Friday, June 12, 2009

GPP In 10 Minutes A Day

GPP, or general physical preparedness, is a term that has recently been brought into the vocabulary of the strength world, but is still largely misunderstood. Essentially it is exercises or movements to increase our GENERAL level of fitness and the amount of WORK we are capable of doing over time.

There are many ways to increase your GPP, but a favorite of mine that is great for adding muscle and helping out with restoration is through the use of jump stretch bands. Lets face it - most people and youth athletes especially are out of shape, and have a serious lack of muscle on their glutes, hamstrings and upper back - aka the posterior chain.

Between bad coaching, reading muscle rags, and playing video games or spending all day chatting on Facebook, most athletes have terribly weak backsides and horrible posture to boot. While normal training with an emphasis on doing the right stuff in the weight room can certainly help, often times that just isn't enough and this where high rep band work comes into play.

By picking 1, 2 or 3 at the most band movements and doing 100 reps of each movement per day, we are getting added volume to the muscles needed without taxing the system too much as a whole. The added blood flow not only aids in slowly building up the posterior chain, but also in the recovery process by transporting nutrients faster than the athlete had just sat around all day.

The goal of these short training sessions to is to increase our work capacity so that we can train HARDER during our main sessions so that we can keep getting stronger - so don't treat these as 'real' training sessions!

Here are some basic combinations to use aiming for 100 total reps of each movement. Use a band well below your limit at first, and use moderately good form.

1. band goodmornings and band pull aparts
2. band pull throughs and band face pulls
3. band leg curls and band rows
4. band curls and band tricep extensions

You can mix and match these exercises any way you like, but try and keep the sessions ultra short and just break a sweat. Louie Simmons, creator of the Westside Barbell System, can be credited for first introducing GPP to the strength world. His methods have been getting world class results for over 30 years, so if he's not right, then I don't know who is! While most people wait a whole week to recover from training a muscle, Louie has been advocating a different approach - by incorporating these "extra workouts" - and has had phenomenal results.

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