A 5 minute walk on the treadmill just isn’t going to cut it. You might sweat a little bit, but you aren’t activating the right systems for growth. Priming your muscles before a workout means activating the right muscles so they fire on all cylinders during your training, not simply increasing your heart rate.
Try using explosive, high-speed compound movements to get your nervous system fired up, followed by isolation movements for the muscle you are going to work.
Let’s use a chest workout as an example. Before your next chest day, perform 2 sets of 10 pushups, trying to drive off the floor as fast as you can. If you can do plyometric clapping pushups, even better. Next, do 2-3 sets of 15 repetitions of cable flies, using about 40-50% of your typical weight. Focus on slow, controlled movements, really trying to engage your chest and get that mind-muscle connection activated.
Now, when you go to perform your first big chest exercise, you’ll feel just a bit stronger, and your chest will be able to do more of the work. Compared to simply walking in, stretching for a minute, and jumping right into your first set of bench presses, these activation sets will make it much easier to use your chest muscles properly and force it to grow.