A PR is a PR if it’s a PR
Written by Kim McLaughlin

I was talking to one of our members the other day and he mentioned that he had hit a personal record (PR) in his back squat. After congratulating him multiple times, giving him a high five, and doing a little dance, I looked up to our PR board and quickly scanned it for his name.

It wasn’t there.

I figured someone must have somehow forgotten to write it on the board so I immediately headed over to fix the omission. I didn’t make it very far, though, as I was stopped in my tracks by that very same member who had initially approached me to let me know of his accomplishment.

“I don’t need you to put it up on the board,” he said “it’s probably not my actual PR and, besides, it’s still a pretty low number.”

Unfortunately, this is something I have heard on more than one occasion in my classes. I have a few things to say about this sort of response to a PR:

  1. If what you just did was the most weight you’ve lifted performing that particular movement, that’s an actual PR! There’s nothing else that needs to be considered. You don’t need to take into account what you are lifting compared to others in the gym, what you think you SHOULD be lifting based on your body weight, or even how long you have been trying to lift that particular weight in general. If you did it and it’s the most you’ve ever done, you’ve just set a new personal record and that should be celebrated!
  2. If it’s “probably not your actual PR” because you think you can do more then DO MORE! If that’s what you did in this session and you think you can beat it next time….great… you still set a PR with what you DID and that should be celebrated!
  3. In response to “it’s still a pretty low number”, I would ask – compared to what? If I compared my max muscle-ups in a row to Coach Melissa’s or Coach Hunter’s, my number might look pretty small. Does that mean I should celebrate any less when I string multiple muscle-ups together? No way! My journey is my journey and my successes are my successes. Be proud of what you are doing in the gym compared to you and you only. There’s no need to look at other people’s numbers to determine your own success.

My message to every single member is that it’s important to celebrate your successes. Goals are one thing but if you don’t enjoy and appreciate the journey you’re taking to reach those goals, the end result is never going to be as great as you’re imagining it to be. Don’t be afraid to write your PRs on the board. The CrossFit game is way more fun to play when your friends can celebrate your successes along with you. That’s a place they can look to see what’s happening in our community. We all know you can do more next time – that’s half the fun of coming back day after day.

“Better than yesterday” is a phrase we have all heard around the gym and that’s what we’re striving for but along with that phrase, I would like to add that it should be understood that “today will be yesterday tomorrow so take a moment to celebrate your improvements today before you try to better them tomorrow.” Read it again. It makes sense, trust me. Celebrate every milestone in your personal journey. It makes the road to accomplishing your goals much more fun.

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Julian Kremer
Julian Kremer
March 2, 2016 10:52 pm


Dallas W.
Dallas W.
March 1, 2016 4:12 pm

Yes! I deal with this same thing. Great write up and I hope people take heed.

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