May 10, 2013


May 10, 2013

Thoughts about PRs

We worked to heavy singles this week on our Olympic lifts. The goal in these sessions was to achieve a heavy lift cleanly, but not necessarily set a record. We, as coaches, are more interested in your technique than what weight is on the bar. We’d much rather see someone clean 185# with beautiful form than clean 250# on their toes, back rounded, looking like a dog pooping!

While some people did set personal records (PRs) this week, some people left the gym bummed out after not achieving one. There are lessons in our failures. So, I give you my thoughts about PRs.

Not every day is a PR (actually, most days are not).  When you first start CrossFit, you PR a lot. Everything is new and you improve quickly. PRs typically happen less frequently the more seasoned you become.  Attack each day in the gym as practice, an opportunity to build.

PRs don’t happen without hard work. You can’t avoid a movement or skip out on necessary mobility work and expect to do your very best. Every movement in the gym translates to another – wall balls build front squats; front squats build squat cleans, etc…think about your movement and work at moving well in everything.

Not every PR is pretty (aka technically sound). Ugly PRs are hard to repeat and are dangerous. Worry more about perfection in your movement under a medium-heavy load than achieving a horrendous-looking max lift.

PRs aren’t “everything.” The hours spent outside the walls of the gym – your real life – is what really count. So, don’t let a bad training day ruin your mood.

When they do happen, PRs are fun! So, celebrate even the smallest victories. Ring that bell – you worked for it!

Bonus tip: If you feel frustrated by the lack of a PR, stay away from social media…everyone and their grandmother posts a status update and/or tweet about their PRs every .0005 seconds. Jeesh.

group wod

Workout of the Day:

Back Squat – 2 x 5 @ 70%

Jerk  5×1 DEMO VIDEO

Three rounds, each for time of –
75 m Prowler 140/90
200 m sprint
10 toes to bar
7 front squats  155/105 (no rack)
– rest/recover between all-out efforts

3 Responses

  1. joePT

    Nice topic, Wendy. It’s very reassuring and thought provoking. PR’s to me mean that an athlete has done a great job maintaining a high level of fitness and has refined a method and skill to achieve a new PR. Everything factors in – nutrition, recovery, mobility. Everything leads to that PR and that’s why it’s so sweet to hear that bell ring!

  2. crossfit

    Thanks, Joe. But, you can do everything right and not necessarily PR. It’s not the end of the world. Put it all in perspective…the things we do at CrossFit are pretty amazing, so we all need to give ourselves some credit.