What is GPP?
GPP is general training that improves your specific training by limiting your weaknesses, improving your quality of movement, and enhancing your body’s ability to handle greater workloads.
GPP is an abbreviation for General Physical Preparedness, ie general physical readiness. It is the less sexy part of training sessions that do not include heavy squats or technically challenging movements. At WCSC, we usually see GPP days on Tuesday and Thursdays and sometimes Saturdays.
These training sessions tend to take up most of the hour but they are less technically demanding and less intense then a M/W/F session. Yes, everyone would rather work on their clean & jerk than row or walk around with a kettlebell. But, GPP will always be an important part of CrossFit, you should not skip these days and here is why:
1.Build your Aerobic Base
Without exception – from absolute beginners to the the athletes that compete in the CrossFit Games – everyone needs training days when we don’t perform any technically challenging movements and dial back the intensity. GPP helps to build the foundation of our fitness. These training sessions keep us working around 60-70% of the maximum heart rate, making these sessions more aerobic in nature. These sessions give our bodies a different physical response than high intensity training.
2. Build your Strength
You don’t have to squat three times a week to improve. CrossFit focuses on developing all 10 aspects of physical readiness in an environment that is constantly changing to help us move closer to our goal. If you are cherry picking and skipping out on carrying kettlebells and sandbags, rowing intervals or a 5k run; you are missing out on developing as an all around athlete. Your body needs constantly changing stimulus to improve.
The last thing your body needs after a high intensity day is another day of high intensity. GPP is the ideal form of recovery for your next session. If we do a tester or benchmark workout on Monday, it’s very likely that the next day will include a much simpler training session without much added external weight. If you go to the gym every day, you are much less likely to burn yourself out with a balanced approach to training. Rather than being sore and staying at home after a hard WOD come to the gym and try to move your whole body. That is exactly what GPP days are for.
4. Prevent Injury
GPP helps to correct any imbalances that may be overlooked during active strength training. These workouts might not be as “sexy” as a clean and jerk, they have a specific purpose, and that purpose is to help you build a bigger aerobic base and help to bring up lagging muscle groups. By doing those low impact days we can help our muscles recover from high intensity days while still developing as athletes.