Let’s talk about PR’s
PR’s, or personal records, are awesome. They are an amazing way to track the progress we make in the gym and have solid evidence about the ways in which we’re getting fitter. What I can tell you after almost 7 years of CrossFit is that they will eventually become less frequent. In fact, sometimes you might notice that you not only fail to PR when repeating a workout, but you post a time that is noticeably slower.
Case in point, last week on Monday we did the “Lumberjack 20”, a hero workout that first debuted in the December of 2009. I did that workout and finished with what I thought was a pretty respectable time of 27:47. Last week my time was 30:01. Same scale, same weights same distance, over two minutes slower.
Does this mean that after 4 years of work I’m less fit now than I was back then? It’s certainly possible to interpret the data like that. BUT, one data point does not show a trend. It’s very important to remember that each and every workout we do is a chance to improve our fitness, to measure our fitness and to grow stronger mentally. Each data point must not be taken as a separate entity but we must instead look at overall trends in the data.
For example here are some numbers to compare along with those comparisons in the Lumberjack 20
“Helen” then- 9:57 – Lifetime PR 7:54
“Fran” then-4:12 – Lifetime PR 2:57
1RM Snatch then-165- Lifetime PR 215
Even with this small sampling of benchmark numbers it’s pretty easy to see that I’ve improved my overall fitness since the first time the Lumberjack 20 reared it’s ugly head. Try to keep these things in mind the next time you don’t PR during a workout. It’s not the end of the world and it’s not a sign (necessarily) that all your training and hard work has been for nothing, maybe it just means you had an off day.
500m row max effort
Rest 4 min
400m row max effort
Rest 3 min
300m row max effort
Rest 2 min
200m row max effort