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View Full Version : Question about GPP/ Metcon terms


Andrew Wilson
11-24-2009, 01:23 PM
Does anyone know where or who created the terms GPP or Metcon, or when they first started to appear? Thanks

Donald Lee
11-24-2009, 04:43 PM
I could be wrong, but I believe GPP came from the Soviets.

Brandon Oto
11-26-2009, 02:39 AM
Never heard "metcon" before CF. "Metabolic conditioning" and similar combinations of words is probably older although that specific coinage may also have been popularized by them.

Andrew Wilson
11-26-2009, 11:22 AM
Yeah, I'm having problems with finding the terms in any legitimate journals, IAAF pubs, any kind of Olympic team pubs, institutional pubs, eastern euro pubs... You'd think that the metabolic conditioning term would apply to any and every type of PA because all PA is metabolic, and GPP isn't really necessarily because you'd also think the more athletic (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Athletics_at_the_2008_Summer_Olympics)(wfs) the person is the more they are physically prepared for general situations... ;) .................

Brandon Oto
11-26-2009, 03:34 PM
Understand that "GPP" as used by CrossFit is not the same GPP as used by most other sources. For them it generally refers to something like capacity not directly pertinent to your goals that nevertheless support them. (Butchery of grammar Russians responsible for are.)

James Evans
11-27-2009, 08:36 AM
Metcon - see this article (http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0FIH/is_n5_v66/ai_n18607090/?tag=content;col1) by Matt Bryzicki.

Remember seeing him referenced in a course book - along the lines of:

Metabolic conditioning is a term coined by Matt Bryzicki

It went on to explain 3x3 or whatever it is.

Found this amusing as I recall he wrote an article critical of CrossFit and the angry mob marched on the castle. Memory fuzzy though.

I'm not crediting him with inventing the wheel mind you.

Andrew Wilson
11-28-2009, 08:20 PM
Thanks for the article, but it still comes out as a fancy empty term.

Derek Weaver
11-28-2009, 08:51 PM
Steve Maxwell had a blogpost about metabolic conditioning. I guess Arthur Jones, of all people, helped develop metabolic conditioning. Here's the post (watch out for partially clothed people) http://maxwellsc.blogspot.com/2008/09/performance-hybrid-training-for.html

Garrett Smith
11-29-2009, 06:23 AM
Thanks for the article, but it still comes out as a fancy empty term.
Any emptier than "cardio"? :D

Andrew Wilson
11-29-2009, 11:57 AM
Any emptier than "cardio"? :D

hahahahahahaha!

Andrew Wilson
11-29-2009, 12:21 PM
Steve Maxwell had a blogpost about metabolic conditioning. I guess Arthur Jones, of all people, helped develop metabolic conditioning. Here's the post (watch out for partially clothed people) http://maxwellsc.blogspot.com/2008/09/performance-hybrid-training-for.html

Nice find, thanks. Looked up Arthur Jones and am seeing a lot of similarities with "GPP". I still do not understand why everyone labels high intensity exercise in a circuit metabolic conditioning, considering every physical activity uses the metabolic pathways and conditions them. I'm going to gamble here, because there is a serious lack of evidence based research in anything talking about GPP and metabolic conditioning... and call them both BS. :eek: :D

Brandon Oto
11-29-2009, 12:57 PM
Call what BS?

Pat McElhone
11-30-2009, 09:06 AM
Nice find, thanks. Looked up Arthur Jones and am seeing a lot of similarities with "GPP". I still do not understand why everyone labels high intensity exercise in a circuit metabolic conditioning, considering every physical activity uses the metabolic pathways and conditions them. I'm going to gamble here, because there is a serious lack of evidence based research in anything talking about GPP and metabolic conditioning... and call them both BS. :eek: :D

This is a good thread...but the ideal that evidence based research is needed to validate the term GPP or METCON is a weak statement. I would challenge you that very, very little actual evidence based research exists in the S&C world. I mean good research.

First, using a good study design. Next, having a large enough N that was determined by using a power analysis. Finally, that the right statistic was used to analyze the data.

I only bring this point up because so many in the S&C world want to talk about research and evidence based studies, like folks in the world of medicine do. I guess they do to legitimize their field, to get university appointments and such. The truth is that when great coaches consistently produce great athletes I would say that is better evidence their methods work, then any half-way study done on college undergraduates by some grad student.

So, I would ask why do you need to see the term in a text book, journal, or other pub to validate it?

Andrew Wilson
11-30-2009, 12:55 PM
This is a good thread...but the ideal that evidence based research is needed to validate the term GPP or METCON is a weak statement. I would challenge you that very, very little actual evidence based research exists in the S&C world. I mean good research.

First, using a good study design. Next, having a large enough N that was determined by using a power analysis. Finally, that the right statistic was used to analyze the data.

I only bring this point up because so many in the S&C world want to talk about research and evidence based studies, like folks in the world of medicine do. I guess they do to legitimize their field, to get university appointments and such. The truth is that when great coaches consistently produce great athletes I would say that is better evidence their methods work, then any half-way study done on college undergraduates by some grad student.

