three tip thursday [7].

by Janetha on May 3, 2012

in guest posts,moves,tips

hey guys! i am in denver and will be having a sleepover at katie’s house tonight! we are busy tying up all the last to-dos for blend retreat.. oh boy, there are a LOT of last to-dos!  which leaves lettle to no time for blogging. luckily it happens to be thursday, and you know what that means!


i am going to turn the time over to my buddy neil today. you have been reading about me going to GPP fitness regularly for about two weeks now. well, neil is the proud owner of GPP and he happens to be VERY knowledgable.  i asked him to share a few of his special tips he gives folks who are looking to change their bodies–and change their lives. i am thrilled with the tips he came up with, and i think you will love them, too.  here he is!


Hi! I’m Neil Anderson.  I’m the creator of GPP Fitness.  GPP stands for “General Physical Preparedness.”  It is a minimalist health and fitness philosophy aimed at getting you optimally fit and healthy, on every level – fast.  My friends and I run a little fitness factory in Centerville, Utah where about 300 people per day come in and storm our daily workout with us.  For those who are off-site, our programming is available online at  It’s free!!
I’m a veteran trainer of a little over 17 years.  I have been lucky enough to discover and create some unique techniques for changing the human body.  These techniques have taken me all over the world teaching trainers and fitness professionals my methods.  I have a degree in Exercise Science and have obtained 13 professional certifications.  I have personally trained over 60,000 one-on-one sessions.  Thousands more in group situations.  I’ve had my own health and fitness talk radio show (for 5 years).  Did some T.V. (local CBS affiliate for 3 yrs). And my writings have been featured in every type of news and print media.  I’ve even done 27 workout videos. But they are cheesy as HELL.  Please don’t watch any of them.

Tip #1 – Running is Lousy for Weight Loss!  

From a weight loss perspective, running is a pretty lousy tool.  It is really only helpful in small doses.  Like very small.  I won’t let my clients with a weight loss goal run more than 30 min per day.

Chenelle is NOT a runner.  I won’t let her!

Running for weight loss, only begets more running at infinitum.  In other words, the better you get at running, the more it takes to keep it up.  This has no end.  In fact, the more you do, the more you HAVE to do to get the same effect from what you have already done.  See, getting better at running is just your bodies way of getting more efficient at going places.  Now, for those of us who are trying to watch our shapes, getting more efficient at going places is the LAST thing we ever want to do.  We want to remain INEFFICIENT.  It burns more calories to be inefficient.  Becoming efficient at something means I have to do MORE of it or do it HARDER to get the same out of it.  This has no end.  It is precisely why most people GAIN weight when they train for a marathon.

Running was NEVER meant to be used as a weight loss modality.  It’s only purpose is to get you to be better at running.  This is very useful for those who like to run and participate in running events.  The rest of us should rethink.

Running can be a big part of your weight loss success, but keep it to no more than 30 minutes per day and mix it with full body, high intensity movements done with constant variation and you’ll get more from your workouts in terms of weight loss.  Remember, INefficiency is key.

Tip #2 – Strong is NOT the new sexy.  Sexy is just plain sexy, but it helps to be strong to get sexy!

A lady (rookie – new to us) walked up to me in my gym the other day with a very concerned look on her face.  We were about to do a very heavy lifting workout where we slam a lot of barbells around and grunt and sweat and strain.  She was daintily beside herself.

“Hey, you guys aren’t going to put a bunch of manly looking muscles on me, are you?”

I hate this question.  I never really know how to answer it.  It is ridiculous in the first place due to the fact that it is quite impossible (trust me, if I’d have presented the workout we were doing that day at a symposium on bodybuilding techniques – they’d have all laughed me off the stage).  In the second place, it quite directly insults my knowledge, character, and taste in women.  I know she wasn’t trying to call me a thick headed, lying ass, who loves Starla quality women.  But that’s what I hear.  So, it makes me a little snippy.

“No, heavy lifting is the very thing that would have prevented you from getting those saddle bags.”

…is what I would have said if I’d have let my anger get the better of me.  Instead, I urged her to start doing some bone crunching heavy lifting by explaining some of the benefits.  The benefits are cool.  Heavy lifting helps your body produce HGH.  You want this!  It makes your skin younger looking and your muscles, joints and bones stronger.  Heavy lifting also helps your body produce testosterone.  Yes ladies, you want this too!  Testosterone is responsible for your drive and passion.  It even helps you regulate fat!  There are tons of other benefits from heavy lifting.

