What is GPP? 
It stands for General Physical Preparedness.  

What are the basic philosophies of GPP?
Our Goal - Optimal Health
Our Mandate - Effectiveness/Efficiency.  We are minimalists.
Our Pursuit - A richer, fuller and more meaningful life.  A life not limited by capacity, or self imposed disease.
Our Creed - Exercise is the servant, never the master.

How many times per week should I do GPP workouts?
We need you here 5 times per week.  Our unique programming is designed to optimize your fitness (therefore health) over 5 consecutive days per week.  Understand, skipping days will slow progress, create imbalances and add frustration.

What does it mean to Rx a workout?
It means you did it as written.  In other words, you completed all the rounds, all the reps, at the weight suggested, in the time allotted.  You will have done this using your best interpretation of the suggested form for each movement.  It is a high achievement to safely "Rx" a workout.  Even higher to safely "Rx" 5 in a row. 

When am I considered a GPP "Vet?"
Usually once you complete the demands of all 5 weekly workouts at the suggested Rx without doing harm to your body.  Or, after you have been storming workouts with us for enough time (several months, or years) to understand precisely how your body will respond to any given workout on any given day.  

What is the best way to progress to the Rx?
Carefully, methodically & consistently.  

Remember, beating the hell out of yourself is not the goal here. Any idiot can do that. Progressively adding intensity to your workouts should follow a process. The process is as follows:

1. Scale everything. This means to decrease all Rounds, Reps and Weights (RRW).

  • Generally beginners should scale all RRW by 2/3.
  • Intermediate exercisers may want to scale RRW by 1/3 to 1/2.
  • Advanced exercisers should scale less or more depending on experience with these workouts.

Just because someone has been working out for years does not make them an "advanced exerciser" with GPP Fitness workouts. GPP Fitness workouts are usually much more rigorous than other workout styles.

2. Add ONE thing back at a time. Making broad sweeping adjustments to your workouts will only serve to confuse and frustrate and will not help you progress. Think about it, if you change two or three things, meaning you went up in weight on the same day you added reps and weight, which one is responsible for making you miserably sore (if you get sore)?

3. When adding back work while progressing to the Rx, do it in the following order:

  • Rounds - Your first goal is to complete all rounds suggested. For example the workout "Oliver" is written with 7 rounds. Before you add reps or weight to "Oliver" we suggest you progress to where you can do at least a few reps at a scaled weight over ALL 7 rounds of this workout.
  • Reps - Once you have gotten to where you can complete all the rounds of any workout on a consistent basis over several different types of workouts, you should then try to progress to doing Reps as Rx'd. For example: "Oliver" is written for 7 rounds of 20 reps of thrusters; 20 reps of high sumos; 20 reps of situps; and 20 reps of back extensions. Begin now to add back reps gradually until you are able to complete all reps of any given workout at a scaled weight.
  • Weight - The last thing you add is weight. This must also be done gradually making sure that your movements are done with proper form as demonstrated.

What if I don't know how to do a movement?
Don't guess.  We have movement standards that are for your benefit and safety.  Following these standards will ensure your immediate and prolonged success.  To learn these movements, please ask one of our experts, or refer to one of the many resources on our site.

Also, each workout you do should be done with the greatest integrity. Each workout you do should stand as a testament to your commitment and dedication to better health.

How hard should I push my first day/week?
Half or less of the Rx. GPP Fitness workouts are by design extremely rigorous. These high intensity workouts are responsible for your success on a level that is unmatched. However, the very efficacy of these workouts can also make them very dangerous to the beginner. The beginner who makes the mistake of getting caught up in competing for time, rounds, reps or weight in the first couple of weeks of doing GPP Fitness workouts is subjecting him/herself to needless soreness, injury or death.

When will I stop being "wiped out" after workouts?
Hopefully never. It should be your goal to put 100% effort into every GPP Fitness workout you do. You should be wiped out after every workout. Don't worry, after several weeks this feeling only lasts an hour or so.

