There’s a technique in weightlifting called “grease the groove.”
How It Works in the Gym
Instead of training a muscle group to failure, you perform up to half of your max reps and do that multiple times per day.
For example, if I could do a maximum of 10 push-ups at a time, I’d stop at 5, rest for at least 30–45 minutes, and come back anywhere from 5–15 times that day.
Once a week, test your max again (typically, it will have gone up) and change your reps accordingly (if your max is now 12, then do up to 6 reps).
Grease the Groove For Greater Work Performance
The concept behind grease the groove can be applied to just about anything. It can help you:
- Build new habits. Can’t bear more than 10 minutes of meditation? Sit down for 3 minutes, 3x a day (we call these “mindful minutes”).
- Conquer procrastination. Break up those big, overwhelming tasks 20–25 minutes at a time and come back to it a few times a day/week.
- Learn new skills. Grease the groove helps you get more practice runs spread out over time. Start small, keep revisiting, and work your way up.
Grease the groove works because it utilizes your energy efficiently and allows you to build on your performance, then gives you an opportunity for recovery. This approach to resilience and personal sustainability helps you come back stronger than if you push so hard that you burn yourself out.
Every action you take does one of two things – it either creates energy or burns energy. It refreshes and revitalizes you or it pushes you toward burnout. When you implement the “grease the groove” strategy, you’ll continue to strengthen your mind and body and enhance your wellbeing without succumbing to exhaustion.