The truth about warm up: From preconception to facts
From time to time, a newbie starts a thread about the requirement of warming up for PE. The forum community replies presenting it as an almost compulsory element which assures safety to PE workouts and facilitates gains. Some veterans say it’s <THE> key for gains. Then nobody dares to argue and the thread is over.
I’m one of those who had relatively good early gains without performing warm up. It just happens that I have no real opportunity for doing it, as I have very little privacy and I’m trying to keep my PE practice secret. I’m aware of the virtual possibility that my gains could have been more impressive if I was using warm up. I may put more effort in finding a suitable way for it if I could get certain about its benefice beyond simple words.
To convince the newbies, medical articles are cited related to more efficient ligament stretches in a warmed up state. If I recall well, 1.5% more elongation at around 42 degrees Celsius. Others are presenting their stats showing how much they have gained with their routines including warm up.
That is all good, but we miss the direct evidences. None of the above mentioned “evidences” show how much is the contribution of warm up for PE, if any. We would need comparative studies involving large test groups PE-ing with and without warm up. As far as group tests, we know that previous experiments failed. Even if some people volunteer for such an experiment, there will be always a question mark about how representative such a group can be.
What I propose is an easy experiment which anybody can make on its own to prove the effectiveness of warm up.
Record your BPFSL without previous warm up. Warm up your unit and make a new measurement. If warming up is effective, you should notice it recording a larger BPFSL after warm up.
BPFSL should be measured in a completely flaccid state. One should stretch his unit against a bone pressed ruler and record the maximum extension (tip of the head). BPFSL is the maximum value that can be measured at any reasonably intense stretch. (There is a stretching intensity above which no more force applied yields a larger measured value, just more discomfort. That maximum value is the BPFSL.)
Now, in my experience it’s hard to have the very same measured BPFSL value at any time. It depends on many factors, including the precise angle of view and the positioning of the ruler. For this experiment it is not that important to have the exact BPFSL, but to be consistent with measuring in the same way pre- and post warm up. We are interested only in the difference.
The temperature used should be around 42 degrees Celsius (107.6 F), kept for at least 5 minutes. If the 1.5% value applies also to PE, we can expect an average of 1.5 mm (1/16”) increase, which is perfectly measurable.
Are you in? Any feed-back is valuable, but keep in mind that it should be done as a scientific experiment. That means to be completely honest (objective). If you get a value that does not match your presumption, you should accept it rather than repeating it until the “right” value appears… :)
Starting BPEL: 6.9" (Dec.1st, 2008)
Current BPEL: 8.11" NBPEL: 7.63" BPFSL: 9.09"
Current MEG : 5.6"
Last edited by cervixhunter : 05-25-2009 at .