Dec 21, 2021
Matt & Niki discuss training & programming when you
prioritize PRs and chasing numbers in the gym. This is a re-release
of episode 347.
This really applies to intermediate & advanced lifters, as PRs
tend to come with novice & early intermediate training. As you
advance as a lifter, life can prevent optimal training, so
priorities shift. Sometimes training works primarily toward quality
of life. Sometimes training even takes a backseat. Occasionally,
though, we prioritize training and decide to chase
Sometimes this happens at whim, as life seems to provide you the
opportunity & desire to prioritize PRs. Other times, though,
you might plan this out a bit more, with certain times of year
(e.g. fall) where you chase pushing the weight up on the
This may involve a meet, but it doesn't have to. It's fun to have a
PR week you can look forward to, where you don't have to beat
yourself down with lots of heavy attempts on one day. If you do
want to do a mock meet, then know what will motivate you--you might
want an audience or fellow lifters.
We're probably looking at a goal--unless you're super advanced--of
peaking 6-8 weeks out, which is enough time to prioritize intensity
& peak for most people but not so long that you get beat up and
Consider if you want to prioritize 1 lift, a couple, all 4 of the
big lifts, or something else (maybe you're chasing a chin-up PR or
some Olympic lift numbers).
If you're chasing numbers, you'll back off volume and drive up
intensity. Conditioning will take a back seat, as we're
prioritizing training on weight on the bar. This is not the time to
lose weight. You don't necessarily have to gain weight, but this
can be a fun time to eat in a caloric surplus and bump up your
weight (and then, especially if you plan out your training year a
bit more in blocks, post PRs might be a good time to transition to
weight maintenance or loss while trying to maintain strength). This
might be a time to use that "fat hole" on your belt.
You can't miss training sessions when you're chasing numbers, and
you can't have things like holiday parties wreck a training
session. Ensure you're lifting after good sleep and with good food
(as much as you can control) and if you have to shift sessions
around to avoid bonking during a session, that's fine.
Plus, Matt shares funny stories with internet companies and kids'
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