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How to get Powerful by Greasing the Groove

Greasing the Groove

The fitness mindset that we harbour has been revolving around using up all our strength and exhausting ourselves. But what if we told you that sweating out during your strength training session isn't really a requirement? Rather, you could get better with sub-max effort sets of  strength.

Although it sounds contradictory, it is actually true!

Here, at Best for Him, we have decided to find ways to explore men's fitness journeys that would easily fit in with everyone's needs while also keeping you as fresh as ever. And we found the answer in Pavel Tsatsouline's groove technique, a renowned Soviet special forces trainer and instructor, developed the groove technique. It focuses on training the nerve impulses to generate a faster and endurance-rich movement pattern. It creates a congenial environment for your muscles’ adaptation to resistance training. Let's dig deeper to understand how one can make use of greasing the groove to excel at the correct skill of strength while keeping fatigue at bay.

Gaining Strength by Greasing the Groove

Bodyweight training can be performed in many ways. Among various other approaches to strength training, the conventional low repetition scheme employs men using heavy loads to boost muscle adaptation, However, it isn't the only way to boost your training for strength. Another dynamic way involves using a high repetition scheme with low loads to build your muscle endurance over time.

Greasing the groove (GTC) brings into effect the latter part. In addition to these methods, a medium repetition scheme exists that's known to build your hypertrophic gains.

As it is usually said, practice is what makes a man perfect. The simple advice is put into fitness training frequency, wherein you don't train yourself to muscle failure, but rather you take up a doable number of reps of a particular bodyweight exercise and train for it with perfection.

Okay, don't worry if that sounds complicated. Let's break it down further to make you understand exactly what you need to do in practice to ace the strength game. Also, if you are looking for ways to gain muscle rather than body weight, check out this article on exercises that will help you gain muscle: "Gain Muscles More Than Weight"


What is the Muscle-Neuron Connection? 

Every action we take is a result of a command from the nervous system. And strength development is also a result of the muscle-neuron connection. For instance, you may be walking as you are reading this right now or simply scrolling through your screen with finger tips. And we are sure you are not really putting much physical stress on either walking or scrolling because you have been practicing this for the most part of your life. So, you do it without much thought. In a similar manner, building strength requires a patterned lifestyle wherein you repeat an action effortlessly so many times a day that your neural connection gets trained to perform the strength movement far quicker than before, greasing the groove.

Neurological Process

The neurological process that is involved is said to be myelination, wherein the neural cells are coated with a higher amount of membranous sheath. Naturally, the neural cells do have myelin sheath, but with regular training principle of a particular strength movement several times per day, they have an added sheath, which will significantly boost the signal reception across the cells. Thereby, you are creating a strengthened connection between your nerve cells and muscular cells to build your endurance.

In the end, as a result of continued practice, a motor pattern is generated in the body. It will allow you to fasten the neural transmission to be taken up and received from the muscle. Thus, a naturally-built system that integrates with your neural pattern is generated.

Essentially, you can test yourself after making the greasing technique a part of your lifestyle. And we are sure you will be able to access the movements much more quickly and efficiently than before. Now, let's hop on to understand how to integrate the GTG technique into your lifestyle.


Greasing the Groove Training Technique Explained

The Mantra

Don't train too hard! is the mantra for greasing the groove. It's all about taking up high-volume exercises with lower intensity. Let's take an example to understand this. If your present goal is to build up your number of push-ups, you have to train several times a day, but the trick is to do it without causing any muscle fatigue. You need to spread out the exercises throughout your day rather than limiting them to a particular hour of the day.

Let's think you can do ten push-ups at a maximum stretch without any fatigue. So, to utilise the greasing the groove technique, you can take up five push-ups every hour or two of the day. In that way, you won't stress your muscles while also training them for strength and endurance.

Strategies for Effective Results

It may be difficult to do push-ups or any similar exercise every hour of the day, in which case you can assign yourself a triggering event. For instance, if you have a desk job, you can keep the triggering event as every time you leave the chair, you are going to do two push-ups. Two push-ups wouldn't drain your energy, and you will be able to continue your work with as much freshness as you were before. In a similar manner, you can create your own trigger events that suit your lifestyle. 

If you wish to opt for weight training, let's take, for instance, kettlebell or barbell exercises. If you wish to strengthen your weightlifting game, instead of chasing for muscle failure with heavy weights, opt for lighter weights and practice with multiple reps per day. In this way, you are easing the neurological groove and also allowing your muscle fibres to receive a proper technique and training plan while giving them adequate rest time.

Golden Number of Reps

Now, coming to the point of what is the golden number of reps to use the greasing the groove technique, Although there is no fixed number that works for all, you can remember the thumb rule that 50% of your intense strength is a good enough number. If you are able to perform 20 consecutive pull-ups, then you can start greasing the groove with half of the twenty pull-up bars, which is ten. However, if you feel you can go higher than that, there is no problem at all. All you need to remember is not to give your muscles fatigue.

Also, there may be days where you do the greasing technique ample of times compared to other days and sometimes lower than usual. All of it is good enough as long as you keep the repetitions a part of your everyday life.

