Nucleus Training Blog #003 2/20/19 The Long Lost Treasure of Fitness…#NucleusStrong


Awhile back we were using a hash tag #CFNstrong but we think #NucleusStrong is a bit more fitting these days. Admittedly, #NucleusStrong has absolutely nothing to do with how strong you are in the common use of the word strong. We thought of it as quite the opposite. Are you strong enough to take more pride in HOW you move the weight instead of HOW MUCH weight you move? Not just getting form point A to point B, but did you take the proper path to get there. As we dig deeper into the meaning of #NucleusStrong, we see it as more of a way of doing everything that’s worth doing. Are you strong enough to do things properly versus just getting it done? Don’t skip steps you know are important just to accomplish the task. Let it be your daily mantra or battle cry as you need one! Be Nucleus Strong and choose to do it the right way! Don’t be influenced otherwise. Take pride in that check mark you put in that box. Have the confidence of knowing you earned that check mark by using the appropriate process. Live your life #NucleusStrong!!


This leads me into our topic for the day…the Long Lost Fitness TreasureThe Warm Up (DUN DUN DUUUUN!!)

Sure most of us check the box and move a little before the “real” work starts. Lets dig a little deeper on how potentially the most important 20 minutes of your daily fitness routine might be. Getting categorized with the electric slide at a wedding…yes you’ll go through the motions but you damn sure don’t want to give up too much dancing juice to it…bring on the wobble baby wobble baby wobble!!


First lets look at the physiological aspects of what a warm up does:

  • Increased core/blood temperature which will provide more readily available oxygen during the workout
  • Blood vessels begin to dilate, or open up, which will allow more oxygen and nutrient delivery to working muscles
  • Increased muscle temperature which leads to more range of motion and allow them to generate force more readily and rapidly as needed
  • Gradually increased the heart rate so we do not strain the heart too much from jumping to a max heart rate from a resting heart rate
  • Joint synovial fluid starts to warm (think WD-40 gets sprayed on them)
  • Proprioceptors in joints, muscles, and tendons wake up meaning the communication from brain to muscle is able to fire more quickly to coordinate desired movements with more ease and efficiency
  • Certain hormones begin to release creating a more efficient usage of carbohydrates and fats for fuel during the workout


Enough with the science talk right? Well here’s what I meant to say the warm up does:

  • Significantly decrease the chance of injury
  • We will have an opportunity to have a training/workout session be completed with more efficacy
  • You will feel stronger and more powerful with warmed up muscles
  • Your potential endurance/stamina will have increased due to the better delivery process of oxygen
  • Your movement patterns will be better and done more efficiently


You most likely read the above and found yourself saying, “duh I knew most of that” and that is perfect because know we want to get into the really fun stuff of a warm up that we might be missing out on.


The flow of a 20-minute warm up might look a little something like this: general warm up (4-8 minutes), general or specific mobility (2-4 minutes), and specific warm up (8-14 minutes).


It is very easy to blindly go through these 20 minutes and still get a good workout in, I do it regularly myself. However, most days what we want to do is truly focus through each movement, and each piece of the warm up from general to specific and capitalize on every opportunity to develop “Athleticism.” In our eyes, athleticism is your ability to move through space effortlessly (shout out to Power Athlete for leading me to this ideology). Not only can we increase athleticism generally we can also use this time to develop skills.


During warm ups there is a golden opportunity to sneak in skill development. For an example in our gym we work the “Kip” routinely in warm ups from: Shoulder retractions with a hollow body, push-pull on the bar with hollow body and superman position, loading the hip for potential energy during the kipping motion, practice using the hip to generate energy by doing hip pops on the floor, and then putting it together on the bar. We may not go through the entire process but we layer the first few foundational steps of the progression regularly to build a better base for any kipping movements we may use each day. We may do double under progressions, handstand push up/walking progressions, or even single leg squat progressions, which can look like lunges or step-ups. Layering in skill development during warm ups is a good way to get more time under tension or more repetitions accumulated as practice at each stage of learning each skill. Attack each piece with the #NucleusStrong mentality.


Athleticism: we all may not be field or traditional sport athletes, instead our sport might just be life and we can make a big impact on the longevity and quality of life we can sustain by truly capitalizing on our daily warm ups.


As we talk about developing athleticism during our warm ups, we can think of those traditional sport athletes. We can work on speed, quickness, change of direction, running mechanics/technique, explosiveness, acceleration, deceleration, jumping, coordination, balance, flexibility, and the list can go on and on for anything that sport/team might require.


Now lets think of  “athleticism” as our ability to work through life’s challenges. I’ve watched a lot of people move in my 33+ years and I can tell you, most of us take a lot of things for granted when it comes to movement. People come in regularly to the gym and cant touch their toes, look over their shoulder, or put their arms straight over their head. Most of that is mobility/flexibility that can be improved by truly attacking your daily warm up with a #NucleusStrong mentality. I want to see all of the athletes/members that come through Nucleus be able to do all the fun things in life into their eighties. Go for a hike where that knee has to get higher then our hip to climb over that big boulder on the trail. Have the balance/stability/coordination/strength to hit the ski slopes. Be able to climb those steep steps on your way up to the nosebleed seats at the Cardinals games. Get on the floor and move around playing with your grandkids or puppies. Get out of your vehicles with ease, or even just twist and look behind you when someone calls your name. These are all things that can be pushed to the way side of our fitness routine but I can promise you that by developing the athleticism of life during your warm ups will be something you are thankful for and the quality of life will be preserved for as long as you’d like it to be.


I saw a video clip the other day of an 85-year-old guy-playing goalie for his 65 and older team once a week. He was moving like a cat in that net and I can say right now that playing hockey at 85 should be a similar goal that everyone should want to have.


So lets recap quickly why the warm up is the treasure we all should want to find and keep!
A good warm up will help decrease your chance of injury, they will help you get a better workout, they can increase flexibility, they can help strengthen the foundation of skills/movements, they can help to develop more skills, and last but certainly not least they can help develop overall athleticism. So do yourself a favor and start attacking each piece of your day, including your warm ups, with the #NucleusStrong mentality!!


– Mike Whetstone/CF Nucleus