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Why You Ought to Be Greasing the Groove Throughout Your Exercises

Why You Ought to Be Greasing the Groove Throughout Your Exercises

Why You Should Be Greasing the Groove During Your Workouts

Follow makes good, proper? Mistaken. Solely good follow makes good. Training the right talent is extra necessary than repeating any random factor and hoping for the perfect. Whether or not you’re training piano, pull-ups, or paella, you’ll solely enhance for those who ingrain the appropriate approach.

When it comes particularly to weight coaching, one of the efficient strategies for drilling correct kind is named “grease the groove” coaching, or GTG. If you grease the groove, you intentionally follow an train with comparatively mild weight for low reps, which makes the train really feel “simple.”

This distinctive method allows you to deal with approach relatively than specializing in tooth-grinding depth in every set, and it may be an extremely helpful solution to grasp an train by constructing talent and power. Right here’s an in-depth have a look at this unconventional and extremely efficient method.

Grease The Groove Coaching Defined

“Repeated submaximal coaching” is technical-sounding jargon for the tactic generally known as grease the groove coaching, also known as merely GTG. It’s a rethinking of a coaching week. And a rethinking of units and reps. And a rethinking of depth and restoration. Principally, GTG encourages you to rethink your total method to coaching with a purpose to enhance approach, enhance power, and construct endurance.

As a substitute of performing gut-busting units to failure, each set is stopped lengthy earlier than muscular fatigue units in. As a substitute of attacking a physique half with 15 units a few times per week, you would possibly prepare a particular train for 10 or 20 complete units over the course of a single day, after which repeat it the subsequent day, and the subsequent day, and the subsequent.

Credit score: MDV Edwards / Shutterstock

GTG particularly makes use of excessive frequency coaching (a number of exercises per week and/or per day) mixed with low depth (less-challenging weights) and low quantity (fewer units and reps) to develop power, endurance, and technical talent with full restoration.

The “grease the groove” methodology, and expression, was popularized by kettlebell professional and power coach Pavel Tsatsouline within the early-2000s. Pavel has summarized the tactic as “coaching as typically as doable whereas remaining as contemporary as doable.”

“Coaching as typically as doable” can really imply coaching a number of instances per day (time allowing). As a result of GTG coaching is usually utilized to body weight workouts like push-ups or pull-ups, the comfort of these workouts lends very nicely to being carried out at practically any time of day, in practically any location. For an individual working from residence, for instance, this may be ideally suited.

“Remaining as contemporary as doable” refers to proscribing depth, in addition to quantity, to permit the restoration obligatory for the frequent coaching. GTG hinges fully on frequency. By repeating an train with elevated frequency, you’re creating patterns inside your nervous system that construct power by “studying” the way to carry out the train extra effectively. (1)

How Grease The Groove Coaching Works

GTG coaching entails your central nervous system as a lot if no more than it entails the muscle groups shifting the weights. A weight coaching train is rather like every other talent or exercise. There’s approach concerned, and usually training that particular approach beneath ideally suited situations is the simplest method to enhance it.

For instance, in case your aim was to get higher at hitting fastballs, you’d be on the batting cage each afternoon telling the pitching machine to neglect in regards to the curveball and simply provide the heater. You wouldn’t simply present as much as the ballpark on Saturday, take some swings, and are available again subsequent week to strive once more.

The identical basic precept applies whether or not you’re knocking dingers outta the park, doing pull-ups, squatting, doing the clear & jerk, or performing every other motion you would possibly have to deal with.

Woman performing overhead barbell exercise
Credit score: SEMENENKO STANISLAV / Shutterstock

GTG is a method of coaching the nervous system to create motor pathways from the mind to the muscle fibers required to carry out an train. (2) By repeatedly performing a given train utilizing textbook kind, correct approach and motion patterns develop. This improved approach can enable a lifter to enhance power, as each the CNS and the muscle groups concerned within the train adapt to the coaching.

