In this article, that is also our first one of a new series that is going to be published on our official page Caliathletics. We are talking about the so called Grease the groove methoda method that was created by the famous Pavel Tsatsouline writer of different books regarding different topics in the field of Kettelbell trainings as well as bodyweight trainings.
In this concept, the strength is the variable skill that must be practiced and, as we all know, the more the practice, the better the result. Before going in depth of this awesome and effective technique, we would like to focus for a while on few elements that must be always kept in mind while approaching a generic bodyweight training that are:. In order to apply the groove method that we are going to explain in the next paragraphs, we must be aware that only by being constant in the longer period weeks, months, years we will be able to achieve our goals with success.
Nothing new you would say, but try to figure out how a body can change rapidly especially when you are in a range of age that still is under 30 y. Grease the groove method is going to be explained will give you the chance, if followed step by step, to increase the number of repetitions and so the volume of your workouts especially when you are in a beginner phase in order to get stronger both in endurance and strength.
These are the moments in which you must embrace ourselves, think about those days in which you were in the greatest shape ever and based on that, try to do your best also in those days when you feel weaker, demotivated and unprepared. The only one time where you do not have to show yourself only to appear and follow the mass nowadays, is to try to do intense workouts or perform highly skilled movements while being sick or when the outdoor conditions are too extreme temperatures too low or raining or snowing.
Every attempt to just show yourself training outdoor while for instance the temperature isit will be just and only counterproductive for yourself as you increase the risk of injuries, of getting sick and of wasting time without reaching any result.
Assuming that you are able already to perform few repetitions of a basic strict form exercise such as pull-upspush-ups and dips for instance, the method we are going to explain works in order to increase the number of repetitions and make you stronger. This means that during the day you will perform around sets of pull-ups every hour or two.
By doing so, we give our body the proper motor pattern practice that will allow you to increase significantly the number of repetitions within few weeks hence maybe in a month already.
This means that you should exclude all the other pulling exercises as you are going to focus every day only on increasing the number of pull-ups repetitions.
The only thing that, of course, you could do would be to include instead opposite exercises that are using different muscles; so in this case we will include pushing movements as well as legs exercises. We would like to emphasize fact that, such method is not only applicable on the most common pushing and pulling movements, but also to other static progressions such as the ones for achieving the back lever and the front lever. Grease the groove method DO NOT work for the planche progression as this movement involves smaller muscles and it would only lead to burn out your body before it will be able to achieve an improvement.
Well, the purpose of this method can be applied on whichever basic exercise first of all following the range of 6 up to 10 sets in a day. Hope to have found the proper solution for your needs and I do really apologise for not replying you earlier since when you wrote us. Welcome to the fam!
Grease The Groove Training: Doing Pull Ups Every Day For Rapid Results
Well, like I said also to Julian in my answer above, this method can give its best results if followed properly in terms of sets, reps and days in which you should practice it. So, if for instance, your goal is to achieve a higher volume of pull-ups well, practice this motor pattern for a range of sets between 6 and 10 with a number of reps slightly lower than your maximum like I explained in this article.The phrase greasing the groove has been used in many articles. The basic premise in greasing the groove is to do the same exercise frequently, with every set performed without going to muscular fatigue.
Pavel Tsatsouline is known for creating the phrase greasing the groove GtG in his book Power to the People. In the book, he talked about how important it is for the neurological groove to fire in a certain sequence and intensity. GtG is not so much breaking down muscle tissue for more growth, as it is about building up the neurological pathway of lifting heavy weight. The nervous system sends signals to the muscles fibers to contract.
As the signals become more frequent, the muscle fibers twitching overlap and summate to create greater pull.
GtG helps build this firing pattern. Furthermore, it trains the inter-muscular coordination that is needed for heavy lifts helping the muscles get along better with each other. Muscle failure is more than unnecessary - it is counterproductive!
Neuroscientists have known for half a century that if you stimulate a neural pathway, say the bench press groove, and the outcome is positive, future benching will be easier, thanks to the so-called Hebbian rule. Next time the same amount of mental effort will result in a heavier bench. This is training to success! The opposite is also true. You are pushing as hard as usual, but the muscles contract weaker then before! To paraphrase powerlifting champ Dr. Terry Todd, if you are training to failure, you are training to fail.
One of the biggest keys in the above statement is how important it is to not train to muscle failure. As Dave Whitley has described, lifting heavy weights is a skill. A skill is not learned by completing it over and over until muscle fatigue sets in. The old-time strongmen performed every repetition knowing they would have to do it again soon. It was always perfect practice.
Pavel described the way a tennis player would perfect his serve as an analogy to how to train to lift heavy weights:. How do you improve your tennis serve? Do you hit the court once a week and keep on serving until your balls could not knock out a sick mosquito and you can barely lift your arm?
