The new model of training is based on the concept of “functional fitness”. Functional Fitness refers to the ability to perform a variety of different activities with minimal or no limitations. The key elements are strength, flexibility, endurance and balance. These four components form the foundation for all other skills required in daily life.
Functional fitness is not just about building muscle mass but rather it’s about developing the human organism so that it functions at its best. A strong, flexible and well-conditioned body allows one to do many things better than if they were weaker, less flexible or unfit. For example, a person who is too weak to run fast will still be able to jump high enough for their height while being able to move faster than someone who isn’t fit at all.
GPP (General Physical Preparedness) is a type of exercise that helps build these qualities in the body. It is designed to improve overall health and well-being through increased energy levels, improved cardiovascular function, reduced risk factors for disease and injury, and enhanced performance in everyday tasks such as lifting heavy objects or running long distances.
It is important to note that there are two types of GPP workouts: Strength and Flexibility. These two types of workouts should be used together (not one or the other) in order to ensure proper development of basic human movement patterns and overall physical preparedness.
Most people don’t realize it, but GPP is actually more important than any specialized sport training. A person can be fit for life without ever touching a weight or running a step IF they have properly developed GPP levels. For this reason, GPP should be the foundation of all training programs.
Lifters and athletes tend to neglect GPP and put all their energy into just training for the sport or activity they are interested in. While this may put them at an advantage while participating in that particular sport or activity, it does not help them in day-to-day living. Remember, the whole point of training is to be fit for life – not just for a specific activity.
Far too many people have back problems, joint issues and other ‘sports-related’ injuries when these issues could have been prevented with proper GPP training. That’s why it is important for everyone to engage in regular GPP training. It is never too late to start, no matter what your current age or fitness level.
Here are some tips to improve your GPP:
1. Always warm up thoroughly before engaging in any sort of exercise.
2. All GPP sessions need to be varied.
Don’t do the same thing twice in a row.
3. All GPP sessions should include both strength and flexibility components.
4. All GPP sessions should be fun!
If you’re not enjoying it, there is little chance you’ll stick with the program.
5. All GPP sessions should be as real world applicable as possible.
6. Remember: it’s called GPP for a reason – it’s meant to prepare you for anything!
Here are some excellent ways to improve your GPP:
1. Jump Rope: A quick, easy and fun way to improve your footwork, balance, agility and coordination.
This is also a great workout for your calves and lungs!
2. Bear Crawls: These are great for improving full body strength and flexibility as well as improving your ability to move quickly on your hands and feet.
3. Push-ups: The ultimate upper body strength exercise.
Try doing them with only your palms touching the ground or as clapping push-ups!
4. Pull-ups: The ultimate test of upper body strength.
If you’re really tough, you can jump up to the pull-up bar and do drop pulls – release and do a dip on the way down!
5. Carries: Pick something up and walk with it.
Try to pick up something heavy and walk a short distance, then switch hands and walk back.
6. Jumps: Jumping has the same effect on all the muscles in your body as lifting weights, but it also helps with quickness and explosiveness, which is important for all athletes.
7. Bodyweight Squats: The ultimate test of overall leg strength and flexibility.
8. Lunges: A lunge primarily works the muscles in your thighs, but it also works your hips and core.
If you hold something while lunging, it works those muscles even harder.
9. Bodyweight Deadlifts: Keep your spine neutral with a flat back as you bend over to pick something up off the ground.
Your legs should be slightly bent when you bend over and then straighten them as you lift the item and return to the standing position. This primarily works your hamstrings, glutes and lower back, but it also works your arms and core. Make sure to pick something up off the ground before every set.
10. Pull-aways: Start in a seated position on the ground with your legs out in front of you. Keep your hands on the floor for balance as you lean back and pull your legs forward.
You can also do these standing up for more of a challenge. This primarily works your hamstrings.
In addition to using these exercises in your regular GPP training, you can also complete a “mini-workout” several times a day. A mini-workout only takes a few minutes and can be done almost anywhere. Here are some examples of mini-workouts:
1. Jumping Jacks
2. Bodyweight squats
3. Push-ups against the wall
4. Second position sit-ups (counting each leg raise as one rep)
5. Elbow Planks (count seconds you can hold this position)
6. Bodyweight deadlifts
7. Punches in the air (real quick, 10-20 reps)
By doing a few mini-workouts throughout the day, you can improve your overall athleticism and compliment your regular training. Remember, if you want to be an athlete first, you need to train like an athlete!
Truth #2: You’re Not Training Hard Enough
If you want to be a great athlete, you need to train hard! Many athletes focus on skill development and neglect the importance of training for strength and power. If you want to improve your sport performance, you need to make sure you are doing adequate strength training and power training in addition to your regular sport-specific training.
