PB is short for personal best, a term used in the gym to describe your record for a certain exercise. If you’re a fitness fanatic, then you’ve heard of this fitness concept somewhere.
There’s nothing more exhilarating and motivating than beating your past personal best (PB) in terms of exercise performance or body weight.
What Does PB Mean in the Gym?
In the gym, a PB means “personal best” and it is the highest score you’ve ever made on any exercise. For example, if you bench press 200 pounds today and could bench press 180 pounds two months ago, then today’s lift would be your PR.
A personal best (PB) can also refer to a personal record (PR). They are a common synonym and mean the same thing. They are the highest score you’ve ever made on any exercise.
For example, if today was your first-time bench pressing 100 pounds, and you were also able to bench press 100 pounds two months ago, then today’s lift would still be considered a PB because it’s higher than what you did before.
How To Break Your PB
Naturally, it is quite simple to talk about setting new records, but it is much more difficult to execute in practice because your muscles aren’t always strong enough (or are too exhausted) to do so.
However, you can do a few things to make it simpler to break records and achieve new heights.
If everything were ideal, you would have the proper frame of mind. You are probably not in the correct frame of mind to break records if you are fiddling with your phone between sets and chit-chatting with other gym patrons.
However, you will be far more likely to achieve your goal if you walk into the gym determined to push yourself to the limit and imagine yourself gaining a larger and more muscular physique without being distracted by anyone or anything.
The second action you can take is to get upset and riled up inside. I’ve always discovered that if I’m angry at the gym, I’ll vent on the weights and workout machines and lift more weight. So based on my experience, this is unquestionably a tried and true method of setting new marks.
How to Achieve Your Next PB
- Choose between four and six warm-up sets, then watch the weight jumps between sets either stay the same or get smaller as the workout progresses. In general, more sets are performed with greater weights (such as a squat or deadlift), and fewer sets are performed with lesser weights (e.g. bench press).
- Pick a final warm-up weight within the range of 90 percent of your personal best attempt. You should avoid picking a weight that is too near to your personal best (PB) to avoid needlessly exhausting yourself. A smart place to begin is by reducing the weight of your last warm-up by 10–20 kilograms for squats and deadlifts and by 5–10 kilograms for bench presses.
- You should keep it to no more than three to five reps during the first few sets of your warm-up and then switch to singles to get ready for your personal best single rep.
- Make sure you give yourself enough time to regain strength between each set. No more than three to five minutes should pass.
- Before commencing your warm-up sets, you should undergo a stretching and mobility exercise if necessary.
Example 1: Bench Press (240 lbs)
|180 lbs||5 reps|
|200 lbs||3 reps|
|220 lbs||1 rep|
|230 lbs||1 rep|
Example 2: Deadlift (300 lbs)
|160 lbs||5 reps|
|200 lbs||3 reps|
|240 lbs||1 rep|
|260 lbs||1 rep|
|280 lbs||1 rep|
How Often to Increase Your PB
Increasing your PB (personal best) in the gym is one of the most common goals for people who work out. But how often should you increase your PB? The answer depends on your goals and current level of fitness.
Starting, you should aim for no more than one pound per week. If you’re an experienced athlete or have been working out consistently for a long time, you can push yourself harder by aiming for two pounds per week.
You should also consider whether or not to increase your PB if you’re already at your ideal weight or size; some people are happy with their body as it is right now and don’t want to change it by adding muscle mass.
In general, increasing your PB should be done slowly over time, so try not to focus on how many pounds you gain in any given week instead, focus on how much progress you make over several months or even years.
Why Increase Your PB
The goal is that you always need to record your personal bests so that you always have a benchmark weight that you should be lifting and constantly have records to beat for every exercise.
Recording your personal bests is the first step. As long as you keep a record of them in some fashion, it does not matter whether you do so through an application on your mobile device or by writing them down on paper.
You may then set about shattering these records using the strategies I detailed above to successfully break through any plateaus, improve your general strength, and create new gains.
Austin is the author of loveatfirstfit.com and a personal trainer with extensive knowledge in nutrition. Austin is passionate about helping others to find a suitable healthy lifestyle and feel good about themselves. Austin’s goal is to help people push their limits and achieve their physical performance.