Is ‘Greasing The Groove’ The Secret To ‘Farmboy Strong’?

Once again, I’m reading Pavel Tsatsouline. I can’t help it. I like the Mad Russian.

Right now, I’m reading The Naked Warrior, his book on calisthenics. Mostly, it focuses on just two exercises, which doesn’t do much for me, but it does talk a great deal about the concept of “greasing the groove.”

I’m sure Tsatsouline isn’t the originator of the idea, and I know I’ve heard it for years, but the basic idea is that you do a submaximal lift with a lowish number of reps and before you realize it, you’re stronger than you realized.

It’s made me wonder if it’s the key to being “farmboy strong.”

Most of us know someone who qualifies as that kind of strong. They don’t really lift, but the first time they ever lift weights, they’re strong as an ox.

They’ve never trained, but they have an incredible amount of strength, and I can’t help but wonder if “greasing the groove” is responsible.

Look, if you have chores to do, you’re not going to use maximal force very often. If you do, you’re going to be too tired to do much else. Since farms tend to have no shortage of work to do, that doesn’t work.

More than that, though, it can’t grant you a whole lot of time for recovery either. Yet conventional wisdom tells us that we need recovery in order to grow stronger.

What gives?

If you’re moving bails of hay, for example, you’re going to carry a couple of bails at a time at most. Those aren’t necessarily the most weight you can carry at a time. But you do it over and over and over again and what happens?

Does this really work?

I honestly don’t know. I’m currently doing a look through the research to see if I can find anything. I’m also experimenting with myself to see if I can see anything.

Granted, I’m just doing a few pushups along the way. I don’t expect to be busting world records in the bench press. Not happening.

However, if this works, it provides an interesting way for people to gain strength through submaximal volume.

I’ll admit, I have a whole lot more reading on the subject to do, but it’s interesting. As some may know, I’m fascinated with the idea of being farmboy strong and have been for a long, long time. It’s entirely possible, though, that this is the key to building that without a lifetime of farm labor.

The key is in not getting my hopes up.

Look, I’m not an expert in everything. I’m not an expert on most things. Arguably, I’m not an expert on anything.

I’m just a guy who has an eclectic set of interests and a desire to be stronger, healthier, and better all around than I was.

So, I don’t mind being the guinea pig. I’ll keep you posted on how it works.

Author: Tom

Tom is a husband, father, novelist, opinion writer, and former Navy Corpsman currently living in Georgia. He's also someone who has lost almost 60 pounds in a safe, sustainable way, so he knows what he's talking about.

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