Back and Chest workout for Mass and Strength

Are you ready to take your upper body workout to a new level? Then you must train your chest and back in the same workout.

Why is a chest and back workout important? The duo of chest and back workout increases your muscle strength and endurance in the upper body.

The chest-and-back superset session is one of your best training options. It’s grueling and challenging, but it will leave your entire upper body with a vicious pump and ensure that you’re hitting all critical upper-body muscles.

Arnold often worked back and chest together in the same workout, going back and forth between exercises for each. He also did this for opposing body parts, like the biceps and triceps.

Antagonist training ensures that you’re doing enough work for both sides of the body for better muscular balance.

This blog has detailed descriptions of the following topic:

Chest and Back Muscle Anatomy

The chest and back muscles are integral components of the upper body, contributing to strength, stability, and aesthetics.

Understanding these muscles and their functions can help you design targeted workouts and achieve optimal results. Let’s delve into each of these muscle groups:

Chest Anatomy

The chest muscles, or pectoralis muscle, are located in the front of the upper body. It consists of two main portions:

  • The upper chest is referred to as the clavicular head because of its attachment to the clavicle.
  • The lower chest is referred to as the sternocostal head because of their attachment to the ribs.

They are responsible for various movements involving the arms, such as pushing and hugging motions.

Chest ( pectoralis) anatomy

Back Anatomy

The back consists of several layers of muscle stacked like a sandwich. The muscles of the back subdivide into three categories.

Back anatomy

Benefits Of Training Back And Chest Together On the Same Workout Program

Below are the four benefits of training back and chest together on the same workout program:

1. It is a time-efficient way of training

Supersets involve the intertwining of the sets between two exercises, in this case, a chest exercise and a back exercise.

You would perform a set for one muscle group and immediately follow it with a set for the opposite muscle group before taking a rest.

2. It can help you gain strength

If you perform an incline bench press followed by 90 seconds of rest, and then perform a pull-up, followed by 90 seconds of rest, you will be resting a total of three minutes.

You will also notice that your strength for each exercise sometimes increases, as the nervous system appears to have an easier time recovering between sets when this technique is used.

3. Allows For More Appropriate Training Frequency

If you train back and chest together for one session, rather than two separate sessions, you can then train back and chest again for another session. This means you can at least train back and chest at least twice a week. 

4. Allows For Balanced Training Between Agonist-Antagonist Pairs

If you choose to train back and chest together, one thing you can benefit from is making sure that you balance the sets and difficulty for each of the muscle groups through superset.  This ensures that you can build muscular balance

How To Do Chest Back Workout

To structure an effective chest back workout to increase mass and strength, the number of reps and sets will vary based on your fitness level, weekly workout frequency, and strength training goals.

For strength gains, do 4 to 6 sets of 1 to 6 reps each exercise with a weight that is at least 85% of your one-repetition maximum (1RM) The fewer reps you perform, the closer to 100% of your 1RM you should strive for.

If your goal is hypertrophy (muscle growth), perform three sets of each exercise, using loads that are 70 to 85% of your 1RM for 8 to 12 reps.

When training for endurance, it is usually recommended to use higher reps (15 to 20 repetitions) and moderate loads, with a weight that is at least 50 to 70% of your 1RM.

12 Best and Chest Workout for Beginner to advanced

So, here’s a list of a few of the best back and chest workout for you to build up a strong and healthy body and muscles.

1. Push-Ups

Push-Ups are the best bodyweight calisthenics exercise to build your entire upper body, shoulders, chest, and arms.

It is used to be done to build muscle and strength in the chest, shoulders, and arms. Push-Ups can be a real challenge if done in various forms. Intensity is the key to building muscle and strength.

There are many different types of Push Up you can do depending on your choice and fitness level. Check how to do them correctly and blast your muscles at home or at the gym.

