It is important to consider the best muscle groups to work out together when you are customizing a workout program. Many people make the mistake of putting the wrong muscle groups together on the same day. As a result, their performance for the following workouts throughout the week suffer.
Here are a couple of guidelines to follow when putting together your muscle groups:
Rule #1: Don’t put two big muscle groups together on the same day. This will hinder the amount of weight you can lift on a big muscle group. Instead, try to put a big muscle group with smaller muscles.
Example of what not to do:
1. Chest and Back. Chest and back should each have their own day to maximize your lifts. If you are doing chest first on a workout and a back exercise after, you will not be able to hit your back as hard as you hit chest. You want to be able to get the best possible performance out of each of these muscle groups.
- Monday – Chest
- Tuesday- Biceps and Triceps
The above example is poorly thought out. You do not want to put triceps after you have hit your chest hard on the previous day. This is because chest exercises already involve your triceps. You will not be able to train your triceps effectively if you do them the next day.
- Monday: Legs (Squats/Leg Curls)
- Wednesday: Chest/Shoulders (Bench Press/Shoulder Press)
- Friday: Back (Deadlifts/Chin Ups)
This is a much more effective way to maximize your potential on each and every workout. For one, you are giving each muscle group adequate time to repair and recover between workouts. Secondly, the most effective workouts for these muscle groups are compounded exercises. This means you are not only working out the main muscle group, but smaller supporting muscles as well. For example, Chin ups will workout your latissimus dorsi muscles as well as your biceps. A bench press workout will workout your chest muscles as well as your triceps. My grouping up your muscle groups this way, you can focus on doing your workouts at your highest potential, without worrying about the previous days workout hindering your performance.
Many people will tell you to put your arm workouts on separate days. However, when doing a compound exercise such as the chin up, you are already working out your bicep muscle with a heavy weight. You will not see someone doing chin ups with 2x their body weight with small arms.
If you prefer to train these smaller muscles separately on each day with isolated exercises, then you should group them as follows.
Muscle groups to work out together with adequate rest between:
- Chest with Bicep
- Legs with Abdominals/Core
- Back with Tricep
This configuration allows adequate rest for each muscle groups between training sessions. Notice that the tricep exercise is positioned two days after the chest workout. The back exercise is two days after the bicep workout. This should give your body plenty of time to recover.