Yep, that’s exactly how I feel every time we do a GPP phase. For those who aren’t familiar with this, Gpp stands for general physical preparation. This is typically something we do when we have just finished competing in a competition. Our bodies are all beat up, and our joints are achy. This is the perfect time for us to keep our hands off of a barbell, and stick to doing more unilateral movements with higher sets and reps. Isolation, as well as multi-joint movements are good, but it also helps to throw in some conditioning work too. Most powerlifters run out of breath just walking up some stairs, or even across the gym so it would help to do some hiit work like prowler sprints, or battle ropes, kettlebell swings, or concept rowers. The heart is a muscle too and deserves to be worked as much as any other in your body. When individuals have a long, heavy, and grueling training cycle for a big meet, and then go straight back in to heavy training afterwards, you are just asking for an injury to happen. Do yourself and your body a favor and give it 3 to 4 weeks to recover with some gpp before you get back to the heavy stuff. Even after this phase is finished, you might still stay away from doing heavy triples, doubles, and singles. Keep things in the 5, or higher range for bigger movements like squat, bench, and deadlifts. We like to pretend we are bodybuilders for a month or two and try to build up a bit of muscle before transitioning back to a strength phase.
Our current GPP phase is a 4 day a week program with a lower, upper, lower, upper set up. Day 1 has some lower body hip mobility work with about 10 prowler sprints afterwards, followed by some stretching. Day 2 has some upper body shoulder mobility work with a 2000 meter row on the concept rower. Day 3 starts with some sled walks, and more unilateral hip work-i.e.-sinlge leg squats, hip bridge, leg curls, etc. Day 4 is basically machine based upper body unilateral presses and rows. This type of work is going to help build up our work capacity for the destruction that is awaiting us. If you see me laying on the gym floor in the coming weeks, now you know why.
Hopefully this will help some of you out when trying to figure out what to do with yourself post meet time. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns on this matter, I would love to hear from you. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or just post in the comment section below.