No, you come to the court as often as possible, ideally more than once per day, and slam those little yellow balls until you feel that your serves are about to slow down. One of the big keys in GtG is frequent work of the same exercise. It may seem counterintuitive as we often hear how we need to avoid overtraining. However, if we are not training to failure our bodies can afford to do the same exercises again either later that day or the next day.A few years ago, haunted by vague memories of being a weak middle-schooler, Brett McKay decided he wanted to be able to do more pull-ups.
But this time, he turned to a training technique from Pavel Tsatsouline, a former Soviet trainer who is credited with getting Americans into kettlebells, the rounded weights with handles for swinging or lifting.
After reading a book by Tsatsouline, McKay decided he needed a radical approach to his fitness routine. He needed to grease the groove. Greasing the groove, as Tsatsouline explains it, means not working your muscles to the point of failure.
But muscle failure, Tsatsouline writes in his book, Power to the People! Instead, Tsatsouline advocates lifting weights for no more than five repetitions, resting for a bit between sets and reps, and not doing too many sets. For a runner, this would be like going for a four-mile jog, but taking a break to drink water and stretch every mile. But Tsatsouline contends this is the most effective way to build strength. Over time, greasing the groove has trickled down through the fitness realm, with each lifter and CrossFit champ who practices it slightly changing its meaning.
The term is, helpfully, both sciencey and sexy sounding. The practice appears to have taken on a Michael Pollan—esque definition: Lift weight, not too much, most of the days. For busy people who just want to squeeze in fitness however they can, that might be just the right mantra.
Read: The futility of the workout-sit cycle. One way to grease the groove is to just do the exercise whenever you think of it. Ben Greenfield, in Beyond Trainingdescribes how he would do three to five pull-ups every time he walked under a pull-up bar installed in his office doorway.
McKay opted for something similar: He set up a pull-up bar in his door frame, and every time he walked under it, he would do one. Within a month, McKay says, he went from being able to do about five pull-ups to about Kevin Weaver, a professor of physical therapy at New York University, told me that training by greasing the groove can help your body increase the number of muscle fibers it uses to perform a certain action.
This would be especially helpful for more complex exercises, like certain kettlebell moves. He recommends switching up your workout regimen so that occasionally you perform workouts with heavy loads and separate workouts with light loads.
Greasing the groove, in other words, might not actually be a secret Spetsnaz shortcut to getting ripped. But the loose way many people are interpreting the practice— try to get stronger in small bursts, whenever the opportunity presents —could offer something more valuable.
Ria Heaton, a stay-at-home mom, started greasing the groove in the last year to increase the number of pull-ups she could do.
Within about a month, she went from one to five—not as many as the most hardcore gym rats, maybe, but still a high number for a woman. I, for instance, have been told I should lift weights. Every time I plummet out of crow pose in a yoga class, my teacher says I need to work on my upper body strength. But these days, life has eclipsed my desire for abs.
Realistically, the only way I would have time for upper-body work is by doing the occasional push-up between folding the laundry, sending that email, making that phone call, and chopping up that stuff for the slow cooker. The bodybuilders out there might criticize this softer way of greasing the groove as lazy or ineffective.
Read: I found the key to the kingdom of sleep. We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters theatlantic. Skip to content. Sign in My Account Subscribe. The Atlantic Crossword. The Print Edition. Latest Issue Past Issues. Connect Facebook Twitter.Wow this is different than the traditional GTG.
Which is sets of half max reps, but this is way more effective so far. In 3 days ive gone from 30 max situps to Ive never done more than 35 in a row. This has me so excited.
Situps have always been my weakness, but they might be my highest score in a few more weeks. Im definitely getting or better on my next APFT. I'm glad that my version of Grease the Groove worked for you! I've used the original version that had me do half sets throughout the day for each exercise. To try to simplify this process I started reducing the number of half sets I did each day until my improvement rate started to decline.
Three sets a day one max set and then two half sets was as low as I could go before there was a noticeable drop in day-to-day improvement. Is it alright to do this routine in conjunction with other chest workouts 1 or 2 times a week or should I skip the GTG sets on days I work chest?
John Smith More than Five Posts. Hello I am slightly confused by GtG. Does it increase muscle mass? And why can't one do more that one GtG exercise at once?
I am in my 50s and giving that GtG is said to work well for older folks it does sound interesting partly because it's basically quite easy - you don't need to got through the pain barrier and "burn" to get results - you just do multiple sets when you are still fresh. Life is short and the less overall time in the gym very much the better. Tim's method claims to be able to do this, but although training sessions are remarkably short and in frequent it does involve a lot of 'burn' pain.