Push Ups

How To Do It Properly

  1. Lay face down on the ground with your legs straight, and arms supporting your upper body. Keep your knees off the ground.
  2. Lift yourself off the ground, straightening your elbows and arms. You should keep your elbows close to your body.
  3. Raise your arms until your elbows are fully, almost locked, and pause for a moment at the top of the movement.
  4. Now, move your body slowly downwards, feeling the motion all the way until your chest is close to the ground.

2. Bench Press

The Bench Press, one of the best chest muscle-building exercises. This exercise should be the center of all your barbell chest workouts.

The flat barbell press, also known as the bench press, is a popular compound exercise that targets the chest, triceps, and shoulders.

The Flat barbell chest press is the fundamental exercise for the upper body and should be a part of any best chest exercises regime. That’s why, for overall chest development, the barbell chest press always remains on the top of the list.

Bench Press

How To Do It Properly

  1. Lie flat on the bench and keep your feet on the floor.
  2. Lift the bar off the rack and hold it at arm’s length above you.
  3. Now lower the bar under controlled motion until it touches above the chest (around the nipple area).
  4. Now raise it until your arms are nearly locked out.
  5. Keep a controlled motion and avoid jerky movements.

3. Decline Bench Press

The decline bench press is an effective alternative to the flat bench press that will change the angle and tension placed on the lower chest.

It increases the likelihood of new stimulation to the working muscle and increases the probability of muscle growth in size and strength.

If you want, you can use a dumbbell instead of a barbell to perform the same. It gives your chest a fuller, more dense, and more attractive look.

Decline Press

How To Do It Properly

  1. Place your legs at the end of the decline bench.
  2. Lift the bar from the rack using a shoulder-width overhand grip on the bar. Hold it over yourself with your arms locked.
  3. Bring the bar down slowly until you feel the bar on your chest. Pause slightly at this point.
  4. Move the bar back up to the starting position as you exhale. Use your chest muscles to push the bar. Hold for a second and then bring the bar down slowly again.
Read more to know: How To Do Decline Dumbbell Bench Press With Perfect Technique

4. Incline Bench Press

The Incline Bench Press is a compound upper-body exercise, meaning that multiple joints and muscles contribute to the movement.

Incline bench press exercise focuses on the upper chest more and therefore helps build massive upper pecs.

It is the best exercise to develop muscle mass in the upper and middle pectoral region. The shoulders and triceps will be indirectly involved as well.

Incline Bench Press

How To Do It Properly

  1. Lie back on an incline bench. The bench should be adjusted to between 30 and 45 degrees on the incline.
  2. Lift the bar from the rack with a shoulder-width overhand grip.
  3. Hold it above your chest with your arms nearly locked.
  4. Slowly bring the bar down until you feel it touching your chest. Allow a slight pause at this point.
  5. Raise your arms until they are nearly locked out. Do not bounce the bar off of the chest.
  6. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
For more information: How To Do Incline Dumbbell Bench Press With Perfect Technique.

5. Seated Machine Fly

The machine chest fly is a strength training exercise that works the chest muscles. It is a popular exercise in gyms and fitness centers because it isolates the chest muscles. This means that the exercise only works the chest muscles without actively working the triceps or shoulders.

There are many different types of flying machine variations that you can try out, which require different types of machine flying equipment or may even require dumbbells.

You could also try doing the fly with dumbbells.

Machine Fly

How To Do It Properly

  1. Make sure you’re sitting up straight and your back is pressed firmly against the padding.
  2. Hold the vertical handles with your elbows slightly bent.
  3. Your upper arms should be parallel to the floor.
  4. Squeeze the handles together until they touch in front of your chest.
  5. Let your hands move back to the starting position, keeping your elbows up.

6. Cable Crossover

Cable Fly aka Cable Crossover fly Exercises helps to build huge Pectorals. Standing Cable Crossover Exercise helps to develop and define the lower and the Inner pectoral muscles.

Cable exercises provide constant resistance to the chest, which is crucial for building strength and mass.

