So what is GPP you ask? Let me explain. What many athletes and you may be lacking in is GPP. GPP stands for General Physical Preparedness. This term
refers to how prepared an athlete is to undergo a nonspecific physical activity. This preparedness is dependent on an athlete s level of physical
fitness or what kind of overall shape the individual is in. The philosophy behind GPP training is that, by training GPP, the athlete will increase
total work capacity. This increase in work capacity will in turn make easier the adaptation of the athlete's body to the demands placed on the body
during training. Simply put, if you can work for a long period of time, training harder will be easier for you as will pushing your body to the limits.
Many athletes get caught up in looking bigger and getting stronger. They train every day and feel they are in great shape. A belief held by most sedentary people is that almost all athletes are physically fit. However, when one investigates further, one finds many of these athletes are really far from being in great shape.
One incident when I saw the preceding statement proven true was when I asked a bodybuilding friend of mine to help me move into my new home last year. This friend not only looked like he was in great shape, but he even showed as much by pushing around poundages in the gym that left most people in awe. I believed that, with him helping me move, I would be done in no time. I ended up being completely wrong. After 15 minutes of lifting boxes my friend was drenched in sweat looking like he was going to have a heart attack. For the rest of the day I ended up doing all the moving myself while he just stood around cheering me on. To see an athlete who spends so much time training get out of breath doing work so light as lifting a few boxes is very strange. Believe it or not, this example is representative of the case with many athletes. They are in great shape when they perform their sport-specific training but are so poorly out of shape when they have to do a nonspecific task. You may have even noticed this behavior happen to you sometimes: You are a powerhouse in the gym when throwing around huge poundages, and then all of a sudden a physical activity performed outside the gym just knocks you right out.
An advantage of GPP training is GPP will enhance your ability to recover from your workouts. This factor is very important in any training regimen as recovery needs to take place in order for the athlete to improve. GPP training increases the rate of recovery by altering an athlete s base fitness level. By having a higher work capacity the athlete can handle a larger volume of exercises without exhausting the body's resources, thus causing less stress on the central nervous system.
A variety of exercises that train your GPP abound. You can train your GPP by doing something simple as jumping jacks. If you really want to go nuts you can try pulling a tractor trailer. An important key is GPP exercises have to be nonspecific to the sport you are training for. For example, a power-lifter cannot train his GPP by doing more squats, deadlifts and bench presses. In order to train GPP effectively an athlete should take part in activities that develop and increase his or her levels of fitness from other angles. These increased levels of fitness can be in strength, speed, endurance or flexibility.
GPP exercises should try to involve as many muscle groups as possible and place a demand on the cardiovascular system. These exercises should be performed with an intensity that keeps your heart rate between 70 to 75 percent of your maximum heart rate (MHR) for about 10 minutes. A quick way to calculate your MHR is to subtract your age from 220. For example, a I 28-year-old man would have an MHR of 192 (220 - 28). Your goal should be to work out at about 85 percent of your MHR for 10 minutes. With time you should increase the intensity of the GPP exercises but not their duration. A duration of longer than 10 minutes may lead to muscle catabolism (i.e. muscle breaking down), and we definitely don't want that to happen.
Below are some of popular GPP exercises that many athletes are given to perform on a regular basis.
This activity is great not only for working on your GPP but also for letting off a little steam. Simply get in front a heavy, swinging punching bag and punch the crap out of it for some time.
Boxing utilizes both aerobic and anaerobic energy and systematically recruits both fast- and slow-twitch muscle fibers in a manner that ensures a workout with diversity. Boxing also enhances sports-specific senses such as hand-eye coordination, balance and timing. You can even incorporate your lower body in your boxing workouts by adding some kicks to go along with those punches.