T Nation

Press/Pull Balance


"Balance Your Training"

A training program should be balanced in terms of sets, reps, total time under tension, and volume throughout the entire body, but particularly in opposing movement patterns. If, for example, you're doing 2 sets of 10 reps in the bench press, and 2 sets of 10 reps in the seated row, this isn't necessarily balanced. You could be pressing with 200 pounds ? that's a total volume of 4000 pounds ? and rowing with only 150, a total volume of 3000 pounds. This is actually a major imbalance and would need to be addressed. An imbalance in volume will end up causing a major shoulder girdle problem. In an ideal situation we'd be using the same sets, reps, and loads in all antagonistic movement patterns."

So I was wondering about this? How can one balance this out? I follow a powerlifting routine, can I just add extra sets?

Do I have to track my total bench poundage/volume per week and and recaculate for rows as my PR's go up?

Am I over thinking this?


the goal should be to gain BALANCED strength. your row should be close to your bench. really.

thus, to answer your question, here's a question ... how are you going to achieve that balance?

yes, probably more rowing volume for a while and perhaps a long while.

another probably hugely unpopular angle. back off training your strength to that of your weakness and train both together until the weakness (rows) catch up to the strength (bench).

when you you get balance, maintenance of it should be a lesser issue.



Balance is good, but in reality its very hard to define what good balance is in most cases. Because even though muscles or movement are each others "opposites" they are rarely meant to be equally strong.
Benches and rows just happen to have similar numbers when good balance exists.

Lats and delts are antagonists to each other. But the difference in strength is enourmous and should be.

This method is good when you dont know what "balance" should be for parts of your body:
Put equal effort into training every part of your body and balance will find itself. This stems from the simple logic that continued progress requires increased effort. That means lagging parts will grow faster then the overdeveloped parts when they are given equal attention. And given time balance will be attained.


Yes, you are, don't worry about it, just get about 100 reps for some kind of rowing exercise per week and you'll be ok, don't forget rear delts and upper back. Pretty soon the balance "yodas" will be telling you that you must do the same weight in curls/extensions, flyes/rear delts, etc...