For other excellent variations of cable chest exercises:

Cable Crossovers

How To Do It Properly

  1. In a standing position, grab and hold the handles of the overhead pulleys on both sides.
  2. Bend forward and stretch your arms to feel a good stretch in your chest muscles.
  3. Now flex your arms with elbows slightly bent and get a good chest contraction.
  4. Unlike chest flies, you can crossover your arms to get a full chest contraction.
Know More: 14 Best Cable Chest Exercises And Workout Routine

7. Pull-Up

The pull-up is a strength movement that targets your back, chest, shoulders, and arms. Pull-ups are often a challenge for beginners and even experienced athletes to perform.

The pull-up increases the strength, thickness, and width of your back, specifically your lats.

Wide Grip Pull Up

How To Do It Properly

  1. Use an overhand grip to grab a pull-up bar with your arms wide apart.
  2. Hang from the bar with your arms fully extended.
  3. Pull yourself up by contracting your lats and squeezing your shoulder blades together.
  4. Hold the contraction at the top for a second before slowly returning to the starting position.

8. Lat Pull Down

The lat pulldown is an exercise used to build the muscles of the back. It is a great exercise for the back that is widely used by fitness trainers to build bigger lats. It specifically focuses on the back muscles without tiring out the biceps or triceps.

This exercise can be performed using wide grips and narrow grips, as well as pulling to the front and the back.

Lat Pull Down

How To Do It Properly

  1. Take an overhand grip, hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, and sit on the machine seat.
  2. Keep your upper back straight, pull the bar down and bring it up to the chest.
  3. When you pull down, squeeze your shoulder blades together and feel your back muscles tighten.
  4. This movement should be performed using your upper lats, and the arms should merely serve as a lever between the bar and the lats.
  5. Now let go of the bar slowly and stretch your lats as much as you can.

9. Bent Over Barbell Rows

If you are looking to strengthen the upper back and add muscle to the upper back region, then bent over barbell rows are the best upper back exercise.

Spacing your hands shoulder-width apart or closer targets the central inner section of the lats, whereas a wider grip targets the outer lats.

Bent Over Barbell Rows

How To Do It Properly

  1. Take a narrow stance and grab a bar with an overhand grip.
  2. Bend your torso forward at an angle of 45 degrees to the floor with the knees slightly, and let the bar hang in front of you
  3. Hold a neutral spine throughout the movement to prevent injury.
  4. Lift the bar until it touches the abdominal region and not the chest region, as it reduces back muscle contraction.
  5. Slowly return the bar to the starting position under control.

10. Seated Cable Rows

Seated Cable Rows is an excellent exercise to build middle back muscles and this works on lower lats as well.

  • A pronated (overhand) grip tends to target the upper and middle trapezius,
  • Whereas, a neutral (thumbs up) grip hits the middle and lower trapezius.
  • A supinated (underhand) grip switches the focus to the latissimus dorsi.
Seated Cable Rows

How To Do It Properly

  1. Sit on a seated cable pulley rowing machine with legs slightly bent and feet supported against the crossbar.
  2. Grip the handles with your arms extended and your back stretched.
  3. Keep your knees slightly bent to avoid knee and lower back pressure.
  4. Pull the handles so that they come as close to the lower chest as possible.
  5. Pause briefly when the handles are close to the chest and squeeze your upper back muscles, bringing the scapulae closer.
  6. Slowly return the handle to the starting position.

11. T Bar Rows

T bar Rows are a power exercise to build middle back muscles. Check the correct execution technique and blast your back muscles. It also works on the outer lats when done with a narrower grip.

It is a tough exercise, but building a strong back is a must to develop a quality physique, stay injury-free, and back pain-free for life.

T Bar Row

How To Do It Properly

  1. Standing on a T bar machine, grab its handles with an overhand grip.
  2. Keep your feet a bit apart and knees slightly bent.
  3. Bend at the hips and keep your back arched throughout the movement.
  4. Keep the back straight by lifting the bar until it touches your chest.
  5. Now slowly lower the bar until it nearly touches the ground.

