The objective is raise my pulse. I want to get the blood flowing to all the little muscles and tendons as well as the large ones. The methodology is low weight exercises, low speed cardio, and low intensity stretching. Low, low, low are the rules of warmups.
70 jumping jacks
stretch whatever’s tight for 20-30 seconds each
10 jumpsquats or lunges (each leg)
5 exercise of the day (Monday is bench day, so 5 reps at a low weight. 5x 40%, 50%, 60% of training max for each of the supersets)
Exercise of the day:
5/3/1 increase in primary exercise supersetted with assistance. Yesterday I did pull-ups. The objective is maximize the amount of muscle used and hot during the primary lift to maximize muscle usage and gain. Assistance is only assistance, so weight isn’t that important.
When I say pullups, I mean getting the chin over the bar. I rotate through all grip positions I have a bar to use. Supinated, pronated, neutral, whatever is open in the gym. It’s assistance work.
5x PU (or something else, say 10x jumpsquats. I do jumpsquats a lot)
5x PU or w/e
Assistance if I can, but I may be dead
Rest as needed.
Max weight sets
The objective here is get the body ready for higher weight. After years of sticking to 5/3/1, I find that spending so much time at low weight leaves the nervous system unprepared for the big weight. These are assistance work sets as Wendler would describe them but critical to go heavy if you’re pushing towards PRs.
Other assistance is just more assistance. So if I was doing pullups before, I’d do deadlifts or lunges at some low weight. DL would be around 40%. The aforementioned jumpsquats would be perfect here.
As mentioned by everyone, assistance work is assistance. I’m making my money in the main ramp up above, so if I fell like I’m about to die or fail on one of these, I drop weight immediately. They’re gravy.
The objective here is get some work in. The high weight sets don’t do much for building muscle mass, so 5×5 at, say, 70% is fine. I was really feeling the low air density after returning to Colorado, so I did sets of 3. Again, add supersets. I did pullups yesterday.
Light stuff and cooldowns:
Do things like grip work here. This is normally where I do long, slow stretches, like a 5 minute hamstring stretch. I couldn’t breathe, so I didn’t.
Point of interest on picking assistance: Remember the objective is use as much muscle mass as possible. Pullups invoke the back and biceps. Dips invoke chest, back and triceps. Why PU instead of dips? Because this is bench day, and I’m already using chest and triceps. I’m pushing them to the limit in the open sets, and working them hard everywhere else. I can add a lot of bicep and back work without hitting the limits of other muscle groups, without increasing my recovery time, and getting that added muscle mass usage.