T Nation

Ghetto Think Tank - Cardio vs. GPP

Here’s a question so complex it’s stupid:

What are equivalent amounts (with regards to body composition and cardiovascular benefit) of GPP exercise and “traditional” cardio/HIIT? I don’t even know how the conversion/comparison process might begin, although I do recognize that it needs to be formed on a broader basis than just energy consumption.

I don’t even know who this helps, as most people stick with one or the other without giving much thought. (I’m at least one undecided person, right?) I apologize if this is a useless inquiry.

Pretty useless, I guess.

(crickets)

Anybody want to tackle this? Proponents of either choice? Experts? Al Shades? Proteinpowda? Foopa? Damn.

Uh… awfully quiet.

Are you asking which is better?

B/C I’ve wondered that myself. If–as Thibs has written–440 sprints are really good at paring fat while preserving muscle/muscle building–wouldn’t any period of intense GPP do the same thing as cardio?

Is this where you’re heading or have I gone off on some tangent?

GPP cos its more interesting. i hate running. gpp ringpieces you (me) rapidly, dependant on modality, of course,

[quote]miniross wrote:
GPP cos its more interesting. i hate running. gpp ringpieces you (me) rapidly, dependant on modality, of course,[/quote]

ross?

“ringpieces”?

Thanx.

ringpiece = castrate

Ringpieced:

To be knackered (tired/exhausted)

or

Up shit creek/up the swany.

People might want to do both, so equivalents would be good to know. And some people might choose based on which is briefer for the same benefit. But i’m not sure how to compare quantitatively (key word).

[quote]dond1esel wrote:
People might want to do both, so equivalents would be good to know. And some people might choose based on which is briefer for the same benefit. But i’m not sure how to compare quantitatively (key word).[/quote]

Neither am I. And I’d much prefer to do 20 minutes or so of power snatches or tire flipping or something than running.
(shivers…)…running…

[quote]dond1esel wrote:
Here’s a question so complex it’s stupid:

What are equivalent amounts (with regards to body composition and cardiovascular benefit) of GPP exercise and “traditional” cardio/HIIT? I don’t even know how the conversion/comparison process might begin, although I do recognize that it needs to be formed on a broader basis than just energy consumption.

I don’t even know who this helps, as most people stick with one or the other without giving much thought. (I’m at least one undecided person, right?) I apologize if this is a useless inquiry.[/quote]

I wouldn’t call your question stupid, but a bit open-ended. Maybe I can offer some insite that might help.

Intensity is the common denominator when it comes to any exercise comparison. Meaning, how hard is the heart/lungs working? You can do any activity you want and call it anything you want, but how hard are you stressing the CP system? If you get your heart rate up to 80% of max with 100m repeats or with 20 rep squats you are generally getting the same cost of exercise (session times being equal). At higher intensity more muscle glycogen will be used, and just the opposite, more fat will be used at lower intensities. And, higher intensities will elevate the metabolism for a day or two longer than the lower intensities.

As far as incorporating body composition in the mix, GPP is using “lifting for cardio” (using total body moments with shorten rest periods), where as steady-state energy systems work usually works the legs in a purely aerobic fashion to combust stored fat as fuel. Unless the ESW is at higher intensities, such as sprinting. In that case the trainee could expect some muscle hypertrophy when using anaerobic conditioning at a high enough level. In the later case, a trainee could make some very substantial physique changes in a short amount of time.

Other than that, your question is a bit too broad to further comment. I don’t know if you want to know what time intervals and loads to use on the Farmers Walk that would equate to an Olympic weight lifting circuit or what?! If you have a specific question please post it, otherwise use your heart rate to determine how much work you are doing for any given exercise. And decide if you want more total body stimulus, or just a calorie drain, or both!

TopSiroin

open ended, yes, but really good topic IMHO.

there a many varying parameters: intensity, rest:active ratio, musculature involved, ability, work capacity, tolerance to training, etc.

HIIT: sprints, hills, stadiums, stairstepper, bike, swimming, etc?

GPP: weights, sled, tires, farmer’s, etc?

one thing i notice is that most conventional cardio/HIIT are primarily leg driven exercises, whereas GPP tends to involve the whole body more. that alone makes comparison difficult.

how exhausted are you after one vs the other? how does it carry over or interfere with weight training? all individual dependent.

i am a big proponent of HIIT. i think CW’s skinny leg article got some of us rethinking that. (right?) i like running the stairstepper with a weighted backpack. it’s most joyous.

then i read about tabata last year. i do that occasionally and like it but feel my shoulders getting overworked with the prescribed exercises.

the experts talking about the advantages of OL’s got my little brain to fire up a 2nd neuron. how to work some of these into my program?

add in all of the positive energy around GPP and strongman type training. cordoza’s thread - that shit looks fun!

wow … utterly … foncused!

i personally like the weight room and prefer working out at the gym and not exercising at other places. that’s where i get it done. period. so i use HIIT and tabata and GPP variations with powercleans, farmer’s walks (tuff in the gym), 1 arm db snatches, etc.

yes, people look at me really funny.

a sled would be cool. i could ask the fat gym employees to stand on it while i drag them around the gym?

these activities are timed on a macro (daily/weekly) scale around my weight training. ie. no full body GPP before shoulders and no HIIT before legs. i even do (gasp) regular cardio for 10-15 minutes a couple times per week now.

i’m rambling, but my big point is that the answer to your question is dependent on so many variables that each individual will have their own answer.

lastly, your original post was not a useless inquiry, but my response may be useless indeed!

