PR every day!
Personal Record, Personal Best, 1RM (one rep max). So many ways to describe the same concept, which is: the best we can do right now at a specific skill.
We all know that if we want to make any progress in our training, we need to constantly challenge our body and mind. There are many ways to do that, all mostly based on the principle of adaptation. As human beings, we are very good at adapting to the circumstances: put a little bit more weight on a barbell every time you deadlift, and your muscles and nervous system will get stronger and more performant. Run a tiny bit further every day and your cardiovascular system will progressively provide you with more oxygen. Eat the same yucky tomato soup every meal and your brain will suppress the initial repulsion of your taste buds.
PRs are also what can motivate us day in and day out to train. That’s usually my case, as I like to see concrete results and progress. The only problem is that you just can’t lift heavier every single day. You can’t press or swing a heavier kettlebell every time you train. There will always be a moment when you hit a plateau. But here is the solution…!
A Personal Record is the acknowledgment that you managed to do something you’ve never done before on a particular day. There are three variables you can play with in order to achieve that end: Volume, Intensity and Complexity. In short V.I.C. (what kind of egocentric person would name a training concept after himself?)
This one is pretty simple. We are talking repetitions, time, sets, ladders, etc. Yesterday you managed to do 25 swings in a row with a specific kettlebell. Today you swing the same bell, but you reach 26. BAM!!! A new PR!
That’s also what you do when you run 30 minutes instead of 20. Or if you do 5 sets of 5 barbell deadlifts, while last week you only managed to do 4 sets.
Now we are talking about weight, speed, distance. If you lift more weight than ever before, even if it’s only a pound, it’s a new Personal Record. Same if you swing a bigger bell. But the concept also applies to speed, if you’re a runner, a swimmer, a cyclist, a rower or any activity where you measure some sort of distance covered per unit of time. And if you are a jumper or a thrower, then Intensity means distance achieved during that jump or that throw.
That’s really where the magic happens. Complexity either means any variation of a skill you already train, or the acquisition of any new skill. Have you every checked how many Side-Step Swings in a row you can do? That would be a new PR… What is the heaviest bell you can Farmer Carry? New PR… How many sets of Pull-Catch-Squats can you do with only 30 seconds of rest between sets? New PR… Are you now able to do a windmill or a Side-Press on each side? New PR…
As you see, the idea is simple: keeping your motivation as high as possible by making sure you hit a new Best every time you train. Variety is one of the key concepts for this kind of motivational training, as we all want to see some progress in our fitness and strength training, and one way to do this is to play with V.I.C.
Training ideas for this week
Get a new PR every time you train:
Thanks to everyone who continues to support our studio, let us know how we can help you!
Andrea and Vic