What is GPP? (and what is it not)?

Can someone explain what GPP is to me and how it differs from say cardio or strength-endurance?

GPP is anything that raises your work capacity or level of fitness that is not specific to the sport your training for.

If it was specific to the quality you are training it would be SPP.

It doesn't have to differ from cardio or strength endurance. It just depends on what you want to get out of it.

GPP is a pretty difficult thing to define in any satisfiable way. For example, Jeremy's definition is probably the prevailing one, but i think it suffers a few flaws when held to any great scrutiny (not to pick on Jeremy).

The most reliable definition that i can think of is related to the phenomenon of easy, rapid, and general acclimations to physical stressors in novice athletes, or, more colloquially, "beginner's gains." For example, a sedentary person who begins marathon training will likely improve nearly all athletic qualities including his leg strength at first, which the same training will ultimately limit. I think that this sort of definition based on the acclimation type rather than the benefit to other activities is the most viable, but certainly open to debate.


That's one of the problems with the what-is-the-sport oriented definition Leigh. It's not as if hitting the bag isn't also GPP. Heck, training itself seems pretty GPP to me for beginners. Conversly, everything is SPP for something.

What if you aren't training for a sport?

Also, i think you'd be hard pressed to find a motion that doesn't occur in most combat sports at least SOMETIMES. So does this make everything SPP for combat sports? Or does a motion need to appear in the sport a given amount of the time. On average for all participants, or on an individual basis? Etc. etc. etc. It's far too convoluted.

GPP is almost certainly any activity that merely increases general fitness. Vague for certain, but evident in beginners, and clearly becomes less efficacious in time, which fits my intuitions of what it ought to be.


Oh, and also i think that any definition of GPP needs to include a substantial grey area between it and SPP.


Hitting a punching bag is SPP for a fighter but GPP for a basketball player.

A non-athlete can't train SPP.

Do i have to compete to be an "athlete" by your definition Todd?


Non-athletes are individuals who don't train for a sport.


If i were to take a hiatus from my sport, how long would i have before i need to take the SPP off of my periodization schedule, and move my punching bag workouts to the GPP column if i am a fighter?

Also, if i'm able to practice by myself for a sport i plan on participating in in the future, do i count as an athlete?


Former and future fighters are athletes.

So do i become an athlete retroactively once i become a fighter starting from when i first starting training that way, or can i just be aspiring? If i'm 3 years old, and i will someday be a baseball player in college am i an athlete at 3? E.G. if i throw a meatball at the dinner table, can i mark it on my log as SPP or is it GPP because i'm 3?

Also, what if i make up a sport. Like... Squat Rack Power Curling, or Crossfit. At what point does the GPP become SPP for these? Does the change happen once i make up the sport, or do all the GPP snatches and sprinting i used to do i now need to change to SPP in my workout logs....


Tiger Woods and the Williams sisters are much better examples than your meatball tossing toddler.

If i were to take a hiatus from my sport, how long would i have before i need to take the SPP off of my periodization schedule, and move my punching bag workouts to the GPP column if i am a fighter?

Who cares?

If you're still doing the activity, and doing it correctly, does it really matter if you call it GPP, SPP, PDQ, or STFU?

(I'm not trying to be a prick, but rather I know folks have to be asking themselves this question...)

LOL. Wiggy i'm guessing you didn't read my posts, and that you somehow missed the tone (meatball tossing SPP? Come on man...). Please note that the definition that Todd gave is the one i originally refuted. I think that defining GPP the way Todd did just doesn't work, hence my silly questions, like exactly the number of days i can take off of my sport before i have to erase my SPP log entries and turn them to GPP.

I was just kidding man... no worries.


You haven't refuted anything yet.

SPP is sport-specific training performed by an individual preparing for a particular sport. Non-athletes don't prepare for a particular sport and therefore cannot do SPP.

GPP is training that isn't SPP.

haha - Yeah, Doug, I know what you were trying to do. Should have stated so in my post.

But I still think my question is valid - who cares what you call an activity, as long as said activity is being done?

For example, 614, you mention that "SPP is sport specific training performed by an individual preparing for a particular sport. Non-athlete don't prepare for specific sports and therefore cannot do SPP. GPP is training that isn't SPP."

So, let's say you've got a guy that used to wrestle and play football. He doesn't play nor compete in either one anymore, but still does some of the drills for conditioning purposes (say running pass routes and drilling various takedowns), not b/c he wants to be ready for the random sandlot game or such, but just b/c it's fun to him, and an "easy" way to stay in shape.

Now, to a football player and/or wrestler, this is considered SPP. To our ex-athlete, it's considered GPP.

My question is - who cares what it's called? If out of nowhere the guy has a mid-life crisis and decides to try out for a new, local bush-league arena football team to capture some of his youth, do his pass routes become SPP? Does he have to dramatically re-think any kind of workout routine to accomodate for SPP? Should he quit doing the takedown drills b/c although it's GPP, it is still specific in nature, and could interfere with his "true" SPP?

I see where all these ideas have their place, but I just wonder how many (if any at all) of us here are advanced enough to worry about it...

I'm defining terms, not designing workouts.

Former athletes approach sport-specific drills for their particular sport much differently than a non-athlete. And like Uncle Rico, they often entertain delusions of putting on the pads one more time.

Your hypothetical is still SPP.

The principle remains the same, though, IMO.

And why would a "former" athlete approach their drills differently than a "non" athlete? Unless you think the difference would be in execution (say one was taught how to do it properly while the other wasn't), but for the sake of argument, let's say that's the same. What would be the difference?

Also, I can't help but think that while you may only be "defining terms" rather than "designing workouts," many people use former to do the latter - esp if they're designing their own programs.

Non-athletes generally have no clue how to perform a sport-specific drill correctly or even what the drill is supposed to accomplish.

Realistically, I doubt any former athlete runs routes to stay in shape. That particular drill is designed to improve timing and coordination, especially when done properly with a QB.

Just to make LittleMick happy, I will differentiate between athletes, former athletes and aspiring athletes.

However, individuals in all three of those groups train/trained in preparation for a sport and are therefore completely separate from non-athletes, who do not and have never trained for a sport.