If you want to find perfect balance in your body's performance and abilities, there are a lot of questions to address:

  • Should your pulling volume be twice as much as your pressing volume?
  • Should your horizontal pulls be balanced with your horizontal presses?
  • Should your arching be balanced with your rounding?
  • Should your knee extensions be balanced with your knee flexions?
  • Should you do extra work on your weaker side?

Sounds complicated, doesn't it? That's because it is. Even if you try, you cannot work a muscle in complete isolation. If you're performing an exercise to target a specific muscle group it does not mean that every other muscle stays at rest. If you're bench pressing, you're still using your lats to stabilize. If you're doing a set of maximal reps on deadlift, you're going to use more than your hamstrings, glutes, and low back.

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But let's take it one step further. If you could completely isolate one muscle group, in order to find balance you would not only have to do the same number of sets and reps, but you would also have to do them at the same intensity level. This means that you can't do an all-out set of 20 reps on the bench press and then balance that volume by doing two sets of 10 of rows.

With all this complexity, the question remains: how can you find balance? The answer: you can't. And you really shouldn't try. Athletes of all sports have imbalances for specific reasons. Dave explains why in this week's Table Talk.

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