- By Sean Wells - Posted in: OC member information - 29 JUL 2019
GPP and NFT
General Physical Preparedness(GPP) is a term that sometimes get brought up when discussing CrossFit or just training for life in general. As you build GPP, your goal is to establish a base level of physical fitness - think of a pyramid, specifically its foundation - you want it to be solid so that your pyramid can be tall(for those that aren’t getting my reference: https://sciencing.com/slant-height-square-pyramids-8464988.html ). The reason you build the base of physical training is that higher skill movements under fatigue are harder to perform than lower skill movements - for example; power cleaning after completing 50 calories as fast as possible is going to be harder than picking up a sandbag and carrying it for a specific length of the building.
I have read and written about this book(The Rule of Three - https://oregoncrossfit.com/blog/rule-of-3) In relation to building a base for children for sports, as adults we still need this work(The Russians use three years to build the base for their youth athletes!). For most people coming into a gym and hoping to improve their physical fitness, aesthetics, and conditioning levels this base building is important to ensure you don’t get hurt. Probably the biggest return on building GPP work is by doing things untimed or with less external loading is that the risk of injury decreases to almost zero. The work being performed is crucial for your development in all aspects of your training(aesthetics, performance, strength) Louie Simmons writes about GPP and means to perform that work here: https://westside-barbell.com/
Not for time(NFT) is work programmed typically at least once a week, to ensure those that are training 4-6x a week are able to get optimal results. On days that NFT is listed, typically we are working on gymnastics movements, muscle hypertrophy, and decreasing our risk of injury by improving our weaknesses.
At Oregon CrossFit we perform sled work (read about its benefits here: https://oregoncrossfit.com/blog/have-a-bad-back-drag-a-sled-here-is-how), loaded carries using sandbags - medballs, kettlebells, dumbbells, wheelbarrow, among others to work on low impact GPP building work, typically done NFT. The sled can train oxidative fibers as well as higher-threshold fibers. Because there is zero axial loading this work is easy to recover from and can bridge the gap between higher-intensity sessions. Translation: these activities help you recover from hard workouts and prepare you for future higher intensity sessions.
Any workout can get you sweaty, cause fatigue and leave you sore, but all three of these are extremely poor indicators of good workouts. In fact, most people coming into a gym to train already are dealing with tons of stress, and might have higher levels of cortisol(https://www.premierhealth.com/your-health/articles/women-wisdom-wellness-/beware-high-levels-of-cortisol-the-stress-hormone). The NFT workouts and the low impact workouts can help you deal with this stress and not increase it. Translation: workouts are adding stress and we are careful to avoid adding too much stress, because an overwhelming amount is not healthy.
Progress requires a balance of hard and easy days, working hard day in and day out can lead to hormonal disruption and elevated resting heart rate among other things. We balance harder days with easier ones to give you intensity that produces results but allows you to train optimally. Read about the organization of training here: https://oregoncrossfit.com/blog/organization-of-training
Physical fitness is a lifetime of work - this isn’t a test you can cram for. Programming that is completed at Oregon CrossFit is done with this in mind. It is not possible to simply do more hard days in attempts to “catch up” on you physical fitness, or out train your poor diet. Being consistent with your physical fitness is the only way to see results that last for years in the future.