In my recent post about gymnastics skills, I promised to follow-up with some suggestions for adding these skills to your daily routine. The concept I’ll introduce today is commonly called greasing the groove (GtG). It’s described in this article by Pavel Tsatsouline.
To put it simply, the concept of greasing the groove comes down to one thing: practicing a lot. Pick one exercise at which you’d like to get better and do it several times per day. Three times per day is minimal for this approach. Four to five times per day is ideal and if you can handle it, perhaps even six to eight times. Each time you practice, do only what you can without struggling, usually around 75% of your max. This is important because if you push it too much, you’ll wear yourself out and need to take a rest day. Try to create a routine for yourself and follow it five or six days per week.
As an example, the GtG approach is used quite often for pullups. Suppose you can do five pullups and would like to increase this number. The first step is to figure out where you can do pullups several times per day. It doesn’t take much: perhaps a tree branch, stair well, rafters in your garage, etc. Now, set a schedule for yourself to do pullups four to five times per day, spaced out as much as possible. If you can do a maximum of five pullups, then start by doing only three each time during the day. Increase that number as you can, but as I said, don’t overdo it. Before you know it, you’ll be doing ten, twenty, or even more pullups.
The GtG approach works well for gymnastics skills in particular, especially those that involve large muscle groups (i.e. pullups and pushups). It can be a bit much for some moves that mainly utilize smaller muscle groups, like the planche. However, even for these, practice is still the key — just a bit less practice because it’s easier to overtrain those smaller muscles.
We made a lot of progress on painting this weekend. (Thanks to Nehal, Scott, Zander, Jennifer and Wade for stopping by!) The majority (with the exception of the office) will be done in one or two more short sessions. Unfortunately, we suffered a minor setback and had to take down the pullup bar in the doorway, due to some regulations in our business park. This may prevent us from moving workouts to the new place this week, but the good news is we will build our killer indoor pullup structure even sooner.
September 22, 2008 WOD