GPP, an abbreviation for General Physical Preparedness, ie general physical readiness. It is the less sexy part of our training sessions that does not include heavy squats or technically challenging movements. At our gym, we usually see GPP days on Tuesday and Thursdays, the two not so favorite days. The trainings are usually longer but less technically demanding. Sure, 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 and here is why:
1.GPP as the basis for technique
Without exceptions – from the absolute beginners to the CrossFit Games athletes – we all need days when we don’t perform any technically challenging movements and risk injury. GPP helps build the foundation of our fitness. Because it moves in the aerobic range around 60-70% of the maximum heart rate, it gives our body a different impulse than high intensity training.
2. GPP to build your strength
If you think GPP won’t help you reach your new max squat or press goal you are wrong again. You don’t have to squat three times a week to improve. CrossFit builds on developing all 10 aspects of physical readiness in an environment that is constantly changing to help us move closer to our goal. Therefore, don’t avoid pushing the sled, carrying kettlebells and sandbags, rowing intervals or a 5k run. Your body needs constantly changing impulses to improve.
3. GPP to recover
The last thing your body needs after a long leg day is another day of squats. GPP is the ideal form of recovery for your next session. If we do Murph on Monday, it’s very likely that the next day will include a much more simple training session without added external weight. Especially if you go to the gym every day, you can’t destroy yourself training after training. Rather than being sore and staying at home after a hard WOD come to the gym and try to move your whole body. And that’s exactly what GPP days are for.
4. GPP to prevent injury
Many of us have those annoying and constantly recurring minor injuries. I mean those that don’t make you not go to the gym but still limit you in one way or another. If your shoulder always hurts when you raise the barbell above your head or hang on the bar, try to avoid these movements and replace them with another tool. Last week Ryan shared about the functionality of sand bags, but dumbbells or kettlebells are also great. Find an alternative day to come to the gym, talk to your coach and don’t worry about adjusting the workouts to your current needs.