What’s a Realistic # of Weightlifting PRs per year to expect?
Written by Jared Enderton

We recently received this question about Olympic weightlifting from a CrossFitter who has been in the game around 2-3 years. “What would you say realistic weight PR’s within a year should be? If I’m not seeing a lot of weight changes on the bar does that mean I’m doing things wrong?”

There are too many factors that come Into play to answer that question. Training experience, previous training programs, diet, sleep, lifestyle, consistency, where an athlete is at technically vs their strength numbers, etc, etc. 

If you’re not seeing PR’s ever, yes. Then we should assess everything. Diet, sleep, training volume, etc. But if you’re seeing PR’s here and there and you’ve been lifting for a few years now, that’s 100% normal. 

Will some athletes see more weightlifting PRs per year than others?

Progress is never linear (outside of everyone’s first 6-9 months). It is always cyclical. Newer athletes will always see progress faster than advanced athletes. I always find it’s the “in the middle” athlete that sometimes can get into a funk. As they have improved and all the newbie gains have already come, they sometimes struggle to progress. 

Why? Lifestyle factors like: they haven’t adjusted their diet for performance, sleep, or technique limitations. There’s no perfect answer to this question, but, from coaching all levels on Invictus Weightlifting for over two years now, the range is very big. 

Newer athletes may PR almost every single max week that we have (once a month they’re hitting a new PR in something). Intermediate athletes may see PR’s once every 2-4 months. Advanced athletes might PR right away after we work on technique. Then, they might not PR for 6 months, but then, crush multiple PR’s in the following months. 

I would focus more on training consistently, eating right, recovering correctly, and the PR’s will follow for sure. 


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Harvey Berger
Harvey Berger
August 20, 2021 10:38 am

I HAVE to brag that from a period two months before my 60th bday, to my 61st bday, a period of 14 months, I hit either 66 or 67 PR’s (the number was in dispute between my trainer, Nicole DeHart, and me). After that, I was pretty beat up, and had no need to hit PR’s again. That was after 5 years of being at Invictus, so wasn’t a “newer athlete”. One of my proudest accomplishments ever ….that was a looong time ago!

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