When the Gym Movement marketing came out, a lot of people were outraged at a marketing statement that we used. We made the bold claim that if you trained using the Gym Movement protocol, you could PR (short for Personal Record) every day. Trainers, coaches, and fitness enthusiasts were incensed that we would make a claim to something that they believed to be impossible. Two years later, we stand by that statement even more strongly.
A little background for those of you outside the fringe fitness community: in classical strength training a Personal Record is, at best, only set every 4-6 weeks at the end of a program. A quantity such as a 1-repetition maximum is first tested. Then the trainee executes his or her program for about 4 weeks, and at the end re-tests to see if the quantity has improved.
How then, can it be that you could PR every day?
Soon our detractors started looking more closely at our training and said things like, “You’re just changing the rules around so you can call more things a personal record!” To this we respond: “So?”
Look, setting a personal record or a personal best is a great thing, why would there be any problem with finding more ways to notice achievements and improvements?
Let’s look at an example. Let’s say I’m training to improve my 1-rep maximum on a pull-up.
Tuesday: +70lbs sets: 5, 4, 3, 2, 2, 2 in 10:30
Thursday: +70lbs sets: 6, 5, 3, 3, 2, 2, 2 in 10:00
Count the PRs. How many do you come up with? I count 5.
My first set was 6 reps instead of 5. I simply could not do 6 reps on Tuesday, and now I can. How is that not a Personal Record (or Best)? That’s a PR.
My second set was 5 instead of 4. That’s a PR.
My second 3rd set was the same, but my 4th was better so my total volume in the first 4 sets was better. That’s a PR.
My total number of reps was 21 instead of 18. That’s a PR.
My total time was actually :30 faster, so my density was quite a bit better. That’s a PR.
Is there any doubt that with a training program that delivers continuous improvement I will increase my 1-rep max when I test it again?
Can you see how it might be (more) rewarding to train in this way? This sort of continual improvement, this perpetual progress, these PRs every day are what drive me forward on a daily basis and ultimately lead to huge achievements like my recent 590lb deadlift. I hear myself saying this refrain over and over again when I’m in the gym, and sometimes outside of the gym, “That’s a PR. That’s a PR.”
An added bonus to the continuously reinforced feeling of accomplishment, is the additional awareness of how your training is going and how your body is reacting. Many advanced trainees who have spent years training have a similar understanding, but the Gym Movement protocol allows people to cultivate this awareness from the very beginning.
So, we’ll accept the accusation of changing things around to take note of more vectors of improvement, and we’ll strongly stand behind our statement: PR Every Day.