Pull double what you push? Maybe not so much.

It’s common for coaches to recommend that:

  1. You should dedicate double the amount of training volume to pulling exercises than you do to pushing exercises.
  2. You should be able to do double the amount of reps in horizontal pulling exercises with the same weight you used for a similar horizontal pushing exercise.

These general training recommendations intuitively sound good because we sit so often. And, if you look at anatomy alone, you might conclude that you should be able to pull much more than you can push because the pulling musculature is much larger than the pushing musculature.

However, although well-intentioned, this all paints an incomplete and therefore inaccurate picture. Watch this video from my new Strength Symmetry Evaluation Course to learn why.

Now, I had to do a follow up video to clarify the following key points:

  • I am indeed talking about the common idea that you should do a 2 to 1 ratio of pulling to pushing exercises
  • I’m not only talking about the idea that you should be able to pull double what you can push as a general strength standard

Doubling your pulling volume has some merit as a programming recommendation… in certain instances. For example, the stereotypical gym bro who mainly does chest and arms could benefit from such advice. But I wouldn’t use it as a blanket programming recommendation or as a principle for everyone else to follow. Here’s why, along with my practical and simply approach to programming pushing to pulling exercises.

Interested in learning more about strength imbalances including which ones matter and how to correct them? Click here to check out my brand-new Strength Symmetry Evaluation course.

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