Here’s How CrossFit Games Athlete Sam Dancer Warms Up

If you love the Reebok CrossFit Games, odds are that you’ve wondered how on Earth Sam Dancer is so strong.

Dancer came in second place at the 2014 Reebok CrossFit® Games when he was competing as part of CrossFit Conjugate, an affiliate based in Ohio. In 2016, he qualified and competed as an individual.

He’s been known to deadlift 655 pounds (297 kilograms) in competition — albeit with some pretty significant hitching.

We’ve also watched Dancer hang clean 405 pounds (183.7 pounds), a feat so impressive we wrote a whole article on it last November.

So when CrossFit HQ posted a video that’s all about how the mighty Sam Dancer warms up, we knew we had to watch it.

Now, this video comes with a serious disclaimer: this is how one guy warms up. Maybe that was obvious, but this is a seriously unusual warmup, particularly if you plan to take this approach for every workout of the week. You can watch it below.

As always, the CrossFit® Youtube channel has put together a video with seriously high production value, and it starts with Dancer outlining his basic warmup philosophy.

I’ll throw some weight on and once it feels heavy and I feel like I’m losing positioning and stuff, I’ll go do something else.

As the video progresses, you see Dancer lift, add weight, lift, add weight, and keep on going until, basically, he can’t go any heavier.

In a lot of ways, this is a delight to behold. The man winds up front squatting 455 pounds (206 freaking metric kilograms) and then goes on to power clean 315 pounds (142.8 kilograms) and snatch 265 pounds (120 kilograms).

This is what he considers warm-up, but he’s going to failure on these lifts. Dancer seems to feel that by warming up this way, he can get a good idea as to whether or not his body is ready to lift heavy or if he should back off for that particular training session.

You might have some pretty strong thoughts about whether or not you should go to failure during a warmup — or if, indeed, that even counts as a warmup set.

On our end, we’re just happy to hear a different approach to warming up. And we’ll always take the chance to watch someone front squat that many plates.

Featured image via CrossFit® on YouTube.

Nick English

Nick English

Nick is a content producer and journalist with over seven years’ experience reporting on four continents. His first articles about health were on a cholera outbreak in rural Kenya while he was reporting for a French humanitarian organization. His next writing job was covering the nightlife scene in Shanghai. He’s written on a lot of things.

After Shanghai, he went on to produce a radio documentary about bodybuilding in Australia before finishing his Master’s degrees in Journalism and International Relations and heading to New York City. Here, he’s been writing on health full time for more than five years for outlets like BarBend, Men's Health, VICE, and Popular Science.

No fan of writing in the third person, Nick’s passion for health stems from an interest in self improvement: How do we reach our potential?

Questions like these took him through a lot of different areas of health and fitness like gymnastics, vegetarianism, kettlebell training, fasting, CrossFit, Paleo, and so on, until he realized (or decided) that strength training fit best with the ideas of continuous, measurable self improvement.

At BarBend his writing focuses a little more on nutrition and long-form content with a heaping dose of strength training. His underlying belief is in the middle path: you don’t have to count every calorie and complete every workout in order to benefit from a healthy lifestyle and a stronger body. Plus, big traps are cool.

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