Can You Train Chest And Legs On The Same Day?

Can You Train Chest and Legs on the Same Day

There is no shortage of combinations of muscle groups you can train on the same day, and legs and chest are one of those combinations. They may seem disconnected, but can be an effective pairing for a number of reasons.  

Bottom line: can you train legs and chest on the same day?  Yes, training chest and legs on the same day is absolutely doable, especially for those training full body workout splits. By training legs and chest on the same day, you can get more training done each week, cater to your personal goals and weaknesses, and have flexibility in your workout dynamics. 

To go a little deeper on the topic, I’ll share the key guidelines I consider when thinking about training chest and legs together. 

Is It Safe To Work Out Chest And Legs On The Same Day?

There is no inherent risk or danger in training chest and legs together that you should worry about. By itself, this is a safe combination of muscles for a single workout. 

What you should consider is your personal health and injury history. If you are working through a current injury that affects your ability to train chest, legs, or both together, be sure to consider its impact before continuing with this workout combo. 

That being said, the average lifter looking to change up their workout split should have no issues training legs and chest together. 

Is It Effective To Work Out Chest And Legs On The Same Day?

Is It Effective To Work Out Chest And Legs On The Same Day?

Putting two muscle groups into a single workout is a time-tested, proven tactic to get more done in a single workout, whether you are training for strength or overall size. 

By training more than one body part or muscle group in a single workout, you can train your full body in fewer total workouts, leaving you more time each week. 

This is not only convenient, but enables you to train each part of your body more than once per week, which research has proven is the superior frequency in resistance training. 

To make your workout even more efficient, you should consider your personal goals as well. 

For example, if you have goals around a max squat, bench press, or deadlift, you should perform those sets in the workout first, before performing other work. 

Additional clinical research showed that maximal strength gains are most abundant when you train for those outcomes first, while you’re fresh. 

So if you prioritize bench press, train bench first, then move on to your leg work. Alternatively, if squat or deadlift is the more important focus, train one or both of those first, then move on to your chest work. 

If you aren’t too particular on which one gets priority, you can structure the flow of the workout however you prefer. 

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Working Out Chest And Legs Together: 3 Benefits

Benefits of Working Out Chest and Legs Together

I see three major benefits to working your chest and legs together:

  • You can save time
  • You can train chest and legs more often
  • You can improve your work capacity

You Can Save Time

Not only do you save time each week by training multiple muscle groups together, you can also reduce the amount of time you spend on each workout itself.

By training legs and chest in a single workout, you get your full body trained in fewer total workouts each week. Fewer workouts means more time to train them again, or to focus on other priorities in your life that week.

As far as each workout goes, when you train two or more muscle groups, you can reduce the amount of time you spend in the gym by alternating between muscle groups with each exercise, limiting or cutting out the need for idle rest time between sets. This is accomplished with supersets.

Supersets take two different exercises and alternate between the two. While one muscle group works, the other muscle group rests. Because legs and chest are relatively disconnected, they’re a great combo for supersets. 

For example, you can perform sets of the chest press machine, then perform reps on the leg press before hitting your subsequent chest sets. 

If you’re only training one muscle, you must rest between sets doing nothing. With supersets, you can keep moving the whole time and train your muscles effectively. 

You Can Train Chest and Legs More Often

I can’t argue with the research – muscles respond better to being trained twice a week than being trained just once per week. 

Training more than one muscle group in a single workout is necessary to have time to train your muscles a second time in the same week. Unless you’re hitting the gym twice a day, combining muscles together is the way to go. 

By training your whole body in 2-3 workouts (like a full body split, or an upper body/lower body split, or a Push/Pull/Lower split), you have 4-5 more available days in the week to train those same body parts again. 

This also allows you to train your muscles a little differently in each workout. 

For example, maybe one workout is focused on heavier sets for strength development, incorporating compound lifts like the squat, bench press, overhead press, and deadlift, while the second day relies on supersets, dumbbells, and cable stack machines to isolate chest and leg muscles and train them for hypertrophy and endurance.

By training your legs and chest more often, you give yourself more options and better results.

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You Can Improve Your Work Capacity

The definition of work capacity is simply one’s ability to complete an exercise without being exhausted. A lifter with high work capacity can get through an exercise or workout with little fatigue, while an untrained lifter with low work capacity will need lots of rest and time between sets to even complete it. 

The way you can improve it in this instance is with supersets and increasing your volume over time. 

By training with supersets and cutting out the rest time between sets of alternating muscle groups, you train your body and mind to keep moving without stopping. The more you train this way, the better your body’s ability will be to sustain workouts of high intensity. 

Even if it’s not your goal to train like this all the time, it can be a great way to round out your personal fitness and prepare you for other goals, like max effort lifts, or performance against time. 

