T Nation

Strength ratios


Today's session was devoted exclusively to getting data on 1 rep maxes and comparing it to Poliquin's recommendations. All ratios are perfect with the exception of my back and forearms which are grossly stronger than Poliquin recommends:

Note: Bench press performed with 14 inches between hands.

*Close Grip Bench Press
Absolute score: 160 kg (352 pounds)
Relative score: 100%
*Incline Barbell Press
Absolute score: 133 kg (293 pounds)
Relative score: 83%
*Supinated Chin-Ups
Absolute score: 130 kg (286 pounds)
Relative score: 81%
*Behind-the-Neck Presses
Absolute score: 102 kg (224 pounds)
Relative score: 64%
*Scott Barbell Curls
Absolute score: 74 kg (163 pounds)
Relative score: 46%
*Standing Reverse Curls
Absolute score: 48 kg (107 pounds)
Relative score: 30%
External Rotation SA
Absolute score: 15 kg (33 pounds)
Relative score: 9%
*Done for eight reps

As you can note, my chinup is about 120% of my bench press, when the ideal ratio is 80%. My reverse curl strength is 50% of Bench Press, not Poliquin's 30%. Clearly my forearms and Back are stronger in proportion to the rest of my upper body.

I plan on lightening up the load on my back, and prioritizing chest work - possibly working it 2 days a week, with focus on strength. Im considering Maximal weights by Poliquin.

Any comments will be welcome - particularly those regarding possible tight muscles in my back, shoulder girdle, or neck, as it is a possibility.

I also am coming to the realization that, even though I sit at 205 lbs 9% bf, I seem to be mostly slow twitch. I know there are parameters to finding out. Does anyone know those? I recll you're supposed to work with only a percentage of your maximal weight (maybe 60%?), and depending on how many reps you get you're mostly slow twitch, fast twitch, or 50/50. If you know those, I will greatly apreciate if you post them.



I don't see chinup being 120% of your bench press? Looks like 80% to me, or your bench press is 120% of chin up?


Dude, you pasted the numbers from the article, not your percentages.


Hehe nervous chuckle...

I had to retype the whole post because it disappeared when I pressed 'post'.

HERE's my numbers:

Max Bench Press: 240 lbs
Max Behind neck shoulder press: 155 lbs
Max chinup: 290 lbs
Max BB Scott curl: 100 lbs
Max incline Chest Press: 195 lbs
Max reverse ez bar curs: 115 lbs
Ext. Rotation: 25 lbs (for 9 reps)

For the record I weigh 202 lbs, 9% bf, and have been training for endurance in preparation for boot camp.


I was gonna say, from what I recall, your numbers seem very similar to Jim McKenzie!


Now it looks much more real.. lol

Do you strap on a certain amount of weight for your max chin up?

I'm still kinda sketchy on this ratio stuff, I mean those leg curl to leg extension ratios just never looked right.


I have found that every single athlete that has completed those tests are at least 120% stronger on the supinated chin up!!!

There are two conclusions that one can make:
1. Most strength trained athletes have weaker than "normal" pecs.
2. Or, maybe, just maybe, Poliquin was off on this one?

As for determining your fiber make up, Poliquin suggested that you use 85% of your 1RM and complete as many reps as possible with that weight. 1-4 reps completed would suggest a fast twitch fiber make up for that muscle group. 5 or 6 reps would equate to a mixed fiber type. And above that would suggest a slower twitch fiber composition for that muscle group.

Once again I believe that these are just general guidlines that he has observed. May not work for everyone across the board.

Goodluck with Boot Camp!


I believe there was a T-Mag article about this. One of the things mentioned was measuring vertical leap. Try searching and see if you can find it.

Take care,


Nova Coach, thank you very much. That is exactly what I was looking for.