Greasing the Grove or Step Loading

James 222

Second Post
Hello all,

This is my first post in the forum so I apologize for the ignorance.

I have been reading Simple and Sinister, The Quick and the Dead, and Reload Barbell strength. I have also been listening too Pavel via podcast and YouTube ect. All of this info is so counterintuitive to what I know but I am all in! I am currently building a gym in the garage and recovering from some injuries but I digress.

My questions are what are the advantages and differences to the step loading in Reloaded, and greasing the groove? I will have access to my home gym so will GtG be more beneficial? When should one be used over the other? I’m looking to get as strong as I can and put on some muscle. Also I’m wanting to do the Quick and the Dead, push up, pull up, kettlebell routine with my barbell lifts. Is this too much or can this all be worked in trying to improve strength and hypertrophy?

I know im asking a lot but thank you very much in advance, as I look forward to the quest of strength with you all. God bless.

James
 

Anna C

> 6k Posts
Elite Certified Instructor
My questions are what are the advantages and differences to the step loading in Reloaded, and greasing the groove? I will have access to my home gym so will GtG be more beneficial? When should one be used over the other? I
Welcome, and these are good questions!

GTG is really good for bodyweight practice - pistols, OAPUs, and such. It's really good for practicing a difficult move that involves skill and neurological drive. It can be used for other things, but it's not best for maximal strength development. Because...

To develop strength, you need to do a certain amount of work with something that is heavy for you. This varies over time and even on any given day. There's a range (% of 1RM) that is effective in developing strength. The barbell is the perfect tool for incrementally loading your body's compound movements to target this range. A program like Reload will help you work within this range.

Could you do barbell GTG? You can... but not recommended. Generally you need to be warmed up to practice strength within that effective range. Also, barbell programs will give you a certain amount of conditioning, work capacity, and even metabolic conditioning because you're concentrating the work within a session. Then, you prioritize recovery (the rest of the day and usually a day between sessions), which is the other essential side of the equation.

That's my perspective on it... Others may have different things to say.

I’m looking to get as strong as I can and put on some muscle.
Do Reload first, then....

Also I’m wanting to do the Quick and the Dead, push up, pull up, kettlebell routine
... save these for later. Get Strong First :) Is my advice.
 

Antti

> 4k Posts
Welcome, and these are good questions!

GTG is really good for bodyweight practice - pistols, OAPUs, and such. It's really good for practicing a difficult move that involves skill and neurological drive. It can be used for other things, but it's not best for maximal strength development. Because...

To develop strength, you need to do a certain amount of work with something that is heavy for you. This varies over time and even on any given day. There's a range (% of 1RM) that is effective in developing strength. The barbell is the perfect tool for incrementally loading your body's compound movements to target this range. A program like Reload will help you work within this range.

Could you do barbell GTG? You can... but not recommended. Generally you need to be warmed up to practice strength within that effective range. Also, barbell programs will give you a certain amount of conditioning, work capacity, and even metabolic conditioning because you're concentrating the work within a session. Then, you prioritize recovery (the rest of the day and usually a day between sessions), which is the other essential side of the equation.

That's my perspective on it... Others may have different things to say.



Do Reload first, then....



... save these for later. Get Strong First :) Is my advice.
I agree that getting strong first is a good idea, as is the Reload.

However, I'm not sure I agree with all the points about barbell GTG. The barbell is a tool, just like kettlebell, dumbbell, bodyweight, whatever. The tool doesn't dictate how it's used. I do agree that the more skillful the movement the more likely for GTG to be able effective.

For example, GTG has been very useful for people developing their kettlebell military press. I have great experiences with it myself. I can't see why doing the barbell press GTG would be any different. And it's a strength exercise if any.
 

Papa Georgio

More than 300 posts
I agree with @Anna C . GTG is way to train your neurological system to develop the "skill" of strength in muscle that's already there. A pretty useful tool when used properly. a good stripped down barbell program like Reload would better align with your goals. Don't know your training history, but PTTP might be better if you are at the beginning stage. Step loading is a progression method. If you follow PTTP, Pavel reviews other types of progressions as well. Don't try to chase hypertrophy until you are pretty strong. Good Luck!
 

