GPP, Frequency, Low Intensity and Recovery ?'s

GPP increases training capacity. Does that mean you can increase training frequency or does it just mean you can have better workouts when you recover? Why is sled dragging considered The GPP of choice for powerlifters when GPP is supposed to work on “aspects of fitness that your main training neglects”. Sled dragging builds strength, which is not something powerlifters neglect. Pure aerobics would seem more logical since it wouldn’t cut into recovery like sled dragging. If ever increasing intensity is the only way to build strength, does that mean training frequency must decreased as you get stronger to allow recovery? Or will GPP allow me to train more often? What is the point of strength workouts that don’t increase intensity like 65% stuff? Wouldn’t it be better to just heal up and wait until you are fully recovered. It seems to me light workouts would be a waste of time and counterproductive.

The reason I ask is because when I was a beginner trainee I could train everyday and make gains. Eventually only three days a week as I got stronger (Bench Monday, Deadlift Wednesday, Squat Friday. In 2007 I cut down to two days per week and made great progress going balls out every workout for twelve straight weeks. I alternated squats and deadlifts every other week trying to increase my 6 rep max. Now at 37 years old I feel like my legs take forever to recover from leg exercises. Do I just keep increasing recovery days in between workouts. To me the thought of sled dragging just seems insane, especially when my legs are shot. I have a rowing machine and that seems to sap recovery. Can the CNS keep up directly with strength intensity increases through GPP or do you have to space out your workouts further. Is there a way I can increase intensity on a 10 day or less basis. I am PED’s free.

That’s alot of questions.

First of all, you can use the sled for lots of things. When you use it for “GPP” or “conditioning” or whatever you’d like to call it - the point is to stay in shape. So it’s sort of like aerobics… but without the spandex, homosexuality, and catabolism. You don’t load it up with so much weight that you take one step, and your done. You load it up with sufficient weight for it to take effort to move for x yards, or y seconds. The reason the sled is best for conditioning is that there’s no eccentric phase (down stroke) so there’s less muscle damage from this training (the eccentric phase of a movement is the most damaging for the muscle). Yes, as you get stronger it takes longer to recover. Being out of shape also makes recovery take longer. Being in shape lets you lift more often regardless of how strong you are. If you use it for active recovery, your going to be useing a super light sled. By keeping the load small, blood flow can be encouraged without straining the CNS, etc… More blood = faster recovery. It’s also nice for unwinding if your stressed.

Light workouts are absolutely not a waste of time. Check out some of Louie’s articles on the west side site, and around the internet.

Since I started increasing my GPP with the sled, everything recovers much faster. But I’ve changed alot else about my training in that time aswell. What are your training days like right now? How much volume are you doing on those sessions? Are you training to “failure” in your accessory work?

How often do you do sled dragging? Would a rowing machine work? I train to failure on accessory work. 1 set to failure on GHR and Reverse Hyper. I am trying to experiment with my training and it seems like everytime I start increasing my core lifts I get burnt out. Frustrating. I might have been pushing it too hard on the rowing machine, what if I go light and easy on it.

If you’re going to be adding in extra workouts and trying to increase GPP, do it slowly. Start out with very easy extra workouts and once you know you can recover from those AND you’re lifting, then you can start increasing the intensity. Increased GPP will allow you to have faster paced and more productive workouts and help you recover more quickly.

Westside do TONS of extra workouts that will only last 30 minutes or less, they will just be something like 3 assistance exercises done lighter for higher reps all one after another. Those type of workouts increase work capacity as well as helping your lifts. Sled dragging isn’t meant to be done extremely heavy, it’s not meant to increase 1RM strength.

Right now, dragging a sled might sound crazy to you and like you won’t be able to recover but once you increase your work capacity and GPP, you’ll be surprised how often and intense you’re able to train. Also, yes as you get stronger it is more difficult to train with the same volume as a new lifter does. This is because you’ve tapped into more of your body’s strength potential than someone who isn’t as strong.

Anyway, you don’t need to immediately start intense sled pulling to increase GPP. Do something easy like walking for 45-60 minutes at night and finish with some ab/core work or something. You really will be surprised how quickly your body will adapt to these extra workouts and how much of a positive effect it will have on your lifting.

Strengh workouts at 60-70% are not a waste of time they help the body recover.