I’d never heard of this terminology, although I occasionally practice it while covering an event from my shed. With the amount of sitting (or standing) I do while typing into a digital rectangular box, I’d go bonkers without a little movement, a few pushups every now and then. Apparently there’s a term for this and it’s called greasing the groove.
Here’s an explanation.
Greasing the groove, as Tsatsouline explains it, means not working your muscles to the point of failure. A common idea in weightlifting is that you should lift until you can’t do another rep, purposely damaging muscle tissues so they grow back bigger. But muscle failure, Tsatsouline writes in his 1999 book, Power to the People! Russian Strength Training Secrets for Every American, “is more than unnecessary—it is counterproductive!”
Instead, Tsatsouline advocates lifting weights for no more than five repetitions, resting for a bit between sets and reps, and not doing too many sets. For a runner, this would be like going for a four-mile jog, but taking a break to drink water and stretch every mile. Tsatsouline’s book suggests spending 20 minutes at the gym, tops, five days a week. In this way, he claims, you grease the neurological “groove,” or pathway, between your brain and the exercises your body performs. It’s not exactly the brutal routine you’d expect from someone billed as a Soviet weight lifter. But Tsatsouline contends this is the most effective way to build strength.
Eugene Peterson — I believe — coined the phrase “a long obedience in the same direction,” which ended up as the title of one of his many terrific books. I was reminded of that when I read this today.
In all of the Christian life, we need to have confidence in the process and we need to maintain confidence in the process. We need to believe that God really does work and that he really does work over time. Too often we overestimate the growth we can gain in a week, but underestimate the growth we can gain in a year.
I have been knocked off my feet by the Valley of Vision in recent weeks and months. I try to read aloud one prayer per day, normally just after lunch. Today’s was convoluted, but from within it shined this jewel.
Be happy in him, O my heart, and in nothing but God, for whatever a man trusts in, from that he expects happiness.
Valley of Vision
How true are those words? That whatever I find to be trustworthy is the very same thing I look to for fulfillment and happiness. May it always be the Lord foremost, for it is the only place where I shall never be let down.
I read this this afternoon and was again reminded of the magnitude of not only my sin but also the grace that covers it.
There is no treasure so wonderful as that continuous experience of thy grace toward me which alone can subdue the risings of sin within: Give me more of it.
My heart is wretched — as all hearts are wretched — and but for the goodness of Jesus Christ, I would simply go on sinning deeper still, even though it may not always look (externally) like I am sinning at all.