I hit a new PR the other day. It was a 5lbs increase in my bench press (170lbs WooHoo!) Even though it was only five pounds – I was pumped. I seriously giggled and could not stop smiling. As I looked around the gym at my training partners, I realized they were happy for me and genuinely shared in my excitement.
This caused me to do a bit of reflecting over how I respond to people when they hit PRs. And when I did, it made me realize a few things that I was doing or perhaps NOT doing — (funny how self-reflection does that.)
Here’s a few things I find myself thinking when it comes to PRs:
The “It’s So Small PR”: Let’s get this out of the way: a PR is a PR is a PR. It doesn’t matter if you add five pounds or 50 pounds, it’s an increase in the amount of weight that you can do. Think about it: you couldn’t do that amount of weight before.….and now you can. You’re getting stronger. And that, my friends, is awesome. But sometimes, I’m guilty of hearing someone say they hit a five pound PR and I don’t give it the props it deserves because I chalk it up to “only five pounds.” The phrase “only five pounds” should just be replaced with “wow, five pounds!” So, next time someone tells you that they hit a five pound PR, remember how excited you are when you hit a five pound PR and congratulate them how you’d love to be congratulated.
The “It’s A Light Weight PR”: Ok, perhaps you deadlift 200lbs more than someone else. Often it’s hard to share in someone’s joy of a PR if you’ve well surpassed that weight. But remember, just because that weight is easy for you doesn’t mean it is easy for them. They’re working super hard at the weight they are working with. A “max rep” is just that – the absolute most they can lift. They’re working just as hard to lift their 100lbs max as you are to lift your 300lbs max. Remember how you feel when you hit a PR and share in their joy.
The “It’s Too Big PR”: I’m so guilty of this. My trainer will say, “I deadlifted 790lbs.” To me, that might as well be a million pounds. Because that weight is so high, I can’t even wrap my arms around that PR. Or, I fall into the trap of “yeah, but it’s so easy for him…” No. Again – they’re working just as hard to lift their 999lbs as you are to lift your 300lbs. So, when you hear an ungodly high PR lift, don’t just give it the obligatory, “good job.” Take a second to appreciate the PR and the work it took to get there.
Now, granted, a PR is just that, a PERSONAL record. Not a group record. It’s not anyone else’s job to be excited for you. It’s something YOU worked for and YOU achieved and ultimately something YOU should be proud of. (But, isn’t it a lot more fun when people share in your excitement?)
I’m not telling you to fake it here. But take a minute and remember how you feel when you hit a new PR. Remember how you want to post it on Facebook and update it on your “PR Wall” in the gym. Then, share in their excitement of their PR. Tell them congrats. Offer to take a picture of them updating their PR on the wall. Then, hopefully, when it’s your turn to brag about your PR, you’ll get the high-fives, fist bumps and squeals of excitement that you love. And yes, chest bumps are totally the appropriate response for my PRs…
Chest Bump On!