Greasing The Groove For Pull-Ups
There are many specific training protocols out there to force our body to grow in terms of size and strength – from drop-sets to giant sets, pause reps, forced reps… I’m sure you’ve heard of a number of these at least.
One powerful training technique that is rarely discussed is greasing the groove.
Now, let’s establish straight up that greasing the groove is not an optimal technique for muscle growth or fat loss.
Greasing the groove is a great method for developing strength in a certain movement and is used most frequently with bodyweight movements.
Sit-ups, push-ups, dips….
Today we’re talking about the most common bodyweight exercises that I see guys struggle with.
I see guys in the gym all the time performing dips with a 20kg weight vest, then I see the same guys struggle to get beyond their fourth rep of dead hang pull-ups.
Regardless of whether you can currently only hit 2 reps per set or you’re able to hit 8 reps per set greasing the groove will drastically improve your current limitations.
How To Implement Greasing The Groove
Before we can structure your sets and reps we need to find out where your current limitations are.
We must start by finding out how many strict form repetitions of the exercise (in this case, pull-ups) you can perform are.
For ease of calculation let’s say you maxed out on 8 repetitions, when greasing the groove you will be performing 50% of your max reps, in this case 4 reps per set between 5 and 8 times per day with a minimum of an hour of rest between sets.
Do this daily for 3 – 4 weeks before re-testing your max reps, provided you followed the program to a tee you’ll likely be smashing out 10 reps per set after greasing the groove for just under a month.
Greasing The Groove Quickly Adds Up…
Think about it, you may have previously been performing 3 sets of your max reps when performing your back workout once a week.
That’s a total of 24 pull-ups a week.
Enter greasing the groove.
You’re now performing 4 reps per set between 5 and 8 times per day…
That’s 32 pull-ups a day.
That’s 224 pull-ups a week.
Run this program for a month and you’ve performed 896 pull-ups instead of your usual 96 pull-ups.
With the large number of rest between sets you’ll find you’ve increased your volume ten-fold yet you likely won’t feel any additional fatigue from doing so.
That’s the power of low rep, high volume training with large rest periods.
After a month re-test your maximum and if you wish to continue greasing the groove for that particular movement base your 50% off of your new max and continue…