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Bench/Row Ratio


What should your bench to row ratio be for a balanced body? I can DB bench 75s for 3
and DB row 85s for 3.


I can do bench rows with a single 110 db for 3.

Bench press with a pair of 140 db for 3. Not anything especially impressive. But where I live, thats a good amount of weight.

Keep up the good work with doing big compound movements.


Do you cheat at all on the row? I don't think I've ever seen somebody do a dumbbell row without cheating, so that would make a big difference.

Then again, if you cheat like a madman on the dumbbell press I guess it wouldn't matter.


What do you consider a cheat?

It is ok--even a good idea to use a little 'cheat' to move heavier weight. They even have official exercise like cheat curls. If you think you are doing maximum loads by remaining 110% 'in perfect form' you are missing a great deal of benefit from moving bigger weights.


I think sasquatch said it well. I may cheat a bit, but generally its pretty tight form. I do make sure to keep good form. Its a priority. One hand on a flat bench and the other on the db. The hand on the bench never lifts off or moves.


On the bench I go all the way down and with the row my form is pretty tight. So does anybody know how the two numbers should compare? 1/1 or should one be higher?


Its better to have a stronger row, than a stronger bench. Read Mike Robertson's "Wanna Grow? Gotta Row!".

But to balance it all out, for every 3 reps of benches performed, do 2 sets of 3 rows. Not only will this balance your body but you will allso find that your DB Bench strength will improve faster.

Example: you want to do 1 arm pull-ups.
Lower yourself slowly(Right arm),Then lower yourself slowly(Left arm), once you can do 3 set of 12 with each arm, try doing a 1 arm pull-up(of coarse there are a few steps & guidelines I left out). This smae type of method can be done to perform 1 arm handstand press(but for this you have to practice the holding position first).Just a little something I picked up from Jack Arnow & Alexander Lechner at dragondoor.com

Stay strong,



I tested my 1RMs today on both, and bench is 195x1, row is 165x1...both using barbells.

I think if you test both with dumbbells, your max press will definitely go down, and your row will remain the same or possibly go up.

I think I am about where I need to be in terms of balance, so I would guess bench ought to be a bit higher than row, but that's just a guess. I don't think one-to-one is important, just as long as they are close.

and sasquatch, no offense, but weren't you the guy who commented on Mike Robertson's bench press article and said "so the object is to gain a few ego points by adding more weight"

...change your mind about heavier weights?


Thanks for the help


if i keep perfect form my bench is a little higher than my barbell row. but with a little cheat on the row they are about even


I think it depends on how much weight you can use. I think once your bench starts getting into impressive numbers it is harder to keep doing the same amount with the rows because of lower back strength limitations and you have to start cheating a bit to get the weight to move. For me the separation started becoming noticeable once my bench moved over 225 and more in the realms of 24-250, the row has stayed more around 225. But then again I don't have the strongest grip strength and lower back, so these could be my limiting factors.


you may be right on that. for me atleast when i was weak as hell my row was like alot stronger than my bench. now im around 265 and my bench has caught up with my row and im pretty sure will pass it out now


I asked Ian King this same ?.
His answer is it should be 1 to 1. For example. If you bench X you should row X.

It goes to show how imbalanced a lot of us are.

Now how are you doing your DB rows?

Think about this. When you do a DB bench. Are you flat on your back on the bench with both arms pressing DB's? I assume yes. Now when you do DB rows are you doing the exact same just opposite? Are you laying on your stomach on a flat bench with a DB in each hand ? Probally not. I'm guessing its one DB @ a time with a knee and or hand on the bench.

Now I ask you this? Is this the correct way to do it? Since you are trying to oppose the bench?

Turst this makes sense


It should be pretty balanced, but keep in mind there are alot more variables that can effect you pulling something that pushing it. If you push it, usually you get it or you dont, you can think you are doing a good pull but sacrificing your form quite a bit and/or not doing a full ROM since there isnt a lockout to end the rep as there is doing a push.