Increase Your Pull-ups Numbers GTG Style

The Grease The Groove (GTG) technique has been popularized by the Latvian strength coach Pavel Tsatsouline. The method is simple and yet effective for increasing your numbers on bodyweight exercises such as pull-ups, push-ups, dips and more.

GTG in a nutshell


1.Choose an exercise you want to excel in. Ex: pull-ups

2.Cut your maximum numbers per 50%. Ex: 5/2 = 2.5

3.Perform 5-8 sets through the day. Ex: 5 sets of 2 spaced through out the day.

4.Repeat the workout 5 days a week and take two days off. Repeat one more week, take two days off and test you max again.

5.Continue for no more than 2 months to avoid overtraining.


The increase in number of repetitions is mainly due to neuromuscular adaptation thanks to the frequent practice that comes with GTG. You just become very good at what you do and refine your technique thanks to frequent practice. The more you do something, the better you get at it.

In order to avoid overtraining and elbow tendinitis you must rest 2-3 days a week. The original program calls for 5 consecutive days of work followed by two days of rest, but training every other day is fine too and will keep you safe.

While this technique is also applicable to weightlifting exercise, it’s not practical. Most people don’t have home gyms and it’s much easier to find a place to do a set of push-ups or pull-ups. Who wants to be chained to a bench press station the whole day? Only a mad man…

In order for GTG training to be effective you have to limit the exercises part of your routine. If you are doing pull-ups GTG style, don’t do other exercises for your back that mimic the pull-up motion. Otherwise you are risking failure due to distractions and inability to recover from the imposed stress.

The body has a limited capacity and you can only do so much in a day before a forced shutdown happens. Plan wisely to avoid resistance coming from mother nature.

Related article: The Most Complete Pull-up Tutorial On The Internet

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