3 Types of Warm Ups for Affiliate Classes

The purpose of any warm-up is to properly prepare your athletes to execute the day’s WOD safely. The warm-up must properly elevate core temperature, increase vasodilation (blood flow) to muscle tissue, move athletes through the necessary ROM for the day, and elevate their heart rates before starting. With those goals in mind, we have a few different ways to “crack that nut.” There are three main warm-ups we use for Misfit Athletics we also implement at the affiliate level. The three styles are 1) Weakness Warm-Ups, 2) Rep Accumulation Warm-Ups, and 3) Primers. Each warm-up type has a unique application and should directly correspond to the day’s work, but all are effective.

Weakness Warm-Ups

Examples 

  • 75 Bar Facing Burpees
  • 2k Row or Ski
  • 100/70 Cal Assault Bike
  • 75 Empty Bar Thrusters
  • 1 Mile Run

The #1 goal here is providing athletes with some desensitization to these less comfortable experiences. An old journal article suggests that “we fail at the margins of our experience”. This means if we do not attempt these challenges regularly, these challenges become more daunting and we will also have no context for how to approach it when it shows up inside an actual conditioning piece or even an Open workout. Desensitization and Context (for pacing, feel, etc.) are what we are after. One consideration is ensuring you have adequate time in class to execute this warm-up style because you might need additional time for a specific warm up depending on the workout of the day. These warm ups should take everyone less than 10 minutes and can be modified in volume to accommodate classes and ability levels. 

Rep Accumulation

Examples

3 Rounds 
Row 200m
10 Box Jumps
:15 Hanging or Seated L-Sit Hold

AMRAP 6 Minutes
50 Single Unders
25′ Handstand Walk

Every 3 Minutes for 9 Minutes
6 Strict Pull-Ups
200m Run
9 Ring Dips or Push Ups

A Rep Accumulation style warm up aims to provide athletes with the ability to accumulate practice with a variety of movements including skill-based movements outside the confines of extreme intensity (in a MetCon). The goal is to provide your athletes with a “bite-sized” amount of practice that allows them to stay focused on something (or a couple of somethings) under a low-moderate amount of intensity. The pace for these style of warm-ups is usually nice and steady, as you should be asking your athletes to move “ABAP” (as beautifully as possible) on these more skill dependent movements. Be cautious not to OVERLOAD your athletes with too much, too soon, or to put athletes through extreme ranges of motion with no prior warm up or mobilization. This warm-up style is an excellent way to “screen” your athletes before breaking out into more skill work, essentially allowing you to see where they are at and prepare your skill work accordingly. We recommend that you use this style regularly to get athletes familiar with less familiar movements, as it can be an easy way to sneak in extra practice! 

Primers

Examples

  • 30 Bar Facing Burpees
  • EMOM 4 minutes, :10 Bike Sprint
  • 500m Row
  • 2 Fast Rounds of: 10 KB Swings, 200m Run, 10 Burpees to a 6″ Target

Like the others, this warm-up style has a particular application to “prime” your athletes for a very high dose of intensity by elevating the heart rate rapidly so that athletes are more prepared when it happens in the actual workout. The high intensity I am referring to here can be in a very short metcon (sub-5 minutes), or in very high intensity intervals such as bike sprints. This warm-up style should not exceed 2-4 minutes depending on the workout and should allow for adequate rest (4-8 minutes) afterwards to allow athletes to settle their heart rates back down before starting the actual workout. Without adequate rest after the primer, we run the risk of impairing the athlete’s ability to push hard in the workout – the whole point of the primer.

Don’t overthink what style of warm up to use, but be mindful that the incorrect dose could dramatically impact an athlete’s performance in the day’s actual training, so be sure to take a few extra moments to think about the day’s work before employing one of these styles. Like any WOD, there’s a Goldilocks zone for your warm-up. Keep in mind that the goal is to provide enough to prepare your class adequately, but not negatively impact the subsequent intensity of the class.

 

Written by Matt Sherburne