I suggest working your way up to: 3 bodyweight Deadlifts , 10 Perfect pushups (from your toes) and 10 kipping pullups.  These should be on every females list of things to accomplish on their way to achieving a ROCKING body!  Those who can do these will find it easier to burn fat, shape up and smoke that little black dress.  Need proof?  EVERY one of my Jazz Dancers can do them.  All of my Blaze Dancers can do them.  Most of my vets at GPP can too.  Want to see what it looks like on?  

This is Tara after 3 years of “Heavy Lifting” GPP Style.  There are few people on earth as physically capable and strong as she is.  Tara NEVER misses a day.  Most importantly – DEAD SEXY.

Tip #3 –  Men will call their women big.  It’s how you know you are killing it!  It is also how you know they love you.

Over the years, I have learned that men are sometimes intimidated by their significant other starting a workout program.  Oh, they’ll act supportive at first.  And they’ll (almost) never say they want their woman to stop.  But as you get more successful, they will try sabotage you in certain ways.  The most common way?

“Wow, your arms are looking dudish.”

If you hear this from your man, please don’t freak out.  It is his way of saying, “Damn girl, your arms are looking hot.”  It came out “dudish” so that you’d be embarrassed by the perception of having tree trunk like arms and cover them up.

Objective accomplished! For the Man.  Now, he doesn’t have to worry about other dudes out there checkin out your newly minted hot guns and doing the two things your man worries about the most.  Which Are:

1.  Other Men potentially hitting on you.  And if he’s let things slide a little in the “Trunked Junk” dept. this is bound to make him more than just a bit insecure.    
2.  Men look over at you, go … WOW!  KAZAAM!  Eyes scan back to see what lucky Godlike creature must be with this Goddess and everyone in the bar hears, “pshhh!  Him?”


“Dudish?” Hardly!

When your man tells you (subtly) that you are starting to really, “bulk up.”  Take it as a huge compliment.  You are getting there.  Enough so that you have made your man sit up and take notice.  If his initial reaction is a little insecure, well, that just means you are getting there a lot faster than he thought you would.  That’s two scores if you are keeping track.  And the fact that he is (sort of) sabotaging you just means that he loves you so much that he’d rather have a meaner, more tired and somewhat less attractive version of you, rather than lose you altogether.  It’s kinda sweet, in a messed up sort of way.  But, it’s also another score!

No matter what, just stay the course.  Trust me; he’ll like the newer version of you.  So will you.  And THAT is entirely the point!


big HUGE thanks to neil for taking over three tips thursday this week. these are all super helpful! my personal favorite is #1.. gotta keep that body guessing!!

hope you enjoyed these fitness tips! leave some love below and be sure to check out GPP’s site for more great information.

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Nicole C May 3, 2012 at 6:41 pm

This is personally one of my favorite guess posts! Maybe because its from a guys perspective. I love all the advice and it makes me feel better about my work in the gym. I am going to go do some pushups now and hope I get called a “tough girl” by some random dude again. ;) nice guest post Neil!

meggi May 3, 2012 at 6:49 pm

this cracked me up! Love his humor! Makes me want to get my butt to centerville and try this out!

Sarah @ The Healthy Diva May 3, 2012 at 6:58 pm

Great tips Neil!!! I love training hard and have been looking for a good cross-training style program. Especially love tip #3…toned arms are shapely shoulders are where it’s at :)

Shannon May 3, 2012 at 7:00 pm

can we meet up for some gpp when i’m out in utah? :-P

Laura @joyful shimmy May 3, 2012 at 7:55 pm

Have fun at the blend retreat! Can’t wait to read the recaps

meg May 3, 2012 at 8:03 pm

Really LOVED this post. So much helpful info! For me, this has been the most informative one yet! Tara looks rockin!! (and I want that bikini)

Mary Legare Whaley May 3, 2012 at 8:35 pm

Neil is awesome. I would hire him to whip me into shape if I needed it! Though I personally challenge his opposition to running/cardio (since my body resembles Tara’s, and I’ve never lifted a weight in my life and focus primarily on cardio). But, since he has proven results (um, Tara is rockin’), I can’t dispute his methods. Well done Neil, well done! Great post.

ali moll May 3, 2012 at 9:00 pm

Love this! Neil is a wealth of knowledge for sure! Have fun at Blend! I will be thinking about you while I’m at GPP for the next two days… about put me over the edge! :)

Katie @ Talk Less, Say More May 3, 2012 at 9:26 pm

gpp – i want in! haha!

