T Nation

Balancing Opposing Muscle Groups?


There are some high level coaches that suggest a 1:1 ratio of pushing v pulling both in the horizontal and vertical planes. They suggest the same for quad v hip dominant movements. Other high level coaches do not follow this same guideline. Further, from studying the routines of some of the legends in the sport of bodybuilding, most seem to follow the second protocol.

For example Lee Haney, who had one of the best backs ever did not do the same number of back rowing movements to match his chest and then the same number of back vertical pulls to match his shoulders. Labrada and Zane were the same.

As a student of program design, I’m just trying to understand who’s right and or if there’s a middle ground.

Thank you as always for your insight and words of wisdom.


I generally advise doing about twice as much volume for the back as the pushing muscles. Same for hamstrings as opposed to quads, however it doesn’t always end up playing out that way. Just as important, I think you should train the pulling movements earlier in the week when you tend to feel more fresh, and the same for hamstrings on leg day. Train em first.

Thank you Paul. That makes sense.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Best regards,