T Nation

Muscle Pairings


I have been pairing my muscles so nothing is hit two days in row. For example I'll work back and biceps on the same day, or work biceps in the begginning of the week and back at the end.

However, I love listening to my body. I worked biceps yesterday and I have a burning desire to train back today. Do you think this is alright? This will be the only time I work back and biceps this week. My biceps were hit yesterday and will be indirectly hit today when I work back. Opinions? Does anyone else do this? I am a nutral athlete as well so recovery is more of a factor.


Well, try doing Deads/Rack Pulls or some such, Face Pulls... whatever doesn't hit your bis much ?

Trevor Smith had his regimen set up so that Chest would be trained on one day, then Delts and Tris the very next day.

He wrote that he couldn't do all the same day due to how intense his regimen was or whatever, but taking an off day in between and then doing Delts and Tris messed up Recovery.

Doing them in a row instead allowed the involved muscles to be fresh when needed, and then gave them plenty of recovery for the rest of the week.

Won't kill you if you do it once, anyway.


I set mine up this way.

Mon- Chest/Biceps
Tues- Quad/Shoulders
Wed- Back/Triceps
Th- off
Fri- Posterior Chain/Forearms

So everything gets a little bit of work every session as well as one intense session of its own.


I'd say it depends on how hard you hit your biceps yesterday. For instance, yesterday I did Back/Biceps, but I had a horrible workout and couldn't get into it at all. So today I did Back/Biceps again and everything went well even though my forearms were pretty sore.

I think its ok to do smaller muscle groups directly and then soon after hit a bigger muscle group directly SOMETIMES because once you get warmed up, you won't even notice the soreness of the smaller muscles. At least this is what I have learned from my time in the gym so far...


It's probably a good idea.

Since your biceps are already pre-exhausted, they'll be less of a factor forcing you to primarily use your back.



I see this split pop up every once in awhile. One day I'm going to try it-- looks like fun.


I'd written alot more about it, but the forum ate the post.

I like it because you get a little bit of triceps monday and tuesday with chest and shoulders, you get a little bit of biceps with back, you get a little lower back with squats and a bit of quad work with deadlifts. Forearms get a little bit of work with every exercise that involves holding onto a bar, and they get prefatigued nicely from deadlifts and rack pulls so you can get a really good pump doing them last on that day.

And none of the days really get in the way of the others, either. I don't get sore triceps from chest or shoulder work, so I can really blast them with back.

Numbers are still going up, so I'm cool with it for now.


If the fatigue or soreness in your biceps is going to limit in any way your ability to perform 100% on your back exercises, then it isn't worth it.

Otherwise there is no problem with it at all. It's pretty typical for me to train bodyparts like chest and shoulders, or chest and triceps on back to back days, and it causes me no problems at all. But back and biceps I either need to do on the same day or separate quite a bit.


Yeah I agree I think it's opposite for me though. My biceps get sore, but it goes away really quickly, however my triceps stay sore for 2 to 3 days.


Really though, if you're using that much biceps when training back, you're doing it wrong.

I'm not saying you're not going to use them at all, but biceps strength isn't what holds you back on heavy rows and pulldowns/chins. It's back strength.

I don't think that anybody is so connected to their muscles that they can completely eliminate using biceps, but if you're trying to pull your elbows rather than you're hands, you can minimize it somewhat.