Momma b May 3, 2012 at 9:31 pm

Great post Neil! I’m doing some GPP workouts at home and like it. I look forward to dropping in with Janetha and meeting you. You’ve got so much knowledge…thanks for sharing!!

Julie May 3, 2012 at 11:06 pm

I love #1. I never run and am only now able to run 30 minutes at all. I’ve started lifting, but I’ll have to lose some weight before I can do a bodyweight deadlift.

Julie May 3, 2012 at 11:07 pm

And those kipping pullups… uh, that’ll be one of my goals.

jen May 3, 2012 at 11:39 pm

umm.tara looks freaking amazing. i haven’t seen her in person for quite awhile but i actually saw this picture on her facebook the other day! too bad you couldn’t pay me to drive to centerville that early in the morning. i struggle making it to work (at 7:30) on time.

Tara @ Sweat like a Pig May 4, 2012 at 5:48 am

Janetha, this is one of the best posts I’ve ever seen on your blog! Absolutely love it :)

My husband is 100% behind my weight lifting and today he commented on the size of my arms – he said that I have bigger arms than most guys he knows! He loves my muscle though so it’s all good :)

Magda May 4, 2012 at 5:52 am

Great guest post :) I just got more into lifting + HIIT training and actually one of the best compliments I’ve heard from my husband recently was something along the lines “Geez, your biceps are huge” :D

Liz May 4, 2012 at 6:18 am

Fascinating stuff. A question: do these ladies do anything diet-wise in conjunction with this fitness regime?

Wendy May 4, 2012 at 7:10 am

This was an awesome post and was really encouraging! Love it!

Coley May 4, 2012 at 7:17 am

Great post! Lots of great information! Thanks Neil for guest posting and thanks Janetha for havin Neil as a guest on your blog.

Neil May 4, 2012 at 7:50 am

Liz – Our workouts are ROUGH! No glamor here, just lots o pain and pushing. Their terrible nature (read potency) is exactly what makes them so effective, but all of that is simply wasted on poor nutrition. Working out THIS hard mandates amazing nutritional habits. Anyone who reaches the success of those you saw in this post have it pretty dialed in. Interestingly, all them do it (their nutrition) differently. Finding what works specifically for YOU is key. This amazing site is chocker-block full of stuff to help and I LOVE it! We have several eating plans on our site that you could mix with this one. Again, most important is finding what works for you.

SO fun to post for you. Thanks for having me.

The Delicate Place (@misathemeb) May 4, 2012 at 8:23 am

so glad to hear you say that about running neil! i do 15-20 of sprint intervals about once a week and i’m the leanest i’ve ever been! i was 15lbs heavier when i was running 30mpw! i will never understand the case for chronic cardio!

Jennifer May 4, 2012 at 8:50 am

Love the helpful tips! I can do the 10 pushups with no problem. Definitely going to work on the bodyweight deadlifts and kip ups.

Annette@FitnessPerks May 4, 2012 at 10:44 am

AMEN! Love this post. He is SO right. And so honest. And yes, my body has changed for the better when I am INefficient. Nicely said, Neil!

Jordan K May 4, 2012 at 11:23 am

Great post! I totally agree with Neil. Seems like a lot of his GPP philosophy is much similar to CrossFit! Way cool.

fox peterson May 4, 2012 at 12:05 pm

Your client looks great!

Whitney @ Whit Likes Fit May 4, 2012 at 12:27 pm

I love lifting heavy weight. Makes me feel strong and buff. But I’m no where near my bodyweight for my deadlifts…makes me feel like a wuss. I have knee issues so I have to go lighter on any leg stuff which sucks.

Sara May 4, 2012 at 1:36 pm

What a great post! I appreciate Neil’s honesty. I wish someone would’ve been this honest with me when I was stuck in my uber cardio phase. I’ve just recently jumped on the heavy lifting bandwagon and am looking forward to seeing the hard work pay off.

I do have a question, and I’m not trying to be contrary, just curious. Is there a difference between GPP and Crossfit? If so, what is the difference? Unfortunately there is no GPP near me but there are some Crossfit gyms.

Lisa May 4, 2012 at 2:57 pm

Great tips! I love this post. I am doing so much more HIIT and weight lifting and am so far loving the results from it. Still have more room to progress though

Neil @ GPP May 4, 2012 at 4:50 pm

Sara – I’m not sure how to answer this without setting off a firestorm. Crossfitters are notoriously defensive of their methodology. Rightfully so. It is amazingly effective for it’s intended purpose. CrossFit has taken techniques once considered stupid, useless and even dangerous by the mainstream “fiteratti” and marched them upstream against a tide of criticism and backlash only to be proven right time and time again. They deserve a lot of credit for what they have done. We admire them. But GPP purposes, techniques, intentions and our focus is VERY different from CF.

