Mindset and the importance of relative PR’s versus all-time max records

by Michael Petresky on January 25, 2017

Squatted #315 for reps this evening for the first time in nearly 3 years…No I’m not posting to gloat about the weight I moved I actually have a non egoistic point to make.

What’s important is that this is a ‘relative’ PR for me….meaning I haven’t been near squatting this weight in quite a while…the last time I put up #315 + and squatted it for reps was mid 2014. Yet I’ve still managed to train with weights since 2014 and haven’t come close or even attempted squatting over 300 pounds for reps. So what changed and why was there this huge discrepancy in the weight I could move even though I was still putting forth the effort in the gym every week?

Well, a lot of things have changed since 2014. For one, the discrepancy was definitely not due to a lack of PEDs in my bloodstream i can guarantee you that much. To put it simply without going into too much detail as I could write a separate post on this entirely, it was mostly related to lifestyle and overall seriousness toward my training. Also, I had a a couple 3+ month complete layoffs from weight training while focusing on other goals like making money and those layoffs really do set you back. Three years went by without really seeing any progress in the gym beyond maintaining my strength/fitness at a level that I had digressed to after peaking in 2014 for a strongman competition (it was 2014 when I hit my all time max record for a pull from the ground).

One huge note I’d like to make regarding a major cause toward the stagnation in my training progress was that the last time I seriously recorded all my trainings (sets/reps/weight/rest) in a notebook was …. 2014 ….ha! So when I was at my all time peak in strength, endurance, and fitness I was also meticulously recording every detail of my training. The quote ‘what gets measured, gets improved’ is truly a golden rule of fitness and honestly all endeavors.

So why is this relative PR a big deal to me today?

As I’ve said before it definitely does not matter what the person next to you is lifting. That took a long time to accept. I next had to accept the belief that it’ll always be you versus your previous/current self. I now understand that what your previous self used to be able to do compared to what you can do now also does not matter.

All that matters is your performance today. Right in that moment. What can you do now regardless of what you’ve done in the past. Most importantly, what can you do right now while putting forth your best effort in the current moment. If you’re 35 years old and the last time you lifted regularly and moved weight that’s relatively heavy to you was when you were 21 who fucking cares. If you could move 400 pounds ten years ago and today you can’t even move 200 pounds then you need to get out of your head the goal of being ‘strong again’ like you were in your 20’s. If you squat 200 pounds today and that’s a relative PR for you meaning you haven’t done this in a long time then that is indeed a huge accomplishment!…maybe not if you compare to what you could do when you were in your ‘prime’ but how about this…define a human’s prime for me first. If you try all you’ll likely end up doing is creating barriers to any goal you may set for yourself simply because you have set your own limits based on you believing you are no longer in your prime.

Keep it real yo, take pride in what you did today and don’t let naysayers get you down especially naysayers like the person in your head comparing yourself to others (or your previous ‘prime’ self). They will hold you back from what you can do now to influence what you can do in the future.


#squats #asstograss #relativePR #natural #strength #fitness #goals #motivation

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