Whether you’re a serious athlete, first responder, health fanatic, or just one of those weekend warriors, everyone has one thing in common: everybody has to deal with a thing called Life.
When it comes to living life, you don’t always know what you’re going to come up against, so it’s a good idea to be prepared for a variety of things.
That’s where your general physical preparedness (GPP) comes into the picture.
GPP is your ability to handle any task that life throws at you. It includes things like strength, endurance, flexibility, coordination, speed, etc. It’s really just your overall ability to get work done.
If you’ve ever played sports, you already know what sport specific training feels like. For example, baseball players practice throwing and swimmers practice swimming.
It wouldn’t make sense in sport specific training to have your baseball players spend time fine tuning their swimming techniques.
There aren’t usually large bodies of water included in the game of baseball. As a result there isn’t much of a demand for swimming.
Similar reasoning explains why you wouldn’t have swimmers practice throwing.
Keep in mind that these understandings are in the context of sport specific training, where you don’t necessarily want abilities that aren’t specific to the sport.
When it comes to GPP though, you might practice both swimming and throwing, or both heavy lifting and running long distances.
The better you are at a number of things, the greater your GPP. When it comes to sport specific training, the better you are at one individual thing, the greater your specific physical preparedness or SPP for that one thing.
If you were to make the comparison between SPP and GPP in terms of home repair, SPP would be the guy that only fixes your dishwasher but he can fix your dishwasher to perfection.
GPP would be your handyman that “does it all” but can only get things completed to about 70% of perfection.
The SPP guy can only do one thing but it’s done extremely well, and the GPP guy can do a bunch of things but they’re only done decently.
The reason GPP is extremely important is because it allows you to be ready for a greater number of challenges. If you’re in law enforcement or you’re another type of first responder, you know exactly how important it is to be ready for the unknown.
Now you understand what GPP is, so here are two demo workouts that you can try for yourself to improve your GPP.
You’ll notice that they have a variety of movements, not just one.
You can train your GPP by doing one movement for a “workout,” but that is usually when you plan to lift really heavy or run for a long time. Overall, your workouts should have a variety of different movements.
If these demo workouts seem too easy, feel free to increase the reps, weight, or distance.
#1: The Body Weight Workout: complete 5 cycles of the following as fast as possible:
* 5 Pull-ups
* 10 Push-ups
* 15 Body Only Squats
* Sprint 50 yards
#2: Dumbbell workout
You will need a pair of dumbbells that are somewhat heavy, but are light enough that you can press them over your head.
Perform the following movements in the specified order for a total of 12 minutes:
* 50 yards: Hold the dumbbells at your side, one in each hand, and walk for 50 yards
* 10 reps: Touch your dumbbells to the ground, then lift them up and press them overhead. Moving the dumbbells from the ground to overhead and back to the ground is considered one repetition.
Repeat until time has expired.
These are just two examples of workouts geared towards GPP. If you want to make up your own, just go grab something heavy and move it as fast as you can. Get to it.
Dave Lyons is an athlete and trainer, he currently writes about athletic techniques and concepts. He also runs a site that discusses the symptoms, causes, and treatment of hip pain at hippain.info.