Focus On: GPP Fitness

Hi friends! I’m really excited about this week’s Focus On post, as it’s a workout that I’ve experimented with in the past couple of months. I’m a huge fan of the GPP functional movements and quick workouts -mama’s got to get in and out of the gym in 40 minutes or so- and I especially love that many of them can be done at home with little equipment. I thought GPP would be a fun topic for a Focus On post, so I reached out to a good friend of mine, Meg from A Dash of Meg, who is a GPP devotee. Read on for more details on the workout, some pros and cons, and how it compares to CrossFit. Take it away, Meg! 🙂

Hello! I’m Meg and blog at A Dash of Meg where I write about food, nutrition, fitness, and my life as an aspiring Registered Holistic Nutritionist. I’ve always been passionate about nutrition and graduated with a Bachelor of Science with Specialization in Food and Nutrition this past spring. I felt like I wanted to study a more holistic approach to nutrition than I received in university, so I am currently enrolled in the Registered Holistic Nutritionist program at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition in London, Ontario. Along with my passion for food and nutrition, I am also very passionate about fitness and leading a healthy lifestyle. Today I will be talking about GPP Fitness, which is my favourite form of exercise. I discovered GPP Fitness while attending The Healthy Living Summit this summer in Utah, where the GPP Fitness Headquarters is located, and fell in love with it after completing my very first GPP workout of the day, or WOD. I hope you enjoy today’s post! If you have any questions or just want to chat feel free to reach out to me at


What is it? 

GPP Fitness, founded by Neil Anderson, stands for General Physical Preparedness, which means all GPP workouts are meant to generally prepare you physically. At GPP the goal is not to be the fastest runner or the strongest person on earth. Instead, GPP has one and one goal only, the goal of achieving optimal health, which includes the six aspects of health:

1. Mental

2. Emotional

3. Social

4. Spiritual

5. Financial

6. Physical

All GPP workouts have a minimalist approach, you do what is necessary and not one thing more; however, this does not mean the workouts are easy! Achieving optimal health is not easy. Therefore, at GPP we do whatever is necessary of us to achieve optimal health, even the hard stuff 😉

Along with having a minimalist approach, the GPP workouts also include the following two principals:

1. The push/pull/squat/core methodology

2. The 10 aspects of fitness created by Jim Crawley and Bruce Evans of Dynamax:

  1. ·                Cardiovascular endurance
  2. ·                Stamina
  3. ·                Flexibility
  4. ·                Strength
  5. ·                Power
  6. ·                Speed
  7. ·                Agility
  8. ·                Coordination
  9. ·                Balance
  10. ·                Accuracy

                 Overall,  GPP is about being healthy, making you a better version of yourself, and allowing you to get your workout in, go home, and be human – live. At GPP it is our workout’s job to serve us, not the other way around 😀

551228 10153301944500497 1481756829 n


    What to expect?

Most GPP workouts are for time; therefore, you will be pushing yourself to finish the workout as fast as possible. However, not all of the workouts are timed, but the majority of the workouts will last between 20 – 30 minutes, but some can be under 20 minutes and some can be close to an hour. GPP programming is done Monday through Friday and all workouts are posted on the GPP Fitness Home page the night before the workout is to be completed, so you can prepare yourself 😉 It is suggested that you complete all five of the workouts, Monday through Friday, to help yourself achieve optimal health. Not all workouts will leave you breathless, but they will always challenge you in some way or another. One thing to keep in mind is that “a harder workout isn’t better, a better workout is better!” So, when doing a GPP workout, always focus on being as effective and efficient as possible! Do your personal best!

The workouts include a variety of different exercises and movements including bodyweight exercises, weight bearing exercises, exercises using resistance bands and stability balls, running, rowing, etc. You can also expect to see exercises you’ve never heard of before. Neil is always creating new movements, so you’ll have to watch his demo videos if you don’t know what a particular exercise is.

As I mentioned earlier, at GPP we do what is necessary and not one thing more. This means you’ll usually finish a workout feeling as though you cannot do one thing more 😉

    What to wear/bring?

Wear what you feel most comfortable working out in and some good running shoes! Most people wear shorts, a t-shirt or tank top, and a good pair of running shoes! Many of the workouts include weights, so if you like to wear lifting gloves while lifting weights, wear your gloves! Another piece of equipment you may find to be helpful is an interval timer as some workouts are tabata style, but having some sort of timer in general is helpful for the timed workouts. 


