There are several factors to consider when implementing into a proper warmup...
- What type of activity or workout is planned for that day?
- What types of movements does the planned workout include?
- What is the planned volume and intensity of the workout?
- What are the strengths, limitations, or needs of the individual (ie, mobility, flexibility, movement prep, metabolic prep, etc)
Keeping this specific to conditioning-type exercise, there's one key benefit of a proper warmup that is not generally known, but it's impact on both mental and physical performance can be substantial.
This visual is just an example and does not represent exact percentages of energy usage for any specific individual exerciser.
Explanation of the above visual:
The result of a proper warmup can be an increase aerobic metabolism while sparing glycogen breakdown - basically you can burn more energy from stored fat while sparing glycogen for when (or in case) it is needed for higher intensity exercise or some other metabolic process (including recovery).
Research has shown that proper warm-up is associated with:
- Increase aerobic energy contribution relative to total energy expenditure
- Decrease glycogenolysis (glycogen breakdown for energy)
- Increase TTE (time to exhaustion) during the actual workout
Every warmup should have at least three stages:
- Active ramping cyclic warmup (5-15 min) - bike, row, run, jump rope, incline walk, sled dragging, etc. Heart rate should end toward top of Morpheus green zone.
- Recovery breathing (1-2 min) - focus on bringing heart rate down, prolonged exhale, mental relaxation & preparation.
- Movement prep (5-10 min) - depending on what type of sport or activity you are doing that day
Below is an example of what this may look like in Morpheus:
Don't neglect the cooldown if you want to maximize your recovery (and results).
The reason it's so important is because you have to shut your sympathetic (fight or flight) system down before your body can start the repairing and rebuilding (parasympathetic).
Everyone loves to spend a ton of time doing a warm up, but then they just finish their last set and walk out of the gym.
This is a big mistake that can dramatically slow down recovery. It's even more important when you're training twice a day.
Every cooldown should have at least three stages:
- Active cooldown (3-5 min) - low intensity, bike, row, incline walk, sled dragging, etc.
- Recovery breathing (2-3 min) - focus on bringing heart rate down, prolonged exhale, mental relaxation.
- Soft tissue work (3-5 min) - body tempering, IASTM, hypervolt, etc. Light pressure and NOT painful.
The goal of every cooldown is to walk out of the gym with your heart rate the same (or lower) than when you walked in.
Use Morpheus, or other heart rate monitor, during every cooldown to make sure you're hitting that goal.
Also, avoid all stimulants for at least a few hours after your workout. Nothing will sabotage your recovery faster than staying sympathetic for hours after the training session.
An effective cooldown at the end of every single workout can make a HUGE difference in recovery.