T Nation

Front-Rear Strength Balance

I have realized that like many others, I am too developed on the front side, and not enough in the back.

Does anyone have an idea of a good ration (in weight) between amount you can bench and amount you can do on bent-over-barbell-row?

In other words, if you can bench 250, should you be able to row 250? …sounds unlikely. so what is the number (or ratio, if you prefer)

Row 80% of bench? …75%? …at this point I can’t even get much above 50%

Mike Boyle in an article he wrote here said something along the lines that he likes to have his athletes be able to do the same 3/1 RM on bench and chins. Thus if you can bench 300 pounds at 200 pounds, you should be able to do a chin up with 100 pounds external load (BW counts towards your total).

there was an article written on this site about strength ratios ( i forget who it is by).

from what i remember you should be able to chin the same weight as you bench ie: bench 300 and chin bw+ Xlbs

hope that helps

oh ya and bench should equal front squat and front squat should be around 80% of back squat

I know it is kinda dorky but I try for a 1 to 1 ratio. Pull as much as you can push. I am no powerlifter though.

[quote]RWElder0 wrote:
I know it is kinda dorky but I try for a 1 to 1 ratio. Pull as much as you can push. I am no powerlifter though.[/quote]

I don’t see anything wrong with 1:1 ratio. I’d rather have that than where I am now, which would probably be like rowing 70-75% of my bench.

It’s hard to say by using percents. In fact, it might just be wrong to try and do it that way.

You can’t just equate Rows with the Bench Press or Chins with the Bench Press. In the Bench Press the Shoulders Rotate and the Elbows extend, but the scapula stay retracted. In Rows, the scapula move.

I think a good Rule of Thumb is if you can’t get in a solid set of Rows with 150lb Dumbbells, 275 on Barbell Rows, or Weighted Chin-ups with 45lbs then you have a weak back and it doesn’t really matter if you’re Benching 315 or 135.

Sure, some large guys may not be able to do chins with 45lbs on a Dip Belt, but they don’t really have an excuse unless they’re Brutally Strong Bench-Only guys who are competing in the 275, 308, or SHW weight class. In that case they’ve probably got enough experience with weights to figure out what they need to do to be injury free.

But being injury free and making everything as big and strong as possible are two totally different things. I think if you train every muscle group and every movement to its maximum strength potential you’ll find that the Back stronger than the Front.

Ronnie Coleman maxed his Bench Press at 600 (yeah, you don’t think Bodybuilders don’t need to Max, but when you’re as strong as he is you probably get asked a lot).

But in the same workout he would Deadlift 800X2, Barbell Row 585 for 8, then T-Bar Row 585 for 9. His Pull was stronger than his push.

Look at strongman compeditors. They’re Log Pressing maybe 400 at the very most, but they’re picking up huge Atlas Stones, Making Huge Deadlifts, and tugging on ropes to help them carry 18-wheeler trucks. Pulling is clearly more important to them.

Olympic Lifters? It’s all about big pulls off the floor. Discus Throwers, Hammer Throwers, Javlin Throwers, and even shot-putters? I’m not gonna pretend to act like I know what I’m talking about here. Look at how much this guy Benches

He’s doing 405 for reps! Oh Yeah, He’s also Power Snatching over 300! I’d say someone who Power Snatches from the Hip 75% of their Bench Press is pretty Pull Dominant.

You don’t need to push as much as you can pull to stay injury free, but if you’re trying to make everything as strong as possible you should probably be pulling more than you can push.