Hello everyone 😃
Welcome to this new article!
After writing an article on"how to ace your push-ups like a true pro!", today I'm going to explain how to make quick progress with bodyweight at home 🔥
Whether it is for a movement that is still complicated for you or on the contrary in your quest to further enchance an exercise that you already master well, for your own pleasure or to pass a sports or military test, you are in the right place 💪
In this article, I will present you a simple and extremely effective method to improve yourself, you can use it every day and anywhere.
This method is known as Greasing the Groove. I first heard about it about 10 years ago in a book by Pavel Tsatsouline, and I have used it several times successfully since then.
THE GREASE THE GROOVE METHOD
It is well known that the more we repeat a movement, the more we reinforce the neuromuscular transmission and therefore the more our brain trains and improves to control our body and our muscles. For example, to play the piano, we will have to train our brain to control very precisely the movements and the strength of our hands and fingers to be able to master this very technical art.
What is less intuitive, however, is that our strength also works in the same way and therefore, if we treat it as the highly technical art that it can be, we can improve it very quickly.
It must be taken into account that the body needs to recover from its efforts and that 30 seconds of traction will require more than 30 seconds of piano.
This method works primarily for training technique and strength. It is perfect for improving on exercises for which you are still unable to do many repetitions, but it will also be effective for increasing your muscular endurance on long sets.
In short, the goal of the method is to get as many repetitions as possible in a given period of time and for a chosen exercise, which will be divided into several sub-maximal sets, with plenty of rest between each one. All this without interfering with a fixed training program.
THE KEY NUMBERS
Polyarticular exercises are the ones for which this method will work best. And even though this includes all the classic strength training exercises, the best options will surely be the body weight exercises and those for which you have the necessary equipment very often, not far away.
In addition, you must already be able to do at least 3 full reps in a row for the desired exercise or already hold it for 3 or 4 seconds for an isometric figure.
You get it, you absolutely must avoid failure and fatigue with each set and so the recommendation would be to make them last between 40-60% of your maximum time or reps that you should test first.
Every two weeks, you can test your new maximum to readjust your series or you can simply increase them gradually by feel.
Be careful, you want to apply yourself to doing only perfect repetitions when training strength or technique, as it is the actual execution of these movements that you want to burn into your brain. To do this method, we will generally choose only 1 exercise at a time to work on. It is possible to go up to two, but you will have to be very careful not to overtrain yourself and the results on each one will be diminished.
If you really want to try, choose 2 exercises that target different muscle groups or goals and you can alternate between the two on the same day or alternate them every other day.
For this method, you want to be completely fresh before each set, which means long rest times between them. The recommended minimum rest is 15 minutes, but it depends in my opinion on the exercise and the effort involved. The longer your sets or the more advanced the exercise, the longer your minimum rest should be as well.
Personally, I take 30 to 45 minutes minimum to be sure.
A quick note on the warm-up:
Ideally, we'd like to choose exercises that you only need to warm up for a little bit, just to keep it from taking too long. So it's going to depend on you and your situation. Either you warm up just enough for the important joints, or you find a way around those problems. For example, I can't do Handstand or floorboards completely cold without hurting my wrist.
On the other hand, it is no longer a problem when I make them cold on wooden pallets!
Now let's see how to implement all this in your week.
The purpose of this method is to supplement normal workouts, not replace them, nor penalize them by default. The method is perfect for your rest days in reasonable amounts, that is, as long as it does not prevent you from recovering enough to be in top shape for your regular sessions. On your training days, I would not recommend the method if your session involves the same muscle groups as the exercise you have chosen.
If not, limit it enough to make sure you don't get tired. Even if you can technically do it every day, don't hesitate to take one full day of rest from this method per week or at any time if you feel the need because you are tired, the sets seem much harder that day, the evening of the day before finished late, in short, rest by feeling.
As for the exercise you choose, you can change it whenever you want, but I would recommend at least 2 or 3 weeks in a row on one movement and a measurable improvement in your max before moving on to another.
IMPROVE YOUR PULL-UPS
I will give you some concrete examples, let's say you want to improve your traction.
First step: know your current maximum in condition. Let's imagine that you do 9. You'll start with sets of 4 or 5 that you'll do several times throughout the day, with at least 30 minutes of rest between each one, you'll continue this over several weeks by bypassing the backstroke and pull-up workouts, then either you'll increase your sets by one repetition according to how you feel, or you'll test your maximum from time to time at the beginning of the day, in order to calibrate your sets to it.
As for your training, I strongly advise you to keep a written record of it all somewhere, for example in a computer spreadsheet, in a small notebook or simply in the notes on your phone.
SUCCEED WITH YOUR FIRST PULL
Another example, you can use this method to learn how to do your first pull-up and it will be extremely efficient and fast for that.
Since your brain is not yet familiar with this movement, you will be able to do a series of negative pull-ups throughout the day.
And there, you either base it on your maximum reps of a given duration like 2 or 3 controlled seconds and you'll do sets of a few negatives, or you base it on your maximum controlled descent duration of a single pull and you'll do sets of a single rep in your days, but you'll only hold at 50% of your maximum time.
It is also possible to train with the help of elastic bands:
I used pull-ups as an example, but it also works very well for advanced isometric figures.
IMPROVE ITS ADVANCED FIGURES
I personally use this method on my Calisthenics bar to further strengthen my Front Lever and with my max at about 5 seconds, I sometimes work it in small sets of 2 or 3 seconds throughout my day. Again, the method is very effective in working and getting that final movement.
So you can also use it to improve your time for any progression of a pattern, as well as when you assist yourself to do it, for example with an elastic band.
I really like working with a band because it allows me to have more time under tension in the final position by doing longer sets, which are easier to measure and count in my head when I do them than sets of only 2 or 3 seconds.
Finally, the last and most obvious example but I mention it anyway, allocate a certain fixed amount of time to train.
The best example is Handstand, as long as you have the strength but not the balance. In this case, you can apply the method by allocating a certain amount of time of your choice to train such as 2 to 15 minutes before resting for a good while depending on the length of time chosen and repeat throughout the day.
IMPLEMENT THE METHOD ON A DAILY BASIS
We will conclude by seeing how you can easily implement this method on a daily basis.
With the idea, you will almost want to make it a new habit. Most of the habit-related tips you can find will be applicable here. One effective technique is to associate a mental reminder with an existing habit or daily activity that is repeated regularly. For example, you can do a small set every time you walk past your pull-up bar, every time you take a short break at work...
Another way I do this, which is very methodical, but which I'm using a lot right now, is to simply run a countdown clock on my phone. Every time it rings and reminds me that it's time to make a batch, I make a batch for myself.
Clearly, this method is a volume game, meaning that its goal is just to help rack up more reps and time under tension on an exercise within a day, week, month. All this without negatively impacting the main workouts or overall recovery for the same period.
And so, it is possible and even advisable not to use it too strictly. There is no obligation to wait for X number of sets or reps over a period of time and there is zero guilt to have if you ever miss a day. It's just one more weapon in your arsenal to improve that will never require you to put in a lot of physical or psychological effort at one time.
Here is the practical sheet:
I hope that all this will be useful, to find the video on this subject: click here !
IF you need sports equipment, it's all in my store 🔥
In the meantime, take care of yourself 💪