The incredible thing about your GPP Fitness workouts is they never really get easier. In fact, as you get into better shape you will begin to think that we are programming the workouts to be harder on you. It is a weird phenomenon. As you get into better shape, your ability to handle higher loads at faster speeds with less rest increases dramatically. This exponentially increases your work capacity during a workout. Increased work capacity means harder workouts AND increased health and fitness. This is why there is a profound lack of ego at the GPP Fitness Community. All who leave here, no matter what level they are at physically, will leave here just as tired as one another.

Can I still do other workouts in addition to my GPP workouts?
Um…if you have that kind of energy, knock yourself out. Here's the thing though: if you are robbing effort from your GPP FITNESS workouts to save energy for other types of activity, you probably won't get effective results from either.

GPP FITNESS workouts are programmed to be your main daily workout. If giving your max effort 5 times per week you should have no need for ANY other type of exercise. However, it is highly encouraged that you participate in activities that require you to move your body. Activities like, running, biking, hiking, playing sports and the like are not considered exercise under the GPP FITNESS definition of the word. These are considered healthy activities that you should be engaging in anyway. After all, why achieve such a high level of functionality if you aren't going to use it?

When will these workouts get easier?
They don't. They shouldn't. GPP FITNESS workouts are like golf. There is ALWAYS another level of difficulty that occurs within each workout. If you find you are beginning to breeze these workouts, you should know: You are probably CHEATING yourself of the benefit of these workouts.

After I have gotten into shape, should I ever add reps, or sets to the workouts?
No. Simply work harder during the workout. We suggest you add weight, speed of movement and/or limit rest between and during exercise activities.

Where should I keep my heart rate?
For Optimum Health, we don't train using heart rate anymore.  Neither should you.

Should I workout if I'm sick?
Generally NO. You should wait 3-5 days or longer for your body to get over the initial stages of an illness before you attempt a workout. This will aid in your healing and ensure you do not infect others.

Are you sure 20 min is a long enough workout? 
No. Some days your workouts will last 4 min. Other days they will go for 45 min. The magic is not within the time you spend working out. It is in the quality and intensity of your workout.

What is the best time of the day to workout?
Whenever you can swing it is the best time.

Can I bring my family to the Gym?  
Only if you feel that improving their health would be important.

Can I do 2-a-day workouts?  
This is not generally recommended. Some people mistakenly think that exercise is like math. They think that if one workout is good, then two must be better. It is NOT. Sometimes two workouts will TAKE AWAY from the one that would have been good enough and you end up with nothing for your increased effort.

When it comes to working out, ONE effectively performed and programmed workout is all that is needed or recommended.  There is strength in learning to trust your efforts in the gym.

What if we go on vacation? 
The point of a vacation is to get away from the stresses and haggles of everyday life. If you have put enough effort into your nutrition and GPP FITNESS workouts, then you have earned a break. Take one.

If you are the type who vacations for a week every month … you may take one week of exercise off per quarter.

If you simply must exercise, log on from off-site and do your best interpretation of the Daily Workout posted for that day.  Where you have questions for subs/alts, drop them to comments.  It is usually only takes a few minutes for one of our amazing "Vets" to respond.    

Are there special workouts for the very young, or the very old? 
The path to optimal health is universal among humans. This path will differ only by degree - not kind.

Shouldn't we be doing more cardio?
Your body cannot tell the difference between breathing heavy while doing your GPP FITNESS workouts and pounding the Stairmaster at your local Globo gym. The fact that the work we do doesn't resemble the typical cardio workout doesn't mean your body will not increase cardiovascular capacity. In fact, the type of cardiovascular stimulation you get from your GPP FITNESS workout is exponentially more effective.

Do you suggest I take measurements?
You cannot know how far you've come, unless you know EXACTLY where you started from.

As you are putting in the effort to complete your daily workouts and to dial in your nutrition daily, how will you know if you are progressing or not? You cannot know unless you have something to compare it to.

Refer to our How To: Circumference Measurements YouTube video to help you establish a baseline.  When combined with the scales weekly, these can be powerful methods for determining success.

Many veteran GPP Fitters can be heard to lament the fact that they did not collect a baseline measurement. Many of them wish they knew how far they have come.