GPP (General Physical Preparedness)

What is General Physical Preparedness?

GPP, or General Physical Preparedness can be defined as “General Physical Preparedness can be defined as a preparatory phase of training that is intended to provide balanced physical conditioning in endurance, strength, speed, flexibility and other basic factors of fitness. In other words, it can be considered all-around fitness.” (Source)

In our words: it’s your innate ability to function the way that the human body’s biological, physiological, and anthropomorphic blueprint intends. Still a mouthful?

OK, how’s this: you should be capable of doing anything you intend to with efficiency, poise, posture, and relative undue stress in such ways that are functional, productive, safe and repeatable!

Phew! Now that that’s established, let’s qualify the 10 GPPs:
  1. Cardiovascular/ Respiratory Endurance
  2. Stamina
  3. Strength
  4. Flexibility
  1. Power
  2. Speed

  1. Coordination
  2. Agility
  3. Balance
  4. Accuracy


You may have heard of these, or associated them with some sort of performance, sport, or movement. Next, we’re going to take a moment to break down what each of these mean:

  • Cardiovascular Endurance: how well can you sustain exercise, or moderate-to-high level, continuous output for extended periods of time
    EXAMPLE: Running a 5k or Obstacle-Course-Race

  • Stamina: the ability to sustain prolonged physical exertion and mental effort
    EXAMPLE: Hill sprint repeats or continuing to perform exercise (such as pushups) after fatigue and discomfort has set in
  • Strength: the productive application of force
    OR: your fundamental ability to move or act against an opposing force
    EXAMPLE: Pressing heavy load overhead, such as a bar or dumbbell
  • Flexibility: the ability for a joint, or series of joints, to move through an unrestricted, pain-free complete range of motion
    EXAMPLE: The ability to navigate oneself into the bottom of a squat, maintaining integrity of the core, feet flat on the ground with weight unbiased and center of gravity directly over the midfoot, torso upright.

These first four GPPs are attained through TRAINING. That is: one must train their body in specific ways in order to achieve cardiovascular endurance, stamina, strength, and flexibility. A solid fitness plan should include all of these!

  • Power: in technical terms, power is Work done over time [(Force x Distance) / Time]. In our definition, this can be extrapolated to: how quickly, can you impart strength?
    EXAMPLE: Fast-repetition power-cleans while maintaining proper technique
  • Speed: the rate in which someone is able to move
    EXAMPLE: Maintaining a 7 mile-per-hour run

These two GPPs are attained through TRAINING and PRACTICE. That is: one must train their body to develop power and speed, and then continue the practice to improve and maintain power and speed!

  • Coordination: the ability to use your body as systems, efficiently, to accomplish tasks
    EXAMPLE: dancing, hitting a baseball

  • Agility: the ability to move quickly and easily, especially nimbly
    EXAMPLE: Zigzag sprints!

  • Balance: the ability to maintain your intended position
    OR postural stability
    EXAMPLE: Completing pistol (single-leg) squats

  • Accuracy: the ability to perform movements and skills with precision (preferably, repeatably and on target)
    EXAMPLE: Darts, or Wallballs

These last GPPs are attained through PRACTICE. That is: one must continue their pursuits in developing their coordination, agility, balance, and accuracy. And there is notable interplay between these four GPPs!

Wrapping up

What does this mean for me? Well, if you’re like us, you are interested in knowing what is an optimal human condition. And achieving your best self, arguably, means acquiring these 10 General Physical Skills. And then continuing to develop them.

Even if you have a sports-specific training plan, research has shown time and again that any sport or activity benefits from cross training and cross-disciplinary pursuits, so even if you’re a power athlete, being able to increase endurance and stamina are beneficial. Likewise, if you’re a runner, being able to be explosive means healthier joints overall, and maintaining (bone-on-bone) spongy surfaces.

Regardless of your pursuits, GPP promotes active recovery, meaning you can get back to and enjoy your sport more, and sooner!

Let us know what you think in the comments! And in the meantime, if you’re interested in increasing your GPP, feel free to get started with a free consultation!

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