So, I would ask why do you need to see the term in a text book, journal, or other pub to validate it?

You're 100% correct!
Because there's hundreds of thousands of people and thousands of companies following a fitness program design that continues to influence rebuilding health and physical activity in America, yet no one knows if it's authentic let alone knows 100% what it says about itself is the actual truth (as in being fact). I find it interesting that a fitness program that reaches so many people can be built without any attachment to a strong background in field's education or have any counter system that can provide checks and balances, or a proven substance backbone. This is seen in almost any sport, especially in something like athletics where legitimate doctors test and retest training programs and methods to build a higher quality of athletes for the international stage. In this case the only thing that can provide the checks and balances of General Physical Preparedness and Metabolic Conditioning is a body building website where insults fly in and out, beyond that, GPP and Metcon are completely absolute and no one knows why. Why is GPP and Metabolic conditioning the better system over everything else? Why is it elite? No one can really say other than "did you see how fast they did that workout?" What about the changes in muscle physiology, muscle reflex, efficiency in motor neuron patterns, RFD, what about the longevity of following the program, the efficiency between the goal of the training and the outcome, the rate of improvement? Why build an industry on building hundreds of thousands of people into a "fitness generalist" when they can just do decathlon workouts without the events. I'd argue that any top 75 international decathlete will out perform any top 5 international GPP athletes in anything because its a sport and training that is based on evidence based research and been tested for decades. But beyond this, the point of following a General Physical Preparedness training program and performing Metabolic Conditioning doesn't make sense, which I'm trying to find out why it makes sense. They're both terms that don't make any sense, because you'd think the more athletic (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Athletics_at_the_2008_Summer_Olympics) (wfs) a person was, the more prepared they'd be for any general physical task. You'd also think because every form of conditioning is metabolic, labeling a style metabolic conditioning wouldn't be necessary. Both of these terms I haven't been able find having any authentic meaning as they're suppose to, and that comes from not having any evidence based research or any proof that they're legit, which makes me believe they're gimic-y.

Andrew Wilson
11-30-2009, 01:18 PM
I also do not understand the focus on work capacity, in doing more work, faster. Why not focus on building greater athletic capacity so more work can be done easier.

Derek Weaver
11-30-2009, 01:56 PM
Just to be sure, you're talking about crossfit with that post right? I think that the term GPP is so "general" anyway that it's kinda dumb to try and define it. Gpp for a powerlifter is different than for the basketball player. I tend to think of it as a satisfactory base of fitness that should exist, usually prior to sports specific conditioning, but at times achieved through sports specific training/conditioning.

Garrett Smith
11-30-2009, 02:34 PM
I think "metcon" should just be re-labeled:

Endurance training utilizing what used to be regarded as strength-building exercises.

Looking at the 2009 CF Games schedule, then reading about CF's general disdain for "endurance athletes" like triathletes, just makes me chuckle nowadays.

robby mor
11-30-2009, 10:44 PM
Hi to all, am new here so be patient please.
To my way of thinking does it really matter ?
The terms are so general that they can and maybe should include any kind of state of preparedness .
The meanings that you find in them are only there because you are CF influenced.
Metcon means any kind of training that conditions metabolis pathways.
GPP is such a general term it encompasses almost anything and everything.

Derek Weaver
11-30-2009, 10:54 PM
Robby,
That's more or less what I was saying in regards to GPP.

Metabolic Conditioning seems to have at least had a relatively specific inspiration. At least that's what I got from the blog post I posted from Steve Maxwell wrt to Arthur Jones' 'experiment'.

As well, Alwyn Cosgrove has had a lot of success with his metabolic packages that he puts together. While some of the stuff I've seen by him certainly looks brutal, it has a design to it rather than a Mr. Potato Head approach to fitness.

Same kind of stuff, I think, that Dan John talked about in his T-mag interview from a month or so ago regarding "non impact weightlifting cardio" or whatever it was. Just different ways to burn the butter.

Steve Forman
12-02-2009, 08:09 PM
I also do not understand the focus on work capacity, in doing more work, faster. Why not focus on building greater athletic capacity so more work can be done easier.

Aren't you saying the same thing here with both statements. Doing more work faster in training gives me more athletic capacity so the work I do everyday is easier. Especially when I have to go to a fire.

I thought that was the point of work capacity? at least the need to increase it.

Derek Weaver
12-02-2009, 09:50 PM
That's a good point Steve. I kind of overlooked that comment.

Andrew,
Mind defining what "athletic capacity" may be?

Andrew Wilson
12-02-2009, 11:22 PM
Aren't you saying the same thing here with both statements. Doing more work faster in training gives me more athletic capacity so the work I do everyday is easier. Especially when I have to go to a fire.

I thought that was the point of work capacity? at least the need to increase it.

