What Should I Workout After Chest Day? The All-You-Need-To-Know Guide
We see people strutting around the gym with mountains of muscle on them, looking impeccable (pun intended) and all, and we’ve secretly wanted to be like them.
We spend countless hours focusing on chest exercises on more days and yet, while we have seen some sort of improvement, we don’t notice significant gains that equal to the time we’ve spent on that bench press.
So, you ask: what the heck am I doing wrong? Am I really just not meant to have a pecs-tacular chest like them? Am I destined to be a sheet of plywood forever?
Slow down and take a deep breath! It’s just because you’ve turned chest day into chest week and solely focusing on your pecs is making it harder for you to activate them for peak definition.
Wait, but I am not training my pecs all the time? Yeah but you are more than likely hitting them too hard or you are not getting enough calories and protein in.
I found that part difficult too because I just can’t eat that much food. I now use Kachava to get my calories and pretty much replace my breakfast because I hate breakfast and it’s hard for me to eat in the morning.
You can see the flavor that I use here if you want.
And since I already know I will get asked, this is the pre-workout I use here, and this is the protein shake I use.
These are the ones I like. You by no means need to use anything that I do. Do your own research and see what fits you best.
But do trust me on this, pecs are by far my hardest muscle to grow.
Here is a pic of me after i got back in the gym having stopped working out for a year and going through many surgeries.
This was the video i made on youtube about it.
But as you can see, my pecs are having a hard time not only growing but also staying symmetric. I know it, you know it. It’s not good looking that’s for sure.
But it forced me to train differently and learn new things.
Extending your exercise repertoire by training other muscle groups can prevent any stalling in terms of muscle building and fitness if you just hear me out.
What Should I Workout after Chest Day?
So, now we know that we should be working out on other muscle groups to help us define our chest. The next problem is: what muscle group comes after Chest Day?
Now most, if not all, of us have gone through the big mistake of exercising more than one major muscle group in the same workout or on back-to-back days.
What we realized too late was when we went all out with the first muscle group, we ended up tired and lacked a significant amount of intensity when focusing on the muscles we worked on next.
Given this, it’s vital to know what muscle groups can and cannot go together throughout the week as you work out.
Is There a Best Muscle Group to Work on After Chest Day? If so, What is it?
Some gym-goers would urge you to work on the muscles opposite your chest and that is your back. Others would tell you to train the muscle group far from your torso and those are your legs.
But none of them will recommend you to crunch those numbers with your shoulders and arms right after Chest Day.
The largest muscle groups found in our body are in our legs while the back is the muscle group directly opposite to our chest which helps train our arms. Whichever of these two muscle groups you’d like to work back to back with Chest Day is all about your personal comfort and preference.
With all the things I’ve mentioned earlier, at the end of the day, I’d recommend doing Back Day after Chest Day to give your pecs and triceps a break without breaking momentum in your upper body.
While I find it to be not much of a problem to work on legs after chest day, I find that I grow more evenly distributed muscle on my upper torso when I train both chest and back on succeeding days.
But the chest and back are all found in the upper torso and it’s sore all over after Chest Day.
Yes, you’re right about the first part. However, they are different muscle groups and different exercises can target them without having to stress out your chest muscles.
Your Chest Day focuses on your front as well as your triceps while Back Day lasers in on, well you guessed it, your back! Oh, and also your biceps.
But simply being sore isn’t an excuse not to exercise. Not straining the same muscle groups every single day is the key. That’s how you see some gym rats working out 6 days a week, and others pushing the limits even further and working out 7 days a week, and you’re always wondering how they do it. That’s how!
The soreness you feel are micro-tears in your muscles that need time to heal. It’s standard practice to give sore muscles at least a day of rest in order for them to recuperate and grow.
If you’re way too sore post-workout, you can always count on muscle massage – such gizmos as Theragun, Vybe Percussion Massager, and Medmassager are cool choices for deep tissue massage at home.
But the secret is in allowing for enough recovery time so you can go hard on exercising them next time. That’s why most seasoned bodybuilders only do full body workouts every other day, and even for the ones doing single-set training, hardly will you ever see them doing sets to failure every day.
Is it bad to train Shoulders after chest day? What About Arms after chest day?
Many discourage training shoulders and arms right after your chest routine. Training shoulders after chest day is particularly considered overkill by some, mainly because it could potentially cause a strain on your muscles.
You and I know it’s unhealthy for your muscles to be overly stressed.
Your anterior delts that are found in the shoulders assist in any movements involving the chest while your triceps are used for any overhead pressing motions.
Overworking these muscles may lead to longer rest periods thanks to muscle strain which can effectively undo any progress you’ve done at the gym.
Should Back Day be Done After or Together with Chest Day?
Honestly, it’s all up to you!
There’s been very little qualm as to working on your back together or after your chest as long as you keep in mind that it’s proven that a grueling chest workout will leave your body less enthusiastic with your succeeding back workout if you should choose to work out back and chest on the same day.
Doing Chest and Back, back to back in the same workout will help you get the hardest and heaviest workouts out of the way for the week.
You also have nothing to worry about stressing out the same muscle groups since those found in the chest don’t interact with the ones found in your back.
How many days a week should I work my chest out?
Depending on how many days a week you’re hitting the gym (Spoiler alert: Science doesn’t recommend training every day!), the suggested number of days you ought to focus on your pectorals should be once a week. So one chest day a week it ought to be.
You can do Chest Day more than once a week, provided that you ensure your chest muscles get at least a day of rest and all the other muscle groups in your body gets the love they deserve while you’re at the gym.
Do not neglect training your biceps and triceps, your legs, abs, or any other muscle group just to train your chest.
My thoughts – What muscle group I work after chest day
After chest day I will either choose to work my legs or I will choose to work my back. I typically will choose to work my legs. It just so happens that my chest and leg workouts like benching and squatting allow me to work these muscle groups without gassing out one of them.
The reason for this is that I like to give my upper body a day of rest so that I can hit my back as hard as I need to in order to get the growth that I want out of my upper and lower lats and back muscles.
I like doing squats since to tone my thighs, I might also do some advanced squatting like shrimp squats if I feel like it, I don’t like squatting each workout though so I might also do the seated leg press on a leg press machine. Sometimes
When I train my chest I do a lot of upper body movements such as chest-targeted dips, and other exercises that tend to train my entire upper body, so a day of rest is needed for me. Besides leg day is my 2nd favorite muscle to train.
What’s my first?… biceps.
Related Reading: What Muscles Do Dips Work?
Knowing how to split up body parts and muscle groups for optimal training is vital.
Knowing how to put together a workout that will actually work so you can achieve your body and fitness goals is just as essential as the act of busting your butt out with those weights.
Remember: don’t just train hard, train smart!
Have you had any problems with your workouts after Chest Day? Got a comment, a suggestion, an insight, or a question about this article? If so, we’d love to hear from you. Feel free to leave a comment below or contact us!
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- Should You Run After Leg Day?
- How Many Crunches Should I do Each Day
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Hi there! I'm Ben, main author and chief editor at Fitlifefanatics.com. I have been obsessed with Strength Training and Fitness for 16 years now.
My passion for living a happy fit lifestyle is what made me realize that fitness is what I wanted for my future.
I went on to earn my Masters in Sports Training & Biomechanics.
My passion for Strength training & fitness and my love of helping others is what made me start Fitlifefanatics.
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