Can You Workout Your Chest and Back on the Same Day?

by Josh | Last Updated:  September 11, 2020
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When planning out a workout regimen you will find that most people will do splits of exercises. One of the biggest discussion points I read online frequently is around chest and back is whether you can workout your chest and back together and how to best align them for results. Training chest and back on the same day is frequently argued back and forth.

Why would you do a chest and back workout the same day? Since they are both very large muscle groups it can be very exhausting but will gather tremendous results. Push and pull should be set up where you perform a chest exercise, then a back exercise using antagonistic pairing. This should help manage fatigue more, even shorten overall individual rest times, and get more done in less time.

Since we now understand whether you should work out your chest and back together lets deep dive into the reasons for them to be partnered and additionally the reasons why you would possibly consider this a negative to help you make your decision on how to best approach doing chest and back on the same day.

Should I Workout Chest and Back on the Same Day?

This will ultimately come down to a personal preference and your available time itself, as you will have to figure out what is your available time for the gym.

If you are able to workout for multiple hours each day then you could do a more beneficial split for your week and possibly yield better results. This would be something more similar to back/bi, chest/tri.

Beautiful young blond woman doing bench presses with weights in a fitness location - post on chest and back same day

If you are like me though and have a super limited amount of time then matching up the 2 big muscles allows me to push out everything I can and get a solid workout without the need to have another dedicated day.

Why Workout Chest and Back Together?

Pairing together two large groups like chest and back on the same day allows for the possibility to work your chest and back on the same day twice a week which could yield better overall results.

When you split up these two then you would want days between the workouts to allow for rest and to be properly prepared for your next large muscle group, to me this makes more sense to pair them and allow more time building strength.

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If you want to do this pair successfully you will want to have a large amount of carbs for energy and a large volume of protein to allow for a proper repair cycle with plenty of available amino acids, so you’ll need to eat up!

Drawbacks to Working Your Chest and Back on the Same Day

Much of the drawbacks are that they are two very large muscle groups and when you pair them together you tend to be able to lift less weight overall as you fatigue your muscles.

Though from reading this apparently is more of a risk when you stay on one then start. the other without actually staggering back and forth, an antagonistic approach allows for some recovery on the opposite muscle group.

I do feel that if you are to hammer your chest constantly I could see how that body fatigue would lead to really good chest lifting but then way poorer results on your back work lifts, the exhaustion is real as your body isn’t an instant machine.

Big Reason to Not Workout Your Chest and Back on the Same Day

Your back is about half of your entire upper body and working it out will typically involve a large use of your arms to support the lifts necessary for a good workout.

Your chest is over a quarter of your upper body and also uses your arms to a large extent. This means when you run chest and back together you are using the arms multiple times in support at the same time.

Where the rubber hits the road on this combination, if you start with deadlifts then make your progression to a bench press you would see a loss in performance on your bench press due to the fatigue created from your deadlifts.

Young Man Doing Dumbbell Incline Bench Press Workout In Gym - post on chest and back same day workouts
Young Man Doing Dumbbell Incline Bench Press Workout In Gym

Now if numbers aren’t your worry this may not be a big worry for you and continuing if it makes your life easier may be your path, for those who do this drop in “written” strength may impact them mentally.

Additionally this set when done correctly and with proper weight will more than likely gas you and tank out your energy levels. How are you planning to finish your workout now that there is little left in the tank?

Since you were able to complete only two lifts and no other work without being tired you see how this could be a problem for having a solid workout? Many people when I researched online instead chose to branch out everything like doing chest one day, back a different day, and arms being on another separate day.

Final Thoughts on Chest and Back Workouts on the Same Day

Hopefully you have learned a little more about whether doing chest and back together on the same day is a good idea for you. With workouts being so personal and needing to fit time and ability there is no one size fits all option.

If you choose to do daily workouts and have the time then the data would most certainly say that it isn’t the best approach to do a chest/back split. But if you have little time and are trying to maximize your value in working out then this may be the best workout split possible.

Arnold Schwarzenegger loves and continues to do this workout so it most definitely can’t give poor results as he has won numerous competitions and has a physique that even now many men would want and are envious of, this shows me it can work for anyone with the dedication.

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