How to get a new personal best
2 Jun 2023 14:00PM
Chris Parr - Strength and Conditioning Activist
Fitness isn’t about being the best. It’s about doing the best for your body. And that’s where ‘personal bests’ or PBs come in. You may have heard PBs referenced in big sporting events like the Olympics but they apply to you too.
A personal best is your best sporting achievement to date, whether that be the quickest time you can run 100 metres, the heaviest you can squat or the most laps you can do in the pool in a certain timeframe.
Personal bests are great things to work towards if you’re looking for a way to challenge yourself in your training. Let’s face it, if you don’t have something coming up or a specific fitness goal in mind, sometimes we can slip out of an exercise routine. And then it can be hard to get back into it.
One thing’s for sure though: consistency in your workouts will help you feel happier and healthier all round. So, if you’re looking to set a new personal best, here’s how…
Find a realistic goal
The best thing about a PB is that it’s unique to you and what you want to work on. Want to walk more steps per day? Want to complete a 5k run on the treadmill? Or maybe you want to increase the amount of group exercise classes you take each week.
Find something that works for you – something that you’ll be motivated by and something that feels like an achievable challenge.
(If you need any help working out what this might be, our skilled Personal Trainers will be able to guide you.)
Establish your baseline
You can’t know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’re at. So take some time to get to know what level of fitness or strength you’re currently working at. Classes like Lift Club or Strength and Conditioning will help you find out which weight you’re most comfortable with. If you’re looking to benchmark your flexibility, then our Yoga and Pilates classes are a good place to start.
You may want to ask yourself things like: what’s the heaviest I can lift right now? What’s the fastest I can swim or run if I gave it 100%?
Make a note of where you are now – it will be a great reference point to come back to.
Slowly build towards a personal best
Now this part may take a little more planning. The easiest and safest way to make improvements to your fitness is by going slowly. This will help you to avoid injury and make sure that your personal best is one that you can actually keep up with!
Here are some tips from Chris Parr our Strength and Conditioning Activist…
- Have consistency with training
“Get the work done, even when you don't want to. Small bits of progress all add over time, so ensuring you're consistent week after week will play a huge part in your success.”
- Prioritise nutrition and recovery
“Ensuring you have quality sleep (at least 7 – 9 hours sleep), consume nutrient-dense food and stay hydrated, will ensure your body is recovering between sessions and help you prepare for the next one.”
- Set yourself achievable and realistic milestones
“Realistic milestones will help you work towards the PB you're hoping for. For example, if you're looking to run a 10km PB at a specific event, work towards that over an agreed period of time. Make sure those milestones are realistic to you, with consideration given to the context you operate in.”
What will you try? Got a question for Chris about how to set a specific PB? Send us a message on Instagram and we’ll ask him to answer it in one of our newsletters this month.