General Physical Preparedness (GPP)* is a term used to describe being ready for anything. One of the benefits of CrossFit is its focus on holistic wellness. We don’t specialize in any one discipline. Every time you come to the gym, we want you to try something new and push yourself in a way you may or may not have done before. We want you to focus on Nutrition, Stress Management and Sleep and make sure that you take care of yourself inside and outside of the gym. When I first started CrossFit, the home page had a “What is CrossFit?” section, and an important quote was there on the page:
“Our program delivers a fitness that is, by design, broad, general, and inclusive. Our specialty is not specializing. Combat, survival, many sports, and life reward this kind of fitness and , on average, punish the specialist.”
When I first started CrossFit, I was nearly 100 pounds overweight and had a physically demanding job. I never dreamed of improving workout times or owning a gym at first. I literally wanted to keep up with my daughter and be able to do a better job at work (which required me to run). Within that first year I learned many new skills and improvements beyond what I had expected. I eventually gained an understanding of my strengths and weaknesses and learned that improving them would be a never ending road.
CrossFit helped me in all aspects of my life. Work was easier; I was sleeping better. Playing with my daughter at the park became an enjoyable activity and no longer a chore. The transfer of training to my life was nearly effortless. Practical application of my fitness came so easily to me, and this is the best part about CrossFit: anyone can do it, improve their quality of life, get healthy, and make progress in the gym. One of the quotes that has stuck with me for some time as a coach is this:
“Athletes tend to do, or prefer most, that type of training they need the least.”
What we need to take away from this is that you should make the gym a habit and get in here when you can. All of us need to work on weaknesses and will inevitably run into walls in our training. You will see amazing results, but as your body gets used to your training, you will have to constantly revisit those weaknesses and work on the things you most want to avoid. This can be as easy as simply deciding you are going to be more present in the gym, or it may require focused work with a coach. At the end of the day, remember why you started CrossFit, how much it has helped your life, and never stop addressing your weaknesses.
*This article was inspired by my study for the CCFT exam. Thanks to the CrossFit Journal for publishing “CrossFit and GPP” by Tony Leyland in September 2012.