A PR is a “personal record”. 

It’s the same thing as a world record, an Olympic record, or a high school record — except, just for you. It’s the best you’ve ever done at a particular workout.

For example, if my previous PR back squat is 105, and today I do 110, I set a 5lb PR. It’s 5 more pounds than I’ve ever done before.

Say the fastest I’ve ever run a mile is 8:00 mins. That’s my PR mile.

These are crucially important to success. They help us measure how far we’ve come, give us wins, and keep us motivated.

We use SugarWOD for this. It’s one reason it’s included in everyone’s membership and we want everyone to track everything. It helps you know for a fact that you are getting better.

At the 5am this morning we had a perfect example of how important this is. Someone set a 35lb PR, and didn’t know until after the workout – and she was thrilled to find out how much better she was than last time.

Had she not tracked her previous PR, she would have had no idea how much better she got. 

Of course, we all think we’ll remember, we don’t need to track everything, but it’s just not true. Over the course of 1000s of workouts, almost all of them slightly different, we forget. We’re not sure. 

If we don’t track our PRs we end up doing the same weight over and over again. That’s how you spend 3 years in the gym and don’t get better. 

PRs give you an idea of where you want to go. “Last time I did 100, this time I’m going to do 105.”

A month later it’s, “Last time I did 105, this time I’m doing 110.” Then to 115, then to 120. Those little jumps create huge transformations.

Believe me, I’ve seen it 100s of times, without tracking their PRs that same person will go to 100lbs every single time, and never actually get better. And guess what, you don’t magically get better doing the same thing…. You… stay the same.

As a Gym

As a gym it’s very important that we acknowledge and celebrate every time someone sets a PR. It’s important you do that for yourself, and for others. This whole getting fit thing is HARD.

We have these notions of ourselves that we’re not good enough, that we can’t get better, that everyone is fitter and looks better, and we have to meet crazy standards of beauty. We NEED to celebrate our wins, and acknowledge when we get better.

When you tell the coach your score, and you set a PR say it! “100lbs PR!”.

We acknowledge and celebrate all of our PRs – getting to the gym, eating better, if you improved it, you celebrate it!

My Personal Story

Let me tell you from personal experience, the attitude of ,“It’s not a big deal. They’re way better” or “I’ll celebrate when I do x, y, or z” led me to misery in my training, EVEN THOUGH I HAD A 6 PACK.

Even though I could bench, deadlift, and squat a lot. Even though I could run a sub 6 min mile, knock out 20 strict pull-ups, and 14 muscle ups.

I was strong, and fit. Friends even envied my physique and performance.

But NOTHING was ever good enough for me. Every time I started to feel good about something I did, I would knock myself back down, like I didn’t deserve to feel good. PRs meant nothing if I wasn’t the best, and let’s be real: that was NEVER going to happen.

When I was able to acknowledge and celebrate my little victories for me, I built my confidence. I cared more about myself. I was less insecure. 

If you can’t celebrate your little wins now, you won’t all of the sudden arrive at “God/Goddess” status and love it. You have to practice self-love now.

I can look back and feel good about the work I put in, instead of destroying myself comparing to others, setting unrealistic expectations, or just spinning my wheels because I didn’t realize that small jumps create big transformations. 

If I didn’t set a 50lb PR I was a complete, total, utter failure. 

This is why we NEED to celebrate our 2.5lb PRs.

Wins are wins, big or small. Take them.

To learn more about how we can help you on your fitness journey, click here to set up a Phone Consultation or Free In Person Intro and follow Parkside CrossFit on instagram/facebook @parksidecrossfit and Connor Green @connorgreenfitness.