I am trying to understand the workings of Greasing the Groove (GTG) method (youtube video) With this method you should only do 50 % of the max reps you are capable of but do as many sets as possible every day and with minimum 5 of minutes break in between.

In hypertrophy training on the other hand you are supposed to go to failure and you may only have to do 1 set twice a week ("The 4-Hour Body"). Also the exercises should be performed slowly (5 seconds down and 5 seconds up).

So to me GTG sounds like the exact opposite of hypertrophy, which would make it pure strength. This would also mean that almost all progress is neurological adaption. Is this correct?

Does this mean that the rep count should be low (3-5)? I see some youtube videos of people trying to go from 50 to 100 push ups by doing 25 several times a day. This does not sound like pure strength or even hypertrophy but more like endurance training. So I am confused.

Also what should the tempo be in GTG? I understand that in strength you want controlled down (loading phase) and explosive up.

What is the use of GTG for ordinary people? I would think this would be how an olympic weightlifter train, but for ordinary people it seems impractical. I could imagine this being useful for getting past sticking points such as going from a very few to 10 pull ups for instance.

1 Answer 1


In greasing the groove you develop strength faster than muscle hypertrophy but it can be used for endurance, work capacity or even hypertrophy.

One example, I used GTG when I was 14 for push ups.

The first day I could not do 1 single push up, but I did 100 negative push ups through 1 day, the next day I was able to do 5 push ups in a row and did 20 sets of 5, the next day I was able to do 20 push ups in a row and so on. After 1 week 50 push ups at once were easy. and this is how I used it for endurance.

If you want to use it for hypertrophy start by doing 20 sets of 25 reps through the day and slowly decrease the rest time, go from doing 500 reps through a 16 hour period and do it until you can do 500 reps in 20 minutes. It doesn't take that much depending on the exercise. At the end of this process you get a significant increase in muscle mass.

GTG also require daily training, which is proven to increase nulceus in muscle cells , muscle cells are born with 1 nucleus but can get up to 126 nucleus if trained daily for enough time. The more nucleus the higher the growth potential of each individual muscle fiber.

Muscle strength is the ability to move the most weight possible without momentum, any speed is fine as long as the movement is controlled. For example you are not supposed to pulse your legs during a squat,just go down and up at any speed but with 0 elasticity.

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