Chest and Triceps or Chest and Biceps? [Best Workout Combo]

It is far more beneficial to muscle development and recovery to work out chest and triceps together vs. chest and biceps. Working out chest and triceps on the same day allows you to exhaust your “pushing” muscles in one workout. This not only triggers the most growth, but it also allows for complete recovery of your muscles before the next “push” workout. Pairing chest and biceps means you’ll have to work out your triceps on a different day. Your triceps will not be allowed to fully recover between workouts. This results in overtraining, difficulty building chest muscle, and reduced progress in the gym.

Chest and triceps or chest and biceps?

Why Should You Do Chest with Triceps?

The number one reason to pair chest and triceps in the same workout is to optimize recovery time. Your muscles don’t grow simply because of the workout, they grow during the rest period following a workout. Because your triceps will be worked when you are training chest anyway, adding more tricep workouts on non-chest days can overfatigue your muscles. This prevents your muscles from recovering, which can slow down your strength and muscle gains. Your best path to success is to work out your chest and triceps, allow both muscles to rest for 48–72 hours, then work them out again.

  • Exhaust all your push muscles (chest and triceps) on the same day to allow for an adequate rest period.
  • Adequate rest between workouts allows muscles to recover and develop strength, tone, and size.
  • Working out chest and triceps together reduces the need for time-consuming warm-ups.

Another bonus of combining chest and triceps together is that your chest exercises will warm up your triceps. This has two benefits. First, you won’t have to do a separate set of warm-ups for your triceps, making your time in the gym more efficient. Second, by warming up your triceps with chest exercises, they’ll be ready to go later in the workout. This reduces your injury risk during tricep exercises.

What are the Drawbacks of Doing Chest and Biceps?

The biggest drawback of doing chest and biceps on the same day is arm fatigue that will inhibit your chest workouts. If you have a tricep day on your schedule, your triceps will still be fatigued from this workout by the time the next chest day arrives on the schedule. Your triceps are a secondary muscle during compound chest exercises such as the bench press. If they’re already tired from a dedicated workout performed 1–2 days before, they’ll prevent you from doing your best on chest workouts.

  • If you work out triceps on a non-chest day, they’ll be fatigued when your chest workout arrives.
  • Fatigued triceps will cause you to fail on your chest workout.
  • For best results, fully exhaust muscles 2 times per week.
  • Splitting chest and triceps into separate days causes your triceps to work 4 times per week.
  • Working your triceps 4 times per week reduces strength and muscle gains at the same time it increases your chance of injury.

Muscles benefit most from being worked 2 times per week for a total of 10–15 sets. If you split chest and triceps up into different days and try to hit each muscle group twice per week, you’ll actually end up working your triceps 4 times in one week. Instead of more gains, you’ll actually overtrain your arms. This results in reduced progress and greatly increases your risk of injury.

What are the Best Exercises to Pair with Biceps?

Instead of chest and biceps, pair back and biceps together. The biceps work as a secondary muscle during back workouts such as pull-ups and rows. This allows them to get the same benefits of a warm-up, total exhaustion, and rest that your triceps do when paired with chest exercises.

  • Pair back exercises and bicep exercises together.
  • Complete all your back exercises before moving on to bicep training.
  • Your biceps will experience the best work and recovery cycle with this combination.

Because your arms are secondary muscles used during many compound lifts, it’s essential to isolate the triceps and biceps as much as possible, exhaust them, and then allow them to rest. Chest and triceps is a great combo. Back and biceps is also an ideal combination that works on the same principle.

Should You Do Chest or Triceps First?

When working out chest and triceps, always begin with your chest exercises. This allows you to recruit the full strength of your chest and arms to perform heavy, compound lifts such as the flat bench.

  • Perform all the chest exercises in your workout before you move on to tricep workouts.
  • If you work out your triceps before chest, your fatigued arms will prevent you from getting a good chest workout.
  • You will still get a great tricep workout by doing chest exercises before moving to tricep-specific exercises.

If your triceps are already fatigued before you work out your chest, they’ll become a failure point during your chest workout. An exhausted secondary muscle, such as shoulders or triceps, will inhibit you from truly working your chest. You’ll hold back your upper body progression by working out triceps before you do chest exercises. Start with an exercise like the bench press or chest press.

Should You Do Shoulders With Chest and Triceps?

It’s a great idea to work out your shoulders on the same day you hit your chest and triceps. One of the best and most advanced workout programs is the PPL program. PPL plans typically have 2 “Push” workouts per week. On a push day, you will work all your pushing muscles—chest, shoulders, and triceps. This workout plan is proven to get incredible results.

  • Elite lifting programs such as PPL combine chest, shoulders, and triceps into the same workout.
  • These “push” workouts start with chest exercises, move on to shoulder exercises, and finish with triceps exercises.
  • This progression is one of the best ways to build muscle in your upper body.

Because your triceps are secondary muscles during shoulder workouts as well as chest workouts, pairing these three muscles together is a match made in heaven. Perform 2 chest-specific exercises, 2 shoulder-focused lifts, and finish off with a tricep exercise for the ultimate push day. Then, you can rest 2–3 days before your next push day.

Should You Do Chest and Triceps or Chest and Biceps?

When working out, you’ll get the best results from fully exhausting a set of muscles and allowing them 2–3 days of recovery before you work them again. In order to make this happen, it’s essential to pair chest, shoulder, and tricep exercises on the same day. Then, pair back and biceps together on a different day. You’ll remain injury-free and advance quickly by following this schedule.


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