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Working Chest and Back on Same Day
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micgoins
Level 1

Join date: Mar 2008
Location: New Jersey, USA
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What are the pros and cons of lifting Chest and Back on the same day with a heavy load. 3x6 is what I use I am in a mass building phase. Do you think its better to put them on separate days?

All opinions are welcomed.

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slimthugger
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Push and pull is awesome. The only drawback is it's two big muscle groups. If you have the energy and the time it's a great workout. Arnold loved that combo.

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ds77
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Join date: Dec 2007
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I usually do back and chest on the same day. The pro is i can superset chest and back which allows me to do more sets in less time. For example, i superset bench press and rows.

Im not sure there is a con to working out back/chest on the same day.

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Terrace Lad
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From what I have talked to other people training back and chest the same day, if you have the energy and concentration to provide maximum attention to both muscle groups then why not? You might just be pleased with the results after a time.

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DJG831
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I currently train them on separate days but am thinking of putting them into one workout and training them twice a week to make up for the the reduced volume per workout, swapping the dominant muscle.


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Growing_Boy
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I would be to burned out after chest to hit back. Back day is the hardest day of the week. Even if the weights have gone down in my case, the chalk still flies, the blood still flows from wounds, and the straps are equipped. I wouldn't have the proper intensity for both.

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That One Guy
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Growing_Boy wrote:
I would be to burned out after chest to hit back. Back day is the hardest day of the week. Even if the weights have gone down in my case, the chalk still flies, the blood still flows from wounds, and the straps are equipped. I wouldn't have the proper intensity for both.


You seem to be saying that you would do all of chest first and then hit back. Of course you'd be too burnt out. But if the OP would set it up where he performs a chest exercise, then a back exercise (antagonistic pairing) you could probably make fatigue a lot more manageable, even shorten overall individual rest times and get more done in less time.

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PF_88
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Join date: Apr 2007
Location: Ontario, CAN
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That One Guy wrote:
Growing_Boy wrote:
I would be to burned out after chest to hit back. Back day is the hardest day of the week. Even if the weights have gone down in my case, the chalk still flies, the blood still flows from wounds, and the straps are equipped. I wouldn't have the proper intensity for both.

You seem to be saying that you would do all of chest first and then hit back. Of course you'd be too burnt out. But if the OP would set it up where he performs a chest exercise, then a back exercise (antagonistic pairing) you could probably make fatigue a lot more manageable, even shorten overall individual rest times and get more done in less time.


Exactly. Now that school is back I am not able to workout nearly as much, a chest/back day, followed by legs, is an awesome routine for me. I don't feel too tired and set it up as others have mentioned, I do the antagonist superset.

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AzAthlete008
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Join date: Jul 2008
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I did chest/back for about 6 months before i changed it. It worked very well for me. I used a 5x5 routine, It is possible to make considerable gains.

I would normally do about 4 exercises for each body part, starting with back and ending with chest. Even if you "super-setted" these, or however you slice or dice 'em, If your cardio is not up to par, it would be worthless, It is alot of work....IMO.

Good Luck.

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RSGZ
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Join date: Jun 2005
Location: England
Posts: 9673

I've done it in the past, but have personally seen better results splitting them up.

I do back on a Monday with biceps, and chest with triceps tuesday. That way my back doms only sets in on Wednesday and I'm still full of energy but splitting them up.

Wednesday I take off and then have the benefit of recovering more parts at once. My back has seen great results this way, I found a whole bunch of new stretchmarks on my lats last week.

Everything (almost) works at some point, for a certain time.

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pepperman
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In several articles Thibs reccommends chest/back pairing. I just worked through the following split:

day 1 chest/back
day 2 legs
day 3 arms/shoulders
day 4 rest

I like the antagonistic pairing and I like the above split, it allows twice/week body part training with enough flexibility to select three exercises for back and three for chest. I have also read that antagonistic pairings reduces the risk of injury however I'm not exactly sure if this has been proven or is backed by anyone who knows anything.

