Every time you step into the gym, your goal should be to hit a PR (Personal Record). That doesn't mean it's going to happen every time, but if your training program and training habits are solid, you should be hitting PR's regularly. A common misconception is that a 1 RM (1 Rep Max) is the only way to hit a PR, when in reality, setting a new 1 RM is just ONE way to hit a PR.
The difference between PR's and 1 RM's
PR's are counted any time you accomplish something new in training that you have never done before.
1 RM's are a specific kind of PR, in which you lift as much weight as you possibly can, 1 time, for a specific lift.
1 RM Best Practices
You shouldn't just decide to try a 1 RM without any preparation.
You must train properly and work your way up to it over the course of several weeks/months - this is called progressive overload.
1 RM's are draining on your body and nervous system so ideally, you should only be testing your 1 RM approximately 3-4 times per year.
You don't need to attempt any 1 RM's ever to get strong or if you don't feel it is necessary for you.
PR Best Practices
General PR's should occur very frequently so push yourself to accomplish something new every time you train.
Follow a training plan that progresses properly and sets you up for success/constant PR's.
Celebrate every type of PR. A small improvement is better than no improvement.
No matter how much training experience you have, you should still aim to improve week after week.
Different ways to PR each week
Use a heavier weight for the same reps on a given exercise.
Do more reps with the same weight for a given exercise.
Do an extra set while completing the same reps/weight.
Run farther or faster than you have before.
Jump higher, row faster, learn a new skill, etc. the list goes on forever.
PR's and Traning Experience
The more training experience you have, the less frequent your PR's will happen.
Beginners = PR's on almost every exercise each session
Intermediates = PR's on multiple exercises each session
Advanced = PR's on some or one exercise each session
Just because most people only share their 1 RM's, that doesn't mean it is the only kind of PR that matters. PR's are one of the most important things in the gym because you aren't comparing yourself to anyone else and it's you vs you. Your PR's will vary based on your specific fitness goals and you should celebrate all of them. They're a necessary part of training to track progress and you can only manage what you measure.
If you feel like you have plateaued or don't know where to start on your fitness journey, please reach out for a free consultation. You don't have to be in New York for us to work together!