New "GPP" Phase - Creating High Levels of General Fitness

Monday, October 19, 2020 - 17:20

WOW! We just finished 6 weeks of a 'Strength' phase of training and the results were outstanding. Members of Lead were crushing their old back squat records and seeing improvement in many areas (including push ups and handstand push ups!) We are proud of your efforts. Be sure to bring that same energy to our next phase of trianing.

Our new phase of training starting Monday 10/19 is known as a "GPP" phase. GPP stands for 'General Physical Preparation'. We will run this phase for 6 weeks like the others before it. 

GPP can mean different things to different people. For instance, in professional sports like basketball or baseball, athlete's need to be "generally physically fit" to handle the demand of a long season. They of course also need to be in "basketball" shape, but that is obviously a more specific type of fitness. 

For the everyday fitness enthusiast (that's you), GPP takes on an even broader meaning. We aren't trying to shoot three pointers or hit home runs. We just want to be physically fit and handle whatever challenge life throws at us. So our general physical preparation can vary quite a bit. 

This is the very essence of CrossFit style training. "Contantly varied, functional movements, and high intensities". That is the foundation that CF was built on and it's been very successful for a long time. There is arguably no better training program for your average person. That is assuming it's done intelligently and using good judgement. You can get hurt and over do it in any physical pursuit, not just CF. 

For our purposes, we will lean on CrossFit style workouts and training methods heavily during these next 6 weeks. We will use combinations of Functional Movements. Think of these as being mutli joint, compound exercises that can be commonly found in everyday life and sport (squatting, running, jumping, pulling, pushing, picking up, planking/bracing, etc). 

We'll also tap into the core CF philosophy of Constant Variation. Every day you'll experience a different challenge of movements, time frames, reps, weights, and more variables. The more variety we can throw in, the better. Be prepared to experience some movements we don't normally do and embrace the variety. Now, variety can be overdone. And randomness just for the sake of it isn't a good long term fitness strategy. That's why you've seen us in the past have very systematic progressions to walk through so you can see the results of your work manifest at the end of a training cycle. But for the purpose of our GPP cycle, variety and randomization will be a main theme. 

Lastly, we'll utilize the proven approach of applied Intensity. There's no arguing that high intensity efforts yield great results. But, this must be done right. Intensity is the quickest way to get hurt or burn out. For this reason, we'll be giving you a range of Perceived Exertion (known as RPE) levels to guide you through your daily workouts. While it may seem obvious that you cannot go as hard as you possibly can every day in the gym, there are plenty of people who do just that. If that's you, then you may also be someone who has dealt with injuries or has stopped improving after a while. Sound familiar? 

At most, you ought to go "full send" on a workout about 2 times per week. Some can get away with more. Most less. The reason being is that you just can't recover from those types of outputs so frequently. We aren't profressional athletes. Unless your life is designed to optimize recovery and maximize your fitness, then stop trying to kill yourself in every CrossFit workout you see. Use intensity often, but save the highest of your intensity efforts for fewer occassions. 

On top of this GPP and CrossFit approach to our fitness training, we'll be adding in skill and strength work before some of the workouts. Below, Coach Mike weighs in on the success of our past 5 months of work and what you can expect moving forward. 

This past week we finished up the sixth week of our strength phase which also happened to be the conclusion of our 24 week ‘post shut down’ cycle. Looking back over the last five months there was a substantial amount of work and effort that culminated in a lot of individual and collective growth and improvement, not to mention some really great PRs along the way. With that being said it leads us to the obvious question, what’s next? 

GPP - The Foundation of Fitness and Performance 

GPP (General Physical Preparedness) training can be simply defined as working out with the goal of improving our general physical capacity across all ranges of motion and time frames. This means that during a GPP phase we will see much more variation in exercise selection due to the fact that we are not trying to specialize and maximize a single modality. This means that things like heavy power and olympic lifts will be replaced by more gymnastic and body weight exercises along with a healthy dose of unilateral (single arm/leg) work. Doing this will give our bodies a rest from the high impact and intensity of our strength phase while simultaneously letting us correct any asymmetries or strength deficits we may have. Although this type of training does not always lead to "highlight reel" moments, it is the foundation for all PRs to come.


-Coach Caleb & Coach Mike