Anna C

> 6k Posts
Elite Certified Instructor
For example, GTG has been very useful for people developing their kettlebell military press. I have great experiences with it myself. I can't see why doing the barbell press GTG would be any different.
I think it's different enough to keep the distinction. A single-arm kettlebell press is likely half the load of a barbell press, therefore the load on the body is significantly different. And a single-arm kettlebell press has more of a skill and neurological drive component to it. It's not just "can you press this weight", it's "can you maintain tension and form and skillfully execute a clean and then a press with one side of the body with this weight". Not that a barbell press doesn't require skill... it certainly does... but it's more about the load than the skill, in contrast to the kettlebell press.

In any event, I would definitely do some warm-up sets before hard work sets with a barbell press. Kettlebell press... not necessarily... probably a couple of quick warm-up presses, if it's a near-maximal press... but no warm-up needed if it's a normal ladders or sets working weight.
 

Antti

> 4k Posts
I think it's different enough to keep the distinction. A single-arm kettlebell press is likely half the load of a barbell press, therefore the load on the body is significantly different. And a single-arm kettlebell press has more of a skill and neurological drive component to it. It's not just "can you press this weight", it's "can you maintain tension and form and skillfully execute a clean and then a press with one side of the body with this weight". Not that a barbell press doesn't require skill... it certainly does... but it's more about the load than the skill, in contrast to the kettlebell press.

In any event, I would definitely do some warm-up sets before hard work sets with a barbell press. Kettlebell press... not necessarily... probably a couple of quick warm-up presses, if it's a near-maximal press... but no warm-up needed if it's a normal ladders or sets working weight.
I don't know.

The load is likely around half. But I'm not sure if it's that different compared to the barbell. The unilateral load makes things way different. For example, in farmer walks I find suitcase carries much harder than proper walks, even if the load an arm is the same.

I also don't agree that the press has more of a skill and neurological component to it. If anything, I find the barbell press demands more skill. What do you mean by the "neurological drive component"?

If we take the clean with the kettlebell we take the clean with the barbell. I'd argue the barbell clean demands way more skill than the kettlebell clean, and thus would necessitate the GTG approach more.

I see the warm-up identically between the different tools.
 

Papa Georgio

More than 300 posts
I don't know.

The load is likely around half. But I'm not sure if it's that different compared to the barbell. The unilateral load makes things way different. For example, in farmer walks I find suitcase carries much harder than proper walks, even if the load an arm is the same.

I also don't agree that the press has more of a skill and neurological component to it. If anything, I find the barbell press demands more skill. What do you mean by the "neurological drive component"?

If we take the clean with the kettlebell we take the clean with the barbell. I'd argue the barbell clean demands way more skill than the kettlebell clean, and thus would necessitate the GTG approach more.

I see the warm-up identically between the different tools.
The skill in which GTG really addresses is developing your nerves to fire to create more tension within a particular movement pattern. You are thinking more of the movement pattern itself. I haven't read the naked warrior in a while, but I thought the intention was to stay submaximal, where warm up would be minimal.
 

Anna C

> 6k Posts
Elite Certified Instructor
What do you mean by the "neurological drive component"?
Just a general description of how we use tension in a press indirectly, and not so much in moving the load. In a kettlebell press, my legs are tight, abs tight, glutes tight other arm and fist tight... None of that moves the load directly, but it assists the press. In that way it's like a OAPU. Front of the body maximum tension, abs contracted maximally... LOTS of tension requiring neurological drive, all to push with one arm -- and not that much weight, as compared with an overhead barbell press, or bench press.

If we take the clean with the kettlebell we take the clean with the barbell. I'd argue the barbell clean demands way more skill than the kettlebell clean, and thus would necessitate the GTG approach more.
I agree that it would take more skill... believe me... I was working on barbell cleans this morning! I still have a long way to go.

But a strength-building program like Reload doesn't include a clean with every press. So that's part of why I'm saying it's different. With the barbell strength program, all the effort is on the strength-building moves.

