Applying "Grease the groove" - Strong mobility

Applying “Grease the groove”

My kettlebell press was lacking for a long time. When not trained, it is the lift I lose first. I remember coming back from my 6-month project in the Caribbean and trying to press my 25kg. I failed. I was very upset, as I pressed it easily before I went.

It took me a few days before I could press it again.

I had no time to do a program like ETK-ROP, with its heavy day going up to 150 presses, so I tried the Grease the groove approach. Several times a day, I pressed the 25kg for one single right, one single left. No more than once an hour. In the end of the week, that was a lot of volume of quality reps, and I increased to doubles. One more week and I was doing triples.

Then I focused on my SFG certification, and the press was just one element.

More recently, I decided to increase again my pressing power. A good press strengthens the lats, it is a good assistance exercise for the bench press, my current priority. ROP is again out of the question, as it would add too much volume and intensity and affect negatively my bench press training. I opted for Soju and Tuba. I immediately liked this program, as it was very like what I did to get my 25kg press back. Basically, it calls for a few easy singles a day. We start at 4. Then, every second day, we add 2 singles, until reaching 14 singles. We reduce the volume and do doubles, add one set every second day. Then we do the same thing with triples. I followed this program with a Grease the groove approach: the lifts are performed throughout the day, not in a single session. I always tried to put 30 minutes minimum between lifts. Some heavily loaded days (12 singles…), I reduced the period to 15 min.

It worked very well. I started being able to press a 28kg once. I ran S&T with a 24 kg (so a relatively easy weight), and ended up pressing the 28kg for a triple after 4 weeks and a half. Not too bad if you considered the following points: I am at 71 kg bodyweight and this was not the bulk of my program (which is PTTP style bench press). I am now running it with the 28kg.

The complexity went when I had to apply GTG. I could not do it throughout the day. So I applied the piece of advice Pavel gave at a Q&A session at a cert: I compressed GTG in mornings and evenings. I would wake up earlier, and press. Go to the shower, then press. Wait 30 min, then press. Have breakfast, then press. Go to work, come back, and press. Go to the gym, do my bench press, come back, and press. That is already 6 sets in a GTG manner. For singles, I used a 15 min break instead, and it doubles the sets in the same time.

GTG is an excellent way to gain proficiency in a lift, by being always fresh, doing quality rep. And it can always be applied, even if you have a busy day.

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