T Nation

Chest/Triceps Order

I currently do 3 exercises for my chest and 3 exercises for my tri’s on the same day.

My question is: Do I do all 3 for the chest first and than the 3 for the tri’s?
Or can I alternate between the 2 muscles.

Example:

Dumbbell Bench Press than
Lying tricep extension than
Decline press than
Rope pulldowns, etc.

I think it’s preferable to do all the compound work first. If you fatigue your triceps too much first, it will limit your compound work, and your shoulders and chest won’t get worked as well as they could.

Compound movements first. That’s a given. Then I’d say whatever you wanted to emphasize… I usually alternate exercises, but as you’re not doing that many…???

I say switch it up. Try 3 weeks of all compound first, then 3 weeks of alternating. Personally, I’m big on variety and keeping the body guessing, but I guess it depends on your own personal goals.

Good Luck
Toddy

[quote]malonetd wrote:
I say switch it up. Try 3 weeks of all compound first, then 3 weeks of alternating. Personally, I’m big on variety and keeping the body guessing, but I guess it depends on your own personal goals.

Good Luck
Toddy[/quote]

There’s many ways of adding variety and switching things up without fatiguing your muscles such that your compound lifts suffer.

[quote]jsbrook wrote:
malonetd wrote:
I say switch it up. Try 3 weeks of all compound first, then 3 weeks of alternating. Personally, I’m big on variety and keeping the body guessing, but I guess it depends on your own personal goals.

Good Luck
Toddy

There’s many ways of adding variety and switching things up without fatiguing your muscles such that your compound lifts suffer.
[/quote]

Well in some cases it really works. If you have stubborn delts, then isolating the delts first, then hitting a compound lift like militaries can work. Pullovers or straight arm pulldowns before chins, leg curls before SL RDLs, tricep extensions followed by dips or close grip benches.

In this case, though, I wouldn’t do triceps first before regular bench presses.

[quote]mertdawg wrote:
jsbrook wrote:
malonetd wrote:
I say switch it up. Try 3 weeks of all compound first, then 3 weeks of alternating. Personally, I’m big on variety and keeping the body guessing, but I guess it depends on your own personal goals.

Good Luck
Toddy

There’s many ways of adding variety and switching things up without fatiguing your muscles such that your compound lifts suffer.

Well in some cases it really works. If you have stubborn delts, then isolating the delts first, then hitting a compound lift like militaries can work. Pullovers or straight arm pulldowns before chins, leg curls before SL RDLs, tricep extensions followed by dips or close grip benches.

In this case, though, I wouldn’t do triceps first before regular bench presses.
[/quote]

Yes, I agree with you. In some cases, pre-exhaustion techniques and what you describe are appropriate. But I agree here that tricep isolation should come after compound work.

Thank you

If you work your triceps before your chest, your benching will suffer.

However, your benching should recruit almost exclusively pectorals and deltoids if your triceps have been fried.

That’s called a pre exhaustion strategy.

But unless there is a particular reason you want to be doing that, you should probably stick to working chest first. The chest work will more than likely work your triceps quite heavily. Especially if you bench on the narrow side, or tuck your elbows at all, or if you perform dips.

Remember a lot of people here perform hardly any isolation work at all. Or if they do, it’s fairly light and higher rep than what they use for their compound exercises.

If you do enough chest and delt work (via presses) of all manner, you really don’t need to do any isolation work. But if you prefer, compound before isolation.

In my opinion it’s better to split chest and triceps to two separate days.

In a five day split I prefer to have an arm day with a separate chest day.

On chest day I run a bench press pyramid of two warm-up sets 10 reps, a third heavier warm-up set (I don’t know the % of 1 rep max), and finally a balls-out set that I can barely finish without a spot. I alternate going to failure every other workout. I do the same with incline presses, then a fly movement. I rotate other movements, always starting with bench and incline.

On the triceps portion of arm day I always start with close-grip bench press (the first movement of the day. I follow with some scull-crusher movement, then a pulley extension like overhead rope extensions. I find sticking with foundation exercises when I’m strongest gives me the ability to lift my heaviest on the compounds giving me my best results.

[quote]PAP wrote:
In my opinion it’s better to split chest and triceps to two separate days.

In a five day split I prefer to have an arm day with a separate chest day.

On chest day I run a bench press pyramid of two warm-up sets 10 reps, a third heavier warm-up set (I don’t know the % of 1 rep max), and finally a balls-out set that I can barely finish without a spot. I alternate going to failure every other workout. I do the same with incline presses, then a fly movement. I rotate other movements, always starting with bench and incline.

On the triceps portion of arm day I always start with close-grip bench press (the first movement of the day. I follow with some scull-crusher movement, then a pulley extension like overhead rope extensions. I find sticking with foundation exercises when I’m strongest gives me the ability to lift my heaviest on the compounds giving me my best results.[/quote]

I’ve found that if I bench with lots of band tension, I don’t need to do ANY extra tricep work, except for maybe a short stretch from time to time, however the triceps recover faster than the pecs so it may help to add in a seperate day just for arms.