Workout of the Day

Are You Prepared?

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Since the start of the year, I’ve been incorporating more running into my training in order to prepare for an upcoming half-marathon. Running has never been “my thing” -- I’ve never really enjoyed it, had much of a knack for it, or felt compelled to spend any time on it. (Side note: My perspective on this has somewhat changed. I suggest you give running another try sometime, you may be surprised.) Up until this point, I had never run any more than a 5k, and that even that was a long distance to me.

I committed to running this half-marathon for a few reasons. I partially undertook this endeavor because I didn’t like running, and therefore it would serve as a good challenge and an opportunity to push boundaries, both mentally and physically. Equally significant in my decision, though, was the fact that running was a major hole in my game, so to speak. I would like to have claimed that I was relatively fit (this is hard to quantify) and have been for some time, but if you had asked me a few months ago to drop everything and run 5 miles, I’m not sure that I would be able to. This didn’t sit well with me, because it meant that I really didn’t stand up to my own standards of what it meant to be a fit, generally physically prepared person.

We talk often about general physical preparedness (GPP). The term kind of defines itself, and is left somewhat intentionally vague; but in essence, GPP is the broad physical conditioning that lays the foundation upon which any specific training for a sport is built (in the case of a competitive athlete) and which encompasses general physical capacities and abilities for the non-competitive athlete. It includes strength, stamina, endurance, speed, and more.

GPP is the aim of most of what we do in the gym. It is at the heart of how we define fitness. With the exception of specialty course training and sport-specific training, we are aiming to become more physically able and prepared humans in the broadest sense. And here’s where my prior conditioning runs into a problem. If I couldn’t run 5 miles on a given day, was I really generally physically prepared? Sure, I could move pretty quick for a short distance and move around some weights, but my endurance and stamina (particularly in running) just didn’t make the mark. To my knowledge, there is no official standard series of metrics to determine GPP; but in my mind, if you don’t have the physical capacity to run 5 miles, you probably don’t have any business calling yourself generally physically prepared.

This brings me to the reason I brought all this up in the first place. Many of us are guilty of having glaring holes in our game, and most of us know it. And yet, we willingly ignore it. The idea behind all of this GPP fitness stuff that we do is that we don’t specialize in just lifting barbells or just doing bodyweight movements or just running or rowing, or just moving slow for long stretches of time or just moving quick for short bouts. The idea is that we give attention to all of these aspects of our physical conditioning -- that we are able, on any given day, to run 5 miles, squat something heavier than our bodyweight, carry a heavy load a long distance, pull your bodyweight up, safely move through full ranges of motion, and so on.

So I challenge you to ask yourself, are you really contributing to your GPP? Or are you working on a select few aspects of your fitness and quietly brushing the rest under the rug?

- Preston Sprimont

P.S. What other standards do you think should be set for being generally physically prepared? Comment below!


2/6/17

  • Romanian deadlift - 8,8,8

  • “Odd Object Grace”

  • For time:

    • 30 ground to overhead with an odd object