How to Warmup
You can access the warmup calculator with StrongLifts Pro. Just log a new workout and tap the warmup tab at the top.
The warmup calculator shows you how many warmup sets you should do, with how much weight, and for how many reps. This prevents injuries as your muscles and joints are warmed up before lifting heavier weights. It also increases strength as you're practicing proper form before going heavy.
There's no cardio or stretching as part of our warmup because neither is sufficient to prepare you for heavy weights. You should always warmup with several lighter sets of that exercise first. This is the best way to warmup because it's more specific than any other way to warmup.
Warmup Sets, Reps and Weight
We've set the most optimal amount of warmup sets, reps and weights you should do for your specific work weight.
Here's how it works: the heavier the work weight, the more warmup sets you should do. The warmup usually starts with two sets of five with the empty bar. The weight then increases by 10-20kg/25-45lb per set until you reach your work weight. The reps decrease on each warmup set as you get closer to your work weight.
Most people report that their work sets feels lighter when they warnup as we recommend. This is because you can practice proper form and mentally prepare yourself before going heavy. You will not get tired by following our warmup recommendations. Doing less will actually make your work sets harder, not easier.
You can't change the warmup sets. reps and weights. There's no need to do because we've already come up with the best way you can warmup. For more information on how we came up with the warmup recommendations, read this:
Rest Between Sets
The warmup rest timer recommends to not rest between warmup sets. The time spent adding weight on the bar is enough rest between sets. The weight is light anyway, so you don't need much recovery time. You will sweat more by not resting between warmup sets. But the point is to warmup your body.
After your last warmup set, you should rest for a few minutes before doing your first work set. This ensures that you are properly recovered before starting the heavy work. For more information, read this:
Rest Between Exercises
There's no need to rest between exercises. After your last heavy set, you start the next exercise with a light weight. Example: on workout A after a heavy 5x5 100kg/220lb Squat, you start the Bench with the empty bar. You have to unload the bar you used for Squat and set the bench. Doing all of this gives you enough rest. There's no need to rest extra. Especially considering you're starting with an easy, empty bar of 20kg/45lb on the bench.
Warmup for Deadlifts
We recommend warming up with sets of five reps on Deadlifts. You could do less reps as you do more warmup sets and get closer to your work weight. But most people prefer to do more than one set of five. However several heavy sets of 5 on Deadlift is hard when already doing heavy 5x5 Squats 3x/week. Better is to only do one heavy set of five Deadlift, with then additional lighter sets of five on your warmup sets. This gives you more Deadlift work without hurting recovery.
For more information, read
Unlike on other exercises, the warmup does not start with an empty bar on Deadlifts. This is because you can't do Deadlifts with an empty bar. Each rep must start with the weight on the floor. The bar hanging in the air is not a Deadlift, nor is pulling from safety pins. Same goes for Barbell Rows.
Warmup for Assistance Exercises
There are no warmup recommendations for assistance exercises.
Your body is already warmed up from doing the three main exercises.The weight on assistance exercises is also lighter than on main exercises. So there's less need to warmup on assistance exercises like chinups, dips or curls than on main exercises like Squats, Bench, and Deadlift.
That said, you could warmup with a lighter sets if your assistance exerciser is heavy. Example: for Chinups 3x5 20kg/45lb, you could warmup by doing 5 reps without weight, and then maybe 3 reps with 10kg/25lb. But you wouldn't warmup for 3x10 chinups, as that would just pre-exhaust you for those three sets.