Welcome To CrossFit Bullseye

In Defense of GPP

               “Is this part of that color thingy?” “What’s the point in this?”  I get some form of those two questions every time we test for General Physical Preparedness (GPP). Well, as a wise man (Mike Brady on “The Brady Bunch”) once said, “Wherever you go – there you are.”  Applied to physical conditioning, it means knowing your strengths and weaknesses and how to track your progress. More specifically, in a group setting it’s the reason the Martial Arts have colored belts and your high school had varsity and JV teams. Not everyone starts at the same level or progresses at the same pace. Training with particular goals in mind is a superior approach. It’s human nature to achieve a certain level of skill then immediately look toward the next level - we do it all the time and in the gym it’s a good thing. But, please remember this if nothing else – we are not simply exercising, we are training. The former sometimes burns calories; the latter dramatically improves your quality of life.

               Further, it’s not optimal to train to the common denominator when there are broad levels of conditioning and ability. CrossFit helps you realize your own genetic potential – not that of someone else. Ideally, in the very near future we will have different programming “tracks” for each color.  For example, on a given day Reds may do a 20-minute AMRAP like “Cindy”, Greys work on Oly lifting technique, and Blues try “Kalsu”.  The majority of time the group will still work together, but some members need to work on muscle-ups, while others need to comfortably squat below parallel – both take time and practice.

               Quite frankly forcing, or highly encouraging, members to work on weaknesses is a great secondary benefit to GPP. It’s natural to want to do what you are good at and, often unintentionally, avoid what you need to work on the most. I have to remind myself constantly to work on snatches – there’s nothing I suck at more. I can’t recall ever thinking, “We’ll just skip snatches” but if I don’t really make myself remember, it’s easy to leave them out of our programming. The same goes for a lot of our members with double-unders, pull-ups, etc.  The real pay-off to getting yourself to just 1 pull-up or 4 double-unders or 5 Turkish get-ups, or whatever is the world of WODs it opens up to you and the entire group. There are myriad WODs not currently programmed because, as a group, the scaling would be to such a level that the new WOD hardly resembled the original. Just being able to safely do some baseline movements (deadlifts, cleans, knees-to-elbows, etc.) takes your fitness to another level where progress will snowball even more and plateaus won’t exist.

               The GPP events were culled from parts of different tests used to measure progress for certain groups (military, federal law enforcement, sports teams, etc.) coupled with my own observations from 20+ years of training and what constitutes a well-rounded, physically fit person, with scoring adjusted for age and gender (the scoresheet is not for public distribution). The time to complete any level is 30 days with unlimited attempts, but the time to become eligible to attempt the next level varies per level (e.g. you have to be a CrossFit Bullseye member for 6 months and Level Blue for 2 months before attempting Level Yellow, and so on). Also, you are free to have any event scored as part of your WOD on any day – just let me know. No need to wait until it’s the actual daily WOD. All 10 domains of fitness (Stamina, Endurance, Strength, Speed, Power, Agility, Balance, Accuracy, Coordination, and Flexibility) are equally represented. If you are deficient in one of those domains, the GPP will reveal the deficiency.  Another example - I had no idea I was so bad at the front-leaning-rest (i.e. full plank) until I added it to the GPP. Conversely, there’s probably something on the list each of us is much better at than we realized.

               As for actual scoring, the reason I chose to personally score each event for each member is not to haze either of us, rather to guarantee consistency in evaluating – no more or less. You have my word I hold myself to the same standards. Speaking of a standard, that’s what the criteria for each event are – standards. A standard is a measurable level of quality. For our purposes, did the athlete (which you ALL are) meet the standard? If not, retest. There is never any satisfaction in cutting corners or altering requirements. The standard is the standard. Keep making progress. Trust the process and target your inner athlete. 

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