You make some good points. And I'm sure one could GTG the barbell with some good effects. It's just my opinion that the pros don't outweigh the cons for that application. But you can have a different opinion. :)
 

Antti

> 4k Posts
The skill in which GTG really addresses is developing your nerves to fire to create more tension within a particular movement pattern. You are thinking more of the movement pattern itself. I haven't read the naked warrior in a while, but I thought the intention was to stay submaximal, where warm up would be minimal.
Just a general description of how we use tension in a press indirectly, and not so much in moving the load. In a kettlebell press, my legs are tight, abs tight, glutes tight other arm and fist tight... None of that moves the load directly, but it assists the press. In that way it's like a OAPU. Front of the body maximum tension, abs contracted maximally... LOTS of tension requiring neurological drive, all to push with one arm -- and not that much weight, as compared with an overhead barbell press, or bench press.



I agree that it would take more skill... believe me... I was working on barbell cleans this morning! I still have a long way to go.

But a strength-building program like Reload doesn't include a clean with every press. So that's part of why I'm saying it's different. With the barbell strength program, all the effort is on the strength-building moves.

You make some good points. And I'm sure one could GTG the barbell with some good effects. It's just my opinion that the pros don't outweigh the cons for that application. But you can have a different opinion. :)
I use all the tension skills every time I train. I also try to perfect the movement pattern every time. Why do it differently for bilateral Vs unilateral press? Of if we do the barbell side press, will it be different?

I agree that the typical barbell program is different, but the program in this context is already set as GTG.

I just don't see how it's different to have a 20kg barbell in one hand or a 20kg kettlebell. Sure, the center of gravity is a bit different, and stabilization necessary, but I would imagine the same training to work on both tools. It is the program, not the tool.
 

Anna C

> 6k Posts
Elite Certified Instructor
I use all the tension skills every time I train. I also try to perfect the movement pattern every time. Why do it differently for bilateral Vs unilateral press? Of if we do the barbell side press, will it be different?

I agree that the typical barbell program is different, but the program in this context is already set as GTG.

I just don't see how it's different to have a 20kg barbell in one hand or a 20kg kettlebell. Sure, the center of gravity is a bit different, and stabilization necessary, but I would imagine the same training to work on both tools. It is the program, not the tool.
I'm saying that the load is necessarily less. I can press a 24kg kettlebell for 1 or 2 reps, so if I was GTGing the press I'd be pressing 20kg. With a barbell press, I can 1RM about 45kg, and would use almost 40kg for sets of 3-5. But I wouldn't GTG a 40kg barbell press.

So to my point, if a 20kg kettlebell press and 40kg barbell press are about equal in intensity (they are, for me), then the proportionate effort for the kettlebell press is less about moving the load as it is about tension and skill. Let's say 60% moving the load and 40% tension and skill. I'm just making up percentages for illustration. I might use equal (or more!) total amount of tension and skill for the barbell press, but the percentage may be less; 70% moving the load and 30% tension and skill.

But you're right, it's not the tool. We could do the same comparison between single and double kettlebell press. I could press 20+20kg, and for the same reason as the barbell press, I would say that it's not a good choice for GTG.

It's probably a minor distinction... it's all practicing strength, in the end. The important thing is that we do it. I just think, generally speaking, barbell programs are not well suited for GTG. Though I will say... now that I have a rack at home, I do go bench press a few reps randomly from time to time!
 

Kettlebelephant

> 1k Posts
I think it comes down to the exercises you choose. You two are talking about BB vs KB press and I have to say that for me it doesn't matter, because in any case the press will be (relatively) light enough.
KB, double KB or BB - I could press my 3-5RM totally cold without any kind of warm-up and not worry about injury at all. So yes for a press I could GTG my 5RM for 2-3reps.
Now for squats or deadlifts that's a different thing. Getting under my 5RM squat weight without any warm-up or movement prep? I wouldn't feel confident about that.

I think you could pull of GTG with barbell exercises if you program it the right way (e.g. GTG-ing with your 10-15RM instead of 1-5RM), but for a beginner like @James 222 it's not suitable to get strong.
Pavel advises not to use more than 2 exercises for GTG. Let's choose a big upper + lower body exercise like BB press + deadlift. You would need two loaded barbells (preferably one of them in the rack) readily available at most times of the day. If you'd go for squat + bench you'd even need two racks and a bench in addition to the two bars.
Yes you could use just one bar and always load and deload it before the exercises, but that's super tedious and just not practical.
The only people that IMO could pull of effectively GTG-ing with barbell exercises are people working from home with a well build homegym, coaches, PTs etc. at their gym or professional strength athletes who's jobs is it to train. In the original GTG article Pavel even talks about a powerlifter (forgot his name) who set up a bench in his kitchen or something like that to GTG his bench press.

