The Volume Method as specified by Chad Waterbury is the principle of applying a specific volume - how many times an exercise is performed - to a movement pattern -pushing, pulling, or leg movements - depending on the intensity of the exercise and your goals (ie. fat loss, increased muscle mass etc.).
Grease the Groove was coined by Pavel Tsatsouline. The goal of the program is to master a difficult exercise. The process is to perform just one repetition at sub maximal, or near maximal, resistance levels several times throughout the day.
Inspired by these 2 great programs, I’ve designed a hybrid program for my own personal work outs using elements from both of these programs. The goal of this workout plan is to build strength and to master a really difficult engram, like pull-ups, pistol squats, push-ups, or anything else you want to get really strong at.
A partial pistol squat. The butt goes all the way down for the full pistol squat.
The long and short of it is, take your really difficult movement (i.e. pull-ups or pistol squats) and do it 13 times a day, spread out as evenly as possible throughout the day (maybe once every half-hour or so, but don’t sweat it, just get lots of rest between reps), until you get really strong in that movement. It might take a few weeks or even several months.
[Edit 21/03/2012: Make sure you can do the movement at least 2-3 times. If you can only do the movement once, just do around 5-10 reps a day - doing a 1 Rep Maximum exercise at 10 reps a day every day might be too difficult and counter-productive.]
In my opinion, this is a great way to build strength fast without tiring you out. Since the reps are spread out throughout the day, your body can recover really fast but you can still build up a lot of reps cumulatively.
I’m doing this routine with a pistol squat assistant exercise and a 1-arm chin-up assistant exercise. I just started and I hope to be able to do a full pistol squat and 1-arm chin-up within a few months - the sooner the better! You can check my progress here, starting on February. 22, 2012. Once I’m able to do these, I’m going to take a long holiday and do lots of pistol squats and 1-arm pull-ups along the way!
P.S. I might do a future post explaining all the details, so you can adapt it to your own purposes. Also these are excellent books I recommend getting if you’re interested in this type of stuff. The volume method and GTG are outlined in these books. Newton’s book has a handy graph outlining the percentage of Rep Maximums and weight.
- Muscle Revolution, Chad Waterbury.
- Naked Warrior, Pavel Tsatsouline
- Explosive Lifting for Sports, Harvey Newton.