T Nation

Bench Press / Chin-Up Comparison

I read that a balanced body should be able to weighted chin as much as it can bench. (pulldowns might apply as well)

This isn’t true for me though, my chin is 65% stronger than my bench.

What about you guys?

My bench is 54% stronger…

Shouldnt bent over rows and bench be the same?

They should be near equal. Work on it.

If you pull as much as you push you are balanced which will prevent injuries, etc.

My pullup is around 5kg higher than my bench but I have an unstable shoulder at times and my bench suffers from this.

Of course if you’ll awesome at benching then so be it…

my best chinup is 320 and my best bench is 360. Chins should be substantially higher now, and that may of not been a max, just too heavy for what i was doing.

Bench - 305
Chin - 265

IMO, when benching your laying down stabilized, I think a better comparision would be standing overhead press.

Chins are more difficult and require more balanced so one should not be stronger unless they never bench.

Bench: 145x5
Chin: 175x8

Verdict: Don’t compare a vertical pull with a horizontal push.

I think most of you guys are missing the point. Dickering over wheter your bench is .3% stronger is not what coach Boyle had in mind when he published those numbers. They should be “pretty much” the same, or “close to” the same. They don’t have to be the same out to three decimal places.

Besides, the point is shoulder health, not the strength ratios themselves. If the two are within about 90% of each other, you probably have healthy shoulders. That is all.

[quote]undeadlift wrote:
Bench: 145x5
Chin: 175x8

Verdict: Don’t compare a vertical pull with a horizontal push.[/quote]

Correct. Different planes, different leverages, different ballgame. Vertical pushing and pulling should be near equal and horizontal pushing and pulling should be near equal.

Bent-over row, not a good test. You cannot compare it to bench press because you body is not supported during a bent-over row. A Chest supported row, or a cable row (with hands in same position as they would be on bench) is a better test.

Since you cannot mimic the exact movement of a bench in a row the numbers are not going to be the same even if the antagonistic strength of the opposing muscle groups are the same. So close is ok

I weight right around 200-204 depending and I can hit one solid almost two reps on pull ups with 95 pounds hanging from the belt. I have recently benched 310 as my one rep max. So, I am pretty near to the comparison mentioned. I think the last poster was right this isn’t meant to be exact down to the third decimal point.

D

[quote]pat wrote:
undeadlift wrote:
Bench: 145x5
Chin: 175x8

Verdict: Don’t compare a vertical pull with a horizontal push.

Correct. Different planes, different leverages, different ballgame. Vertical pushing and pulling should be near equal and horizontal pushing and pulling should be near equal.

Bent-over row, not a good test. You cannot compare it to bench press because you body is not supported during a bent-over row. A Chest supported row, or a cable row (with hands in same position as they would be on bench) is a better test.

Since you cannot mimic the exact movement of a bench in a row the numbers are not going to be the same even if the antagonistic strength of the opposing muscle groups are the same. So close is ok

[/quote]

I’m sorry, but this is incorrect, and if you think about it for a moment you’ll see why. You’re thinking movement patterns and, while that’s the way you should think when it comes to athletic or performance training, this is not a matter of planes of movement, but rather of muscles.

Your examples of the vertical and horizontal push and pull movements balancing each other out is flawed. There is no direct comparison between movements on the same plane because they’re different muscles. I’m assuming you just made a mistake, because your shoulder press will NEVER be the same as your pullup. Just look at the difference in the total mass of muscle involved.

The shoulder press is basically several smallish muscle groups, anterior and lateral delt, triceps, maybe a little from the clavicular part of the pectoralis major, while the pullup uses the huge lats and the teres major in addition to a couple of different forearm flexors.

The amount of muscle used in the chinup versus the bench press is much closer together and, surprise, they tend to be pretty similar in balanced trainees. Coach Boyle has shown over and over again that if something doesn’t work or is inappropriate, he doesn’t use it, whether or not it’s considered heretical not to do so. I doubt that he would be so hung up on this ratio that he would continue to advocate it even it didn’t pan out in practice.

[quote]rmccart1 wrote:
… when it comes to athletic or performance training, this is not a matter of planes of movement, but rather of muscles.[/quote]

… and the leverage these muscles have. Good point, although I think the muscles and levarages of chinups would ideally have greater potential than those of the bench press.

~rmccart1

I haven’t trained pulling movements any more than pushing ones, why then do I have a 65% discrepancy if the muscle mass used is almost equal?

[quote]undeadlift wrote:
Bench: 145x5
Chin: 175x8

Verdict: Don’t compare a vertical pull with a horizontal push.[/quote]

I agree with undead. Even more so when you consider one exersize your pulling at tendons that hold a highly unstable joint.

[quote]LiftSmart wrote:
The amount of muscle used in the chinup versus the bench press is much closer together and, surprise, they tend to be pretty similar in balanced trainees.

~rmccart1

I haven’t trained pulling movements any more than pushing ones, why then do I have a 65% discrepancy if the muscle mass used is almost equal?

[/quote]

shrugs Could be lots of reasons. The point is, if your bench was “pretty good,” and your chinups were “pretty good,” they’d probably be in the same ballpark (although I think the standard for “good” in chinups is lower than in bench, so “good” for each might result in bench being stronger, but it’s just because of people’s perception; if that makes any sense).

I’d say it would only help most people to get their chinups to 90% of their bench. No need to go crazy getting them to exactly match.

Although if you hate chinups and don’t want to bother, fine, they’re your shoulders, and you may never have a problem. It’s just a preventative thing.

[quote]rmccart1 wrote:
I’d say it would only help most people to get their chinups to 90% of their bench. No need to go crazy getting them to exactly match.

Although if you hate chinups and don’t want to bother, fine, they’re your shoulders, and you may never have a problem. It’s just a preventative thing.[/quote]

I don’t know if I’m analyzing this right, but I think his chinup is 65% STRONGER than his bench, and I think that you think that his chinup is only 65% the strength of his bench or 65% weaker.

OP, in any case, I think it would be best if you posted your EXACT numbers just to avoid this confusion. If your chin is indeed 65% stronger than your bench, you are an interesting outlier.

I said most people, not him. I know he said his pullup is stronger than his bench. I’m speaking generally, why are you so hung up on him?

Pullup being stronger is not unheard of. Mine was stronger than my bench until a few weeks ago, when I put more effort into my bench training. Now they’re very close. Pulls are probably stll slightly stronger.

Bench: 180x1

Chin: 280x1

Bodyweight: 170lbs, 6’2".

Hehe, sorry rmccart1.

OP, that is one solid chinup, and to think you’re quite skinny.