Cypher PR Challenge

Congrats to Miriam and Mike, the winners of our Handstand Challenge!

Mir and Mike Handstand

Get rrready! We’re going to step up our game on the next Gym Challenge!

Welcome to your 2015 Cypher PR Challenge:

How It Works

Rather than do one thing only and make it progressively more challenging, this challenge is about… Diversity!

Since updating our All-Time PR Board, we’ve been making a push to get all of your numbers up on it. Well, it’s time to put that stuff to work, and this challenge is about you trying to push your current PRs just a little further up in a friendly competition among your Cypher buddies :). The best way you can do that is by 1) coming to the gym often, and 2) developing an acute awareness of your previous best PRs so that each day you can formulate a plan of attack to beat them! What gets tracked gets trained, and hopefully this will be a positive incentive for you all to become great trackers! With persistence and hard work, I can almost guarantee everyone will be rocking the PR bell regularly.

Ooo how perdy...
All-Time PR Board: ooo how perdy…

There are 10 PR Categories to choose from, and you can tackle them in any order except for the last one (#10):

  1. Front Squat
  2. Bench Press
  3. Deadlift 5+RM
  4. Clean and Jerk
  5. Double Unders (max reps)
  6. 1k Row (time)
  7. “DT” (time at same weight)
  8. 50 Target Burpees (time, pick a bar height that is ~3-6″ above your 2-handed max reach)
  9. Any new gymnastics skill (rope climb to top, first unassisted pull-up, first T2B, first handstand hold, 1-arm HS Hold, HSPU, Cypher Health & Fitness Squat, forward somersault, cartwheel, handspring, etc.)
  10. 2 PRs in one day, but ONLY AFTER completing items 1-9 successfully.
Bob is such a stud.


These categories were chosen for several reasons, among them being relatively simple movement standards, another being safety in performing them with some frequency, and finally it’s just a fun and balanced mix of stuff :). The programming for February and March is going to offer many opportunities for you to tackle these things, so you should be good to go by just showing up to class often. You can also hit a few of them at Open Gym time if it fits, annnd/orrr work on these items a little extra to sew the seeds for that next PR!


  1. The gist of it is, in order to set a PR for something, you must know what you’ve done previously, and just beat it! It’s pretty much that simple. For example with the weightlifting items, if you’ve done a Front Squat set for 3 reps @ 100#, you could set a PR by doing 3 reps @ 105#. You could also do 4 reps @ 100# for a rep-PR. The important thing is that there is consistency between the two tests. The movement is the same, and you don’t do a lighter weight for more reps (e.g. 4×95# is *not* a PR), or a heavier weight for fewer reps than your baseline (e.g. 2×105# is also *not* a PR). You may PR on weight and reps simultaneously if you like (e.g. 5×115#), but that is of course harder to do ;).
  2. Once you’ve completed a PR Category, check it off from the board by your name, and think about which one you could do next.
  3. PR attempts must be done at Cypher Health & Fitness.
  4. Weightlifting PRs must be by at least 5#. No micro plates ;).
  5. For the Deadlift we are going to ask you all to stick to 5 reps or more. NO 1RM Deadlifts please, this requires too much supervision to be done safely.
  6. For the Clean and Jerk you can do a Drop Double or Triple if you’d like. This means that if your previous 1RM is say, 135#, you can just do 2 reps at 135#, dropping the first successful rep from the top, taking a few breaths, then doing another rep successfully.
  7. Quality. Always. In order for this to be meaningful, and for your overall training success, all your reps should be super duper clean. Squat all the way down, lock out everything clearly. Pull-ups are strict. Keep count, or have someone count for you. We’re not going to be PR Police –this is for fun — but hold yourself accountable in all you do! If you have a noted range of motion limitation talk to us, it is fine to do a box squat, for example, as long as we are consistent.
  8. We *highly* recommend you have someone watch your attempt for items 6-9. Anytime you go into Metcon Beastmode there is a chance you can lose count of your reps/rounds, short your reps, etc., and nothing spoils the taste of peanut butter like *high five* but Not-Sure-If-I-Really-PR’d bro :(.
  9. You can only tackle one PR per day *except* for the last item which is in fact 2 PRs in one day >=). You must “unlock” this option by doing all the other PR boxes before this. Therefore, you are going to have to PR again on two things in one day to finish the challenge. How exciting!
  10. If you don’t already have a baseline PR to compare against, you must do this first! NO SANDBAGGING your baselines! Again, we are not the PR Police, hold yourself accountable, or better yet ask a coach to watch you do your PR attempt.


  • There are limited spots on the board, so claim your ASAP! You can still compete if we run out of room, we may put a paper version of this on a clipboard as well.
  • Hatchers come at me, we should be able to find an opportunity for you to get all these in without negatively affecting the squats.
  • Be smart! Some PRs follow others good, and some back-to-back combos will leave you sore and underperforming. The class programming is built with this in mind. Don’t be sneaky because there’s Open Gym and we’re not watching you like a hawk. If you want to try something please ask.



Obviously, the work is its own reward ;)! But we mayyy have some super top secret awards at the end. See you at the finish line!

Write your stuff down here too! You never know who you’re inspiring…



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