Crossfit is about, “forging elite fitness.” Every year they hold games to crown the “fittest man and woman on the planet.” They are all about finding the limits of human capacity within all time and modal domains. Their programming is about the economy of this maximum capacity experiment. You will not see them doing movements that do not add directly to their maximum capacity. Therefore biceps curls are OUT. Triceps extensions are OUT. Crunches are OUT. Instead they use multi-joint movements (squats, snatches, cleans, jeks, muscle-ups) that simulate their competitive environment. Did I mention “their competitive environment?” They use points and times to “score” workouts.

“Men will die for points.” Greg Glassman (Crossfit’s co-founder) told me in a radio interview I had with him years ago.

This highly competitive atmosphere helps to stimulate gains for their purpose of forging eliteness. They are very good at what they do.

By contrast GPP cares not one whit about your elite fitness. We only even address your fitness as it applies to your over-all health. We believe fitness is a PIECE of your health. Some of the fittest people we know are the least healthy.

Here are some of our overriding principles and philosophies from the GPP website.

“GPP is about getting you healthy. Period.”

“We believe the only worthy reason to exercise and eat right is so that we can lead richer, fuller lives. Lives not limited by capacity and/or self-induced disease.”

“At GPP we realize that health isn’t about who the fittest person in the world is. It isn’t about who can lift the most weight, have the biggest muscles, run the fastest, or obtain the highest work capacity imaginable. These have no meaning. They serve no purpose.”

“Instead, get your workout in and go home. Go be a human. Do things that interest/edify you. Contribute to your family, your community and/or society.”

“Staying at the gym and pounding out more workouts, so that tomorrow you’ll have more capacity to perform even more working out, so that then, you will be able to do yet ANOTHER even more difficult workout, only serves the workout. It can also become a black hole of intention, focus and purpose. This black hole is filled with everything which is opposite of health.”

Since GPP is not limited by the economy of “maximum capacity,” we do a lot more exercises that are minimalist in nature. We blend things like biceps curls, triceps extensions and crunches into our programming which also includes cleans, jerks, kipping pullups and other multi-joint activities. Our programming is much different. In general CF goes much, much heavier for a given exercise than we do. They also do many more reps for a given exercise.

Please don’t get me wrong. We like CF. We just differ. Once GPP gets you more functional, healthy, stronger, and leaner than 90% of society…we suggest you stop. Go be a human.

Doing this at a local CF affiliate might be perfectly feasible. Then again, you wouldn’t be doing CF.

Ananda May 5, 2012 at 9:23 pm

Thank you for the thoughtful and informative response. I was wondering the same thing. Do you happen to know of other gyms like yours in other cities? I’m in Columbus, Ohio and I am loving my Crossfit but your goals sound more in tune with my own, long term.

Neil May 6, 2012 at 12:23 am

Sorry, my friend. I don’t. We’ve been just kind of making it up as we go. We hope to find more ourselves. I refuse to believe there aren’t more like-minded souls out there. Perhaps you’d help us look and maybe even help spread the word? Frankly, it wouldn’t surprise me to find most CrossFitters are only there for lack of a better option. As I said, they are very good at what they do. But, most of the people I know could give a damn about being elite. Ya know?

If I can help please let me know.

Corrie Anne May 7, 2012 at 9:16 am

That totally makes sense to me too. I’ve been thinking about joining a CrossFit because I need more of a challenge and there aren’t a lot of other options. But I haven’t been quite so sure it’s a good fit. Thanks for your post, and I want to read through your site when I have some time!

Sara May 7, 2012 at 6:21 pm

Thanks Neil! What a great response–thanks for the detailed information. I’ve also looked into Crossfit but the highly competitive nature has always put me on pause. Due to health issues and my previously mentioned cardio-fest, I just want to regain confidence and get back into shape. That’s it. I don’t need to climb a mountain, carry the world, and beat everyone at it. ;) Who knows though? Maybe that push is what I need.

Jill @ Jill is Active May 4, 2012 at 5:19 pm

Love this post!! Lately, I’ve been lifting heavier weights and I LOVE it! It makes me feel so strong and capable. Tara looks amazing – great job girl!!!

