Tip: Your PR Isn't That Important

Are you strong enough?

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The strength and conditioning community does its due diligence in showing the importance of improving strength for improved fitness, bone density, and better quality of life. Beginners and intermediates alike should develop and maintain a foundation of strength in order to benefit from other kinds of training, see results in the gym, and have better performance outside of it.

The Problem

The problem comes when we look at the flip side of the coin. Oftentimes, people who are already in great shape don't seem to realize that they've surpassed the point where training to improve strength PR's is a dire necessity, and has rather become a hobby or recreational pursuit.

Lifters have become so closed-minded to anything outside of finding ways to improve our PR's that we've forgotten to acknowledge that fitness is comprised of eleven components – strength being only one of them.

Granted, improving strength will spill over into a number of those other ones, but your life doesn't depend on whether or not you can pull 650 any more than being able to do reps with, say, 300 pounds.

Many of us have snapped, cracked, tweaked, broken, fractured, and torn our way to "elite" numbers without considering what value this provides to things we do in daily life, or our safety in the weight room as an average Joe who doesn't compete.

Nervous systems get fried, injuries are racked up, and once recovered, the typical behavior is to go right back to the lifts, rep ranges, and variations that caused the injury in the first place. What's the sense in trying to push strength PR's if it continues to leave you in a weakened, less capable, or hurt state?

Get Strong, But Stay Healthy

Strength is THE most important thing most people can focus on in the gym. But it doesn't mean training for other goals should be viewed as unimportant once you've gotten strong by general standards. Being strong doesn't necessarily mean you're in shape.