Just one year ago I got my first pull-up. If you’re not there yet, read here to get to a single pull up.
It was thrilling to be able to finally complete something I was working hard towards, but I quickly realized, it was not satisfying enough to just do one. So my new goal was set, and 6 months later, I could easily do 10.
Follow these steps to “grease the groove” and you’ll increase reps in the exercise of your choice in just a few short weeks!
1. Pick 1 or 2 exercises to improve:
Training is hard on the body. It is physical stress from which your body needs to recover. For that reason, results are maximized when they are specific. Trying to increase reps on more than 2 exercises limits your capabilities. Why would you do that?
2. Find out your max and go sub-max:
If you can only do 5 pull-ups, train in the 3-4 rep range. The last thing you want your body to remember is failing a pull-up or push-ups. Figure out what you are capable of doing and train just shy of that range.
3. Train 3-4x per day 4-5 days a week:
Practice makes perfect, we’ve all heard it. The theory behind this program is doing the same thing regularly will improve the way you do that thing.
4. Be “fresh” for each set:
Typical weight-training schemes are done in sets of 3-5. For example, you’d do 10 push-ups 3 times with about a minute break between each set of 10. Here, the recommended break between sets is hours. Get a set in after you wake up, at lunch, in the afternoon, and before bed. DO NOT do them one after another.
5. Train quality:
Put your full effort in. Think, “Not one messy rep” to guide you. Muscles remember long after you forget. Show them the right way to do something, and they’ll take over each time thereafter. If you feel yourself failing, stop there, you’re over trained. Pick it back up when in a couple days, after you’ve recovered.
Since the frequency of training is high, greasing the groove is most often used for pull-ups and push-ups…getting to the gym 4 times a day for bench or squats is excessive for most people. Push-ups can be done anywhere, and you only need a bar for some pull-ups! If you’re at or near a single pull up, it’s time to up the ante! Get a pull-up bar or drop and do some push-ups and get on your way to your fist set of 10+ reps!