T Nation

What is GPP?


I came across this site that had a book on sale for a GPP program... WTF is GPP?

I don't get it... Here's the description:
The foundation of strength and performance begins with GPP. This allows the individual to create a baseline. Utilized properly, it allows the body to reach a heightened potential regarding special preparatory work. Without it, the body will not be able to endure the rigors of season. And while in season, it allows for strength maintenance while exerting oneself minimally, while maintaining desired training effect.

This book will assist you in building a strong base (in addition to your training) so you are able to achieve your goals. Performing these exercises in your pre-workout will increase your work capacity, which in turn will aid in performance.


GPP = General Physical Preparedness

Sounds like the book is about warming up properly before strength workouts so you aren't out of shape, and increasing work capacity. GPP is kinda like a powerlifter's cardio.


GPP is the foundation on which SPP is built. Basically, if you have a high GPP you're "in shape", have a high work capacity, etc.... If you have a low GPP you're "out of shape", have low work capacity, etc.... As a powerlifter, your ultimate goals are to maximize your bench, squat, and deadlift - you do specialized work for them, to increase your SPP in the field of powerlifting.

However, you also have to do various amounts of GPP work throughout the year, for muscular hypertrophy as an example. Because while the size of your muscles is irrelevent at the competition, it can be a limiting factor to your total. Similarly, a football player will do strength work for GPP (squats and such), but will do drills on the field for SPP, because while a big squat means nothing on the score board, it sure as fuck helps.


I found a whole series of videos on Russian weightlifting (the sport) in the 70's. They were big on their GPP training (as opposed, for instance, to the Bulgarian style of training which was very specifically focused on clean, jerk, snatch). They did all kinds of drills... Some running... Jumping... Throwing logs around... Running backwards and sideways and stuff like that. They also chose the next lot of athletes on the basis of their performance on GPP training tasks.

Maybe such things as vertical jump and run times or whatever play the same GPP role in US athlete selection processes??


Dammit i've tried to edit my post 2x now and the edit isn't coming through.

Polish weightlifting in the 70's


I have a bit of a problem with what a lot of people class as GPP. I've read anything from walking the dog, fishing leaves out the pool, mowing the lawns, and leaf blowing, to helping the wife with the washing up recorded in logs as GPP! Seriously. That's just daily activity.

OK I lied about the washing up, but not the others.

If any of those tax you physically then I'm sorry you're in pretty bad shape to do anything let alone lift.

I think it's meant to be a bit more physically demanding than that.


If my mentioning laundry and dishes as GPP bothers you, stop reading my log.

Seriously though, I'm not sure where you read it but I usually see things like prowler work, tire flipping, Sledging etc. listed.


I keep my dish washing to 3-5 dishes; I consider anything more than that to be cardio.


in the vid they said they were exercises used to develop agility, balance, speed, flexibility.

i also noticed they were high altitude training (mountains) though the trees would have provided more oxygen.
it looked like a relaxing place to train. peaceful. they seemed to be smiling and enjoying the tasks, too.

i guess there are general 'athletic' attributes that most athletes would profit from irrespective of sports.

maybe like how (fairly controversially) there is domain general and domain specific intelligence. it would make sense that there is domain general and domain specific athletic ability.

but yeah, a lot of stuff on exercise fairly generally is crap. core training, functional fitness, general physical preparedness etc. guess there are good ideas behind the notions but people end up perverting them, rather.


I find that I can handle a lot of GPP so long as I add it in gradually. I'm up to 3 30min-1hour mountain biking sessions a week in addition to 3 5/3/1 workouts a week and my lifts aren't suffering. Occasionally, I'll do a two hour Mtn. bike ride. I'm never out of breath for long between sets now, I just wait for some the snap to return and the pump to dissipate a little. Granted, I'm also eating like a horse and gaining weight at a slow rate atm.