GPP: General Physical Preparedness

GPP: General Physical Preparedness


By Steve Thompson


General Physical Preparedness Training is most times over looked by strength athletes and trainers.

My time as a trainer and international competitive powerlifter I have talked to top strength athletes from around the country and overseas. Often athletes will remark on how well there training is going or how many hours they put into their training per-week. They will say the body is in “great shape” But to ask them to go for a walk is another story. The comment is that a strength athlete is not a fit athlete is very true in most casers. It comes down to balance; Strength, Fitness, bringing up week points and active recovery. This all can all be achieve with GPP.



What is GPP General Physical Preparedness?GPP helps to stop any imbalances that may be overlooked during active strength training. There for helping to prevent injuries.
GPP will help to open more neurological pathways for optimal strength.
GPP helps with the formation, strengthening or restoration habits (skills) which play an auxiliary role in sports performance and perfection.
GPP will bring your fitness level up with out delaying recovery for resistance training.
GPP will serve as a active recovery tool, “The quicker you recover the harder you can train, and of course more often”.How can I do GPP work?


Most common is Sled dragging for distance 60 meters for 5 to 6 trips (Louie Simmons) With a rest period of 30 seconds between lengths. Attach a power belt or a strap around your waist, which is attached to the sled and drag. The sled dragging should be done by walking not running. We do not want to delay recovery or stress any joints. Sled can also be pulled for time or steps.


What weight should I use on the sled?


This weight depends on your weekly training structure. If for example you perform your heavier workouts at the start of the week, the sled will be at the heaviest then. With a reduction of 40% each workout. i.e Monday Max effort squat day , sled weight 100kg Tuesday sled weight 60kg, use this structure for 3 days and then back to the heavy sled drag (100kg) on the 4 the day and so on.


How often should I do my GPP work?


GPP training can be performed all year round and 7 days a week. I recommend that you cycle GPP training though out the year.In the next article ” Periodization of GPP with Maximal force strength training” I will go into detail on planning your weekly and yearly cycle on GPP training, based on different phases in your strength cycle.




Basic Sled Drag


Standing very upright you should take a very dramatise step, tightening the abdominals and snapping the hips through. You should be driving yourself into the belt or strap. This well help with development of the glutes and hips. This movement can be preformed backwards as well.

Backwards sled drag


Ankle sled dragging

Step inside the strap loop in a split stance, strap just above your ankles step out to side keeping strap tight at all time go from left leg to right leg snapping the sled as you walk. Focus on tightening the abdomials and isolating the hip flexors. Used to bring up hip flexors and hamstrings.


Strap behind knee sled dragging


Main objective of this drag is to tax the hamstring. Preformed in a bent over position with the strap behind the knee’s and the foot stance narrow.


Side ways walk


Step inside the sled strap loop and take long strides side ways, keeping the body in a upright postion at all times. Used to target hips


Front Raise

The front raise sled drag is used for the rehabilitation of the shoulders or simply to speed up recovery from heavy shoulder movements.
Hold the loop out in front, while walking with the sled you are preforming a front raise movement to drag the sled.Can be preformed by walking backwards with a rear raise.
The benefit of the sled drag front or rear, is that the eccentric phase of the movement is completely de-loaded. Which means there is no recovery from movement needed.


For more info on GPP training email :


Getstrength provides top of the range sleds and straps for all movements of GPP Sled training.


(Medvedeyev, 1988) A system of Multi-Year Training in weightlifting. Sportivny Press Livonia, MI
Louie Simmons (Westside Barbell)
Dave Tate (Elite FTS)

Steve Thompson

Steve is a New Zealand Powerlifting Record holder and founder of He has competed in two IPF World Powerlifting Championships. Steve holds four New Zealand Powerlifting records and two All-round Weightlifting World records. Competed in the sport of Powerlifting for more than 18 years. Specialties: strength and conditioning.

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