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Poetikaal
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Join date: Sep 2008
Location: Pennsylvania, USA
Posts: 162

I love doing chest and back together. right now im doing an every-other cycle. for example

day 1: chest/back
day 2: legs
day 3: shoulders/arms
day 4: off
day 5: chest/biceps
day 6: legs
day 7: back/biceps
day 8: off
day 9: shoulders/arms
day 10: legs
day 11: off
day 12: chest/back
day 13: legs
day 14: shoulders/arms

good luck with your own trials!

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The Mighty Stu
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Join date: Oct 2002
Location: New York, USA
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Each body part, for me at least, has always required a good amount of time, so my concern would always be that there was no way I could do adequate work (decent weights, rest periods...) if I were to do both together (I always prefered to do back by itself for a number of reasons anyway).

I assume the weights would be greatly reduced, and I'm sure if I were to try such an endeavor (which I do intend to, in a month when I try antagonistic work in an effort to cut more), my weights will drop considerably (although I'm sure the pump will be pretty intense -lol)

S

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davidtower
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I started doing chest/back on same day when I was doing Thib's OVT. Now that I'm doing my own thing, I'm still using the same splits and I really like it.

I was thinking about this when reading a recent post about too many compounds and thinking (wow..my chest/back is almost all compounds)

Do I get tired? hell yeah. Also I'm usually there for a good 75-80 minutes but it's a helluva workout.

I like that my tri's and bi's are getting two good workouts in a week (monday is chest/back, and then thursday is bi's/tri's) and my arms are getting noticably bigger

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Short Hoss
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I did Chest/Back for a while and kept it heavy. The pump was great.

If you keep it heavy, you better make sure you got enough carbs and water in ya.

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doubleh
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Join date: Oct 2007
Location: New York, USA
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Growing_Boy wrote:
I would be to burned out after chest to hit back. Back day is the hardest day of the week. Even if the weights have gone down in my case, the chalk still flies, the blood still flows from wounds, and the straps are equipped. I wouldn't have the proper intensity for both.


Growing Boy's post brings up an important distinction that must be made: what we are talking about re: back day. I do back and chest on the same day, but it is "upper" back, i.e. rows, chins, lat pulls, etc. I agree that I would never have the intensity to deadlift properly on chest day, so I deadlift another day.

I also usually start the WO cycle with chest/back, so I am at my freshest those days.

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forlife
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Location: Texas, USA
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There is research that when you alternate exercising two opposing muscle groups, you see better results. This goes not just for chest/back, but for biceps/triceps, quads/hams, etc.

I used to do splits, but have been doing total body workouts the past couple of years. I always do chest/back at the top of the workout, alternating between the two exercises. I find I have greater intensity as a result.

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Professor X
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Join date: Oct 2002
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forlife wrote:
There is research that when you alternate exercising two opposing muscle groups, you see better results. This goes not just for chest/back, but for biceps/triceps, quads/hams, etc.

I used to do splits, but have been doing total body workouts the past couple of years. I always do chest/back at the top of the workout, alternating between the two exercises. I find I have greater intensity as a result.


That is not something I would not recommend once you really start moving heavier weight or get over 200lbs.

As it stands, there is no way in hell I could train chest and back efficiently. I use too much weight for both so I give each their own day (with triceps trained with chest).

If you guys are still pretty light in body weight, I doubt that is a concern.

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doubleh
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Join date: Oct 2007
Location: New York, USA
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Professor X wrote:
forlife wrote:
There is research that when you alternate exercising two opposing muscle groups, you see better results. This goes not just for chest/back, but for biceps/triceps, quads/hams, etc.

I used to do splits, but have been doing total body workouts the past couple of years. I always do chest/back at the top of the workout, alternating between the two exercises. I find I have greater intensity as a result.

That is not something I would not recommend once you really start moving heavier weight or get over 200lbs.

As it stands, there is no way in hell I could train chest and back efficiently. I use too much weight for both so I give each their own day (with triceps trained with chest).

