The “Easy” Way to Increase Strength and Muscular Endurance

Grease The Groove is a term popularised by Pavel Tsatsouline who is the godfather of modern day kettlebell training. It involves performing multiple sets of an exercise with tons of rest. Usually the sets are spread throughout the day to allow full recovery. The premise is that by avoiding fatigue you are able to practice the skill of the exercise and become more neurally efficient and thus lift more weight and/or more reps at said weight.

You can also accumulate a lot of volume but still be able to recover. Think about it if you do kettlebell presses once as week as part of your program and perform 5 sets of 5 reps thats 25 reps. Now think how much more volume you could get in performing multiple sets per day 5 days per week. This might be a great way to train whilst on lockdown and you’ll likely get better results than when the gyms were still open!

Grease the groove works really well with bodyweight exercise and often the story is told of people who put a pull up bar in a doorway at home and performed a set of pull ups every time they walked through the door. A few weeks later they are surprised to find that they can perform more reps and have a heavier 1RM!

How to train grease the groove style:

Load: 60-70% 1RM (if bodyweight an exercise you can perform 3-6 times)

Reps: 3-5 for strength and 50% of max for endurance

Sets: 4-12ish (it’s good to wave the volume day to day)

Rest: 15 minutes minimum between sets

Duration: 2-4 weeks 

It’s also worth noting that you wouldn’t want to add this to an intense lifting program for the same exercise. Remember this style of training is about minimising fatigue to allow you to do more.

The 2 Week Push Up Challenge!

Here’s a challenge we’ve run with our members that you could also try with pull ups…

Goal: to increase your number of max rep push ups!

Begin by testing your max rep push ups and recording the number.

The challenge last two weeks.

Basically perform as many sets of 50% of your max throughout the day almost everyday. Retest at the end of the two weeks!

Make sure you have at least 15mins rest between sets, we’re not chasing fatigue here.

I know you will ask how many sets so here’s how I would do it:

Say your max is 40 reps

Do either 6,8 or 10 sets of 20 reps

Start day one with 6 sets then toss a coin for the next day. Heads = lower of the 8 or 10 Tales = higher of 8 or 10 (note you never do the same number on back to back days)

So on day two you toss heads you do 8 sets

Day 3 you toss tales you do 10 sets etc.

This gives you easier and harder days which gives you rest and pushes you on other days.

If you feel any shoulder soreness or fatigue take a day off then pick up where you left off the next day.

At the end of the two weeks take 1-2 days off and retest. You might be surprised!

Wrap Up

Grease the groove style training is easy to implement, refreshing and fun. But the best thing about it is that it gets results. It could be the ideal way to train whilst in lockdown so give it a go and we’re certain you will smash some records!

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