Here is a warm-up protocol for Booty By Bret members who prefer carrying out a thorough warm-up. Please note that many of my clients just do 3 sets of 10 rep bodyweight squats and then move on to the ascending sets component of the warm-up. Bear in mind that I’m in Las Vegas (and sometimes San Diego), so it’s usually very warm. Other clients perform mobility routines and thoroughly use a vibration gun, etc.
Note that this protocol isn’t intended to be ran verbatim. There will be individual preferences, which should be prioritized over any theoretically “perfect” routine. It’s important to establish why exactly we want to warm-up in the first place. The goals of a warm-up are to elevate your core temperature and prime your body to lift as heavily as possible. Warming-up is NOT intended to give you a pump or burn, make you feel fatigued, or cause you to sweat. If any of those are happening to a significant degree, I would pull back on the amount of warm-up work you’re doing.
The warm-up routine will be broken down into 4 parts, each with different goals:
1: Cardio – the goal of this is entirely to increase your core body temperature. This will be more relevant to those lifting in the morning, or in particularly cold climates.
2: Self Manual Therapy – the goal of this is to acutely increase range of motion. This will be especially beneficial if any body parts are feeling tight. Please consider that any range of motion increases from SMT are temporary.
3: Dynamic Stretching – the goal of this is engage the nervous system and get your body ready to go through ranges of motion with load. Please consider that more ROM is not always better; simply carry out basic movements that stretch the muscles.
4: Ascending Sets – this is the most important aspect of the warm-up. Please consider that the BBB program only refers to the working sets. Prior to starting them, using a lighter weight for the exercise you’re specifically doing will prime your body better than anything else (since it’s task and ROM specific). These will also help you gauge how much weight you’ll need to use on working sets.
1: Cardio (optional)
- 5 to 10 minutes of a low intensity steady state cardio will suffice
- Choose any cardio modality you enjoy (elliptical, treadmill, stationary bike, walking outside, etc.), but be sure it’s not too fatiguing. Be weary of the Stairmaster so as to not exert yourself too hard (if that’s what you decide to use)
2: Self Manual Therapy (optional)
- Roll over any area of your body which is feeling particularly tight. You can use a foam roller, a TheraGun, a lacrosse ball, etc.
- Typically people will find the quads, thoracic spine, and lats work best for the foam roller. A lacrosse ball or TheraGun will work best for harder to reach areas such as the delts, pecs, and glutes
- Dig into stiff areas and roll around for 10-45 seconds. This isn’t a pain contest; you just want the area to feel a bit looser within a few minutes
3: Dynamic Stretching (optional)
- Go through a controlled range of motion, not a ballistic motion
- Aim to gradually increase the range of motion throughout the set
4: Ascending Sets
- You don’t need to be overly specific with the percentages, just work in that general weight range (it’s fine to round 130lbs up to 135lbs for plate convenience, for example)
- You’ll want to do several ascending sets on the first lower & upper body movement for each session. These will typically be your squat, deadlift, hip thrust, military press, and/or bench press variations
- For any subsequent exercise (that is, your 2nd lower body exercise of the day), you’ll likely only need 1 or 2 warm-up sets, since your lower body will be warmed up from the previous exercise (i.e., squatting will warm your body up for hip thrusting)
|Exercise||Sets x Reps||Exercise Notes|
|Main lower body compound exercise #1||1 x 8||30% of 1RM|
|Main lower body compound exercise #1||1 x 5||50% of 1RM|
|Main lower body compound exercise #1||1 x 3||60% of 1RM|
|Main lower body compound exercise #1||1 x 1||70% of 1RM|
After completing main lower body compound exercise #1, do as follows
|Exercise||Sets x Reps||Exercise Notes|
|Main upper body compound exercise #1||1 x 8||30% of 1RM|
|Main upper body compound exercise #1||1 x 5||50% of 1RM|
|Main upper body compound exercise #1||1 x 3||60% of 1RM|
|Main upper body compound exercise #1||1 x 1||70% of 1RM|