Training Different Muscle Groups In The Same Workout

Dan Steel

When you’re doing split (muscle group) routine training, obviously it’s not practical to train just 1 muscle group per workout, otherwise you’d need to be training 7 days a week – so you need to combine 2 or more muscle groups within the same workout.

So which muscle groups are best trained together, and in which order?

Ok let’s start with the order first.

Train the biggest, strongest muscle group first, then work down in order of size and strength.

So for example, say you were training your chest and triceps in 1 workout – you would start with the chest exercises first then move onto the tricep excercises afterwards.

There are 2 reasons why it’s best to train this way.

First, using the above example of the chest & tricep routine, when training your chest, a lot of tricep effort is required, so by the time you come to do your tricep execises they have already recieved a ‘pre-workout’ and will already be a little fatigued or ‘pre-exhausted’. So your triceps are much more likely to get a full growth workout with less additional time than if you had trained them from fresh.

Second, imagine if you had trained the opposite way round and done your tricep exercises first. Your triceps would be fully fatigued and weak before you even start your chest routine, and so would become the first muscle to give out during the chest exercises. That would mean your chest would not get a full and proper workout. Your triceps would effectively become ‘the weakest link in the chain’.

Now let’s move on to which muscle groups are best trained together in the same workout.

This list is certainly not definitive, but it should give you a good understanding. Experiment with a few and see how you get on. I never like training my chest & shoulders together for example, but some people like it.

One thing you must always try to follow is this – keep all exercises for 1 muscle group together. For example, say you are training your chest & back – do all your chest exercises together, then do all your back exercises together. Don’t be tempted to mix it up just because you can’t get on a piece of equipment in your gym for instance. If that’s the case, do a different exercise in the same muscle group.

An exception to this rule is when you might be super-setting or circuit training – that will be covered in another post.


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