WSBB Blog: Quick Guide to Increasing GPP
Time to Read: 4.5min
When building a strength and condition plan one of the most important factors that directly impacts your ability to recover and build strength is your general physical preparedness level, better known as GPP. GPP is as the name describes, general exercises that are not specific to your sport that contribute to your speed, strength, flexibility, and stamina. When building a conjugate program, including GPP work is paramount to the success of a lifter.
When a lifter increases their work capacity, they elevate their performance ceiling. Meaning, you can increase your potential strength ability by getting in better physical condition. Additionally, an increase in GPP will lead to an increase in recovery time speed, making the athlete more resilient. At Westside, we take GPP work seriously and have found what we believe to be some of the best options for GPP training. Here are a few of those options:
War Wagon Walks
One of our go to exercises for GPP work is heavy war wagon walks for moderate to long distances. The war wagon taxes the grip, the trunk, and the upper back of an athlete while simultaneously training the legs. It is an excellent choice for both lifters and athletes. Ten to twelve trips are recommended.
Sled drags are the most common way we train GPP at Westside Barbell. The sled allows for you to pull it forward, backward, or lateral. Typically our athletes will pull light to moderate sleds for long distances, sometimes as far as making multiple trips around the buildings at Westside. Moderate to heavy sleds will be pulled for shorter distances, often pulling the sled forward for half the trip, and backward the other half.
This is done to alternate between targeting the posterior and anterior muscles of the lower body. If you have access to a hill, uphill sled drags are excellent for building leg strength, calf size, and leg stamina. Mountain climbers are bad enough, try doing them while dragging weight. We recommended doing these for ten to fifteen trips.
Farmers Carry is a good exercise to not only develop increased levels of GPP, but it is an excellent movement for developing grip strength as well. We generally do these heavy for short distances, taking as many trips as possible until grip strength wears out. If grip strength was to wear out early on in the workout, the GPP training would be finished by dragging a sled.
A great way to develop increased muscle, ligament, and tendon strength in the hips, knees, and ankles, yoke walks are one of the best ways to train GPP and build sturdy legs. We walk the yoke using moderate to heavy weight carrying it for 15-25 yards per trip.
General physical preparedness training is often overlooked because it can be boring, tedious, and easily forgotten about at the end of a workout. However, if you want to become the best athlete you can be, it must be done. Don’t let laziness rob you of the ability to increase your work capacity, while also increasing your strength ceiling.