Most female athletes sit around and complain that they don’t want to get too big and bulky. And while this can certainly happen if you’re not careful with your training, this is rarely a problem. The truth is, most female athletes (even those in team sports) are not training hard enough to even get “big”.
The number one excuse I hear from female athletes is that they don’t have time to train. Here’s what I tell them:
Time to train properly is never a valid excuse. You make time to do the things that are important to you. If being a great athlete is important to you, then you will find the time to train.
This might mean giving up your boyfriend or social life, but I guarantee that if you put your mind to it, you will find at least an hour a day to train.
The reason most female athletes are weak and not very athletic is because they never learned these types of movement patterns during their developmental years. It is very common to see female athletes with poor posture and weak core muscles. If you dedicate yourself to proper training and working on your flexibility and mobility, you will improve in these areas over time.
Training three times a week is usually not enough to make significant changes in these areas. It takes at least four workouts per week, at least 45-60 minutes per workout to see improvements in flexibility and all around athleticism. Training four times a week is usually ideal, but it can be done with less.
Here is an example of a weekly schedule that you could follow:
If you’re a runner, replace the runs in the program with your specialty: long distance running. If you’re a weightlifter, replace these exercises with your specialty: heavy back squats, heavy power cleans, heavy overhead squats, heavy bent over rows, etc. Be creative!
The goal of these workouts is to increase strength and power.
If you’re a runner, you can use this program to prepare for your events over the course of a few months, or you can use it to complement your regular running schedule. If you’re a gymnast, you can use this program to get stronger so you can be a better gymnast. Use your imagination, and most importantly, have fun.
Don’t worry about increasing weight too quickly or becoming too “bulky”. If you’re a female who is serious about training, these concerns will take care of themselves. A little bit of muscle goes a long way.
The main goal here is to just get stronger over time so you can perform at a higher level and prevent injuries from happening.
The exercises that are listed are suggestions. Feel free to change them up or switch them out with other exercises that are similar in nature. This is your program, and you can make all the changes you want as long as you’re achieving the goals that you’re aiming for.
If you need some extra guidance, please feel free to email me at the address at the bottom of this page and I would be glad to help you out.
Have fun and enjoy the journey!
Exercise Sets Reps Rest A Power Clean 4 8 90 Seconds B High Pulls 4 8 90 Seconds C Glute Ham Raise 4 8 90 Seconds
Exercise Sets Reps Rest A Push Press 4 6 90 Seconds B Bent Over Rows 4 6 90 Seconds C Walking Lunges 4 25 Steps 90 Seconds
Exercise Sets Reps Rest A Dumbbell Incline Press 4 8 90 Seconds B Single Arm Dumbbell Row 4 8 90 Seconds C Hanging Knee Raises 4 15 90 Seconds
Exercise Sets Reps Rest A Snatch Grip Deadlift 4 5 60 Seconds B Power Jerk 4 5 60 Seconds C Dumbbell Step Ups 4 10 60 Seconds
Exercise Sets Reps Rest A Incline Bench Press 4 6 60 Seconds B Single Arm Dumbbell Row* 4 6 (each side) 60 Seconds C Suitcase Deadlift 4 8 60 Seconds
Exercise Sets Reps Rest A Dumbbell Shoulder Press 4 6 (each side) 60 Seconds B Lateral Raises With Barbell 4 10 60 Seconds C Back Extensions 4 15 60 Seconds
*For the single arm dumbbell row, you can either do one arm at a time or alternate arms. Alternate arms means you do a set with your right arm, then a set with your left arm, then repeat that pattern until you’ve done four sets.
A. Power Clean
B. High Pulls
C. Glute Ham Raise
D. Push Press
E. Bent Over Rows
F. Walking Lunges
G. Dumbbell Incline Press
H. Single Arm Dumbbell Row
I. Hanging Knee Raises
J. Snatch Grip Deadlift
K. Power Jerk
L. Dumbbell Step Ups
M. Incline Bench Press
N. Single Arm Dumbbell Row
O. Lateral Raises With Barbell
P. Back Extensions
Sources & references used in this article:
Beyond GPP: The New Model of Performance Training by D Clark – breakingmuscle.com
Brain intelligence: go beyond artificial intelligence by H Lu, Y Li, M Chen, H Kim, S Serikawa – Mobile Networks and Applications, 2018 – Springer
Transitions, part 1: beyond pharmaceutical care by RW Holland, CM Nimmo – American journal of health-system …, 1999 – academic.oup.com
Integrative leadership in the public sector: A model of performance-information use by DP Moynihan, PW Ingraham – Administration & Society, 2004 – journals.sagepub.com
Beyond knowledge transfer: A model of knowledge integration in a clinical setting by N Gauthier, K Ellis, N Bol… – Healthcare Management …, 2005 – journals.sagepub.com