Archive for August, 2013

 The Basics Of GPP

Many lifters and athletes make the mistake of only training the movements or lifts that specifically impact the unique demands of their sport. For instance, some powerlifters only perform deads, squats, and bench press, with assistance exercises designed to increase only those three lifts. And some athletes only perform exercises that are designed to increase their running speed, swing power, or whatever else their sport demands. This constant over-specialization is a mistake, and such lifters would do well to integrate GPP training into their programs.

General Physical Preparedness (or GPP) refers to the body’s ability to react and adapt to unfamiliar physical stimuli in any situation. By training to increase GPP, we improve our base level of strength and body control, which in turn can lead to improved performance on the field and in the weight room.

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Every time I evaluate a new client, the first thing I do is run them through a posture and movement screen. Basically, my objective is to evaluate how the athlete stands, and how they move. This gives me a jumping-off point when prescribing corrective exercises and mobility/soft tissue work. When evaluating a baseball player – especially a pitcher – the first thing I look at is the shoulder girdle.

Pictured: the shoulder girdle

More specifically, I’m looking at the scapulae – the flat bones that sit on either side of the thoracic spine. One of the most reliable indicators of future shoulder and elbow health is scapular positioning. Ideally, the scapulae should sit right up against the ribcage and glide smoothly across it. But with throwing athletes, what we often see instead is this:  (more…)

Check out my latest article published on T-Nation.com – Contrast Training for Power and Explosiveness

t-nation squat