Greasing and grooving (and no it’s not blog post on sex)

Since getting to know Kat during my crossfit induction I’ve learned so many things.

I’m unsure how she manages to cram so much information into that teeny weeny body of hers but luckily for me she can.

Two “tips” that stand out are ..

How to parent your body, eg don’t accept anything less than perfect reps and the theory behind “greasing the groove” which is what I’m going to talk about today.

Greasing the groove (or if you want to be all technical like, Synaptic facilitation) was pioneered by Pavel Tsatsouline a former trainer of the Russian Special Forces.

Pavel asserts that Specificity + frequent practice = success.

In simple terms if you want to be good at something do that one specific thing often. In other words you “grease the groove” at an intensity level of between 50-80%.

For example perhaps you want to be able to do more push ups and your current max is 10 reps before falling flat on your face. To grease the groove you would do 5-8 push ups frequently through out the day (ideally 5-6 times per day 5-6 days per week).  You ONLY want to grease the groove, never go to failure.

It works because you do the movement so often your body adapts, your nervous system develops and becomes more proficient at getting your body, nerves and muscles to work in unison to perform the movement more efficiently which in turn makes the movement more natural and enables you do do more volume.

Clever huh? ..

I did a version of this back in 2011 (before I even knew what greasing the groove was) when I wanted to be able to do 11 unassisted pull ups. Every time I went to the gym or a park where there was a bar, I’d bust out a few pull ups and eventually I hit my goal.

Anyway the reason I’m telling you all of this is because I’ve been do a really simplified version of this for the bane of my existent – the overhead squat.

Everyday (except Sunday) I get under the bar – I pick it up, put it over my head and I squat (just a few reps and a few sets) and the repetition is really paying off.  It used to take me literally 5 minutes to psych myself into lifting the bar and then I’d do at least 3 false starts before actually moving my arse into the downward position.

Now I’m getting to the point where I can lift it, take a breath and squat ..

And today one of the personal trainers on the floor came over when he was finished with his client and commended me on my overhead squat technique .. crazy huh?!?!?!

Unless he actually meant my arse looks good when I squat .. because it does .. even if I do say so myself 😉

Till next time

If you would like more info on how to grease your groove check out this article written by Pavel

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