So again for a beginner barbell GTG-ing is just too impractical and he/she should go for a proven, layed out routine.
 

Bro Mo

> 1k Posts
I’m wanting to do the Quick and the Dead, push up, pull up, kettlebell routine with my barbell lifts. Is this too much or can this all be worked in trying to improve strength and hypertrophy?
If it were me wanting to do all these things concurrently, I would focus on fatigue management by using the 4-day split in reload and then do the other programs as a warm up or accessory work after the main lift with only the similar movement patterns or muscle groups.

Something like:
Mon: Squat > Swing
Tue: Bench Press > Push-up
Thur: Deadlift > Swing
Sat: Press > Push-up> Everything else
 

Mark Limbaga

> 2k Posts
Elite Certified Instructor
If one reason you are considering GTG is due to time constraints, here's something you may like.. You can actually combine the principles of step loading to GTG

practice in a GTG fashion but add an extra rep or set on days you feel stronger than usual..

Take note of the frequency and/or pattern this happens.

Eventually the output from extra strong days will become more frequent and you know you have gotten stronger
 

kennycro@@aol.com

> 1k Posts
the step loading in Reloaded
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Perodization Training

Step Loading and Reloading are essentially lay term for Periodization Training.

It revolves around a plan number or weeks with program that starts out with a light load. The load progressively increase each week in the exercise. In the final week, the intensity of the exercise needs to be pushed to or near to the limit.

The following week the training load is dropped down to a lighter load with the cycle being repeated with the objective being to preform the movement with a greater load and/or more repetitions in the final week of the training cycle.

Sine Curve

This sine curve training allows you to overload the muscle ("Overreach") in the final week of the program and then provide time to recovery (Active Recovery) with the lighter load in the new training cycle.

Grease The Grove

This is Technique Training. Technique Training need to be preformed first in a program. when you are fresh.

Loads of 85% of 1 Repetition Max are the most effective in developing Technique.

Reps in a Set need to be 1 - 2.

Rest Periods between Repetition need to be long enough to ensure each good Technique is performed with each Repetition.

The Set and Exercise are terminated once Technique deteriorates.

Performing the movement with a Moderate Load develops Technique but not to the same extent.
 

James 222

Second Post
I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has responded so far. It’s awesome there are so many people here who are well educated on the subject. I do have some experience with the lifts, and prior to my injury I had some pretty decent numbers on my bench, squat, and deadlift. I have been weight lifting seriously about 8 years now and probably about 3 years with a lot of focus on the Olympic lifts. I wouldn’t by any means call myself an expert. I have lost about 15lbs of mass, and God only knows how much strength I’ve lost since I haven’t been in the gym in about 2 months. I decided to completely take a break and try to heal( which was a stupid idea ). I want to put the mass back on and try and surpass my old PRs.

is kettle bell work, pull ups, along with the barbell program too much?

The reason I ask is because I want to maintain my ability to do pull-ups. It sounds counterintuitive to just focus on the barbell work, but again I’m green to this new way of training and I could be way off.

As I mentioned before i will have access to a home gym with racks, bench, barbells, dumbbells.... you get the picture. I’m not really sure if this changes anyone’s advice in regards to how I should approach my program.

Again thank you to all and God bless!
 

Anna C

> 6k Posts
Elite Certified Instructor
I want to put the mass back on and try and surpass my old PRs.

is kettle bell work, pull ups, along with the barbell program too much?
I would say do Reload as written for an 8 week cycle, and maybe a second one. Use light kettlebells as a 5-10 min warm-up for your barbell sessions. GTG pull-ups just randomly, as practice.

Generally speaking, doing some kettlebell work or pull-ups along with your barbell program may not be too much... but doing another program along with your program program is definitely too much. Get the difference?
 
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