PREthinking PRs

People who train regularly like to measure things.  A LOT of things.  They have a plan and they have to make sure the plan is working.  They need proof they’re getting better.  The objective is to set as many personal records, or PRs, as possible.  There’s even a plausible argument out there that you can hit a PR every single session.   


It all depends on how you define your PRs.


photo credit: cubiclebot.com

Regardless of where your PR falls on the awesome spectrum (instilling envy or awe), all PRs are created equal.  Getting to the gym three days in the same week means just as much as a 600lb deadlift to the person who never made it past two.  Being able to get your hands overhead for the first time in years means just as much as finishing that marathon.  You just don’t get a sticker for doing things you’re “supposed to” be able to do.

Unless you’ve been injured, unless you’ve been rendered incapable, you can never know the ebullience of victory in crossing the line from can’t to can.  If you are a fitness enthusiast pushing your body up that magnanimous peak, do not discredit the feats of those who are just beginning.  If you are a wide-eyed newbie looking to enter the realm of training, don’t be intimidated by thoughts of less-than-ness.  Everybody had to start somewhere, and the big boys and girls are far too focused on themselves to pay attention to you. They obviously don’t care what people think of them when they do weird things and grunt, so neither should you. 
Personal records are a belief of progress.  Go ahead and let yourself believe. Don’t judge or let yourself be judged by what you can do, because there will always, always, always be something that you can’t.  That’s why we train. 


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