Derek LaBonte | October 12, 2018
What the heck is GPP in the first place? GPP stands for General Physical Preparedness (otherwise known as CrossFit). This is a fitness program philosophy that embodies a variety of movements across different time domains. In other words, it not specializing in anything. What is so cool about this style of programming is it can help the fitness novice to the specialty elite. How can one program philosophy help everyone?
For the specialty athlete this means GPP can reduce training volume with more focus on skill development that can decreasing training injury. This is because GPP builds a strong foundation of overall fitness due to the variety of movements, skills, and workout time domains. In fact the more unspecific the program, the larger the foundation will be; which can result in more weaknesses exposed. I am not saying specific training isn’t needed to become an elite athlete, but GPP will make a more well rounded athlete and decrease burn out. The farther out you are from your season the more broad your training should be. For example, Olympic weightlifters are scored on two lifts: the snatch and clean and jerk (counted as one movement). The father out from competition they are the broader their training looks. They may be doing clean grip deadlifts, overhead stability, Bulgarian split squats, high box jumps, running, etc. As the meet approaches the more specific their training becomes.
For the general pop GPP is superior to other programs because the varied movements and workout time domains get you ready for anything life throws at you and fit faster. The current model of fitness leads people down a specialized track without any aspirations of doing so because of only training one of two different physical skills:
1. The oxidative system – Long endurance running on a treadmill or outside for 45 minutes (cardio)
2. Lifting weights – Targeting specific muscle groups for some hypertrophy (the pump)
Due to this one may experience gainz at first but then reach a plateau (their genetic potential). Once this happens results come few and far between and burn out may occur. CrossFit is a change from this. I ask what you would rather have:
1. 95% of your genetic potential in endurance with only 30% in speed and strength?
2. 80% of your genetic potential in endurance, speed, and strength?
I like to make the analogy of laying salt on your driveway. Number one you would be able to carry a cup of salt back and forth from bucket to driveway, or with number two you could just carry the salt bag with you and get it done in one trip. I choose the second. GPP allows for adaptations to occur quickly and more frequently because it works on flexibility, coordination, balance, agility, strength, speed, power, stamina, accuracy, and cardio creating a more self-sufficient human. This style of programming, paired with great coaches, can be the most effective fitness regime for ANY fitness goals. All it takes is commitment to yourself.