Posted by: Ron
There are differing opinions on this and here’s mine:
Avoid warmups for greater muscular gains!
When I first heard Vince Gironda advocating working out without warming up, I was curious (at this point, I was past being skeptical) about his explanation.
He cited his years as a dancer and how he observed the leg development of dancers who warmed up verses those who never warmed up.
Warming up the muscles you’re about work is advocated for safety and to prevent injuries. If you’ve been reading my articles, you may have gathered that I’m very much in favor of preventing injuries. The problem with getting injured is it prevents you from training and ruins your momentum and your progress with it. Slow and steady always beats having to start over again and again.
The clincher for me was the next thing I learned from Vince.
The main reason people warm up is to improve blood flow and lubrication of the joints and muscles that are about to get worked. This makes sense for preventing injuries. Now onto the clincher. I realized that people pull muscles and hurt themselves more because of nutritional deficiencies in the muscles, rather than having “cold” muscles. When I learned that from Vince, things became crystal clear.
When he observed the dancers who warmed up for hours having thin legs, he was able to put two and two together and realized that because of the warmup, they tore and broke down a lot less muscle tissue so their legs stayed pretty much the same.
On the other hand, the dancers who skipped the warmup and went straight into training had enormous leg development. He deduced this was because they broke down more muscle tissue, therefore their bodies needed to build them bigger and bigger.
The first step to avoiding injuries is to make sure you’ve got all your vitamins and minerals topped up and balanced in your system. Your body is a beautifully designed machine capable of unbelievable feats when it has all the building materials it needs to stay healthy. So if you’re prone to muscle cramps or if you easily pull muscles, definitely warm up until you know your body’s vitamin and mineral levels are as high as they need to be. You may forego maximum gains in the short term but you’ll be able to stay in the gym without getting injured. At the same time, I suggest you go through my previous articles on digestion and make sure you absorb all you can from your food.
As insurance, you can always supplement with my vitamin and mineral packs after you’ve improved your digestion.
Once you’ve stopped getting cramps, you can experiment with going without your warmup on light days and see how your gains improve.
You may also be ok with the current gains you’re making so take this as just a suggestion.
What’s your take on warming up before your workout?