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  • Mitchell Rothbardt


A few years ago I had a friend who also was a bit of a gym rat. He was a pretty big, but he had the posture of someone who did a whole lot of bench pressing at the expense of everything else. I didn’t have the knowledge then to know exactly what I was seeing, but his arms would hang down in front of his thighs instead of to his side, and as his arms were hanging his hands were turned inward. In other words his palms were directly in front of, and faced his thighs. I now know that the reason for this was because his chest and the front of his shoulders was overdeveloped in comparison to his back and rear shoulders. At the time I just thought it was because he was big.

I remember one day we were talking and he mentioned that all of his friends looked like that and he found it unusual that I didn’t. We didn’t have a good reason why but now I know that it was because of balance. You see, even then I just understood the value of balance in your programming. I always did pulling exercises like pullups and rows to balance out the pushing exercises like the bench press, and a result I stayed away from the “bench gorilla” posture.

Anyway, that brings us to this morning. I’ve always known that if you were able to bench press a certain weight, you should be able to do a pullup with pretty much that same weight (bodyweight included). So, for example, my maximum bench press is about 265 pounds. My body weight is about 175 lbs. That means that I should be able to do a pullup with about 9o lbs. hanging on me. After three sets of good benching and two sets of heavy weighted pullups (35 lbs. for six good reps) I felt good and decided to add a 45 lb. plate to the 35 lb. plate that was already on my belt to see what I could do. I know it’s only 80 lbs. added not 90, but after the work I had already done, I didn’t think about quibbling over 10 lbs.

In any case check out the video.

I know the video is a little grainy, but I’m proud of this lift. My bench number is not great, to put it mildly, but many people that have great bench numbers can barely do one or two good bodyweight pullups. I’m very happy and proud that I’ve put in well rounded work. Now if I can only get that bench number to 275, I’d really be happy!

Mitchell Rothbardt Mitch Rothbardt Fitness 510-754-7113 Discover Your Strength!

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