top of page

"Greasing the Groove" for Exercise Improvement

John Maus, [07/12/2022 14:47]

@Kneesovertoesguy What are your thoughts on selecting one exercise a day, perhaps a weak link and as Pavel Tsatsouline says, “grease the groove” by doing high volume low resistance throughout the day. In addition to the normally scheduled training session?

Ben Patrick, [07/12/2022 18:29]

John that can work… It all works, or doesn’t work, based on form, load, volume, and recovery. Programming is an art, the exercises to me, are a science. It’s like eating quality food. There’s so many different ways to arrange it, and it can still beat junk food for health. Find what you like. For me, it’s 30-45 minute sessions where I can train hard, and recover, and look forward to each new day’s workout due to enough difference. So for me that means a Week A and Week B of mostly different exercises across two weeks. For example, my posterior flow:

Nordic > Back Extension > Seated GM > RDL

Each one improves the next. Every 6 months or so I feel the need to switch to Dense, and then back to Standard. Dense, not each set to failure, many sets, lower rest. Standards, each set to failure, less sets, more rest.

March 1st begins next cycle of Dense with Keegan, Ben C, Marcel and I crafting a full body program with the goal of incredible body comp results for Summer. Body Comp + Joint/Mobility/Athleticism will be an incredible combination from an exercise program. I’ll personally be using the Standards loads and mastering them Dense-style for extra body comp results.

John training something as you said, throughout a day, greasing a groove, would rely on being really gentle non-tendon movements. Like on a split squat it takes 20 minutes just to adequately warm up. So I think grease the groove could work on: Tib Bar, Pull ups, Garhammer Raises, to name a few. But not great on Step Ups, Split Squats, Squats, Nordics, RDLs, Seated Goodmornings.

For getting out of pain it could work well though, if regressed and just for a pump, but still brings risk depending how applied. So I’ve gravitated to:

Train HARD, recover EXTRA, and ROTATE the main lifts.

Seated GM improves RDL improves Back Extension improves Nordic, etc… And over a two-week period, much less chance of overuse injury. Higher chance of strength gain and not mentally hitting a wall.

Jeremy Hay, [07/12/2022 18:47]

This is what originally brought me to ATG. GTG is AMAZING as far as gaining strength. Using that method, I obtained a one-armed pull-up, but I also obtained severe medial epicondilytis. I had to find a way to build my tendon strength as much as my muscle.

GTG (Greasing the groove – phrase Pavel coined to describe what you’re doing when you consistently practice a specific strength skill) is powerful, but it does have limits. Use it smartly.

Ben Patrick, [07/12/2022 18:49]

Jeremy totally! There’s no doubt that more of something has potential, but also increases risk of creating an issue. Hence why I just don’t do it and have a suuuuuper patient workout split:

Pressing: Incline, Shoulder, Dip, Neck, over a two week period.

But if I took any one of those 4 times over a 2-week period I might start to feel something in the elbow or shoulder. Muscles recover faster than tendons because they get blood supply easier. So perhaps this rotation concept of allowing 14 days for specific tendons uses is a long-term cheat code. John, depends what specific issues but within this group there are many success recipes, THAT BEING SAID, just following Standards (a 2-week patient rotation) might very well work BETTER than short term recipes. In person that’s what we settled on and the results were unheard of and shockingly consistent.

bottom of page