I'm thinking along the lines of Fran, or last week's video "What is CrossFit" video in the journal where he talks about using the Olympic Lifts and lifting sandbags into a truck:

In both cases you are doing the work faster, and are able to do more work in a time frame, but that doesn't necessarily mean the task itself is easier. Is a 3:00 Fran easier than a 5:00 Fran? You have greater work capacity in the 3:00, but it's certainly not easier... I recall being more wiped out after a 3:00 Fran the 1st time I did it, than a the first time I performed a 5:00 Fran. Talking about complete devastation with full forearm cramps and no energy to move with. But I had greater work capacity... + being totally wrecked. I also recall training through Fran and other General Physical Preparedness workouts and them having little effect on my front squat strength, vertical jump, clean and jerk, 400m time, 800m time, 1500m time, and I still couldn't jump out of a 3ft pool... (:rolleyes: haha) ..... I could sustain and survive the effort because of the conditioning, but overall speed and power wasn't benefiting (these ^ are what I mean by athletic capacity).

Comparing with an 8wk program then at the end perform Fran with ATG thrusters as a general unknown task:
8wks of highly diverse, if not random workouts based on functional movements.
vs
8wks of a decathlon like training with diverse sets in distances of 100m, 200m, 300m, 400m, 600m, 800m and tabata track workouts coupled with olympic weightlifting

I'd gamble an athlete that followed the bottom training would have an easier experience performing the unknown task, because they are the better prepared athlete with a stronger progressive development in leg, hip, and overhead arm extension power and more controlled CV adaptation. A GPP may perform the task faster, but the other would likely had an easier effort because they are stronger and more powerful, had more focus in specific energy system training, and also because of these, are more likely to perform another unknown task after it.

Júlíus G. Magnússon
12-02-2009, 11:39 PM
In both cases you are doing the work faster, and are able to do more work in a time frame, but that doesn't necessarily mean the task itself is easier. Is a 3:00 Fran easier than a 5:00 Fran? You have greater work capacity in the 3:00, but it's certainly not easier...
You can make many trivial tasks grueling ones that leave you gasping on the floor by going at them with 100% effort but when you have the capability to do a 3:00 Fran, a 5:00 Fran becomes easier than when it is a max effort. So yeah, it does make the task easier in essentially two ways: 1) Fran in 5:00 is not going to leave someone with a 3:00 Fran lying on the floor gasping for air for five minutes and 2) previously a 3:00 Fran would have been impossible for that particular person, now it's possible.

Similarly, a 100kg front squat might be a maximal effort for some people. Getting their front squat up to a 150kg is going to make that 100kg front squat a cake. However, the 150kg max effort front squat will probably wreck them in just about the same way the 100kg front squat did back when that was their max effort.

Steve Forman
12-03-2009, 05:23 PM
I also do not understand the focus on work capacity, in doing more work, faster. Why not focus on building greater athletic capacity so more work can be done easier.

I'm thinking along the lines of Fran, or last week's video "What is CrossFit" video in the journal where he talks about using the Olympic Lifts and lifting sandbags into a truck:

In both cases you are doing the work faster, and are able to do more work in a time frame, but that doesn't necessarily mean the task itself is easier. Is a 3:00 Fran easier than a 5:00 Fran? You have greater work capacity in the 3:00, but it's certainly not easier... I recall being more wiped out after a 3:00 Fran the 1st time I did it, than a the first time I performed a 5:00 Fran. Talking about complete devastation with full forearm cramps and no energy to move with. But I had greater work capacity... + being totally wrecked. I also recall training through Fran and other General Physical Preparedness workouts and them having little effect on my front squat strength, vertical jump, clean and jerk, 400m time, 800m time, 1500m time, and I still couldn't jump out of a 3ft pool... (:rolleyes: haha) ..... I could sustain and survive the effort because of the conditioning, but overall speed and power wasn't benefiting (these ^ are what I mean by athletic capacity).

Comparing with an 8wk program then at the end perform Fran with ATG thrusters as a general unknown task:
8wks of highly diverse, if not random workouts based on functional movements.
vs
8wks of a decathlon like training with diverse sets in distances of 100m, 200m, 300m, 400m, 600m, 800m and tabata track workouts coupled with olympic weightlifting

I'd gamble an athlete that followed the bottom training would have an easier experience performing the unknown task, because they are the better prepared athlete with a stronger progressive development in leg, hip, and overhead arm extension power and more controlled CV adaptation. A GPP may perform the task faster, but the other would likely had an easier effort because they are stronger and more powerful, had more focus in specific energy system training, and also because of these, are more likely to perform another unknown task after it.

Andrew, I dont want to say that I disagree with you, but you stated earlier that you didn't understand the whole "work capacity" Thang (paraphrased). I agree a 3 min fran is no easier than a 5 min fran. But someone that is working out to take their 5 min fran and make it a 3 min fran is increasing there work capacity. At the point they need that capacity in real life they should have it. It should be easier than before. In that case increasing work capacity benefits them in other realms.

Also the two workout regimes that you use above, I would argue that both would would have the possibility of increasing work capacity if you trained that way. Meaning pushing the workout for faster times or more weight. Yes I agree that one might be better. But, either way the bottom line for me is I train to increase work capacity not so that fran is easier but that fighting a fire, or climbing a mountain or anything i need to do easier than it ever was before. Shoot if fran ever becomes easy I'll add more weight and make it harder. but, Im not doing fran, I like cindy she's prettier. :eek: