Greasing the Groove (GtG) is a convenient and effective way to build strength and improve the way you move. Unlike more commonly practiced training modalities which condense training sessions into a short period of time, GtG involves performing sets of a chosen movement throughout your day.
Choose the exercise you want to get stronger at and set standards you need to hit for a rep of that exercise to count. The key to progressing using GtG is to avoid the burn associated with muscular fatigue and treat your next rep as though it will be the best one you’ve ever done. To do this go into each set completely fresh and only perform submaximal sets of the movement (ie. 30-50% of the maximum number of reps you can perform in one set). For example, if the maximum number of pullups you can perform in one go is 10, then perform sets of 3-5 pullups spread roughly evenly throughout your day.
Avoiding the burn allows you to focus on the quality of the contraction. Perform each rep as explosively as you can with optimal form. With every rep you’ll be reinforcing motor patterns that maximise muscle contraction and recruit the right muscles at the right time to perform the movement proficiently. After a solid day of GtG for the first time, you’ll roll out of bed the next morning and the first pullup you do will never have felt easier.
The beauty of the GtG protocol is it’s flexibility. Set a target number of sets for the day and then spread these sets throughout your day in whichever way is most convenient for you. For some this might mean doing a set on the hour every hour, and for others this might mean doing a set when they enter a specific room or get up for a break. Bodyweight exercises are better suited to GtG as they require next to no equipment, which means you can punch out your sets almost anywhere. This isn’t to say that you cannot get good results using weights, however to do so you’ll want to ensure that any equipment you need is readily accessible throughout your day or else life will inevitably get in the way and you won’t hit your daily target.
When practicing GtG it’s important that you prioritise your form. Perfect practice makes perfect and mediocre practice makes mediocre. Put simply, if you GtG with poor form you will only reinforce poor movement patterns that will lead to muscular imbalances that leave you more prone to injury. Physical progress often results from patience and leaving your ego at the door. If you can’t do a proper pullup, then master the row first. If you can’t do a dip, then master the pushup first. There is always an exercise progression for the level you are at, and with consistency and attention to detail you’ll progress onto more complex movements over time.
Implement a GtG program that will develop your body in a balanced way. In general, practice exercises you’re relatively weak at and change up the exercise you’re practicing every week or so with the aim of hitting a good balance of pushing (eg. pushup and squat variations) and pulling (eg. pullup and deadlift variations) overtime. If you GtG in addition to a morning workout routine, it's best to do so with an exercise that targets muscles that your morning routine doesn't.
There are plenty of ways to get strong - GtG is just one of them. It's longer rest periods and focus on explosive rep tempos often provides the necessary change in training variables that allow you to bust through a strength training plateau. Give it a go for yourself, and let us know how you progress. You can always rely on us for the natural, high protein training snack that supports your recovery between sets.
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