RAPP: A Warm-up Template

The warm-up portion of a workout can make or break your performance in the gym. Failing to take the time to properly warm-up can also lead to injury.

You walk into a commercial gym and it is not uncommon to see a warm-up consist of 5 minutes of some variation of “cardio”. All this is doing is waisting 5 minutes of your precious time.

My goal today is to give you a template for a 10 to 15 minute warm-up to help you get the most of your workout

Purpose of Your Warm-up.

Increase Body Temperature

Slowly ramping up your body before a workout starts helps get the blood flowing and the working muscles create heat. This increase in temperature will help your muscles become more pliable and resistance to strain.

Your warm-up should have your heart rate up and have you beginning to breath a little bit heavier. It is important in performance and injury prevention.

Lubricate the Joints

Movement is the greatest “lubricant” for your joints. Within the joints is the body’s natural lubricant, synovial fluid. Synovial fluid helps reduce friction between the joints.

Movement helps move the synovial fluid throughout the joint, helping “coat” the joint surfaces.

Muscle Activation

Before any high performance machine can do what it is built to do, a switch must be flipped or a key turned. The human body is no different, but the switch is movement.

A good warm-up gets your body ready neurologically ready to perform at a high level.

The RAPP Template

The RAPP template is a simple acronym to help you organize your workouts. What is RAPP? I’m glad you asked.

  • Release
  • Activate
  • Prep
  • Prime


The Release portion of the warm-up template primarily focuses on soft tissue work. You can use a foam roller, massage stick, or a lacrosse ball to provide self-myofascial release.

It is important to attack only trouble spots and not just roll body parts just because. Here are a few of the areas that I tend to see people struggle with

  • Calves
  • Lateral Quads
  • Thoracic Spine


This is the perfect time to apply “correctives”. I specifically like to attack the glutes and posterior shoulder/upper back. These are troublesome areas for many reasons.

Here are 4 moves i posted in a series of “moves to add to your daily routine” on Instagram


The prep portion of the warm-up is the time to start moving. The goal here is to start raising the body temperature as well as move your body through the ranges of motion that you will be using during that day’s workout.

Here is a general movement prep warm-up for a lower body workout:

  • Quadruped Rockbacks x15
  • Bodyweight Squats 2×10
  • Knee Hugs 2×20 yds
  • SL RDL 2×20 yds
  • Forward Lunge with Hip Flexor Stretch 2×20 yds
  • Heel to Butt with Opposite Arm Reach Overhead 2×20 yds
  • High Knees 1×20 yds
  • Butt Kicks 1×20 yds


Your primary goal of “Prime” is to excite the nervous system for greater performance in the weight room. This helps take your body from 0 to 60.

There are numerous ways to go about priming your body for high performance in the weight room. Check out a couple ways to “prime” your body for high performance based on a lower/upper split.

Lower Body

Jump variations
Overhead medicine ball throws

Upper Body

  • Medball Chest Pass
  • Medball Slams
  • Plyo Push-ups


Want to get the most out of your workout? It’s time to take your warm-up seriously. The RAPP template can help you prepare your body to perform at it’s best.