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Old 03-05-2009, 06:24 PM   #1
Jeff Hendrix
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Location: Auburn  AL
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PRs and pivot tables

So, I keep up with all of my workouts in Excel and usually do a simple boldface edit when I hit a PR. That's proved to be difficult to find some of my PRs though when it's been a few months since I set one in a particular lift. Well, I recently decided that I could build a pivot table to keep up with my best lifts and the dates that I set them. This way, I can always look easily to when I set one in the basic lifts that I keep up with (clean & jerk, squat, bench press, overhead press, etc.). To my surprise, it had been quite some time since I had set one in about five of the lifts that I deem "important" to my general well-being (four months in the case of my clean & Jerk!). I set out to break a few this week and did it successfully! I think I will--in an effort to work on the things that I'm bad at--try and use this to my advantage until I start hitting some PR walls in these lifts. It's really easy to just update the pivot table with a new PR and see the next one that I need to work on pop up to the top of the table.

I was wondering how other people chase PRs to see if I (and others) could glean some good ideas about approaching those more frightening loads and continue to get better.
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Old 03-05-2009, 06:45 PM   #2
Steven Low
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Re: PRs and pivot tables

I try to hit PRs every week or two... but I'm doing dedicated strength work.

If you're doing CF you should be aiming for PRs on your workouts all the time..
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Old 03-05-2009, 06:48 PM   #3
Brian Degenaro
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Re: PRs and pivot tables

Chase it a few pounds at a time; take a 5lb PR and be happy with it for the moment. You may have a 15lb+ PR in you but don't take it unless this is like a competition or something of the like. Obviously hitting PRs and increasing workout weights is not linear but if you take it a small battle at a time you can keep increasing weights for a longer period of time. Over time (years) this adds up. You may hit a 60lb in one lift one year (and in like 2 PR attempts), and then the next year you add maybe 20lbs to it, tops. Don't get too greedy and you can keep increasing your PRs on a "regular" basis.

Another way to keep track and shoot for PRs is to write them down. Write down your current PR and the date it was set, then write down what you want for a PR and the date you want to set it. Think in the long term too, like a year or two down the road. Then each month or two write down a small PR (like a few pounds) to hit in that lift. This'll make your goals real, as in you see how much time you have to make it.

And it doesn't always have to be weight for each PR, it could be reps as well, which can be a big bridge between higher weights. So say you have a PR of 300lbs for the squat for a single. In a few months you want to bring that up to 300x5 or something.
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Old 03-05-2009, 06:55 PM   #4
Greg Pieris
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Location: Melbourne  VIC Australia
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Re: PRs and pivot tables

I use excel and in my log indicate a current PR with boldface. For strength training, if all sets are completed successfully, I mark it green, meaning I can go up in weight next time. If latter sets fail, I mark the failed set red, and the previous sets orange.

I then have a separate worksheet called PRs. It lists all the exercises and has separate columns for 1RMs, 3RMs and 5RMs. No pivot table - whenever I hit a PR, I just manually overwrite the current PR and record the date. If I want to go back to see my PRs historically, I go back to the log. I've got 2 years worth in there now.
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