What Does PR Mean In Gym Terminology? (With Benefits)

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What Does PR Mean in Gym Terminology?

What does PR mean in gym terminology?

Simply put, it stands for “Personal Record“.

For instance, if the heaviest weight you have ever benched is 135×1, this would be your bench press PR.

Similarly, if the most you’ve deadlifted for 6 reps is 405 LBs, this is your 6-rep deadlift PR.

Whether you choose to go for high or low-rep workouts, achieving new PRs may be a sign of progress and should be tracked.

There are also many more types of PRs that depend on the type of exercise, some of which I will cover in this article.

What Does PR Mean In Gym Terms: Importance

Tracking PRs, both rep and weight PRs is a great way to monitor progress and achieve progressive overload.

Doing so helps the process of planning workouts and creating goals much easier.

As it allows you to form a baseline, develop training plans, and keep it interesting.

Because having a goal generally makes working out more fulfilling and enjoyable.

It creates a reason for going to the gym every day and working hard.

Although hitting PRs doesn’t have to be the main fitness goal, they are a good tool to take advantage of.

Not to mention that a new PR often means you’re getting stronger and building muscle.

What Is A PR In Lifting: How To Track Them

An effective way to track PRs is by keeping records in a notebook, commonly referred to as a training journal.

These are great for monitoring warmup sets, working sets, accessory exercises, and pretty much anything to do with your workouts.

I prefer to keep a scrap piece of paper in my workout bag to fill out at the gym. Then once I get home I will transfer the workout into my journal.

Another way to track is by using the Notes app, which is a feature available on most cell phones.

The downfall with this is the distractions that may come with using a phone in the gym.

Recording PR attempts is also a way to track them.

The advantage of doing this is that it allows us to review and critique our form.

The disadvantage is that most people will record on their cellphone, often leading to external distractions.

Benefits Of Tracking PRs

The benefits of tracking PRs include:

  • Monitoring Progression
    • Strength Gains
    • Muscle Gains
  • Goal Setting
    • Develop training plans based on PRs that you want to increase
    • Motivates us to keep working out
  • Accomplishing Goals

Example Rep Ranges For Attempting Strength And Hypertrophy PRs

It’s typically okay to go for new PRs every training week if you’re getting enough sleep, following a good nutrition plan, and are fully hydrated.

However, going for a one-rep max (1RM) PR every training week is not advisable unless you’re an experienced weight trainer who follows something like the Westside Barbells Conjugate training system.

Furthermore, if you’re training for progressive overload and hypertrophy, hitting new rep PRs every week isn’t a bad thing.

As long as you are properly deloading at the end of each training block to allow for CNS recovery.

Below are example set and rep ranges for warming up to hit new hypertrophy (rep) and 1RM PRs.

  • Hypertrophy Rep/Set Range (%’s based on 6-10 rep max):
    • Warmup sets
      • 1×50%x10-12
      • 1×70%x8-10
    • Working Set
      • 100%x6-10
    • Backoff sets
      • 70%x8-10
      • 50%x10-12

This was made to perform slow and controlled reps for every set with a chosen exercise.

The goal is to build quality muscle and progress each week.

Either by getting an extra rep with a certain weight, or going up in weight by 5 LBs and achieving the same amount of reps as with the previous weight.

  • 1RM Rep/Set Range (%’s based on 1 rep max):
    • Warmup sets
      • 30-40%x10
      • 50%x3
      • 60%x3
      • 70%x3
      • 80%x2-3
    • Working sets
      • 90%x1
      • 95-100%x1
      • 105%x1

To ensure safety while performing 1RM attempts, be sure to have the proper equipment, setup, and a spotter if available.

Again, if you’re not an athlete with specific competition goals or following a proven method.

Hitting one rep maxes often leads to a higher likelihood of injury.

Types Of PRs

The PR gym meaning is different depending on the type of athlete and training style.

Below is a list of some different PR types that can be achieved in fitness:

  1. One-rep max PR
    • Most common in competitive weight lifting and powerlifting
  2. Rep max PR
    • Used for some progressive overload training and AMRAP testing (as many reps as possible)
  3. Time PRs
    • Personal record of how fast a movement is executed
  4. Distance PRs
    • Personal record for distance events
  5. Lifetime PRs
    • The lifetime best you’ve ever achieved in a certain exercise
  6. Bodyweight specific PRs
    • For example, you benched 405×1 at 200 LBs bodyweight for a PR. Then cut down to 150 LBs and benched 315.
    • These would both be classed as PRs at those specific body weights.
  7. Volume PRs
    • Example: 10 sets of 10 reps with 225 LBs for deadlift

There are many different types of trackable PRs when it comes to fitness. These are just some of them.

I hope this article helped provide you with the knowledge of what a Personal Record (PR meaning gym setting) is referred to as, and how to achieve and track them.

Now it’s time to go hit some new PRs… Good luck!

Check out my article answering the question… What does RX Mean In Crossfit?

Eric De Cremer
Eric De Cremer

Eric is an NCCA-accredited Certified Personal Trainer and competitively trained powerlifter. Feel free to contact him anytime at edecremer@wildnswole.com!