Practice makes good, proper? Wrong. Only good apply makes good. Practicing the right ability is extra vital than repeating any random factor and hoping for one of the best. Whether you’re training piano, pull-ups, or paella, you’ll solely enhance in the event you ingrain the best method.

When it comes particularly to weight coaching, one of the crucial efficient strategies for drilling correct type is called “grease the groove” coaching, or GTG. When you grease the groove, you intentionally apply an train with comparatively mild weight for low reps, which makes the train really feel “easy.”

This distinctive method permits you to give attention to method moderately than specializing in tooth-grinding depth in every set, and it may be an extremely helpful technique to grasp an train by constructing ability and energy. Here’s an in-depth take a look at this unconventional and extremely efficient method.

Grease The Groove Training Explained

“Repeated submaximal training” 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. Basically, GTG encourages you to rethink your whole method to coaching with a purpose to enhance method, enhance energy, and construct endurance.

Instead of performing gut-busting units to failure, each set is stopped lengthy earlier than muscular fatigue units in. Instead of attacking a physique half with 15 units a couple of times per week, you may prepare a selected train for 10 or 20 whole units over the course of a single day, after which repeat it the following day, and the following day, and the following.

Credit: 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 energy, endurance, and technical ability with full restoration.

The “grease the groove” technique, and expression, was popularized by kettlebell knowledgeable and energy coach Pavel Tsatsouline within the early-2000s. Pavel has summarized the tactic as “training as often as possible while remaining as fresh as possible.”

“Training as often as possible” can really imply coaching a number of instances per day (time allowing). Because 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 dwelling, for instance, this may be preferrred.

“Remaining as fresh as possible” refers to proscribing depth, in addition to quantity, to permit the restoration needed for the frequent coaching. GTG hinges completely on frequency. By repeating an train with elevated frequency, you’re creating patterns inside your nervous system that construct energy by “learning” how one can carry out the train extra effectively. (1)

How Grease The Groove Training Works

GTG coaching includes your central nervous system as a lot if no more than it includes the muscular tissues transferring the weights. A weight coaching train is rather like another ability or exercise. There’s method concerned, and repeatedly training that particular method underneath preferrred circumstances is the best 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 overlook 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 similar basic precept applies whether or not you’re knocking dingers outta the park, doing pull-ups, squatting, doing the clear & jerk, or performing another motion you may have to give attention to.

Woman performing overhead barbell exerciseCredit: 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 type, correct method and motion patterns develop. This improved method can enable a lifter to enhance energy, as each the CNS and the muscular tissues concerned within the train adapt to the coaching.

Weight coaching sometimes 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 kind of overload would stop GTG from delivering outcomes.

To grease the groove, each rep must be carried out comparatively comfortably and with minimal issue. 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, in the event you can deadlift 315 kilos for six reps, you’d grease the groove with 155 or 185 kilos for six. If you’ll be able to carry out 5 pull-ups, you’d grease the groove performing two reps per set.

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

Why Use Grease The Groove Training

Grease the groove coaching is primarily a technique to extend energy. It also can serve to enhance method and construct high-rep endurance, nevertheless it’s most generally generally known as a coaching technique for bettering primary energy.

GTG is most frequently utilized to body weight workouts like push-ups and pull-ups, because of their comfort for prime frequency coaching. However, 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 outdoorsCredit: Pedro del Olmo / Shutterstock

If you wished to carry out GTG with the bench press, however didn’t have a house gymnasium, your major hurdle could be attending to the gymnasium at the very least as soon as a day, each day, to make grease the groove coaching as efficient as potential. That’s impractical for some individuals, but when you may make it work, you’ll be able to reap the advantages.

High frequency coaching has been repeatedly proven to be extraordinarily efficient for constructing energy. (3)(4) Grease the groove coaching permits the next coaching frequency with out compromising total restoration.

Because GTG builds energy and is well-suited to body weight coaching, it’s a well-liked technique for calisthenics-focused lifters, particularly novices. If you’ll be able to solely do three pull-ups, GTG is an especially efficient technique to bump your max reps into double-digit vary. Similarly, it may be a helpful method for conquering difficult workouts like single-leg squats (pistols) or handstand push-ups.

Many lifters who’re required to go body weight train health exams, 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 brief, nevertheless, is for muscle-building. Intensity and quantity play extraordinarily important roles in constructing muscle, and people programming cornerstones are essentially minimized with grease the groove coaching. (5)(6)

How to Program Grease The Groove Training

GTG is mostly and most successfully utilized to 1 particular train or motion, moderately than a basic physique half. Multiple workouts might be skilled with GTG if they’ve minimal overlap and don’t work comparable physique components.

Choose the Right Movement

For instance, coaching pull-ups and barbell rows with GTG could be counterproductive as a result of the again could be straight labored in every train and also you wouldn’t be contemporary for every session. However, 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.

GTG may make you rethink your thought of “high frequency.” Repeating a exercise thrice per week would definitely be thought-about excessive frequency underneath regular coaching circumstances, however GTG takes it to the next-level.

Woman performing push-upsCredit: 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. Again, sheer practicality might be one limiting issue with this method.

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

Over time, you’ll construct each the ability and energy to carry out multiple 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 just’ve overwhelmed your former “max rep” restrict with out ever struggling in a exercise.

The same method can be utilized for different workouts, most successfully with free weights. Again, many lifters don’t have entry to a wide range of machines regularly, however in the event you’re a private coach working in a gymnasium, for instance, or an workplace employee with an on-site gymnasium, it will possibly actually work.

Maintain 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. If you’ll be able to overhead press 155 for 5 reps, carry out GTG utilizing 75 kilos for 5 reps, as typically as potential with out fatiguing your self, whether or not that’s each two hours or twice a day.

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

Avoid Training Overlap

One key to optimizing restoration is to keep away from performing the identical train in each your GTG plan and your customary coaching. If you’re within the gymnasium coaching your again as soon as per week, you would concurrently carry out GTG pull-ups each day so long as pull-ups are usually not a part of your in-gym exercise.

Overlapping GTG together with your present coaching program is just a matter of selecting your precedence workouts and making use of the GTG technique (coaching these actions every 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 may additionally comply with a complete program primarily based on GTG. Because it’s a strength-focused technique, 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. Remember that you must by no means wrestle or pressure on any rep throughout GTG coaching and your type ought to stay picture-perfect.

It’s Easy Being Greasy

Grease the groove coaching can be utilized by novices in addition to essentially the most skilled lifters. It’s completely fitted to refining method, sharpening the CNS, and constructing energy, that are advantages no lifter ever outgrows. Consider your total coaching plan, decide one or two precedence workouts, and get slightly greasy.


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