I don't want to do anything bad to my core health either, as my joints are getting a little 'creaky' slightly arthritic? I also hate having sore muscles 'DOMS'? I like to do something most days, just to keep the brain sharp. Over the years I have read all sorts of somewhat contradictory theories about how to build muscle: 20 reps, 12 reps, 4 reps and x1 to x4 repeats per training session.
I currently work from home where I have a pull-up bar and some dumbbells at home. Any suggestions? Matts More than posts. Your goals, home lifestyle, time available, dislike of soreness, etc.Greasing the groove allows you to build strength without getting too tired or beat up.
This is what makes it one of the chosen training protocols for special forces out in the field. In fact, GTG works best with exercises that barely require any equipment. Which also learning calisthenics skills a lot easier. Once you see the true genius of training this this way, you can use it to get bigger, faster and stronger, while maintaining your energy levels throughout the day!
In fact, the only problem I have with GTG is that it actually requires you to lift less! This is probably the hardest part of any Greasing the Groove program. Greasing the Groove is a strength training protocol that relies on high frequency training.
Pavel is a Russian strength coach. Pavel is also the author of The Naked Warrior, one of the books I highly recommend reading. You can find the book Here On Amazon. They cannot afford to work themselves to failure during any workout. As they need to be ready to perform in the line of duty at the drop of a hat!
This is because greasing the groove encourages you to never reach muscular or nervous system fatigue. Which is what will keep you feeling fresh throughout the day!Greasing the Groove to MORE PUSHUPS
GTG requires an immense amount of discipline and dedication to work. You will be required to workout several times throughout the day! Greasing the groove relies frequency to work, i. This allows you to master any skill based exercise through high frequency repetition.
Remember that strength is also a skill. You must find out at what weight you can perform the pistol squat for 10 repetitions or which regression of the pistol squat you can perform for 10 repetitions. You will then perform several sets of 1 — 5 repetitions using the same weight, several times a day, with long rest periods between each set. Your repetitions must be clean and crisp with immaculate form on every set.
This will strengthen the neuro-muscular junction, thus allowing for more muscle fiber recruitment, thus making you stronger over time. Performing clean reps in this fashion helps improve the movement pattern by making it more efficient over time, thus making you stronger through practice. GTG also allows for an increase in overall volume over time.
This allows for the muscle and the nervous system to fully recover.You religiously follow the routines. And you are doing the exercises almost daily. So you tinker around a bit more, change up your training plan. But with this method you can use your biggest engine -the nervous system- to your advantage. The goal is to perform sets of exercises without going to muscular fatigue and done with plenty of rest. This system sends signals to those exact same muscle fibers and the more you send these signals, the better the road over which these signals travel becomes.
The faster and better those signals can travel, the greater the contractive power of your muscles. While you have the muscular potential to grab a cup, the issue is that if you can only fire one finger after another.
Now you cannot combine the strength of ALL your fingers and the rest of your hand, which you need to do if you want to grab that cup. While it might seem counterintuitive, this does not mean training to failure, it means the exact opposite. You need to keep swinging multiple times in exactly the same way, until you create a groove that you can keep making deeper.
First of all make sure you pick one move which you want to master and are able to do at least 1 repetition with perfect form. Make it a habit, like having a meal, going to the toilet, writing down your goals, standing up or even taking a breath. Keep in mind that this can be even a few hours. If you start feeling serious muscle soreness take a few days of rest to become stronger.
Over time, increase the frequency, by for example doing 2 pull ups every hour or 1 pull up every 30 seconds. Follow this for weeks before transitioning to another exercise and retest your strength after a good day of rest.
If you are reading this, chances are one of the major obstacles you are facing right now are pull ups and chin ups. You can use the exact same progression for pull ups, the only difference is that you need to change your grip. When you add a small daily habit to your training, you will see significant increases in strength. Few people understand that strength is a skill, not only a sum of the amount of muscle fibres you have, but also a result of how those fibres are wired and fired. Could you say something about the warming up for using GTG, for preventing injuries?
I used GTG and helped me for improving pull ups but sometimes I felt my back could not be properly prepared for the exercise even for 1 pull up only. Yes, so GTG should only be used sub maximally if you do it without a warm up. So this basically means doing something that will improve your skill, but does not require a long warming up.
In my 50s: Grease the Groove (stay fresh/never fail) or single set to failure?
If you are afraid of getting injured, you can always do a short warm up of max minutes. Just make sure you play around with the dosages, it is a game of constant experimentation. Your email address will not be published. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. And before you know it you reach the rep mark.
It makes you wonder though, why are you struggling so much?
Instead of in 1 concentrated session the sets can be scattered throughout the day. What does this mean in your practice? And how can this benefit you?