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Thread: GPP - necessary or irrelevant to PL Training?

  1. #1
    Westside Bencher Travis Bell's Avatar
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    GPP - necessary or irrelevant to PL Training?

    What do you guys feel the role is in GPP training as it relates to powerlifting?

    On the one hand it can be a huge drain on the body if over done.

    Do those of you who incorporate it into your training feel you can train at a faster or more productive rate than without it?

    In the spring, summer and early fall I often use some form of GPP but it's more because I'm working out with my athletes rather than really trying to benefit my PL training.


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    Cardio bunny Alex.V's Avatar
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    Irrelevant. General Physical Preparedness does absolutely nothing to improve any of the factors that make someone a good powerlifter.

    SPP is a different story- improving local anaerobic endurance would definitely let you train longer, and improving stability and mobility can be hugely helpful. But that's not GPP.

    Of course, what some people consider GPP is actually SPP, but that's another discussion entirely...
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  3. #3
    Westside Bencher Travis Bell's Avatar
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    Interesting thoughts Alex. I've always been taught differently but I'm interested in hearing why you feel that GPP would have no impact at all on PL training?


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    Cardio bunny Alex.V's Avatar
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    Travis, I guess that depends what you define as GPP.

    Under the Siff/Yessis/et. al definition, GPP for a powerlifter could include things like playing basketball, rowing a boat, hiking, Zumba... by definition there's very little carryover to a chosen sport, rather GPP is an overarching term to describe non-sport related activity done in the offseason to balance overall conditioning and strength and "get the body ready to work".

    The argument generally comes in when folks assume that GPP includes things like tire flips, farmer's walks, sled pushes, etc. In my eyes this is not GPP for a powerlifter- it may be GPP for a baseball player though.

    The reason this is not GPP for a PL guy is because a tire flip or prowler push engages the posterior chain, the triceps, the deltoids, etc. A farmer's walk engages the grip, traps... these things can increase specific strength work capacity in these muscle groups, which can then carry over and help in PL training directly. While they wouldn't be good choices for a powerlifter in competition season (since that time and recovery spent on flipping tires would be better spent on pulling and pushing barbells), they could definitely have their place during the initial build phase. But again, this is more SPP- exercises that have direct carryover to the target work.

    So even with the non-canonical definition of GPP, I could see there being an argument that, yeah, playing basketball might help improve overall conditioning and make you a better balanced powerlifter if you do it in the offseason, but I don't really think it'd be necessary. That's more of a personal call, though, I'd say.

    Though I'm all in favor of the Westside guys doing Zumba in the offseason together. Just send me the video, ok?
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    I think it's important for overall health and it aids in recovery. I'm not talking 5 minutes of sled dragging as GPP. I'm talking a real version of GPP.

    Since I've made it a habit, I feel great, I don't get as sore and I'm a little leaner. I wish I did this when I was 320lbs. Anyone who thinks that getting in 20-30 minutes of cardio 3x a week will hinder strength gains hasn't the foggiest idea what they're talking about and/or they're just fat and lazy.

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    Cardio bunny Alex.V's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RhodeHouse View Post
    Anyone who thinks that getting in 20-30 minutes of cardio 3x a week will hinder strength gains hasn't the foggiest idea what they're talking about and/or they're just fat and lazy.
    I don't think there are too many folks left on this site who still think that. Well, I hope not anyway.

    What kinds of GPP do you do?
    "Except Belial. He knows everything. This isn't a sarcastic attack, either. He really knows everything." -----Organichu
    "Alex is all knowing and perfect"-----Jane (loosely paraphrased)
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    What you have listed as GPP in the first paragraph is pretty much the same exact definition Sheiko included in his schemes. They typically would take a few weeks after a meet to do "general sport." I believe in the text "Training of the Weightlifter", it's referenced as well, so for several sports over there, it seems to be the general theme of "take the damn barbell out of your hands and go outside."

    In before every Zumba and Butts and Guts class in the country is taken over by powerlifters lol

    Quote Originally Posted by Alex.V View Post
    Travis, I guess that depends what you define as GPP.

    Under the Siff/Yessis/et. al definition, GPP for a powerlifter could include things like playing basketball, rowing a boat, hiking, Zumba... by definition there's very little carryover to a chosen sport, rather GPP is an overarching term to describe non-sport related activity done in the offseason to balance overall conditioning and strength and "get the body ready to work".

    The argument generally comes in when folks assume that GPP includes things like tire flips, farmer's walks, sled pushes, etc. In my eyes this is not GPP for a powerlifter- it may be GPP for a baseball player though.

    The reason this is not GPP for a PL guy is because a tire flip or prowler push engages the posterior chain, the triceps, the deltoids, etc. A farmer's walk engages the grip, traps... these things can increase specific strength work capacity in these muscle groups, which can then carry over and help in PL training directly. While they wouldn't be good choices for a powerlifter in competition season (since that time and recovery spent on flipping tires would be better spent on pulling and pushing barbells), they could definitely have their place during the initial build phase. But again, this is more SPP- exercises that have direct carryover to the target work.

