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Westside, GPP, and Sprints


I just started the basic Westside template so that I can get my total up. However, I've also got some fat that I need to lose. So here's my question: how does sprinting fit into GPP work? Right now I'm doing two extra days for GPP, with my GPP sessions looking something like this:

-3 rounds Heavy Bag

-Several sets of chins (never to failure)

-Mild, random exercises just to get the blood flowing

-Farmer's Walk (here I use 105 lb dumbbells for about 3-4 passes at 25 yards; this has me pretty wasted)

Now I've cleaned up my diet but wanted to throw some sprinting in for a few reasons:

1) Accelerate fat loss

2) Maintain my foot speed

3) They're fun

So, I guess, here's my two questions:

1) Would adding sprinting possibly be too much stress for my legs, leading to overtraining?

2) If not, should I do sprints as part of my GPP workouts or should I do them as their own workouts on lifting days?

Any feedback appreciated. Thanks!


i wouldn't sprint on your off days b/c its cns intensive. personally i would sprint after my leg workouts, you won't be at full speed but if i understand correctly thats not your goal.


Sprinting is not GPP.


GPP is relative. Anything that is nt specific to your sport and develops qualties not developed by your specific sport is GPP. I am a wreslter so for me lifting weights, sprinting, bodyweight exercise, everything I do in the post-season is GPP.


Is sub-max sprinting CNS intensive? You could do tempo (sprint, walk, sprint, walk) on your off days without stressing the CNS. You could also do hill sprints with an emphasis on shortening the rest periods rather than on going fast uphill.


If you follow a WS program with two leg days, one max effort and one speed, I do not know how you will not be fried if you add sprints to your program! How experienced and strong are you? Do you even need this GPP? You can manipulate your bodyfat levels just from brisk walking on the side and by manipulating your diet.


If your looking to lose some fat then eat better and do some light cardio after you train or on your off days. Sprinting will totally fuck you up if your training westside. You may want look at Joe Defranco's Westside for Skinny Bastards to be able to work in some sprints. I would call Louie Simmons on the phone and ask him his opinion since he is the actual Westside Barbell founder and coach. Look into other types of mobility stuff for GPP. I like to use Kettlebells and stuff like that outside of my Powerlifting work. Sprinting would probably be good after an ME squat day but other than that I can't decide where else to put it, becuase if your doing a real speed day for squat you should be too tired to sprint. If you can go sprint after speed squat day than your not working hard enough.


Okay, so what' you're doing is taking the word GPP and creating your own definition. That's cool if you want to do that.

Realize the person posting is a powerlifter, therefore sprinting is not GPP.


"According to Yuri Verkhoshansky in The Fundamentals of Special Strength Training in Sport and as outlined in Supertraining by Mel C Siff, there are several functions of GPP:

  1. To form, strengthen or restore motor skills, which play an auxiliary, facilatory role in perfecting sports ability.

  2. To teach abilities developed insufficiently by the given sport; increase the general work capacity or preserve it.

  3. To provide active rest, promote restoration after strenuous loading, and counteract the monotony of training. "

Sprinting contradicts 1, 2, and 3 in his case.

Sprinting should not be considered GPP. It is conditioning work and intense.


  1. To teach abilities developed insufficiently by the given sport; increase the general work capacity or preserve it.

Sprinting teaches abilities insufficiently taught by powerlifting, which is defined as the practice of competing for a 1-RM in the squat, deadlift, and bench press. Therefore, it is GPP. I am not saying it is the ideal form of GPP; just that technically it is GPP because it develops motor qualities not sufficiently developed by his specific sport of powerlifting. As I said before, GPP is relative to the specific sport being prepared for; ask any coach here on T-Nation about this. If I were to powerlift, as a combat athlete, it would be considered GPP, but if a powerlifter were to wrestle, it would be considered GPP. Simply because it develops qualities not developed by our specific sport. It doesn't have to faciliate recovery and be light to be GPP.


What qualities does sprinting add to power lifting? I guess it depends on what ppl consider "sufficient", because 0 sprinting can also be sufficient.


Okay. But Sprinting is not relative to powerlifting. You are contradicting yourself.

