When you’re on a journey to build your body and boost your health, there’s no end to the type of workouts you can engage in.
One of the growing trends in calisthenics and within the workout community is Grease the Groove or GTG pull-ups.
These are a highly focused and intense workout routine that involves engaging lots of muscle groups and pushing your body to build strength all without getting too tired or beating up your body.
So instead of the intense workout promised in CrossFit or Pilates, you’ll be able to build muscle with this Special Forces move.
How to do Grease the Groove Pull-up
The entire concept of GTG can be applied to any type of workout or exercise but some of the most common are pull-ups.
To do a GTG pull-up routine you want to choose your exercise and make sure you’re prepared.
To grease the groove, you’ll set yourself up with your exercise and perform it throughout the day.
That means you may need to install a pull-up bar in the doorway of your high-rise office.
Throughout the day, perform the exercise throughout the day at low reps and weights.
For pull-ups, you may start only doing two pull-ups each time you step up to the bar throughout the day. Instead of overtraining your body and causing micro-tears in your muscles, you’re teaching your muscles to fire more efficiently.
No matter where you are, you’ll want to be able to do your preferred exercise like pull-ups.
The goal is to never fatigue your body or muscles but instead teach them to engage in the skill of strength.
Start slow with your weights or reps and build up over time.
The exact number of reps or sets will be different for each person who engages in GTG for their preferred exercise like pull-ups or other variations of the standard pull-up.
As you go along, you’ll be able to add more weight so that you continue to not be fatigued or tired when working out throughout the day.
Grease the Groove Workout
Greasing the Groove workouts are ideal for anyone who dislikes hitting the gym for a specific set time each morning, afternoon, or evening.
Instead, you’ll engage in your exercise or workout throughout the day at lower weights or reps.
Every GTG workout includes several sets of exercises spread throughout the day.
If you choose to use kettlebells, do pull-ups, and crunches, you’ll make sure to have all of the equipment to accomplish these exercises at your office or home.
GTG workouts engage in these workouts throughout the working day with strategic rest days incorporated throughout the week.
You also want to make sure there are long rest periods between sets that are at least 15 minutes long but ideally are longer.
These workouts use sub-maximal loads, typically 50-80% of your max rep weight. You also only do low reps of each exercise so your body is never fatigued to exhaustion.
The common exercise regimen and long workout tend to exhaust people. By engaging in GTG workouts, you’ll find your body gaining muscle and start seeing your progress without the end of the day exhaustion after an intense two-hour workout.
The original design of the GTG workout has been applied to Special Forces and First Responders training so they’ll be limber and ready for any emergency without risking exhaustion from a long training session. The GTG workouts build muscle and response times quickly and nearly at your leisure!
Throughout GTG workouts, one of the main focuses is being able to focus on your overall form.
Once your form has been perfected and you feel comfortable and safe, you can begin to adjust and increase your weights to build muscle.
You’ll decrease the intensity of your daily workouts and instead increase the frequency that you engage in them. This builds muscle without fatiguing your muscles or minds each day.
One of the key aspects of GTG is that you keep your reps low and spread them throughout the day.
If you choose just one exercise or even a few to do throughout the day, you’ll keep the number of times you repeat the exercise extremely low.
The recommended number of times you repeat the exercise each time you engage in it is less than five.
Long periods of rest
For many who head to the gym each day, thinking about putting long amounts of time between reps is simply unheard of for anyone serious about building muscle. But the results of GTG has been proven time and time again.
The long periods of rest for a GTG workout should be at least between 15-20 minutes long.
This allows for the muscle and nervous system to completely recover and ensures that you’re completely recovered to be able to perform the next sets with the proper form.
Tired bodies often drop the proper form to finish the set more quickly.
Keep the Weight Light
Again, you want to be sure that you’re able to do sets throughout the day without being fatigued when the workout day is done.
To achieve this, you’ll want to keep your weights or resistance very light.
This builds muscle without breaking muscle down or causing micro-tears.
Instead of doing several different moves in quick succession, you’ll do a single move throughout the day at frequent intervals.
Keep the rest periods longer but train throughout the day. By choosing one move to focus on like a pull-up, you can plan and practice the move easily throughout the day.
Your co-workers might not quite understand why you’ve got a pull-up bar in your office but the results will speak for themselves!
Keep the Energy Up
If you’ve gone through a traditional weight lifting or cardio workout, you’re probably completely wiped out at the end of the time.
With GTG, you’ll walk away more energized when you’ve finished a set or workout!
The goal is to never exhaust or fatigue your body completely.
By keeping the energy up, you’re teaching your muscles and neurons to fire more efficiently.
This allows your body to build muscle and grow without creating breaks or micro-tears in your muscle overall.
The Grease the Groove program was originated by a Russian strength coach named Pavel Tatsouline who then trained and instructed the Spetsnaz or the Elite Soviet Special Forces.
This regimen kept the forces in tip-top shape without leaving them exhausted at the end of the day.
Pavel moved into training the Marine Corps when he moved to the United States and also brought his training program to the Navy Seals.
Grease the Groove has become one of the go-to calisthenics routines in the US and around the world.
It allows the body to build muscle more naturally throughout the day instead of breaking and rebuilding the muscles at the beginning of the end of the day.
Tips and Tricks for GTG Workouts
There are a few key things you can continue to do to increase the success of your new GTG workout.
Never Neglect your Recovery
Recovery is key to the success of GTG workouts. When you rest and recover between sets and reps you improve the neurological adaptation of your body and mind. You never want to push yourself too hard when engaged in a GTG workout.
Don’t Overlap Muscle Groups
If you link up overlapping muscle groups for a daily workout, you run the risk of fatiguing your muscles even more quickly.
Choose your weekly exercises carefully so you’re not using the same muscles each time you work out.
Pick opposing muscle groups and exercises like pull-ups and squats or push-ups and lunges.
Choose Appropriate Regressions
The goal of GTG workouts is to perform half of the reps you can perform in any exercise. If your maximum is 10, you’ll want to regress down to 5. If all you can do is one rep, you can adapt the exercise slightly to allow yourself to at least get two reps in and then regress down to one.
Advantages of GTG
There are some distinct advantages to GTG that you can’t get with other workout regimens!
Improves Form and Technique
By focusing on just performing a few reps or sets of each exercise, you’re more able to focus on your form and technique, improving them rapidly over time.
The correct form and technique will also keep your muscles fresh and relaxed throughout the day.
Many people dread heading to the gym. Sometimes it’s just the idea of going somewhere for a long training session. Instead of dreading hours at a cold and sterile gym, you can work out at home or your office at your own pace and with your timing!
From humble origins as the brainchild of a Russian strength coach to the offices of anyone who wants to gain muscle without exhausting themselves each day GTG has continued to gain popularity as a great way to grow without putting your health at risk.
You’ll be able to exercise on your own time throughout the day and even enjoy your time working out!