    So even with the non-canonical definition of GPP, I could see there being an argument that, yeah, playing basketball might help improve overall conditioning and make you a better balanced powerlifter if you do it in the offseason, but I don't really think it'd be necessary. That's more of a personal call, though, I'd say.

    Though I'm all in favor of the Westside guys doing Zumba in the offseason together. Just send me the video, ok?
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  8. #8
    Westside Bencher Travis Bell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex.V View Post
    Travis, I guess that depends what you define as GPP.

    Under the Siff/Yessis/et. al definition, GPP for a powerlifter could include things like playing basketball, rowing a boat, hiking, Zumba... by definition there's very little carryover to a chosen sport, rather GPP is an overarching term to describe non-sport related activity done in the offseason to balance overall conditioning and strength and "get the body ready to work".

    The argument generally comes in when folks assume that GPP includes things like tire flips, farmer's walks, sled pushes, etc. In my eyes this is not GPP for a powerlifter- it may be GPP for a baseball player though.

    The reason this is not GPP for a PL guy is because a tire flip or prowler push engages the posterior chain, the triceps, the deltoids, etc. A farmer's walk engages the grip, traps... these things can increase specific strength work capacity in these muscle groups, which can then carry over and help in PL training directly. While they wouldn't be good choices for a powerlifter in competition season (since that time and recovery spent on flipping tires would be better spent on pulling and pushing barbells), they could definitely have their place during the initial build phase. But again, this is more SPP- exercises that have direct carryover to the target work.

    So even with the non-canonical definition of GPP, I could see there being an argument that, yeah, playing basketball might help improve overall conditioning and make you a better balanced powerlifter if you do it in the offseason, but I don't really think it'd be necessary. That's more of a personal call, though, I'd say.

    Though I'm all in favor of the Westside guys doing Zumba in the offseason together. Just send me the video, ok?
    Valid point on the definition of GPP creating part of the problem.

    I literally LOL'd at the thought of us doing zumba haha. Well played sir.

    So I guess my next question would be, where do things like tire flips, sled dragging and prowler pushes fit as far as your definitions go?


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    Quote Originally Posted by RhodeHouse View Post
    I think it's important for overall health and it aids in recovery. I'm not talking 5 minutes of sled dragging as GPP. I'm talking a real version of GPP.
    For the ignorant, what do you consider the real version of GPP? 10 minutes of sled work? Circuit training? Fun sports? Crossfit? Just trying to learn.

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    I don't know what you would consider the treadmill, but that does it for me. The treadmill does not burn me out for lifting. While hitting the treadmill 3x a week consistently I recover much faster. In addition, my cardio vascular fitness level has improved.

    While Josh Bryant has taken over my programming, he told me he does not want me doing anything more than that. I am glad he has removed anytning more stressful than that out. I feel much better as a result. Sometimes I feel like I should be doing more than I am when I am on my own.


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    Senior Member Jonathan E's Avatar
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    This could be my illogical, tired thinking at 12 am but:

    Since GPP, in theory, are activities that don't directly translate to success for your goal (we will use a PL for this example), but rather tasks that improve overall health, mental attitude, recovery, etc, doesn't that indirectly impact your goals in a positive way if you look at it from a weird perspective? I.E. doing some Yoga will not boost your deadlift, but the act of learning how to clear your mind and relax might give you a small mental edge, or running for that 20-30 min a couple days a week helps you feel better overall, so you get some extra work done in the weight room the next day. See what I'm getting at?

    So, is it possible that GPP really is kind of a silly term to begin with? Would it make more sense to have, say, just SPP but in different forms?
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    Westside Bencher Travis Bell's Avatar
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    See to me, that's why sled dragging, tire flips, prowler push and what have you all are GPP. All of those are so far removed from a squat, bench and deadlift but are still going to contribute to your goal.

    SPP in my mind is more like doing squat or bench workouts that push the pace and or reps, and are intended to increase your ability to train longer - directly.

    Now there may be a very strong correlation to pulling the sled certain ways and your squat going up, or doing tire flips and your deadlift going up, but rather than attribute that to it being SPP instead of GPP, I look at it as why GPP is necessary.

    I suppose I could see an argument for tire flips being pretty close to deadlifts, but not really sled dragging.


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    I have learned a little bit goes a long way. I'm down to 1 20 minute fast paced walk per week and feel just as well as I did with 2-3.
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    Cardio bunny Alex.V's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Bell View Post
    See to me, that's why sled dragging, tire flips, prowler push and what have you all are GPP. All of those are so far removed from a squat, bench and deadlift but are still going to contribute to your goal.

    SPP in my mind is more like doing squat or bench workouts that push the pace and or reps, and are intended to increase your ability to train longer - directly.