You can definitely train work capacity while training a single muscle, but supersets make this type of training much easier to accomplish.

What to Consider When Working Out Chest and Legs: 3 Factors

As safe and effective as it is to train legs and chest together, please consider these three factors before you dive into it.

What Are Your Weaknesses?

If you know one of the two muscle groups, legs or chest, is in need of more work than the other, you may want to prioritize that muscle over the other. You can prioritize it by training it first, as well as by performing more sets/reps on that muscle than the other muscle. 

In another case, you may find yourself resisting training legs because you don’t enjoy it. By combining leg day with chest day, you don’t have to spend an entire workout doing stuff you don’t enjoy, and just spend a portion of the workout getting it done. 

Maybe you love all forms of training, but just need a change of scenery. Changing up your split and which muscles you train together can be a great way to shake things up and add some variety to your program so you can keep getting the work done and still enjoy it. 

Whatever your weaknesses may be, focus on improving them when you make these kinds of changes.

How Much Time Do You Have to Train?

The amount of time you have to train will dictate how you structure your legs and chest day. If you have ample time, you might plan for lots of rest in between heavy, intense sets of squat, bench press, and deadlift in the same workout. 

If, on the other hand, you are pressed for time and just trying to get it in, you will likely still rely on the compound lifts like the squat, bench press, overhead press, and deadlift so you can train as many muscles as possible, but perhaps with lighter weights, shorter rest time, and supersets to get more done in less time.

Remember to consider your time constraints so any changes you make can be effectively performed.

How Frequently Do You Train?

Will this be the only time of the week you train chest and legs, or will you have another workout to train them again?

If you’ve got the time and flexibility to train more often, take advantage of that opportunity and put together a plan to make sure you’re training each body part (legs and chest included) twice a week.

If you don’t have the luxury of training as often as you like, make a plan to get the most of the time you can spend in the gym by focusing on compound lifts, short rest, and supersets to make your workout as effective as possible. 

Whatever your circumstances, your training frequency should shape how you train your chest and legs together.

How Should You Program Chest and Leg Workouts? (3 Styles)

I see three ways to approach training chest and legs – chest emphasis, legs emphasis, and balanced emphasis.

Chest Emphasis – Train Chest First

These workouts will focus on your chest, and train legs as well. 

  • Barbell Bench Press – 5 sets of 5 reps
  • Chest Press Machine – 4 sets of 6 reps
  • Incline Bench Press – 4 sets of 10 reps
  • Superset – DB Bench Press and Leg Press – 4 sets of 10 reps
  • Superset – DB Floor Press and Seated Leg Extensions – 4 sets of 10 reps
  • Superset – Pushups and Goblet Squats – 4 sets of 10 reps

Legs Emphasis – Train Legs First

These workouts will focus on your legs while still training your chest

  • Barbell Squats – 5 sets of 5
  • Leg Press – 4 sets of 8
  • Barbell Deadlift – 4 sets of 8
  • Superset – Incline Chest Press Machine – Single Leg Extension – 4 sets of 10
  • Superset – Incline DB Chest Fly and Goblet Squats – 4 sets of 10
  • Superset – Cable Crossovers and Bulgarian Split Squat  – 4 sets of 10

Balanced Chest and Legs – Alternate Each

You can actually do the balanced approach in two different ways. 

You can train one muscle group entirely, then move on to the next, or you can alternate each set between the muscle groups. 

Both approaches are sound and effective. Your personal preference and goals should guide you in how you choose to proceed.

Alternating Workout

  • Barbell Deadlift – 5 sets of 5 reps
  • Barbell Bench Press – 5 sets of 5 reps
  • Stiff Leg Deadlift – 5 sets of 8
  • Chest Press Machine – 4 sets of 10
  • Front Squat – 4 sets of 8
  • Cable Crossovers – 4 sets of 8
  • Leg Press – 4 sets of 10
  • Pec Deck Machine – 4 sets of 10

Sequential Workout

  • Barbell Deadlift – 5 sets of 5 reps
  • Stiff Leg Deadlift – 5 sets of 8
  • Front Squat – 4 sets of 8
  • Leg Press – 4 sets of 10
  • Barbell Bench Press – 5 sets of 5 reps
  • Chest Press Machine – 4 sets of 10
  • Cable Crossovers – 4 sets of 8
  • Pec Deck Machine – 4 sets of 10

Other Workout Splits

Check out my articles discussing other workout splits: 

About The Author

Adam Gardner

Adam Gardner is a proud resident of Utah, where he lives with his wife and two kids. He has been competing in powerlifting since 2016 in both the USPA and the APF. For the past three years, he and his wife, Merrili, have coached beginning lifters to learn the fundamentals of powerlifting and compete in their first powerlifting competitions.