I'm going to the gym regularly for weight lifting for half a year now. I incorporate some light cardio (5 min) and a muscle specific warmup with an elastic band into my workout routine to get blood flowing and prepare my muscles for the exercises.

Now to the question: Is there any difference between let's say the treadmill, the crosstrainer and the bicyclewhen looking at warmup? Maybe there are benefits or drawbacks using one of these other the other? I'm only doing bicycle right now and was wondering about that.

2 Answers 2


Warming up for resistance training is incredibly simple, because the movement pattern involved can be performed with lower loads in the exact same way as it will be performed with the work load. The ideal warmup is to simply start squatting with a very light weight, and increase it until you reach your target weight, doing fewer and fewer reps for the heavier warm-up sets so as not to fatigue yourself.

So, let's say you are going to squat 100kg for five reps for your work sets. You would do one or two sets with just the empty bar, then a set of five at 40kg, a set of three at 60kg, and a single at 80kg. Then you're warmed up and ready for your work sets. You don't need any other cardio warm-up, and the same thing can be repeated for each exercise that you will perform during your workout.

(If using machines or dumbbells, the same principle applies, just select 3-5 increasing weights for the warm-up sets.)

  • I agree with the warmup sets. I'm doing 2 warmup sets per exercise, one with 50% of my workload for 6 reps and one with 75% for 3 reps. Then I do my 3 worksets with about 12 reps. Saying you don't need any cardio other sort of warmup though, I don't really agree, but I guess thats my personal preference. I just feel better and also feel like I can achieve more in the actual workout with a light cardio and my theraband warmup.
    – Suimon
    Aug 6, 2018 at 17:18

For this, All warmups do what they're intended to do. Warm you up.

If you're only doing them for 5 minutes the noticeable benefit is literally going to be nothing. Just as long as you get blood flowing and you do your stretching then do what you prefer :)

  • Thanks! I was just thinking maybe the treadmill or crosstrainer would be better for upper body workouts because the arms swing too as you're running instead of not moving when cycling.
    – Suimon
    Aug 6, 2018 at 8:40
  • This statement is true but as you say, you do your stretches anyway which will help blood flow towards its intended location
    – Twyxz
    Aug 6, 2018 at 9:18
  • 1
    Stretching prior to resistance training is at best unnecessary and at worst detrimental to performance. The only reason to stretch would be if you could not otherwise assume the positions required by the exercise, e.g. if you needed to stretch your shoulders before grasping the bar in a back squat. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1150232 Aug 6, 2018 at 13:42
  • @DavidScarlett Thanks for your thoughts. If any, I'd include the stretching after the workout, for reasons you already stated. I usually do some stretches in the evening every day.
    – Suimon
    Aug 6, 2018 at 17:20

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