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Beginner Training - Conditioning/GPP Scheduling Question

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  • Beginner Training - Conditioning/GPP Scheduling Question

    Hi Team - Question for the group...

    I'm wrapping up the first phase of the beginner plan, and I must say its kicking my butt. I'm getting strong and seeing some muscle growth. But... I haven't been doing the conditioning at all. My excuse is that I'm busy, but it just seems like its too much. I've never consistently worked out 5 days / week in my life.

    So my question is:
    1. Is the expectation that we work out 5 days / week, e.g. M/W/F lifting, T/Th conditioning?
    2. Should I stay on week 4 of Phase I, and start doing the condititioning 4 days / week - Or should I proceed to Week 5 (or 1) of Phase II?
      • My concern is that the Phase II conditioning looks harder than Phase I, so I might be unable to sustain it without the base I should have built up already?+
      • When would I consider myself "ready" for the Phase II? When I've made up all my missed cardio sessions?
    3. If I add the T/Th sessions (i.e. I work out each weekday, with the weekends off), would I add the Phase II back/arms GPP to those days as well?
    Thank you to anyone who can help me solve these issues

  • #2
    Follow Up - If this questions has been answered elsewhere, please feel free to link. Thanks!


    • #3
      Hey jcannariato, welcome aboard. We're glad you're starting with BBM community.

      The point of GPP days, generally, is to increase your health and your aerobic capacity (which will make weight training easier). And, of course to give you an excuse to work arms/back/abs/ other enjoyable muscles. It also increases your movement variety, which helps progress. So, it's pretty good stuff. Jordan and Austin have a bunch of content on why they do this/how it helps recovery + health(easy to find articles, podcasts) and here's a link from one of their affiliates . Clair_barbellmedicine's instagram has a good overview on METs and how they relate to health.

      GPP on off days MIGHT result in better conditioning outcomes, but are probably just easier than trying to walk/run for 25 minutes, do pull-ups, etc. after a SBD day in the gym. If you hate the thought of working out five days a week, and can handle the increased fatigue, go for it. Speaking of fatigue, it's not designed to beat you down. Keep to the RPE recommendations. If you have a heart monitor, keep it below 130 for the first month or two. THIS MAY REQUIRE A COMBO OF WALKING + RUNNING. Start walking if you need to, and begin at less than the recommendation for time/volume if you need to. Add volume, as you're able. After walking for the duration is easy, add a few minute of jogging (and it will be a slow jog) every few minutes or so. Try to increase the amount of time you're jogging without increasing RPE too much.

      To directly answer your questions:
      1. That's how the program is written. But if 5 days a week isn't possible, combine it with the lifting or do a two-a-day. Big picture, it doesn't matter - but five days a week may help from a habit POV.
      2. If you got stronger on week 4, repeat it a couple times until you don't get stronger or get tired of it. Start doing the GPP now, but scale it to a volume & intensity you can tolerate and build from there. It will be fine, it won't kill you, especially if you start wayyy easier than you think. Maybe you run the program out and by the end you're able to do the full GPP for first phase - who cares, we're hoping you look at where you are in 12 years, not 12 weeks.
      3. Like in #2, scale it. If you need to start with a lower recommendation than week1 phase 1, so be it. Just start, and build from there.

      Good luck.


      • #4
        Thank you! I appreciate the thoughtful response and the links to other relevant content.

        I've started running in the morning, and lifting in the evening. Just finished Week 5 of Phase I and am going to start deload week 1 of Phase II.

        As for GPP, I'm looking forward to working on those areas which aren't getting attention from the big 4 lifts of Phase I.

        Great advice on the heart rate monitoring. I have an apple watch, so that shouldn't be too hard.

        Guess I just never built the "foundation" to support this much training. I'm glad I started with the beginner program!