  •  The workouts are short and effective. The allow you to get in and out of the gym in usually under 30 minutes; however some can be longer, but the point is that you can get a real good workout in and then go and live your life doing the other things you love and that are necessary.
  • You can scale the workouts to your own fitness level. Each of the workouts will have a prescribed weight for men and women to use as well as the amount of reps and rounds to complete; however, you do not have to do the workout exactly as written, or “RX the workout”. That is not the point. GPP wants you to do the workout to the best of your ability. So, scale the weight down to a weight that you can do for the number of suggested reps and rounds with proper form. It is also important to note that beginners should ½ everything for the first few weeks. Meaning, ½ the RX weight, ½ the number of reps, and ½ the number of rounds. This might seem silly and make the workouts seem to easy, but it’s important to do this at the beginning. GPP is no joke and the workouts sneak up on you. Their tough!
  • The goal is to achieve optimal health. Not a certain physique, not a certain fitness level. Nothing but optimal health!
  • The workouts are always changing and rarely repeating; therefore, it’s unlikely that you’ll get bored! However, some of the workouts will be repeated, but only to see how your fitness level is progressing!
  •  The community aspect! When doing the workouts at an actual GPP gym with other GPP members, the community aspect is absolutely amazing. It’s encouraging and motivating; however, if you don’t have the opportunity to do the workouts at an actual GPP location and you’re doing them at your local or home gym instead, you can still be a part of the community aspect by being an active member on their website. In the comment section below each posted workout, interact with other GPP members, post your times, the weight you used, the rounds you completed, your thoughts, etc. Community is a huge pro of GPP.


  • If you’re not doing the GPP workouts at an actual GPP gym, but at your local or home gym instead, you may have to modify the workouts or run around your gym to the various areas of your gym which have the necessary equipment for the workout your doing. For an example, I’m always running up and down the stairs at my gym from the treadmill section to the weight section, but I don’t really view this as a con. I see it as more of a leg workout 😉
  • You’ll have to push yourself. As I said, some of the exercises will be ones you haven’t heard of before. So, you’ll have to push yourself to try something new. You’ll also have to push yourself to complete the workouts as fast as possible as well as heavy as possible in some cases.
  • Finding out what your workout will be only the night before. Again, for me, I do not see this as a con, but some people might as some prefer to plan out their entire week. However, I quite enjoy the excitement of logging on the GPP website the night before and seeing my next days workout! 😀

Difference between GPP and Crossfit?

  • GPP incorporates single joint/isolation movements where CrossFit does not. For an example, you will see bicep curls, triceps extensions, etc.
  • GPP conducts On Trainer’s Count (OTC) workouts, which are workouts that are conducted by the trainer and all participants do the reps in unison.
  • All GPP gyms perform the same GPP workout on the same day whereas the CrossFit workout done at one box may vary from the workout done at another CrossFit box on the same day.
  •  Some of our movements are different (ie. GPP kettlebell swings are just above eye level whereas CrossFit kettlebell swings are above head)
  • Neil Anderson does the programming for GPP and there is a purpose and reason behind each GPP workout (ie. the WOD on Monday affects the WOD done on Tuesday and so on)

       Have you ever tried a GPP workout? You can check out their daily schedule along with how-to links at 


Post Navigation:


  1. Sara @ LovingOnTheRun on October 2, 2013 at 6:19 pm

    I have never tried GPP but have read about it on Meg’s blog as well as Bobbi’s. It looks like something I would love to try but have no gym’s around here that offer! I definitely want to do more research on it!

    • Meg @ A Dash of Meg on October 2, 2013 at 6:41 pm

      I just did it alone at my gym, babe! 😀

      • Kaylin on October 2, 2013 at 9:58 pm

        Hi Meg! Do you just follow along on their website and watch the videos? Confused on how to start! Ps. I want you arms!

  2. Meg @ A Dash of Meg on October 2, 2013 at 6:40 pm

    Oh sister, that’s what I’m considering you to be now, I cannot thank you enough for asking ME out of all people to talk about GPP today 🙂 It truly has changed my life for the better and I hope this post inspires people to give it a try! I am so happy to see that you’ve been giving them tries, too! 🙂 xoxo

  3. Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs on October 2, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    Interesting! I’ve never heard of GPP Fitness before — I think I’ll look into it some more!

    Thanks for the info!

    • Kelly on October 3, 2013 at 2:41 pm

      I hadn’t heard about it before either!

  4. Ruthie@ShesWickedHealthy on October 2, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    I love learning about new workouts! I really like the theory behind GPP – it seems like a really well rounded approach to fitness. I just checked out the GPP website and will definitely be learning more and trying some of them out! Thanks for this. 🙂

  5. Angie on October 2, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    I’ve never heard of this before either, but I love the concept! Thanks for the intro!

  6. Dominique @ That's What Domi Said on October 2, 2013 at 8:34 pm

    Thank you for explaining the difference between GPP and Crossfit!! I knew they were different, but haven’t actually done a GPP workout yet, so couldn’t speak from experience.

