I haven’t warmed-up for 99% of the workouts I’ve done in the last 2 years. Seriously. It’s a rare occurrence if I do any warming up at all before getting into my workout.
I KNOW I KNOW. We, the fitness industry, tell you that’s the most important part of your entire workout session. We tell you that it’s an injury waiting to happen if you don’t warmup.
We tell you things like, “if you can’t do the entire workout, at least do the warmup.” And, “if you’re lacking motivation, get through the warmup and you’ll likely want to finish the whole workout.”
I’ve been operating, and coaching, from a completely different viewpoint since I became a stay-at-home mom almost 2 years ago.
To be fair, I do think there is value in doing workout warmups. I include them in ALL of my workout programs for my pregnant and postpartum mamas. I encourage you to warmup, if that’s a thing that you enjoy.
I just don’t anymore.
Hear me out.
1). Warming up doesn’t work with my workout schedule.
Read: I don’t actually have any semblance of a workout schedule.
Most weeks I piece together my workouts. It’s not uncommon for me to start a workout and then finish it 8 hours later. Sometimes, I split my workout up into 3 parts throughout a given day. Often, I do the first half of my workout one day, and finish the second half the next day.
The only thing I can count on with my workout schedule, is that it’s going to be interrupted by child-related needs.
All this to say, I’m sure as hell not going to complete a warmup, or even part of a warmup, on 3-197 separate occasions over the course of a day when I get to return back to my current set.
2). My life is a warmup.
This is an important point.
The majority of my day is spent doing parenting related tasks. There’s a lot of carrying, squatting, lunging, rotating, and general movement built into my day from parenting. The last thing I want to do before getting into my actual workout is more of the same of what I’ve been doing.
My body and brain need a change.
NOTE: If a lot of your day has been spent sitting or being sedentary, then I would recommend doing some general movement before getting into your actual workout. Please be sensible.
3). Warming up is a time constraint.
I am not interested in creating more time for workouts in my life. Even on the off chance I get to complete a workout in one go, I don’t warmup.
This is so key for many of my mama clients – they lead richly scheduled lives. Creating even more space in their lives for dedicated movement time is not a thing they want to do.
If you are struggling to complete your full workout and have limited time in your schedule for exercise, might you see how you feel with half the warmup…or maybe no warmup at all?
4). Warming up is a mental hindrance.
I know so many people who will tell you that they get mentally prepped and primed from their workout.
…I can’t understand this. Ha.
If 5 minutes have already passed and I know I haven’t actually gotten into the workout yet, I’m feeling more stress. I’m feeling like maybe I should just stop now and get back to my to-do list.
When I know I can simply get into the workout, I feel more productive. I feel like I am able to take more action. I feel more successful and my motivation for the workout (or set I might get to complete) ramps up immediately.
5). My workout programming reflects this.
By no means am I suggesting that you skip a warmup and then deadlift your body weight on the first set. Um, no.
This is often why you’ll see the first set of my workouts be glute dominant, or including exercises that feel like they ‘fire up’ the entire body and trunk. I try to sneak in a pseudo warmup into the actual workout itself.
If you’re going to be a rebellious warmup skipper, promise me you’ll do smart workout programming.
If you’re noticing that you’re feeling like the warmup is creating a mental or logistical block in your life to you completing a workout, ditch it. See how it goes. You can always go back. Or, you can always keep skipping it, too.