12. V-Grip Lat Pull Down

The V grip lat pull down is a type of lat pull down exercise that effective works the muscles of the back. While the exercise will primarily target the lats, you will also notice a fair amount of bicep and middle back activation.

The back is a muscle group that requires a fair amount of variation. So, experiment with different angles and hand positions to see which one maximizes your back muscle growth.

V Grip Lat Pull Down

How To Do It Properly

  1. Grab the V handle with your palms facing each other and place yourself on the seat with your knees under the pads
  2. Keep your upper back straight, pull the V handle down and bring it up to the chest.
  3. As you pull down, squeeze your shoulder blades together and feel back muscles contracting.
  4. Perform this movement using your upper lats, and use the arms merely as a lever between the handle and the lats.
  5. Now release the bar with controlled motion and stretch your lats as much as possible.

Sets And Reps For Chest And Back Workout

Of course, the number of sets and reps will be determined based on your fitness journey, but here is a great starting point:


According to the latest scientific evidence, 12–20 weekly sets per muscle group may optimize muscle growth.

  • Beginners: ~10 sets per week.
  • Intermediate: ~15 sets per week.
  • Advanced: ~20 sets per week.

When a certain amount of volume stops being effective and your progress stalls, you can add sets to increase volume and use that as a driver of renewed progress. 

Of course, the number of sets and reps will be determined based on your fitness journey, but here is a great starting point:


The best rep ranges and loads to work with.

  • For muscle endurance: Aim for 15-20+ reps, with a moderate amount of resistance.
  • For muscle strength: 6-10 reps, with a heavier amount of resistance.
  • For muscle hypertrophy (increased muscle size): Aim for 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps, with a moderate to heavy amount of resistance.

It is always best to start with a lower number of reps and sets, and then gradually increase as your strength improves

Design Your Chest Back Workout Routine Split

Finding the right place for the chest back workout in your training split can greatly enhance your weight training routine. Find out how this combination works well with different workout schedules.

4-Day Split

This is a two-day-per-week back and chest specialization workout that is designed to help you strengthen your upper body. Please find a sample schedule below.

  • Monday—Back and Chest Workout #1
  • Thursday—Back and Chest Workout #2

This type of program works best within the framework of a 4-day split.

  • Monday – Back and Chest
  • Tuesday – Shoulders and Arms
  • Wednesday – Off
  • Thursday – Back and Chest
  • Friday – Legs
  • Saturday – Off
  • Sunday – Off

Customize Based On Your Schedule

Tailor your training split to accommodate your availability and preferences:

  • Train four consecutive days, followed by a rest day
  • Train two consecutive days, followed by a rest day
  • Opt for Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday workouts, with weekends off

Unleash Your Creativity

The integration possibilities are endless—let your imagination guide you:

  • Experiment with different combinations and variations
  • Personalize your training split to suit your goals and time constraints

Beginner-Friendly Chest Back Workout Routine

It’s time to share a workout routine with you. It is a beginner’s level back and chest workout.

Below you will find an easy-to-understand workout routine for beginners. This workout program consists of the primary back movements and will help you out with getting a good base of muscle mass and strength.

Dumbbell Bench Press48+12
Bent Over Barbell Rows38-10

Back And Chest Workout Routine For Intermediate

We’ve got some effective workouts routine for intermediate and advanced, which include the exercises, sets, reps, so you can keep making progress.

Before you get into your working sets, make sure to warm-up with at least two lighter sets, pyramiding up in weight from 30 to 50-60% of your one-rep max. Keep the working sets to no higher than 80-85% of your one-rep max.

Train to failure for each set and allow at least 3-4 days of rest in between workouts for the same muscle group.

