Lay the Foundation for Your Strength and Conditioning, Part 3: Alactic Based GPP

By William Wayland

Alactic based GPP Circuits is the final phase of the GPP method I’ve used with much success with UFC fighters, grapplers and boxers, usually employed after periods of inactivity often after a layoff due to injury or after competition.

Continuing from my last post Lactic based and Aerobic based GPP if you have not read these I suggest you go back and check those out first, these posts are pretty training theory heavy. To really get a grasp on this method a basic understanding of energy systems is needed. The intention is now to build alactic (sprint) specific qualities but locally for improved sprint ability but also tax the body globally for continued aerobic training effect (running 60-100m would be a global alactic GPP method for instance) because of the nature of alactic work multiple bike or track sprints with short rests would cause a massive build up in peripheral fatigue and wind up becoming more lactic dominant. By doing largely 10s work with big neurological component we can keep the training very alactic. Best way to do this is to monitor HR and make sure the athlete doesn't pass threshold. Cal Dietz talks about this here starting at about 46 mins. This part of a six week plan moving through Aerobic, Lactic and Alactic phases. Let me just warn you this is HARD really hard. Often with many athletes I just run the first two blocks and move straight into regular training.

Aerobic based GPP

Why is it so hard? Because the weapons of choice are 90% isometrics and 70% oscillatory exercises both lasting 10 seconds to keep the training alactic. There is a third option of extreme myelination circuit which involves 10 second holds against immovable resistances take a look at the method here it is however some what harder to do. Oscillatory (OC) movements are different as they are extremely dynamic and require a great deal of focus, I have posted before about oscillatory work here. Rapid back and forth action may look strange to the casual observer, the idea being that reciprocal inhibition brought about by this oscillating (pulsing) increases levels of neuro muscular activation. It requires a lot of focus and is very tiring.

We use 10 second isometrics on Day 1 and 10 second oscillatory exercises on Day 2. Rotating around the body and resting 4-8 minutes between circuits. Its important to rotate limbs for unilateral (single arm) work.

Below is MMA fighter Matt Hughes program.

fighter Matt Hughes program

Example Day 1 Block 3 sets of each

1a. Bench press 90% 10s hold
1b. KB split Squat 90% 10s hold Right Leg
1c. DB Bent over row 90% 10s hold Right Arm

Rest 4-8 Minutes

*remember to hit the left leg on alternating sets.

Below are some of the exercises we used for Day 1 10 second Isometric series

Example Day 2 Block 3 sets of each

1a. Bench Press 70% 10s Oscillatory
1b. DB Split Squat 70% 10s Oscillatory Right Leg
1c. RDL 70% 10s Oscillatory

*remember to hit the left leg on alternating sets.

Below are a few Oscillatory Options



Chin ups

Generally employing this model we will use Cal Dietz Six week plan of 2 Aerobic/2Lactic/2 Alactic with my athletes as it fits well into my reinterpretation of the triphasic training model. You could possibly drop different elements based on what the athlete needs. After all this you should be ready attack heavier lifting to come. The idea that you suit exercise election to the athletes needs and capabilities.

The end idea is that the athlete is better prepared (greater work capacity) for sports specific and strength work in future workouts.

William Wayland is a strength coach and owner of Powering Through. William works with UFC fighters, jiu jitsu players and other high level athletes.