    Now there may be a very strong correlation to pulling the sled certain ways and your squat going up, or doing tire flips and your deadlift going up, but rather than attribute that to it being SPP instead of GPP, I look at it as why GPP is necessary.

    I suppose I could see an argument for tire flips being pretty close to deadlifts, but not really sled dragging.
    Well, and I think that's the point that we all need to start ignoring definitions. I'd think of sled dragging as more SPP, but you're right- depending on how it's done, it may or may not be related. Certainly putting in tire flipping won't necessarily help your bench or deadlift- probably will even hurt it if done in season, since you're taxing the same muscles as those movements and hindering your recovery, whereas 20 minutes of slow jogging or uphill walking a few times a week will do wonders for your cardiovascular health without compromising the same. I can safely say that running 30-40 slow miles a week never hurt my squat, but doing sprints, short fast bike rides and playing rugby always limited my gains.

    I think the sort of "semi-SPP" or "specific-GPP" we're talking about is GREAT for the offseason- but it really has to be in the offseason. Just from personal experience, as mentioned if my "conditioning" and my "strength" work ever get too closely related, one or the other begins to suffer. In season, they should be opposite ends of the spectrum. In season, squat, bench, deadlift, and walk. Off season, throw tires around, push sleds, lift buses, toss midgets, whatever- it'll all keep you in shape and improve your overall conditioning a bit (and might even help increase your mobility and work capacity), but it won't necessarily make you stronger.
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    Westside Bencher Travis Bell's Avatar
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    Man, 30-40 miles a week lol. That is insane man. You are a fitness freak.

    anways though, I like your post. Good point.

    The question has to be raised though, is it the increased cardiovascular capacity that helps your training, or is it the low impact usage of those muscles, which creates blood flow and rehabs them that is helping training?

    I can see the merit in the increased cardio as it helps you to be able to train at a higher pace and longer time frame.

    However there is a lot to be said for the low impact stuff too.

    Thoughts?


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    I never have done any i hate it, but i am starting to relize i am in horible condition, I am pretty thin, but have no indurance, I play competive softball and i played 5 games back to back yesterday, i was about to die after the first game scoring 1st to home 2 times, it took the rest of the game just to quit breathing hard.

    When i start lifting i feel like i get tired way to fast,

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    Senior Member Paulo_Santos's Avatar
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    I just call it conditioning. I think the best think is to have a combo of strength and conditioning. And you can favor one over the other, depending on your needs.

    I came from a cardio background from my days of playing soccer in high school, then when I was in the Military, and then to CrossFit. When I started getting into Powerlifting last year, I began to use the CrossFit workouts to maintain my conditioning and it has helped out. I'm getting a lot stronger and I'm still able to run the mile under 6 minutes and I don't run anymore. It helps in everyday life and also at work (LE).
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    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    The argument for GPP for the powerlifter is a better conditioned athlete can train harder, longer, and more often and still recover. The idea being improved general conditioning improves sport specific conditioning. Louie advocates forms of conditioning for that reason. He hates the big slob powerlifter who can do nothing but lift heavy. He feels they are limiting themselves.

    I'm with Alex in the sense that I think a lot of the "conditioning" work is of too high an intensity and ends up eating into the strength athlete's sport specific recovery. I think there is a fine line that must be walked for the additional work to be helpful.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex.V View Post
    I don't think there are too many folks left on this site who still think that. Well, I hope not anyway.

    What kinds of GPP do you do?
    I don't do GPP. I just do cardio. 20 minutes 2x a week on non-lifting days. 10 minutes on lifting days. turns into 60-70 minutes a week. Nothing crazy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RFabsik View Post
    For the ignorant, what do you consider the real version of GPP? 10 minutes of sled work? Circuit training? Fun sports? Crossfit? Just trying to learn.
    Whatever will get you conditioned to accomplish your goals. It varies.

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    Cardio bunny Alex.V's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RhodeHouse View Post
    I don't do GPP. I just do cardio. 20 minutes 2x a week on non-lifting days. 10 minutes on lifting days. turns into 60-70 minutes a week. Nothing crazy.
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    illinois fattest lifter theBarzeen's Avatar
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    For the last few years I've included a recovery and conditioning day in my training programs, usually the day after my heavy squat/deadlift day.

    I feel like I recover better and I don't gas out in training as bad. This includes some lighter squats, prowler, treadmill, box jumps, etc....

    Closer to a meet I also include some more sport specific conditioning like deadlifting heavy after heavy squats instead of on their own day or programming them to fall light/heavy or vice versus... In years past we've gone as far as benching after squatting as well, but that winds up being a 7 hour day.......
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    THE 800 QUEST NickAus's Avatar
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    Really good reading here, thanks guys!

    I have been doing more GPP the last 12 weeks and it has helped my lifting indirectly.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex.V View Post
    Those pinks spandex are actually required during my cardio sessions.

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