What Does PR Mean In Weight Lifting? Some Weightlifting Terms You Should Know

What Does PR Mean In Weight Lifting

Weight lifting or powerlifting can be pretty confusing to especially beginners who want to get involved. It is essential to understand specific terms, including PR, to help us set the proper standard to keep track of our records. So, with familiarizing with terms, one must also prepare properly when entering into weight lifting or powerlifting. You need to also learn about your weightlifting options and prepare your body for lifting and don’t just walk into the gym to begin the activities.

So, What Does PR Means in Weight Lifting?

In weight lifting, PR means a personal record in three different lifts.

What Exactly Is PR In Weight Or Power Lifting?

PR, which means the personal record, all weight lifters must note. Your PR will be the heaviest weight you have lifted for a particular lift as a weight lifter. The PR is also applicable to squats, benches, and deadlift- weightlifters often perform these three exercises more frequently. Since your PR is the heaviest deadlift you have lifted, you can work towards increasing your PR steadily.

PR can just be anything in weightlifting. For instance, if you just did three reps of 300 lbs. on a bench press, the 300 lbs. will be your current record as long as you continue using this weight for your reps.

When you are starting out as a beginner, it is better to keep your PR low since you aim to hit new PRs weekly or bi-weekly, depending on your goal. Most people will usually keep their PRs to the first three main lifts, especially on squats, bench press, and deadlift. From these earliest weight lifting activities, you can move unto the cleans and the likes of dumbbells and barbells.

If, for instance, you hit 100 on the bench press as your PR, this may look so little, but once you set a new goal, you can make increments of the twenties until you set another record-high PR.

Other Terms You Should Know In Weightlifting

If you want to become a smarter weightlifter, you should be aware of several weightlifting terms, and these include the following;

1. Repetition

Repetition, also known as a rep, is a term that defines a complete motion of an exercise. If you want to define a rep for a pushup, for instance, it begins with when your arm is raised and straight while holding your body off the floor till the moment you lower yourself to the floor and push yourself back up. This is the completion of a rep. Completing 15 pushups means you have completed 15 reps.

2. The Set

A set is the particular number of reps you perform at a given time. If you do 15 reps twice, it means you have done two sets of 15 repetitions. It can simply be defined as doing 15 repetitions twice.

3. Resistance or Weight

The weight in weightlifting can be defined as the amount of resistance you are working against. For instance, if you have 50 lbs. of dumbbells, it means your resistance or weight is 50 lbs. Most times, you can achieve lower reps by lifting heavier weights, and when you do higher reps, it means you are lifting lighter weights or lower resistance.

4.The Rest

The rest is the moment of stop you observe in-between reps. For most powerlifters, the period of rest may last between 15 seconds and 5 minutes. Non-power lifters may take longer rest periods.

5. Volume

Volume in weightlifting is measured in diverse ways. In most cases, volume is determined by how many sets, exercises, or reps you have completed. A workout with 10 different exercises, four sets of 16 reps, has more volume than a workout of 5 exercises, of two sets and eight reps. With this illustration, volume can be defined as the measure of the intensity of your weightlifting.

6. The Compound Exercises

Compound exercises often involve multi-level weightlifting that involves different types of exercises and reps. For instance, you may start with a bench press for your shoulder and elbow joints, then end the exercise with another option that targets your lower body. The combination of all these exercises is referred to as compound exercises.

7. The Isolation Exercises

Isolation exercises in weightlifting can be described as a single or one-target workout. The exercise normally involves the use of one joint or a single group of muscles to complete the activity. Bicep curls, for instance can be targeted at your biceps, and it requires only the elbow joint to perform.

Other Terms In Weightlifting You Should Know

The following are some other terms in weightlifting you should familiarize with;

1. The Supersets

Supersets describe the completion of two different exercises back-to-back without taking any rest in-between. Supersets may involve working on the same group of muscles, such as performing pushups followed by bench presses.

Sometimes it may involve working on opposing muscle groups at the same time, for instance, switching from pushups to pullups. Sometimes, supersets may involve working on unrelated muscle groups, such as working on the upper body first, then switching to the lower body.

The purpose of most supersets is to complete as much resistance training on different muscle groups in less time. People who really don’t have much time to work out often rely on supersets to complete their workout sessions.

2. The Positive Phase or period

Any lifting period in an exercise is referred to as the positive period. It means you are lifting to pull muscles, and then you are also pushing to exert energy. The use of push muscles means you are lifting the weight away from your body.

For the bench presses, for instance, the positive period of the lift is when you push the weight off the chest, and for the pullup, you are pulling the body towards the bar. The pushing and pulling is the more strenuous part of the exercise; hence it is a positive phase.

3. The Negative Period

The negative period or phase is part of an exercise while you lower your weight. It is the direct opposite of the positive phase; hence your body is entering some kind of rest before the next positive phase. Lowering the bench press bar as it moves nearer your chest, for instance, is a negative phase or when you lower your body and pull your chin towards the bar. Sometimes you can call the negative phase an eccentric phase.

4. The Sticking Point

This is a period during the positive phase when the weight you are lifting loses its momentum and remains standstill for a while. For instance, when you try to pull the body up while performing a pullup, but you accidentally get stalled. It may also mean completing a bench press, but the bar momentarily stops moving while you are still pushing. Someone can help you push the weight beyond the sticking point.

5. The muscle Contraction

The contraction point is where the muscle becomes engaged and then contracted before applying a force to pull the weight. Your body’s muscle cells comprise motor units where if a cell within the unit is engaged, the entire muscle group will contract.

6. The Tempo

Your tempo is how fast or slow you complete each rep. It also includes the total time it takes to complete the positive and negative phases. Most beginner weight trainers may use up to 3 seconds as their tempo to complete a positive phase, while the professionals will use 1-2 seconds. With a great tempo, you will have complete control of the weight without momentum.

7. The Body Part Splitting

This term describes how you split your body into different target groups during the week for training. For instance, some people will spend a few minutes a day training their biceps and chest for the whole week and then move to the triceps and lower body parts the following week. This is an example of body part splitting.

Some people are so good with splitting their body by training all the muscle groups in a single session. Some may decide to complete their body splitting with vertical and horizontal weight training instead of targeting specific parts.


When it comes to weight training, it is always good for beginners to have spotters. A spotter is the one who watches over you while you train and will help you lift the weight back up when you fail to complete a repetition. A spotter can advise on how to get the most from your weight training session. For this reason, it is better to go for a spotter who understands the weight lifting techniques; they could e the instructor at your local gym. Most times, weightlifting beginners are excited about the gains of weightlifting; hence they want to achieve too much in a little time. With this mindset, many weightlifters end up with injuries. If you are noticing extreme soreness in your body after a workout, perhaps you should discuss it with your spotter.

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