If you guys are still pretty light in body weight, I doubt that is a concern.


It can be done, depends on how you have your workouts structured. I think I remember you lift 1 bodypart per week; obviously in that type of split combining back and chest on one day is neither ideal nor even necessary.

Do you deadlift Professor? Just curious...

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Professor X
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doubleh wrote:
Professor X wrote:
forlife wrote:
There is research that when you alternate exercising two opposing muscle groups, you see better results. This goes not just for chest/back, but for biceps/triceps, quads/hams, etc.

I used to do splits, but have been doing total body workouts the past couple of years. I always do chest/back at the top of the workout, alternating between the two exercises. I find I have greater intensity as a result.

That is not something I would not recommend once you really start moving heavier weight or get over 200lbs.

As it stands, there is no way in hell I could train chest and back efficiently. I use too much weight for both so I give each their own day (with triceps trained with chest).

If you guys are still pretty light in body weight, I doubt that is a concern.

It can be done, depends on how you have your workouts structured. I think I remember you lift 1 bodypart per week; obviously in that type of split combining back and chest on one day is neither ideal nor even necessary.

Do you deadlift Professor? Just curious...


No, I don't deadlift. I also don't train muscle groups only once a week. I usually train shoulders twice at least...which may be why I get more comments on them lately than any other body part.

It isn't about whether it can be done. It is about if it will lead to the most progress.

If you are a beginner, you can get away with it. If you are benching 400+lbs for reps, it is probably a bad idea to think you will go all out for back on the same day as chest.

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forlife
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Professor X wrote:
If you are a beginner, you can get away with it. If you are benching 400+lbs for reps, it is probably a bad idea to think you will go all out for back on the same day as chest.


This is sounding like the old split vs. TBW debate.

For those that hit multiple body parts in the same workout, the research shows that alternating chest/back produces the best gains.

I don't know if that asymptotes at higher levels or not, but I'm curious why you think it would?

Yes, you are moving more weight but you also have more muscle to support that weight. Are you saying that a 250 pound guy should be more physically exhausted from his workout than a 150 pound guy?

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Professor X
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forlife wrote:
Professor X wrote:
If you are a beginner, you can get away with it. If you are benching 400+lbs for reps, it is probably a bad idea to think you will go all out for back on the same day as chest.

This is sounding like the old split vs. TBW debate.

For those that hit multiple body parts in the same workout, the research shows that alternating chest/back produces the best gains.

I don't know if that asymptotes at higher levels or not, but I'm curious why you think it would?

Yes, you are moving more weight but you also have more muscle to support that weight. Are you saying that a 250 pound guy should be more physically exhausted from his workout than a 150 pound guy?


YES. Perception is everything, but the larger guy has taxed his muscles and entire system more with much more weight than the weaker guy.

No matter what "newbie" does in the gym, it does not equal benching 400+lbs for several reps or the usual routine of someone like that which often involves 4-5 exercises all taken to that level.

"Newbie" might be tired from his workout, but he has NOT stressed his muscles the same or put his ENTIRE body through the same stress.

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crod266
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i have tried it and i have to say there is no way i personally have the energy to go all out on chest and then switch to back

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Tiribulus
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Join date: Aug 2006
Location: Michigan, USA
Posts: 16195

I couldn't work back and chest directly as hard I work them now on the same day. Maybe some younger guys can. I know I couldn't. One or the other would be compromised.

If somebody's happy with how their training is going far be it from me to say they're not, but as far as I'm concerned push, pull and legs each get a direct day.

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forlife
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Join date: Sep 2005
Location: Texas, USA
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Professor X wrote:
"Newbie" might be tired from his workout, but he has NOT stressed his muscles the same or put his ENTIRE body through the same stress.


I can see that, since someone new to the gym could reach max fatigue without recruiting his muscles to nearly the same level.

That said, I'm curious what you think about the caveat of total body workouts. It's clear you support splits, but if someone is going to work multiple body parts, are you arguing that they will get less benefit from working opposing muscle groups than working non-related muscle groups?

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