BFG

I don’t see how it was open ended. I thought it was pretty self explanatory.

Sort of a side note, but actually quite relevant. If anyone else was at the recent Elite FTS seminar in Boston, you know how Jim and Dave (sorry, Mr. Wendler and Mr. Tate, I don’t wanna be presumptuous) are seeing the term G.P.P. being bastardized and misused waaaaaay to often.

According to Mr. W., the original Russian texts considered playing a game of soccer and casual walks in nature prime examples of G.P.P. Mr. T. also said that, technically, you could consider moves like reverse hypers and weighted ab crunches G.P.P., when considering the sport of powerlifting.

It was just a great perspective on the concept, I thought. For the average gym-goer (read - not pro or amature strongman/bodybuilder/or powerlifter) G.P.P. probably could include just about any activity. But if you do aprticipate in a specific sport, it would be wise to structure your G.P.P. with respect to it.

With that said, if I had to decide between doing an energy system session vs. doing a G.P.P. workout, I’d probably go with the G.P.P., provided the intensity-volume was in accordance with my current goal. Just like we prefer squats to leg extensions, I’d rather do a full-body exercise (car push), rather than a lower-body dominant one (run). (Rowing machines and full body ellipticals excluded).

P.S. - What would you categorize a few rounds on the heavy bag? G.P.P. or anaerobic cardio? Just wondering…for the sake of wondering.

just to clarify. what are we calling GPP? i’d say it’d be helpful to get on the same page, because in my mind, “traditional cardio” is still GPP just non-weighted.

[quote]boondoc holiday wrote:
just to clarify. what are we calling GPP? i’d say it’d be helpful to get on the same page, because in my mind, “traditional cardio” is still GPP just non-weighted.[/quote]

I can’t speak for Don, but what I meant was stuff like tire flips (I just liberated an old tractor tire from the farm down the road. Heavy goddam thing.), maybe sets of power cleans/snatches…stuff like that.
When I think of GPP that’s what I think of, not running. But then again I hate running.

[quote]Joe Weider wrote:
boondoc holiday wrote:
just to clarify. what are we calling GPP? i’d say it’d be helpful to get on the same page, because in my mind, “traditional cardio” is still GPP just non-weighted.

I can’t speak for Don, but what I meant was stuff like tire flips (I just liberated an old tractor tire from the farm down the road. Heavy goddam thing.), maybe sets of power cleans/snatches…stuff like that.
When I think of GPP that’s what I think of, not running. But then again I hate running.[/quote]

cardio is GPP IFF:
GPP = generally physically phat.

i’m with j dub:
GPP = full-body-ass-kicking-activities

[quote]BFG wrote:
Joe Weider wrote:
boondoc holiday wrote:
just to clarify. what are we calling GPP? i’d say it’d be helpful to get on the same page, because in my mind, “traditional cardio” is still GPP just non-weighted.

I can’t speak for Don, but what I meant was stuff like tire flips (I just liberated an old tractor tire from the farm down the road. Heavy goddam thing.), maybe sets of power cleans/snatches…stuff like that.
When I think of GPP that’s what I think of, not running. But then again I hate running.

cardio is GPP IFF:
GPP = generally physically phat.

i’m with j dub:
GPP = full-body-ass-kicking-activities[/quote]

GPP is general physical preparation. it is and should be utilized to help condition each individual to an adequate level for his or her undertakings. obviously a powerlifter doesn’t need to have his ass kicked by a GPP session whereas a boxer probably needs more.

what minataur described about GPP is correct. basically we’ve got weighted and non-weighted GPP which is pretty much indistinguishable from said “traditional cardio”. i think it’s been established that “if it makes you dog tired then it must be a good workout” philosophy is a bit misguided.

Hey, boondoc, I think that’s why Diesel asked the original question…I think.
At least, that’s why I’m asking the question.
Given that half an hour or more of some type of intense training–tire or wheelbarrow or car pushing or whatever can keep your heart in the target zone or higher, is it as good an energy systems work out as pure cardio?
Especially given say CT’s use of 440 sprints to lose fat in the Beast Evolves.

See, now that’s a direct, clear question, and to that, I’d say Yes. An intense “G.P.P.” workout will be as productive and beneficial as an equally intense “cardio” workout.