GPP for dadding and life

GPP = General Physical Preparedness

For most folks this is all we are training for – we want to be generally physically prepared for life.

I actually prefer the phrase generally physically useful as I think it more closely describes what we’re aiming for. We need to be useful to those around us. It may be old school, but in most families it is the dad that will be expected to lift, carry, chase, rescue and fight if necessary – so we should be able to those things.

I think there are four parts to this:

  • Be strong
  • Move well
  • Don’t get tired
  • Don’t get injured

Be strong
This is number one because it’s number one. It forms the base for every other physical attribute you will look to develop and helps keep you stable and healthy as you age.

Move well
Life is not lived standing or sitting. The real fun is had in the middle, on the floor, under things and over things. That’s where your kids are and that’s where you should be able to get to as well. Be able to get up and down from the floor with your kids all day and climb up a tree to get them down if they are stuck.

Don’t get tired
Your kids don’t so you can’t. A dad should be a superhero to his children. Strength helps us do impressive feats, endurance is the other side – the ability to just keep going.

Don’t get injured
It’s very simple, you are not useful if you are injured. All of the rest is worthless if you damage yourself in training. There is no need to train like you’re in the SAS or preparing for your MMA debut – that is not why you are in the gym. There is no shame in a bit of moderation to keep yourself safe. Don’t wrap yourself in cotton wool but remember that the principle of do no harm applies to you too.


Simple longevity tests from Dan John

This is a nice post from Dan John.

He talks about three simple longevity tests to check “where you are”.

One of them is the sitting/standing test that got a bit of coverage recently.

I really like it as a test of basic movement. My youngest is learning to walk so is just working out the getting up portion. It’s interesting how as people get older they seem to regress back to that point.

Try it, it might be harder than you think.

Interesting stuff on BMI

Adam Glass has posted an interesting piece in defence of the Body Mass Index (BMI) as a measure of health.

BMI gets a bit of a kicking in the health/fitness community because it is feasible to be overweight according to BMI through weight that is mostly muscle i.e. you could be in the healthy range for your body fat percentage but obese according to BMI. Therefore it is a useless measure, or so the argument goes.

Adam makes a good point in that, no matter what your body composition, at some point additional weight is going to cause health issues.

“I have not met a single person who is over an index score of 30 who is not heavier than they need to be. Every single person who is steroid free I have met who scored over an index of 30 could benefit from losing weight. Nearly all of the ones who roided are over weight. News flash, 260 lbs at 5’9″ is not healthy. It is still fucked if it’s 3% BF or if it’s 45% BF.”

This makes perfect sense doesn’t it? It’s really easy to hide behind the health measures that justify what you do, while ignoring those that suggest there may be a problem.

For health in the long term it makes more sense to look at the bigger picture. Three simple measures are:

  • BMI
  • Body fat
  • Resting heart rate

for a more complete view, I’d also add:

  • Basic movement ability – your ability to walk, run, get up/down off of the floor and pick stuff up
  • How often you get a cold

No matter what form of exercise you choose to pursue, I think if you have these five in check you are doing ok. If not, there may be something you should address.

Here’s the full article –