View Full Version : What is GPP?

03-31-2006, 06:51 AM
This will be updated as time permits, but for now this should cover the basics. If you have questions that are not covered, feel free to ask!

What is GPP?
GPP stands for General Physical Preparedness and refers to your level of fitness. Crossfit defines fitness as cardiovascular / respiratory endurance (ability to use oxygen), stamina (ability to use energy), strength (ability to apply force), flexibility, power (ability to apply force in minimum time), speed, coordination, balance, and accuracy. A good GPP program should improve all of these aspects and therefore raise your general fitness level.

Why do I care about exercises or skills that aren’t used in my sport?
If you’re an athlete, performance is everything. Countless hours are spent training, eating, and sleeping with the hope that it will result in improved performance on the field. However, most athletes focus on their strengths and ignore their weaknesses. Most athletes don’t even know how to find their weaknesses. This type of focus may work for a while, but eventually they reach a point where improving their strengths no longer improves their sport (point of diminishing returns). How do they continue to improve? You guessed it – incorporate a solid GPP program into their routine. This will expose their weaknesses and help correct them, which leads to better performance.

GPP can benefit non-athletes too; police officers, soldiers, firefighters, kids, grandmothers, etc. If you think athletes are the only people who need to deadlift, wait until you’re 65 and your grandson wants to be picked up. Levels change, needs don’t.

Okay, so maybe I could benefit. How do I design a GPP program?
The easiest way is to visit www.crossfit.com - they provide a free GPP program used by many elite athletes. If you aren’t interested in following the Workout of the Day (WOD), you can design your own program using similar principles.

Things to keep in mind:
- All exercises outside of your competitive sport are GPP exercises. A powerlifter probably won’t do squats and deadlifts as GPP, but a baseball player might. If you don’t play sports, everything is GPP. The list is only limited by your imagination.
- You should combine elements from weight lifting (squats, deadlifts, cleans, presses), gymnastics (chinups, dips, handstands, etc), and metabolic conditioning (running, cycling, rowing, etc.) in various levels and loads.
- The bulk of your work should be done as intervals (HIIT), although longer durations are applicable on occasion.
- Don’t ignore your weaknesses when they are exposed. In fact, extra practice may be called for if it can directly improve your sport.
- GPP helps improve work capacity, meaning you will be able to handle more work more often. But this doesn’t happen overnight. Pace yourself and learn to balance your sport training with your GPP.
- Try new things as often as possible.

Cool, I have a program, but when do I use it?
How GPP fits into your training schedule depends on your sport and your current level of fitness. Starting out I would suggest once a week on an off day. As you become more comfortable with the principals of GPP, introduce more variety and more days. There are diminishing returns with everything, so find a balance that works for your sport.

I have no place to do GPP, what should I do?
There’s always a place for GPP - gyms, parks, garage, basement, swimming pool, driveway, living room, etc. The great thing about GPP is that it can be done with little or no equipment no matter where you are. My personal favorite is an empty parking lot with a sled, sledgehammer, and some sandbags.

Where can I find more info on GPP?
The following links discuss the concepts in more detail and even provide example routines. Feel free to read and ask questions!