Why GPP/work capacity helps to raise the sport result?

Hello guys,
I have recently been working hard to raise my “general fitness” in order to build a base and get the easy gains (CF’s right to left shift). I feel this work is very beneficial and is necessary to provide a base for more specific tasks that will later take place. However, I hear a lot of people on the internet throwing out terms such as GPP and work capacity without really understanding why such work is important. I was hoping maybe someone could help me out with understanding why it is that general work that doesn’t directly positively transfer to the competition exercise is so important and used? I would love to learn more about the mechanisms that explain this.

Here are a couple of my thoughts: (Please critique)

  1. Recovery-typically tempo and general circuits promote blood flow to tissues which promotes recovery.
  2. Support structures-high rep work such as CF’s ab circuits may work connective tissue.
  3. PNS response-the low intensity work balances out the SNS response that is typical of the training of high intensity elements.
  4. Body composition-general work can help to keep an athlete lean which has obvious benefits.
  5. Biomotor abilities-all biomotor abilities are linked and so none should be neglected. (The question is what should the degree of emphasis be for each ability)?

I could be wrong with some of these points but they are some of my thoughts with regards to why low intensity general work is so significant in the training process. If anyone could explain to me the mechanisms behind why general fitness exercises work I would be very grateful. Maybe we can get a little discussion going?

Lastly, with regards to bioenergetics: today I did a basic core circuit similar to this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qybTL_hOh8 with a heart rate monitor and my heart rate was between 120-145 (surely below the anaerobic threshold). I then did a set of 20 relatively easy pushups and my HR raised to around 171 which is probably above the threshold. Is this just a sign of being generally unfit? I don’t want to accumulate lactate on a low intensity day that is more geared towards recovery.

Thank you,

Here’s a great piece on it by Boo Schexnayder:


Gymrob, no point in anyone rewriting what has already be published time and time again overseas. Review more of the Russian materials and it will become very clear to you at the physiological level; particularly the concepts of direct and indirect transfer.

No Rob, this is just a sign of gravity and pressure. Sit on a bike, then lean forward. HR changes without any change of effort. Don’t sweat it.

RyanH, Thank you for posting that. Very interesting! I recently became aware of Boo’s work after reading about him on elitetrack.

James, Thanks for your reply. Much appreciated. I didn’t realise that the answer to this specific question lie in many overseas texts. I have Verkhoshansky, Issurin and others but just haven’t got round to studying them yet, but that is certainly going to happen soon. I am guessing that in particular Dr. Bondarchuk’s work will provide in depth information with regards to transfer of motor abilities.

Mighty, I see, thanks.