Janeetha — Have so much fun in Denver :) Can’t wait to read about it!

Tara J May 4, 2012 at 8:59 pm

Thank you all for the compliments- 3 years of heavy lifting and HARD work at GPP with Neil, Lizz, and Meg (3 trainers) got me to where I am today. I never EVER knew that I was capable of so many things that are now incorporated into my daily life. I give Neil almost all credit for my transformation and I can tell you one thing- BRILLIANT MAN. LISTEN TO HIM,follow his programming, and TRUST YOUR TRAINER!! Your body is capable of incredible things- discover them!!

Michelle May 4, 2012 at 10:41 pm

Love, love, love this post! Neil is hilarious. I see why you’ve been willing to get up at the crack ass of dawn to go work out there. Makes me want to make the drive from SLC to Centerville to try out GPP.

Anna S. May 5, 2012 at 8:37 am

Thanks so much, Neil! I love reading this kind of very interesting information. I can wait to tweak my workouts and see how this can help. Please let me know if you ever come to Nashville, TN to demonstrate or host any classes!

Rachelle May 5, 2012 at 1:26 pm

All I can say is, WOW. Thank you!!! You not only kept me laughing, but helped reassure everything I’m doing in terms of fitness!

Ananda May 5, 2012 at 9:17 pm

Really really great guest post!!! Very humorous and encouraging! Makes me wish there was a GPP in my city :)

Rheanna May 6, 2012 at 9:25 am

This is GREAT! I was going to go for a run today, but I think I’ll lift heavy weights instead. :)

Courtney May 6, 2012 at 4:25 pm

I totally LOVE Neil and GPP fitness! I try to sneak in a workout from time to time when I can’t get in to Crossfit.

Christina May 7, 2012 at 10:19 am

going to check out gpp fitness site now! great post!

glidingcalm May 8, 2012 at 12:55 pm

awesome, inspiring post! I just started a workout plan with the Boy where he is having me lift heavy and I love it!! thanks for the great guest post, Janetha!

MM May 8, 2012 at 1:49 pm

Love. this. post!! (and the follow up comments are great!) Thanks for sharing these tips!

Liz May 29, 2012 at 9:02 pm

Hey, I know you were probably shooting for a humorous delivery, and I can see how great it is to get more articles like this out there to get more women into lifting, but as a woman who’s known for years the benefits of lifting heavy, it can be really really disheartening to hear a fitness professional say shit like “There are few people on earth as physically capable and strong as she is. Tara NEVER misses a day. Most importantly – DEAD SEXY.”

I think that if as you described she’s one of the strongest, most physically capable people on earth, that is orders of magnitude more important that how sexy she is.

Also, men saying things like how they’re be offended to have someone even IMPLY that they might like muscle tone on a woman is part of what keeps women paranoid about developing muscle tone in the first place. I know that probably wasn’t your intention, but so much of health and fitness is tied into societal expectations and self esteem that it can be really important to watch how you come across in those areas.

Neil May 30, 2012 at 9:39 pm

@ Liz. Thank you for your comments.

If you knew me, you’d know it is not within my nature to “dishearten” anyone. Ever. By posting a pic of Tara and declaring that she is capable, strong and sexy I was doing nothing more than celebrating a tremendous effort on her part. It is an effort that I hope will inspire others to believe that they are ultimately more capable than they may give themselves credit for. I’m sorry it didn’t connect with you.

I think “Sexy” is a very broad and subjective term. I am positive you couldn’t know what I meant by it without discussing it with me. You may be pleasantly surprised at my views of this after having that conversation with me.

I must say, it is interesting that your comments seem to try and impose upon me the very things you were railing against.

Amanda @RunToTheFinish June 4, 2012 at 4:34 pm

As someone who does love to run, I have actually been wondering about this for awhile…is all of my running for extended periods making it impossible for me to get the shredded abs that I want? Or does it just take the right amount of strength training to go with it?

Neil June 8, 2012 at 5:05 pm

Hi Amanda. You kind of have to divide and conquer on this one. Getting “shredded abs” takes specific focus. Being a good runner takes specifically different focus. It is tough to combine the two while getting the full benefits of both. Most people who try to combine them get neither.

The best way to try and do both is back off the running for a while (not stop) while you shred the abs using specifically designed programming to do so. Then add the running back.

Careful here. Running demands adequate nutrition. The nutrition it wants the most (quick energy) is the stuff that puts a little extra “insulation” around your middle. Stay strict and you can prevent this from happening.

Good luck, my friend.

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