Sure, here’s the table with separate columns for sets and reps:

Lat Pull Down4 8-10
Bent Over Barbell Rows3 10-12
Seated Cable Rows3 6-8
Incline Bench Press4 8-10
Barbell Chest Press3 10-12

Advanced back and chest workout routine

Chest WorkoutSetsReps
Barbell Bench Press4 6-8
Incline Dumbbell Press3 8-10
Dips3 8-10
Cable Crossovers310-12
Push-ups (Weighted if possible)3 max reps
Back WorkoutSetsReps
Weighted Pull-ups4 6-8
Bent Over Barbell Rows3 8-10
Single-Arm Dumbbell Rows3 10-12
Face Pulls3 12-15

Advanced Chest and Back Circuit

(perform 3 rounds)Reps/Time
Plyometric Push-ups10 reps
Chin-ups (Weighted if possible)10 reps
Medicine Ball Push Ups12 reps
Single-Arm Lat Pulldown12 reps
Ring/TRX Push-ups15 reps
Kettlebell Swings15 reps

Chest Back Superset Workout Plan

A superset is doing two different exercises without enough rest in between.

The workout includes supersets, which means you’ll do two exercises for the same muscle group back-to-back, then rest and repeat one or more times. You’ll use enough weight that you can only complete 8 to 12 repetitions per set.

Superset 1

  • Push-Ups: 4 sets of 8-12 reps (Immediately followed by)
  • Pull-Up: 4 sets of 6-8 reps.

Superset 2

  • Bent Over Barbell Rows: 3 sets of 10-12 reps, superset with,
  • Barbell chest press: 3 sets of 8-10 reps.

Superset 3

  • Decline Dumbbell Press: 3 sets of 8-10 reps, superset with,
  • Lat Pull Down: 3 sets of 8-10 reps.

Superset 4

Superset 5

Note: Rest for 60-90 seconds between supersets. Adjust weights according to your fitness level and ensure proper form for each exercise.

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Back And Chest Training.

Can you train back and chest together?

Yes, you can train back and chest together in your workout regime. It’s actually preferred by many fitness gurus and bodybuilders to train them together.

How Many Sets and Reps Should I Do?

For just about every exercise of the back or chest, 3–4 work sets (the real work you do, not warm-up sets) is a good choice. But rep ranges fluctuate. You can go as low as 5 reps on heavy presses, and up to 15–30 reps for accessory work.

Back and Chest and superset workout

  1. Push-Ups Superset with Wide-Grip Pull-Up
  2. Push-ups Superset with Lat Pull Down
  3. Decline bench press Superset with Bent Over Barbell Rows
  4. Incline Bench press Superset with Seated Cable Rows
  5. Seated Machine Fly Superset with T Bar Rows
  6. Cable Crossover Superset with V-Grip Lat Pull Down

How Often You Are Able To Train

If you are able to train more often, you may choose to train back and chest more than twice a week, otherwise for most people, twice a week is enough to develop those groups maximally.

Should I train chest first or back first

If your relative weakness is your back muscles, you may choose to perform your back exercises first. If your relative weakness is your chest, you may choose to perform your chest exercises first.

Why You Should Train Back and Chest together on same day workout session

There can be many reasons why you would want to program your training in a certain order. People who train for muscle mass will often keep a single muscle group for each training day. 

You can train back and chest in the same day workout session. There are many ways to program a training session safely and easily.

It can also make your workouts more efficient. However, you must consider your weaknesses to determine how you should structure your back and chest exercises.

Training back and chest on the same day can be effective, but how you do it depends on your goal. You may still train back and chest together, but you’ll want to organize the workout slightly differently depending on whether you are training for muscle mass or training for maximal strength.


Super setting back and chest exercises are not necessarily what you need to do when you come to train back and chest together, but it does make training two separate body parts more efficient. 

You can perform the exercises as a traditional set i.e. each exercise at a time, but you may risk having very long training sessions. 
The same principles can be applied to the other muscle groups as well.  For example, when training back and legs together.

The Best Superset is that you can simply and effectively implement it in your workout. Try This Workout Superset.

I hope you liked our Back and chest workout.


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Best Workouts To Build Bigger Back

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