The Taper Warm-Up

May 13, 2020 | John Paul Catanzaro

The Taper Warm-Up

Today was the last day of a triple split routine that I’ve been on for the past month. It was a taper workout that targeted the chest, back, and shoulders. I’ll show you what I did, but I want you to pay particular attention to the warm-up.

The workout was divided into three pairs of antagonist (opposite) movement patterns. Typically, each pair would be performed in a separate session, but with fewer sets to do, one session was enough.

Just because there were fewer work sets though, it doesn’t mean that there were fewer warm-up sets. In fact, the opposite!

Although the number of work sets were cut in half, the intensity (load) peaked and remained high, and thus a greater number of warm-up sets were required, especially near the beginning of the workout (check out A Better Way To Deload for more details on this new way to taper).

There were four warm-up sets for the first exercise pair, two for the second pair, and one for the last pair. Here’s what it looked like:

A1. Incline Dumbbell Press

A2. Wide-Grip Pull-Up

B1. Machine Chest Press

B2. One-Arm Low-Pulley Supinating Row

C1. Standing Cable Crossover

C2. Bent-Over Dumbbell Lateral Raise

You’ll notice that there were no more than five reps per warm-up set. Doing more reps would be counterproductive. You can learn all about that in my book The Warm-Up: Modern Methods for Strength Training.

Triple split training was great! It allowed me to train more frequently with short, intense sessions, and I gained a few pounds in the process. Now, it’s time to get lean and mean for the summer! I’ll make sure to taper properly at the end of those routines as well.