So what is GPP and why is it important?
Ok, so GPP is exercise usually done in the off-season of an athlete's routine and done at a low level during the season. In this phase, an athlete would be working on speed, strength, endurance, general conditioning and skill. GPP helps to avoid imbalances in the body by working on a variety of different aspects of fitness. The aim of GPP is to create a strong foundation level of fitness that can be applied to a range of fitness activities, not just a specific sport.
GPP is important, as without it our bodies are more susceptible to injury. If we focus solely on training for a specific sport, we leave gaps in our overall fitness. For example, a weightlifter with well developed and tight quadriceps way have flexibility issues and a pelvic tilt . We need a good overall general level of fitness that can be applied to any sport and then we can focus on SPP (Specific Physical Preparedness).
GPP allows an athlete to cope with demands over and above their sport, surely this can only put you at an advantage against your competitors?
It is about getting the balance right. This is why GPP is often done in the off-season and then during the season the focus can be switched more onto SPP which focuses on specific exercises for a person's specific sport (such as running exercises for a sprinter).
GPP is not only relevant for athletes, it is something I would advise everyone to practise. As humans we are not designed to sit all day and night, we are athletic creatures and good general physical health will only add to our overall happiness in life.
So as a bikini competitor, to win a competition it is all about the look of my body, my posing, bikini, etc. I am not judged on my cardiovascular health or how fast I can run, but this doesn’t mean I won’t include it in my training. As a fitness athlete I believe an overall good level of fitness is essential not only for what I do but also for my own satisfaction. Below are a couple of my favorite exercises I do in the gym that I would class as GPP as they are improving my general fitness level, but are not completely specific to my end goal/sport.
– Sled drag: I usually stack 50kg on the sled and push the weight of the sled two lengths of the sled track (around 20m). I will do four sets of this. This is improving my cardiovascular strength and also overall body strength.
– Tyre flipping: This takes strong bursts of energy and strength, and is also working my cardiovascular strength and muscular strength, again a general all over body workout. I will usually do 2 x 20m of this, again for four sets.