    I especially love the idea that “your workout serves you, not the other way around.” Too many people have been/are slaves to exercise (myself included!), and it’s that fanaticism in most Crossfit circles that keeps me from getting fully invested in CF. Can’t wait to try a GPP workout when I get the chance! 🙂

  7. Heather @fitncookies on October 2, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    I’ve been hearing about this on Meg’s blog as well as others, and I am really interested in trying it! However, now I am training for a race, so it wouldn’t go so well (or maybe it would?). I love how everyone raves about them and enjoys them. I like that each day affects the next. I do like to plan out my workout (for time sake) so that would be one con for me, but nothing I can’t handle! 🙂 Thanks for explaining it so well, Meg!

    • Meg @ A Dash of Meg on October 2, 2013 at 9:49 pm

      Hey, girl! 😀 A lot of people train for races and do GPP, too! 🙂 You can ask Bobbi from nhershoes or Candice from Hungry Mother Runner more about this!! 🙂 xo

  8. Alison @ Daily Moves and Grooves on October 2, 2013 at 9:25 pm

    I’ve always wondered about the differences between GPP and Crossfit, so this is very helpful! It sounds like an awesome program!

  9. Runner Girl Eats on October 3, 2013 at 7:09 am

    I wish we had something like this in my area! I like that it focuses on the whole mind and body and all GPP gyms are on the same schedule…perfect for traveling!

  10. Tara | Treble in the Kitchen on October 3, 2013 at 8:31 am

    I love this post and I love MEG! Thanks for the info…so helpful 🙂

  11. Captain Competition on October 3, 2013 at 8:54 am

    This is the first I have heard of GPP. It sounds like a great philosophical approach to fitness and overall healthy. I have been looking for a new program to start and will give this a look, thanks,

  12. Christina on October 3, 2013 at 9:08 am

    I LOVE GPP workouts! I found discovered them through one of my other favorite blogs and have been doing the WOD since, all the way from Wisconsin. As a group fitness instructor myself, I like my personal workouts to be short and to the point and I absolutely cannot praise GPP workouts enough! I just wish there was a gym here in Madison!

  13. Monique @ Burpeestobubbly on October 3, 2013 at 9:54 am

    I loved this post! Do you have an example of what a GPP workout looks like on any given day? Very intriguing!

    • Meg @ A Dash of Meg on October 4, 2013 at 8:45 am

      I’d just go to and scroll through their home page where all of the workouts are posted on a daily basis then you will get a sense of what they are like from day to day 😀

  14. Shay on October 3, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    I love GPP! Neil is a fabulous trainer, anyone who has met him would agree that he really focuses on your overall health. He also includes “health challenges” through out the year…they’re a great way to recharge!

  15. Anna @ Fitness à la Anna on October 3, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    Is it embarrassing that I haven’t even heard of GPP fitness before? But I absolutely love HIIT workouts, so I’m definitely going to check this out! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • janetha on October 4, 2013 at 10:47 pm

      not embarrassing! it’s not huge.. started here in utah and we only have a couple locations.. headquarters and then a couple affiliates 🙂 but LOTS of offsite members who participate! join us!

  16. Candice on October 3, 2013 at 11:04 pm

    Meg did a great job explaining GPP!
    I am a trainer for GPP at HQ if anyone has any additional questions I would love to help you out! Just email me at

    Now go GPP!

  17. Ali on October 4, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    Loved the post, girl!

  18. janetha on October 4, 2013 at 10:47 pm

    Great post! Glad to see GPP love getting spread around.

  19. Katie @ on October 5, 2013 at 9:50 am

    I had never heard of GPP until reading your post just now, but this sounds like a great approach to exercise! I’m really hoping this trend will make it’s way to NYC because it’s certainly something I’d love to try. Either that or I’ll have to make a trip out to UT soon 😉

  20. Kelly on November 29, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    Meg & Gina – I’ve loved exploring the GPP website and WODs after reading this post, but I have yet to try! I am looking to try to start doing the WODs as a M-F support/strength routine for my half-marathon training. If I usually work out in my apartment fitness center (think a handful of cardio machines, free weights, a cable machine, and bench press equipment), do you think I’ll be able to modify and complete the workouts effectively? Should I invest in a kettlebell or two, and if so, what weight would you suggest for GPP workouts for a beginner? I’m not looking to join a full gym (saving money), but if a few fitness investments could help me out I might be willing!

    • Fitnessista on November 29, 2013 at 4:07 pm

      you should have pretty much everything you need! i bought a kettlebell and am glad i did it. might be worth the investment, and you should have everything else. as far as weights go, is there somewhere you can go to try them out? have you done kettlebell moves before? i wouldn’t recommend starting with them on your own. it’s beneficial to get some form cues from a trainer or coach
      hope this helps a little!

      • Kelly on November 30, 2013 at 10:01 pm

        Thanks, Gina!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.