Blasting the Groove

Another thing to remember is blasting the groove, which basically means intensifying whatever exercise you have chosen on the last rep range. However, it is not recommended as a daily practice because intense moments mean intense muscle damage, which will slow down your healing process, and you may not be able to catch up with greasing the groove for the next day. So, keep in mind to not collide with the exercise or training you have opted for, greasing the groove to be a part of your intense workout sessions.


Pros and Cons of Greasing the Groove

There is no such thing as an all-good technique; similarly, greasing the groove has its own set of pros and cons.

Pros of greasing the groove

  • It is compatible with everyone and can fit in with the busiest of schedules.

  • No more sweaty workouts

  • You don't need any special-priced equipment.

  • You can do it any time of the day.

  • You don't need to worry about muscle recovery since there is no fatigue in the first place.

  • Enhanced endurance range.

Cons of greasing the groove

  • Since you are training for a particular exercise, you are likely to see an improvement in it alone. If you are looking for a particular type of training for pistol squats or barbell rows, you cannot expect your push-up game to be enhanced.

  • There is a need for a regular basis of a higher number of reps.

Greasing the Groove with Calisthenics Workout 

Greasing the Groove with calisthenics workout 

Let's explore callisthenics and how you can integrate greasing the groove with it to get the best visible results.

Embracing callisthenics while greasing the groove

Callisthenics is essentially a strength-training exercise that allows you to use your body's natural resistance. Since it doesn't need any equipment it's one of the best exercises to give greasing the groove a start.

Since greasing the groove helps you mentally be strong and disciplined enough to carry out a particular exercise with multiple reps, it paves the way for increased strength. With regular callisthenics, you are likely to strain your muscle fibres, which creates a need for a resting period. By incorporating greasing into the groove, you can limit the muscular strain and focus only on building strength rather than healing time.

All you need to do is create a correct training habit and combine it with a trigger event. One can take up every imaginable exercise, ranging from squats to bench press grooves, based on their needs.

Myths about callisthenics 

Here are a bunch of falsehoods about callisthenics that one must watch out for to avoid falling into the trap.

  • Many have the false belief that muscle cannot be built with callisthenics; in fact, it is comparable to progressive load training.

  • An increase in resistance isn't possible. However, it isn't true at all.

  • It isn't for leg strength. However, callisthenics increase knee strength and hips. 

Mistakes to avoid

If you are a beginner and would love to integrate callisthenics with greasing the groove, you must avoid these mistakes. 

  • Neglecting the form is a prime mistake. Similar to greasing the groove, focus on building strength by perfecting your form rather than focusing on the number of reps. If you are going for a squat, then prefer doing one perfect squat rather than tens of them with incorrect form.

  • Callisthenics and greasing the groove go hand-in-hand, as they need time for you to see the results. So don't set up unachievable goals and disappoint yourselves; rather, keep it realistic.

  • Also, don't take up too many activities. Take up one goal at a time and ace each of them sequentially.


Must Read top 3 articles for Mastering Calisthenics:


Does greasing the groove build muscle?

Greasing the groove is one of the best ways to build muscle. As you train the neural tissues as well as the muscular tissues to improve their performance, you will be able to build muscle at a faster rate than with conventional techniques. Besides, the absence of muscular fatigue allows your body to focus on building strength rather than the recovery process.

Will 100 pushups a day do anything?

100 push-ups will surely help you build upper-body strength. However, one cannot deny the risk of fatigue and muscle failure, forcing you to take long recovery periods. Instead, one can opt for doing 100 pushups by breaking them into doable sets and splitting them throughout the day by greasing the groove. You will save yourself from muscular strain while also achieving your fitness goal.

Can you do greasing the groove every day?

It is very important to keep greasing the groove every day. Even if you are not able to do the usual amounts of reps, try to do as many as you can without skipping. However, if your body says otherwise and you feel the need to rest, don't be afraid to take a break from greasing the groove.

Does greasing the groove lead to hypertrophy?

Greasing the groove doesn't strain your muscles and is more oriented to improve your muscle endurance. With that said, you can take up specially hypertrophy oriented type of complex programmes that will help you gain hypertrophic muscles. Besides, you can integrate both of them, as such, increasing weights with time over weeks or months while sticking to your greasing the groove schedule to attain hypertrophy.

How long does greasing the groove take to work?

One can see the results of greasing the groove over a period of two weeks to a maximum of one month. All in all, keep practicing for perfection, and you will see the results.


Greasing the groove technique is an attainable fitness goal with lower intensity and higher reps. It utilises the secret of strengthening your neural response and muscular tissues, thereby increasing your muscle response.

Greasing the groove focuses on creating training patterns with perfection and quality rather than quantity. For instance, one must focus on greasing the groove with a perfect squat rather than a higher-intensity imperfect squat couple of times. Besides, it is inclusive for all men, whether they are beginners or pros. Also, the ease of access to take up greasing the groove at any exact time and place is one of its added advantages.

Additionally, one can integrate callisthenics with greasing the groove as they go hand-in-hand with their lack of requiring special equipment and naturally building up the strength process.

Written by: Sameena

Edited by: Aniket Joshi

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