When I started going to gym, it happened that I had chest+shoulders+biceps day, back+triceps day and legs day. But I've heard many times that people tend to do chest+triceps because triceps works during bench press and the same for back+biceps during pull-ups. I tried doing triceps after chest and were able to do fewer reps(on dips) and less weight/reps on crossover triceps. So, is it really good to combine chest with triceps, even if weights decrease?

  • Were you doing dips after bench press or something like that? Then it's not strange that you're managing to do fewer reps, and not necessarily bad. If you're doing bench press on your non-triceps day, you're not really doing clean splits since you're doing triceps multiple times per week, so it's more like whole-body workouts.
    – Mårten
    Aug 5, 2015 at 6:21
  • @Mårten yes after bench, incline bench and crossover chest, what are pros and cons of r splits and whole-body workouts?
    – Herokiller
    Aug 5, 2015 at 6:29
  • There is suprisingly little scientific studies done, but in practice, body builders tend to do splits while power lifters and other strength-focused people tend to do whole body workouts, probably because splits lets you do more isolation exercises while many power lifting exercises use such a large part of the body that they don't really fit into a split regimen. Also, many body builders workout more than 3 times per week which requires you to split if you don't want to workout a muscle two days in a row.
    – Mårten
    Aug 5, 2015 at 8:58
  • @Mårten isn't doing splits in this case result in overall reps with lesser weight while doing more sets, which is more resistance training?
    – Herokiller
    Aug 6, 2015 at 3:24

3 Answers 3


Well, I would ask you this simple question : What is the point of your training ?

Is it doing as many reps as possible, or is it building more muscle ?

I would guess the second one is your concern. In that regard, what you are looking for is destroying you muscle fibers in order for your body to overcompensate for your losses.

Remember this :

When it comes to building muscle, weight is a mean to the end, not the end in itself.

So obvioulsy, you will be able to do less reps, and that is a good thing. Most bodybuilders don't care about the weight they are pushing, as long as they feel it stresses their muscle enough.

When you are really tired at the end of your workout, it is normal - and a good thing - to be able to push way less. A good example would be doing drops Sets.

That is why a split makes a lot of sense.


What I would tell you is that for upper body, chest, shoulders, and triceps usually work together(bench press, dips, push ups, shoulder press, chest press, tricep dumbbell bench press(see bodybuilding.com)...) well back and biceps usually also work together(pull ups, lat pull downs, curls, rows, chin ups, iso row, etc.) Legs and abs are a different category, but to answer your question, yes, chest and triceps should be worked on the same days.


Yes, chest and triceps have to be worked on the same day, due to the fact that nearly every chest exercise works the triceps, too. The same law applies for the back and biceps. Imagine a robber walking into a bank without a gun. There is no robbery, because there is a missing link, the gun. Trying to rob a bank with no weapon is like trying to work your chest without your triceps. You need to do both to have a successful workout.

  • How about those robbers that strap bombs on themselves? Or those that slip notes to cashiers? :) Sep 6, 2015 at 8:24

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