Last updated on October 11th, 2022 at 12:36 pm
Who else wants to know, “Is it Better to Train Biceps With Chest or Back?”
We all want to find the perfect workout split to suit our individual goals.
I mean there are just so many different ways to train.
However, there is often confusion as to when you should train the biceps.
Some people live by working back and biceps together, whereas others prefer to work biceps with chest.
So, is there a right way and a wrong way to be doing this?
Let’s find out.
Is it Better to Train Biceps With Chest or Back?
If your aim is to build overall size and strength then it would be better to train your biceps with back. This will mean that you can concentrate more on the bigger, compound exercises. If you were to train chest and biceps together then bicep fatigue could be an issue when it comes to training your back. However, if you’re more interested in increasing size and strength in your biceps then training chest and biceps together would be better. This way your biceps will be stimulated more often during the week, as they will also be worked when you train your back.
1. Train Biceps With Back For Overall Size & Strength
I think the main reason that many people don’t want to train these two muscle groups together is due to pre-exhaustion and fatigue.
Some when it comes to actually training to isolate the biceps you find that you’re simply not working as hard.
Your biceps are already sore, so you end up doing a few half-hearted curls and then call it a day.
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You could say exactly the same if you happen to be training chest and triceps on the same day.
You hit a heavy bench press, some incline dumbbell presses, perhaps some flyes and dips.
So, once again, by the time it comes to doing some tricep work you don’t have much left in the tank.
Now, I know some people will view this as a bad thing.
Your arms really aren’t getting the attention you want them to.
However, for me, it all depends on your training goals.
So, if your aim is to simply get bigger and stronger then I would always pair back with biceps and chest with triceps.
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The reason being is that it is the big compound exercises that will do most for increasing size and strength.
In fact, you could hit biceps 4 times a week, for an hour at a time, and you could still look as though you didn’t work out.
However, you do the same with compound exercises for your back and it’s a completely different story.
Please note, I’m not telling you to train an individual body part 4 times a week, I was just looking to get my point across.
If you want to get big and strong then spend more time working the larger muscles of the body with compound movements.
Once you’ve attained your goals you can then concentrate on more specialized training.
2. Train Biceps With Chest For Biceps Size & Strength
Okay, it’s time to look at things from the other point of view.
Now, if your aim is to focus more on your biceps training then I would pair chest and biceps together.
The reason for this should be obvious now from what I’ve mentioned above.
Basically, you can still build great size and strength by hitting the chest hard with compound movements.
The vast majority of chest pushing exercises will also work the front delts and the triceps.
So, in effect, these muscles could well be fatigued after an intense chest workout.
However, your biceps will still be pretty fresh.
This of course allows you to work the biceps much harder.
So, rather than simply going through the motions and performing a few curls, you can really concentrate on some decent biceps work.
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Then when it comes to training your back later in the week you get a chance to hit the biceps again, as a secondary muscle group.
The biceps will already have been put through their paces on “chest day” and now they get even more activation during your back workout.
Plus, if you happen to perform back and triceps together, your triceps will also have been hit twice during the week.
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So, in effect the muscle groups in your arms will have been worked twice each during the week.
Perfect, if your focus is to build bigger arms.
3. It Depends on Your Training Split
Now while both of the above scenarios probably sound good to you, depending on your goals, there is something else to consider.
How and when you train biceps could be determined by your training split.
Let’s look at the second scenario above.
So, your training split could be:
Now initially this all looks great, but based on your recovery abilities, you could actually impede on each day’s training.
I will always say that irrespective of your training goals, you should be hitting the big, compound movements more than anything else.
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So, even if you want massive biceps it’s going to be hard to achieve this without working your back effectively.
What you may find is that if you complete chest and biceps on Monday your biceps aren’t fully recovered by Wednesday.
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This will then impact on the effectiveness of your back workout.
This could essentially mean that your chest and biceps get a great workout every week, whereas your back and triceps workout is poor.
You continue doing this and eventually this may lead to muscle imbalances, and of course injury.
Of course, you could change things around, but it’s important to remember that shoulder training can also have an effect on both chest and triceps training, and vice versa.
So, if you train chest and biceps on Monday, your shoulder training may suffer on Wednesday, and although your back training is good on Friday, your triceps are pretty fatigued by then.
As I say, this does all very much depend on your powers of recovery.
I’m sure there are those of you who could train:
- Monday – Chest and Biceps
- Tuesday – Back and Triceps
- Wednesday – Legs and Shoulders
- Thursday- Chest and Biceps
- Friday – Back and Triceps
- Saturday – Legs and Shoulders
- Sunday – REST
And you would be completely fine, well-trained and well-rested.
So, it is very much down to how well you recover.
Definitely something for you to consider.
Best Training Split For Building Muscle
So, I hope you now have a better idea of when to train biceps.
Basically, if your goal is to be bigger and stronger then train biceps with your back.
However, if you want to concentrate more on building your biceps then train biceps with your chest.
With that being said, always be wary of how well you recover from your workouts.
If your aim is to be bigger, stronger, well-conditioned, and have bigger biceps then you’ll want to check out Lee Hayward’s workout program.
Lee has a 3-phase workout program that focuses on:
- Total Body Conditioning Workouts
- Arm Specialization Training Workouts
- Hardcore Mass and Power Training Workouts
Lee states that by following this process you can pack on size, strength, power, as well as adding two inches to your arms in just 8 weeks.
You can check out what I thought of Lee’s workout program in my Blast Your Biceps Review.
Hi, I’m Partha, owner and founder of My Bodyweight Exercises. I am a Level 3 Personal Trainer and Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist through the Register of Exercise Professionals, United Kingdom. I have been a regular gym-goer since 2000 and coaching clients since 2012. My aim is to help you achieve your body composition goals.