How to warm up for your Gainsgiving events

You have been waiting…. The day is finally here!  GAINSGIVING.

Coach Mig has prepared you but now she has a few golden nuggets of wisdom to help you for game day.  So here it is:


EVENT 1: Clean + Front Squat + Jerk

Go into this pretty warm, knowing that your 85% is going to feel solid.

Warm-up with an empty barbell until it feels like overkill: 5+ reps hitting each combo of positions:

  1. Set-up position to hang
  2. Hang to hip
  3. Hip + high pull
  4. Hip + muscle clean
  5. Front squats
  6. Strict press + push jerk + split jerk

Hold onto your bar until you’re dying to set it down.

Then start hitting some complexes. 

  1. 3+ reps of the complex at a light weight
  2. 3 reps at 50%
  3. 2 reps at 70%
  4. 2 reps at 80%

Rest about a minute between lifts. Anything that feels sticky or slow, repeat that movement. For example, if the clean feels good, but the jerk doesn’t, do a set with 2 jerks until you feel good. If a while goes between your 80% and your first attempt at 85%, try to pick up a barbell every few minutes to keep warm. Also some lunges, air squats, push-ups.

EVENT 2:  Bench Press max effort set

With no benches in the warm-up area, you’ll need to go into your 2:00 on the platform with a plan. First of all, while you wait for your turn, do sets of 10 push-ups at a time. Rest, then go again–get things warm, but don’t burn out.

Once on the platform: Stick some light weight on the bar and do a set of 8-10. Increase by 10 lbs if your bench is 150 lbs and below, increase by 20-25 lbs each jump if your bench is above 150 lbs. From here on, we’re just priming for a big set, so don’t go ham on your reps. 3-5, add some weight, then 3-5 reps again. When the clock has :10 until go time, make sure your weight is on and you’re laying on the bench, ready to go. You don’t want to be adding weight to the bar when the clock says go.

Do your best to hold onto that barbell! If you set it down, don’t leave it on the rack for longer than it would take to complete 1-2 reps before you pick it up again.

EVENT 3: Back Squat X3

The goal is to get yourself to the 75% range in the warm-up area, knowing you’ll have time on the platform to do a couple more warm-up sets. Its always a good idea to start with a set of 10 with an empty barbell. After that:





If you go beyond this, don’t do more than 3 reps per set. Save it! Once on the platform, hit triples from the very beginning. The sooner you can lock in a heavy set of three with the judge, the more time you have to recover before going for a really tough set. You’ll have plenty of time to get at least 3 sets in. Give yourself a final :30 at the end to shoot for a PR.

EVENT 4: Deadlift 10 reps for time

The hardest part is getting the bar from the floor to your knee. Know that this will be the slowest part of your deadlift, so make up for it with speed after the knee. Shoot the hips through, be confident about your lock-out (a no rep can cost you a lot of time to make up for!), then straight to the floor again. Hit a 10 rep at a light weight, think 40-50%, then sets of five building up. Before you hit the competition floor, you’ll want to hit your prescribed weight for a solid set of 3. This will prime the mind and body to know what it feels like to lift that heavy weight. Don’t let this freak you out. Adrenaline will kick in and your first 5 reps will feel fast and easy. Try to hold on, but if you need to drop it, shoot for a 6+4. Its easier on the brain to know you only have a set of 4 left, rather than knowing you have to do another set of 5.

EVENT 5: Snatch 30 reps for time, plus 1RM Snatch

Grip it and rip it! The energy in the room is going to help you with your light snatches–try to hold on unbroken or 2 sets at the most. The sooner you get through these, the more time for recovery and a confident heavy 1RM. 

In the warm-up area, you likely don’t need much to warm up your light snatches. Get some moderately heavy loads under your belt so the heavy snatch doesn’t feel like a surprise. 

  1. 3+ reps at 40-50%
  2. 3 reps at 60%
  3. 2 reps at 70%
  4. 1 rep at 80%
  5. 1 rep at 85%

When you finish your 30 reps on the platform, make sure your mind and heart rate have calmed down before even attempting to pick up a heavy lift. You’ll have time for 2-3 attempts, and a failed first attempt could really mess with your mind. If you do fail the first lift, just reassure yourself that you simply picked the barbell up before your cardiovascular recovered enough, but within :30 you’ll be good to go. Be confident, get tight, then go!

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