New Rule 13 A good warmup doesnt have to make your body warm

At least, not all of it. The idea is to make the right parts warm. Studies in the 1980s and '90s showed that warm muscles are less likely to tear. That is, a slightly warmer muscle is less stiff, and a less-stiff muscle has less resistance to force. So when you do a heavy lift with warm rather than unprepared lower-body muscles, you're less likely to hurt the targeted muscles and connective tissues.

The problem with saying what I just said, though, is that it's stunningly obvious, and you didn't buy a book with "New Rules" in the title so you could learn what the guy cleaning mirrors at your neighborhood McGym could've told you.

Here's what he doesn't know (which I'm pulling from Supertraining, by the late Mel Siff, **).

• Research in the 1950s showed that low-intensity warm-ups don't improve strength performance. In other words, jogging on the treadmill may warm up your lower-body muscles, but it doesn't prepare them for heavy squats.

• The more intense the exercise you're about to do, the more you need a warm-up. The converse is also true: If you're doing easy, low-intensity stuff, you don't need to warm up for it. (Although it's fine if you do.)

• The better a lifter you are, the more you get out of a warm-up.

• The more similar the warm-up activities are to the lifts for which you're preparing, the better they'll work.

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