Weight coaching usually requires progressive overload — including extra weight or performing extra reps every week to persistently problem the physique — to set off an adaptation. GTG works on an almost reverse development mannequin. Not solely does GTG not require additional weight or extra reps in every session, however persistently including that sort of overload would forestall GTG from delivering outcomes.

To grease the groove, each rep must be carried out comparatively comfortably and with minimal problem. A dependable rule of thumb is to carry out roughly half as many repetitions or load practically half as a lot weight than you’d be totally able to. For instance, for those who can deadlift 315 kilos for six reps, you’d grease the groove with 155 or 185 kilos for six. In the event you can carry out 5 pull-ups, you’d grease the groove performing two reps per set.

The coaching is particularly meant to really feel simple in each session, virtually like warm-up units. When you begin cranking up the frequency and performing a number of periods per day, you’ll recognize the comparatively low depth.

Why Use Grease The Groove Coaching

Grease the groove coaching is primarily a technique to extend power. It may additionally serve to enhance approach and construct high-rep endurance, however it’s most generally generally known as a coaching methodology for enhancing fundamental power.

GTG is most frequently utilized to body weight workouts like push-ups and pull-ups, because of their comfort for top frequency coaching. Nonetheless, any weight coaching train can be utilized so long as the load is correctly chosen and the train can, after all, be carried out typically.

Man performing pull-ups outdoors
Credit score: Pedro del Olmo / Shutterstock

In the event you wished to carry out GTG with the bench press, however didn’t have a house health club, your major hurdle can be attending to the health club not less than as soon as a day, each day, to make grease the groove coaching as efficient as doable. That’s impractical for some individuals, but when you can also make it work, you’ll be able to reap the advantages.

Excessive frequency coaching has been repeatedly proven to be extraordinarily efficient for constructing power. (3)(4) Grease the groove coaching permits a better coaching frequency with out compromising general restoration.

As a result of GTG builds power and is well-suited to body weight coaching, it’s a well-liked methodology for calisthenics-focused lifters, particularly inexperienced persons. In the event you can solely do three pull-ups, GTG is a particularly efficient solution to bump your max reps into double-digit vary. Equally, it may be a helpful approach for conquering difficult workouts like single-leg squats (pistols) or handstand push-ups.

Many lifters who’re required to move body weight train health checks, typically utilized in regulation enforcement or the army, have used GTG coaching to enhance their testing scores by rising their max rep push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, or different testing standards.

One facet the place GTG falls quick, nevertheless, is for muscle-building. Depth and quantity play extraordinarily important roles in constructing muscle, and people programming cornerstones are essentially minimized with grease the groove coaching. (5)(6)

Learn how to Program Grease The Groove Coaching

GTG is mostly and most successfully utilized to at least one particular train or motion, relatively than a basic physique half. A number of workouts might be skilled with GTG if they’ve minimal overlap and don’t work related physique components.

Select the Proper Motion

For instance, coaching pull-ups and barbell rows with GTG can be counterproductive as a result of the again can be instantly labored in every train and also you wouldn’t be contemporary for every session. Nonetheless, coaching pull-ups and squats or dips and barbell rows might be very efficient as a result of the workouts contain completely different muscle teams.

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GTG may make you rethink your thought of “excessive frequency.” Repeating a exercise 3 times per week will surely be thought of excessive frequency beneath regular coaching circumstances, however GTG takes it to the next-level.

Woman performing push-ups
Credit score: Gorodenkoff / Shutterstock

Repeating exercises each day is widespread programming for grease the groove coaching. Repeating exercises each few hours, a number of instances per day, is much more widespread. Once more, sheer practicality might be one limiting issue with this method.

Investing in a easy doorway pull-up bar might be a wonderful determination for anybody working from residence. Performing one set of half of your max-rep pull-ups each few hours is a time-tested method to construct pull-up power and enhance your complete numbers. In case your present max is three pull-ups, performing one good rep each time you stroll previous the bar (on the way in which to the toilet, on the way in which again from the kitchen, and many others.) is a textbook GTG coaching plan.

