WOW: Grok the Groove

Pick at least one exercise to:

Grok the groove


Warmup: None.

If the title confuses you, wait for today’s “Dear Mark” to show up and it’ll make more sense.

“Grok the groove” is in reference to Pavel Tsatsouline’s “Greasing the groove.” It’s a way to improve your ability to perform a specific exercise by accruing lots of training volume without overloading your body. Basically, you perform a movement as often as possible without hitting failure and without grinding out any reps.

Pick an exercise that you’d really like to improve. Pullups are a popular one, but any exercise will work. If you choose two or more, make sure they’re complementary. Don’t choose movements that hit the same muscle groups. Squats and deadlifts together, for example, would be poor choices because you wouldn’t last very long. Squats and pullups, or deadlifts and pushups, though? Great combos. Pullups and pushups are an awesome combo that you can do pretty much anywhere with a little creativity.

Once you’ve chosen an exercise or set of exercises, do them as often as you can. Do five pullups every half an hour. Swing a kettlebell fifteen times every forty five minutes. Don’t go to failure, keep the reps crisp and clean, and always leave some energy in the tank.

Since this is a Workout of the Week, Grok the Groove for the entire week. Feel free to walk, hike, sprint, run, and play as you normally do, but cease all other strength training for this week. Just do your exercise, or exercises, and do them as often as you can. Do a rep test before you begin and again at the end of the week. If you improved on your max, congratulations: you got stronger.

A few things to remember:

  • I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: keep fresh!
  • If you find yourself grinding reps out, make a change. Either lower your reps per set, or increase the time in between sets.


No variations this time.

What Are WOWs?

  • Workouts of the Week (WOWs) are an optional component of Primal Blueprint Fitness that add a fractal and often fun and playful quality to the basic PBF protocol.
  • In most cases WOWs should only be completed by those that have mastered Level 4 of each Lift Heavy Things Essential Movement. Also, it’s recommended that WOWs replace one or both Lift Heavy Things workouts or the Sprint workout (depending on the WOW) each week instead of being done in addition to the Lift Heavy Things and Sprint workouts.
  • Learn more about WOWs and Primal Blueprint Fitness by getting the free eBook. And access all Workouts of the Week in the WOW Archive.

About the Author

Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.

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