T Nation

Greasing the Groove

How many people here have experience ‘Greasing the Groove’ a la Pavel? Sounds like a very interesting training method, similar to the Bulgarian weightlifting style in that it aims for neural efficiency. I can do 8 chins and am currently greasing it by doing 4.

Yeah i’ve been ‘greasing’ up my overhead squats, started with just the bar about 8 weeks ago, now i can do 155lbs for reps.

I brought my pull up numbers up from 2-3 to 12 in about 3 months. That was about 2 years ago. Of course some of this can be attributed to “noobe” gains (had not worked out seriously in years), as well as losing fat at 2-3 lbs. a week. It does work, though.

I greased the groove on pullups from 0 to 20 in nine months (Nov 04 - July 05). I was recovering from a broken forearm. I would go hard on pullups for about 4 weeks, back off for a week or so, then start again. I would hit the pullup bar for five reps a couple times a day.

I tried it on deadlifts for 4 months (Feb-April 2005) as well. I didn’t have an explosive increase in numbers, but my flexiblity sucked when I started and now I don’t have any flexibility issues in the posterior chain. I would “GTG” by just using 135 lbs every day except regular deadlift days as part of Crossfit and The One Lift a Day Program (a killer combination by the way). I’m up to 385, 15 a way from double body weight. GTG deadlifts helped with building forearm and grip strength recovering from the broken arm.

My experience with GTG is very positive. I used it for both chinups and pushups.
In chinups, I went from 11 to 23, and in pushups from 32 to 65.

Actually, Pavel’s original GTG was about strength, not endurance, but it can obviously work well for almost any physical quality.

I have used it for pull up and pushups. Next on the list is Kettlebell snatches with a goal of hitting 30 reps right and left with a 53lb bell.

[quote]Psnatch wrote:
Yeah i’ve been ‘greasing’ up my overhead squats, started with just the bar about 8 weeks ago, now i can do 155lbs for reps.[/quote]

affirmatory … i like the motor learning aspect … OHS, one legged standing on a swiss ball rear delt cable flyes, snatches, etc.

Bastard

GTG works great for skill and technique practice, as well as gaining strength without burning out.
Pavel’s wrote about many useful protocols, but GTG and Ladders are my favorites.

I haven’t read much (anything) of Pavel’s. What’s the system behind GTG?

I found it very useful on pistols (one-legged squats) and one-armed push-ups, two exercises Pavel talks about a lot.

It can add up to quite a lot of volume over the course of a week, more than you’d think.

I’m going to go against the grain as it did nothing for me. I did gtg for pistols, one arm push-ups, and handstand pushups, for 5 weeks. I went from 3, 3, and 2, respectivly to, 5, 5 and 3. So I switched and did 4 sets till my last good rep three days aweek, and after 4 more weeks, my numbers went to 10 10, and 7. I know it works for some people It just didn’t work for me

[quote]Massif wrote:
I haven’t read much (anything) of Pavel’s. What’s the system behind GTG?[/quote]

It is the theaory that strength is a skill and the more you practice the skill the better you get. What it amounts to is multiple sessions at sub max reps/weight.

Say you want you improve your pullups, and your max right now is 5. You would do multiple “practices”, say every hour you’d perform three reps through out the day. Thus forcing your body to become more efficiant at that movement pattern. it is very useful for getting stronger with minimal LBM gain.

[quote]Kagemusha wrote:
I’m going to go against the grain as it did nothing for me. I did gtg for pistols, one arm push-ups, and handstand pushups, for 5 weeks. I went from 3, 3, and 2, respectivly to, 5, 5 and 3. So I switched and did 4 sets till my last good rep three days aweek, and after 4 more weeks, my numbers went to 10 10, and 7. I know it works for some people It just didn’t work for me [/quote]

GTG partly works by how frequently you do it and how good your form is when you do it, as well as being sure that you’re not training to failure. Without knowing how you handled all those things, it’s almost impossible to say too much about your results, especially if they should have been much better or worse.

It does look from your numbers like it took you only five weeks to increase your numbers by 66%, 66% and 50%. That’s pretty incredible in well under two months.

That probably laid down the coordination, strength, and maybe flexibility for you to keep on gaining rapidly afterwards. Considering you’re just knocking off a handful or less of reps here and there, I’m not sure how much more dramatic you should expect your gains to be.

[quote]Kablooey wrote:
GTG partly works by how frequently you do it and how good your form is when you do it, as well as being sure that you’re not training to failure. Without knowing how you handled all those things, it’s almost impossible to say too much about your results, especially if they should have been much better or worse.

It does look from your numbers like it took you only five weeks to increase your numbers by 66%, 66% and 50%. That’s pretty incredible in well under two months.

That probably laid down the coordination, strength, and maybe flexibility for you to keep on gaining rapidly afterwards. Considering you’re just knocking off a handful or less of reps here and there, I’m not sure how much more dramatic you should expect your gains to be.
[/quote]

Gotta love percentages when you are dealing with such low numbers they make me feel so much better, saying I improved 65% instead of 5 reps, lol.
Nah but seriously I know how it is supposed to work, but It just doesn’t agree with me, especially with such low numbers. I have used it effectivlely with boxing and kenjistsu moves, but then I am dealing with sets ranging from 20-50 reps so you can find a much more effective range than when you are working with sets of 2-5. Basicaly I’m saying first you have to get into the groove before you can grease it

Executed properly it is a great system and I have used it successively to increase reps on kettlebell Military presses, one legged squats, Kettlebell front squats etc. They key is to avoid doing too much and taxing the CNS, trianing to failure, and doing too many exercises.

Mike Mahler

Thanks for the info and PMs, guys. It has made things a lot clearer for me.