Over time, you’ll construct each the talent and power to carry out a couple of rep per set with out being considerably fatigued. As you adapt extra, you’ll be able to sporadically check your self and will discover that you simply’ve crushed your former “max rep” restrict with out ever struggling in a exercise.

An identical method can be utilized for different workouts, most successfully with free weights. Once more, many lifters don’t have entry to a wide range of machines frequently, however for those who’re a private coach working in a health club, for instance, or an workplace employee with an on-site health club, it could actually work.

Keep a comparatively low effort in every mini-session, performing one set of three to 5 reps with roughly half as a lot weight as you’d be in any other case able to. In the event you can overhead press 155 for 5 reps, carry out GTG utilizing 75 kilos for 5 reps, as typically as doable with out fatiguing your self, whether or not that’s each two hours or twice a day.

Quickly sufficient, you’ll discover that 75 kilos for 5 will really feel even simpler and you may enhance the load very barely, to proceed the method earlier than ultimately testing (and breaking) your outdated PR.

Keep away from Coaching Overlap

One key to optimizing restoration is to keep away from performing the identical train in each your GTG plan and your normal coaching. In the event you’re within the health club coaching your again as soon as per week, you may concurrently carry out GTG pull-ups each day so long as pull-ups aren’t a part of your in-gym exercise.

Overlapping GTG along with your present coaching program is just a matter of selecting your precedence workouts and making use of the GTG methodology (coaching these actions day by day or a number of instances per day with low quantity and low depth), whereas eradicating those self same workouts out of your present routine.

You possibly can additionally comply with a complete program based mostly on GTG. As a result of it’s a strength-focused methodology, select one compound (multi-joint) train per physique half and prepare every motion each day or a number of instances per day, performing one set of low reps with a weight appropriate for a warm-up. Keep in mind that it’s best to by no means wrestle or pressure on any rep throughout GTG coaching and your kind ought to stay picture-perfect.

It’s Simple Being Greasy

Grease the groove coaching can be utilized by inexperienced persons in addition to probably the most skilled lifters. It’s completely fitted to refining approach, sharpening the CNS, and constructing power, that are advantages no lifter ever outgrows. Contemplate your general coaching plan, choose one or two precedence workouts, and get somewhat greasy.


  1. Carroll, T. J., Riek, S., & Carson, R. G. (2001). Neural diversifications to resistance coaching: implications for motion management. Sports activities drugs (Auckland, N.Z.), 31(12), 829–840.
  2. Duchateau, J., & Enoka, R. M. (2002). Neural diversifications with power exercise patterns in able-bodied people. American journal of bodily drugs & rehabilitation, 81(11 Suppl), S17–S27.
  3. Ochi, E., Maruo, M., Tsuchiya, Y., Ishii, N., Miura, Okay., & Sasaki, Okay. (2018). Larger Coaching Frequency Is Vital for Gaining Muscular Power Beneath Quantity-Matched Coaching. Frontiers in physiology, 9, 744.
  4. Ralston, G. W., Kilgore, L., Wyatt, F. B., & Baker, J. S. (2017). The Impact of Weekly Set Quantity on Power Achieve: A Meta-Evaluation. Sports activities drugs (Auckland, N.Z.), 47(12), 2585–2601.
  5. Lasevicius, T., Schoenfeld, B. J., Silva-Batista, C., Barros, T. S., Aihara, A. Y., Brendon, H., Longo, A. R., Tricoli, V., Peres, B. A., & Teixeira, E. L. (2022). Muscle Failure Promotes Larger Muscle Hypertrophy in Low-Load however Not in Excessive-Load Resistance Coaching. Journal of power and conditioning analysis, 36(2), 346–351.
  6. Schoenfeld, B. J., Ogborn, D., & Krieger, J. W. (2017). Dose-response relationship between weekly resistance coaching quantity and will increase in muscle mass: A scientific assessment and meta-analysis. Journal of sports activities sciences, 35(11), 1073–1082.

Featured Picture: Pedro del Olmo / Shutterstock

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