-up sets. To distinguish between these two different types of sets, you have to have a goal when looking at a weight lifting scheme that does not involve percentage work. Again, this comes with experience under the bar, but everyone should have a goal when you approach a bar. So, I?m going to take you through a scenario with a common member of the gym, Kenny Powers. Lets say Kenny is going to do 3×5 back squats (that?s three sets of five reps for those just tuning in). Now Kenny has only been CrossFitting for a month, but he knows his previous 5-rep max back squat is 400 lbs. Because there are no percentages Kenny is going to shoot for a new 5-rep max. Now it is unrealistic for anyone in the gym even Kenny Powers to get right under a bar and get anywhere near 400 lbs with good form on the first set. Therefore, he?s going to warm-up to it. He is going to do that by completing sets of squats at a lighter weight. This weight could range anywhere from 45 lbs to 370 lbs. Those are warm-up sets. Your warmup sets should consist of weights you can complete without any trouble. Now once Mr. Powers gets done with his warm-up sets, then he is going to do his three working sets. Those will be sets that challenge him and at least one more than likely should be a PR. The next time you see ?3×5? on the board, you guys can warm-up and then do three working sets.

A second question that gets asked a lot is, ??do I go up in weight?? Here at Crossfit Bartlett we are aiming to hit PR?s all the time. If your weight lifting rep scheme does not involve percentages then you should be aiming for a PR. Here at CFB our goal is always to push you, the members, out of your comfort zone and get you to do things you never knew you could do. So yes if you hit that working set then add more weight. The cycle goes like this, find limits then train then?smash those limit and redefine them. ?Are you guilty of not warming up good enough? ?Do you have a goal weight you are shooting for when you lift? ?Do you plan out your rep schemes when you go to hit a max? Post Comments below!

One of our new members Vicki working on her squat! Click here to check out our flickr photostream!