If you think sprinting can "teach abilities developed insufficiently by the given sport; increase the general work capacity or preserve it" you are mistaken.

If GPP is specific to sport, then sprinting cannot be used as GPP for powerlifting.


Anything that develops a quality not develop by your specific sport is GPP. Anything that does is SPP (specific physical preperation). Does sprinting have the same effects on the body as powerlifting? No. It really is that simple. When I said it is relative to powerlifting I meant relative to powerlifting in the sense that they do not overlap significantly enough to be considered as developing the same motor qualities.


Do a search on the site for "Westside For Skinny Bastards" by Joe Defranco. He gives you exactly that.(article no.2 is even better, by the way)

Personally, I do sprints once or twice a week, max. I do them either after my heavy leg day(in this case - I work more on technique and go longer distance - 400 and 800 meters)or when I do a lighter day for legs(note : I only train legs in the gym once a week "directly", so that counts as "leg day"), I go shorter distance(60-200 meters)or I run hills.
This is together with bodyweight drills and such.

If I do them a second they, they're usually combined with strongman training, such as the farmer's you described, tire flipping, car pushing, etc. More for fun than anything.

Just remember, the stronger and faster you get, the more taxing sprints are on your body.

For some less strenuous activity which is similar, try sled dragging or rope jumping.


With regards to sprinting not having the same effects on the body as powerlifting, I'd agree if we're talking about possitive benefits, but I think Powerlifting is taxing enough on the CNS without sprints, and from what I've read, sprints are much more taxing on theh CNS than something like sled dragging or walking at an incline.

Plus the sprinting can have the potential to be hard on the knees when your body is lifting near max effort weights every week.

Those would be my reasons for not including sprints when training for powerlifting.

Maybe circuit type weight training would be a good alternative, or just walking uphill on a treadmill.

You can also check out Eric Cressey's Cardio Cunundrum or Confusion(sp?) article.


Dave Tate discussed GPP in his D-Tap interview, and said that it was basically any training that not sport specific. Eg Squats are not GPP for a powerlifter, but they are for a footballer.

To the OP, are you a Powerlifter? Because if you are, by doing sprints you are choosing an exercise that will detract from you powerlifting specific training by decreasing the amount of direct powerlifting work you can do both due to both physical and CNS drain. I think Cressey mentioned in his "7 reasons why you're a piss-ant" article that he isn't aware of ANY good powerlifters who perform HIIT due to the CNS fatigue. Alter your diet and use sled drags instead for weight management.

If you are aren't serious about being a powerlifter and want to include sprints, I would use De Franco's WSFSB instead.


Great thread. I was just about to start one asking what GPP was all about and you guys cleared things up.


Yes I sceond that, excellent thread. I am always looking for ways to improve my drummin and this thread cleared up what GPP is and isn't. I try to mix up sprints and endurance runs because there are moments in the music (death metal)that require non stop two hand and two foot "blasts" RLRLRLRLetc simultaneously. I try to plan activities that mimic these situations. It's hard because song duration varies two to three to four minutes so I often question certain routines. If you guys have any other tips to improve my GPP, feel free. Sorry if you have read this post of mine before, I try to post on different threads with similar topics.



Monday, A.M. - Energy System Training (change of direction focus)
Monday, P.M. - Max Effort Upper Body Lifting
Tuesday - Lower Body Lifting
Wednesday - Energy System Training (linear speed focus)
Thursday - Repetition Upper Body Lifting
Friday - Strongman Conditioning or Sport-specific Drills
Saturday - OFF or light aerobic recovery workout (walk, jog)
Sunday - OFF

In WS4SBII, Joe DeFranco incorporates a couple of EST sessions into the template.


Sprinting is far too strenuous on the body to be considered just GPP, you should do it after squatting, but not more than twice/week because any more and you will overtrain. It will help you become more explosive and lose weight so you strength to weight ratio will be better. Sprinting really does improve your lifting abilities because it forces your body to create more blood vessels in the muscles therefore giving you the ablility to get more nutrients faster to the muscle, and recover faster because it will increase your bodies ability to get lactic acid out of the muscle. Dave Gullege is a 930 lb. squatter and a 755 bencher and he sprints often so if you want proof that it works there you have it.