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:  Read the rest of this entry »

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

t-nation squat

My New T-Nation Article

Posted: July 24, 2013 in Uncategorized

Check out my first article published on T-Nation: 5 Deadlifting Mistakes and How to Fix Them

 

deadlift

As a catcher, your primary job is to catch the ball when it is thrown to you. Your job doesn’t stop with just catching the ball, though. All catchers should be able to effectively frame pitches, which consists of catching the ball in a way that makes pitches look good to the umpire. In order to frame pitches well, you need to possess strong forearms and wrists capable of stopping the ball’s momentum and making the glove go where you want it to.

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http://www.stack.com/2013/07/14/in-season-baseball-workout-tips/

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goldberg

Every guy wants to be biggest,‭ ‬strongest dude in the gym.‭ ‬Developing your shoulders will not only make you look like a badass,‭ ‬but it’s an easy way to pack on weight and increase your overall upper body strength.

There are several muscles that attach to and originate from the shoulder,‭ ‬but for the purposes of this article,‭ ‬we’ll be focusing on the the two biggest superficial muscles of the shoulder‭ ‬-‭ ‬the deltoids and the trapezii.‭ ‬The trapezius muscle serves to laterally rotate,‭ ‬elevate,‭ ‬and retract the scapula,‭ ‬while the deltoids abduct,‭ ‬flex,‭ ‬extend,‭ ‬and medially and laterally rotate the humerus.‭

3‭ ‬Categories of Shoulder Exercises

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Here’s 2 exercises you can add to your program that will increase your strength on the deadlift by strengthening your lower back, glutes, and hamstrings. Incidentally, these are the same muscles that make you run fast, so not only will you get better at deadlifting, you’ll get better at sprinting and playing sports too.

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When I was younger, around 10 or 11, I remember always hearing my Little League coaches say “practice makes perfect.” Sometime around 1998, the phrase morphed into “PERFECT practice makes perfect,” because practicing like garbage clearly isn’t going to positively impact your game, but if you practice having perfect form and giving 100% on every rep, you will move along the line in the long, slow trudge towards perfection. Now obviously, perfection is not really attainable. Therefore, there is no such thing as “perfect practice.” But there is something to be said for maintaining a certain level of purpose and concentration during practice, as repetition will contribute to establishing muscle memory and thoughtless good mechanics. If you have to think about what you’re doing during a throw or swing, your attention will be divided and your performance will suffer as a result. By performing thousands of reps with good mechanics, you build a base of muscle memory so that you don’t have to think about what you’re doing.

So what happened at my Little League practices after our coach had just finished telling us about the importance of perfect practice? We went into the outfield to throw knuckleballs at each other during warmups. Of course. Read the rest of this entry »

The squat is a jerk of an exercise. Just like everybody who’s ever played poker has a “bad beat” story, everybody who’s ever seriously squatted has a story about a time when the Squat Gods treated them unfairly. Hip flexor pain, patellar tendonitits, interminable plateau periods,etc. Even just learning to squat properly can take an absurd amount of time, which gets frustrating in a hurry. If you’re currently in need of a program tweak to crack through a plateau or finally achieve proper depth in the squat, try these two exercises out.

squat

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