What is a good Chest and Back Workout?

Written by Tihomir Stefanov, PT

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Having the best chest and back workout is essential to sculpting an aesthetic physique, simply because those are the two largest muscle groups on your upper body.

Not only that, but the feeling of a simultaneous pump on both sides of your torso makes you feel pretty much indestructible!

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In this article, we’ll answer what is a good chest and back workout. Which you can integrate in your training split.

But first, let’s answer some frequently asked questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

There are many mixed opinions when it comes to training two big muscle groups together.

Especially when it comes to superset chest and back workouts.

This naturally sparks a lot of questions, which we must answer so that you have a better picture of everything.

Can I do chest and back workout together?

Many people will tell you that doing chest and back together is not good simply because both muscle groups require heavy weights.

While that may be true to a certain extent, the fact of the matter is that these two muscle groups are an “Antagonistic pair”.

Antagonistic pairs are opposing muscle groups with opposite functions, such as the biceps & triceps, quadriceps & hamstrings, chest & back, abs & spinal erectors, etc.

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The best thing about this is that while one of the muscles contracts, its antagonist (opposing muscle group) receives a relaxation signal & stretches.

This is exactly what makes a superset chest and back workout suitable for relatively lighter workouts, where your goal is not only to stack weight & volume, but feel the muscles better, overall.

Is it OK to workout chest twice a week?

chest and back superset workout

Another often misunderstood concept is the training frequency in your split, or in other words, how often you train a muscle group.

Generally, the total training volume is what will make the biggest difference, but training frequency is what will optimize the volume.

Think of it this way – If you do 20 sets in one workout, you’d be exhausted on the last 5-10 sets, thus creating a lesser volume.

However, if you do those 20 sets in two separate workouts, you will be able to lift heavier, for more repetitions, thus creating a bigger volume and more stimulus for gains.

Beginners can reap the benefits of training with just 1 workout per muscle group, per week and about 5-10 working sets.

However, as you advance, you will need to increase the volume in order to keep progressing and you can further divide the total volume into 2 training sessions.

So, yes! It is totally okay and even recommended to workout chest twice a week!

This is also valid for every other muscle group.

What is a good chest and back workout?

A good chest and back workout utilizes the top pull exercises and the best push exercises.

This means you superset chest and back together in your workout.

This saves time in the gym because it keeps you on your toes.

Take your favorite back exercises and your favorite chest exercises and pair them together.

For example if you do 4 sets of bench press usually on chest day, and 4 sets of deadlifts on back day. A chest and back superset workout would look like this.

1 set bench press, followed by 1 set deadlift.

Repeat 4 times. Now you’ve completed a 4 set superset of chest and back.

Then proceed to do your next favorite chest and back exercises.

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Best Chest and Back Workout For Muscle Growth

For this superset chest and back workout, we’ll give you a mix of exercises that will help you target each and every zone of your chest and back musculature.

Keep in mind you should not take your sets to failure but rather manage your energy so you can lift relatively heavy throughout the entire workout.

Superset #1 – Parallel bar dips & Wide grip pull-ups

dips and pull ups for superset chest and back workout

Sets: 4

Reps: 6-10

Rest times: 100 seconds between sets

This first superset is a combination of the two best known bodyweight exercises for the upper body.

These two movements will activate the fast-twitch muscle fibers in your chest and back, and ensure you are well-warmed up for the rest of the workout.

Execution (Dips):

  1. Get on the parallel bar and keep your feet close
  2. Look down and bend elbows slightly
  3. By now, you should feel tension in the chest, triceps and shoulders
  4. Dip down slowly to a comfortable depth
  5. Push up to the initial position, without locking out the elbows

Execution (Pull-ups):

  1. Grab the pull-up bar and hang with a wide grip
  2. Look up and keep feet together, legs straight
  3. Pull yourself up, engaging the scapula first
  4. Contract the back up top
  5. Go back down slowly

Superset #2 – Incline BB Bench press & T-Bar row

incline bench and t bar superset chest and back workout

Sets: 4

Reps: 6-10

Rest times: 100 seconds between sets

Now that we’re past the first two exercises, it is time to one up your game and move to the heavier, mass-building exercises

This second superset will target the upper chest and the entire back musculature.

Execution (Incline bench press):

  1. Setup a barbell on the incline bench
  2. Lie down and grab the bar wider than shoulder width
  3. Un-rack the bar and bend elbows slightly, out of lockout
  4. Let the bar go down to the upper chest, slowly
  5. Without resting it on your chest, push up explosively
  6. Contract the chest up top and repeat

Execution (T-Bar rows):

  1. Setup the T-bar and load it
  2. Step on both sides of the bar so that it is between your legs
  3. With the V-shaped row attachment, grab the bar and lift it up
  4. Bend knees slightly, then bend over
  5. Look forward
  6. Pull the weight up until it touches your lower chest/upper abs
  7. Contract the back up top and go back down slowly
  8. Repeat

Superset #3 – Cable crossover & Lat pulldown

cable crossover and lat pulldown

Sets: 4

Reps: 6-10

Rest times: 100 seconds between sets

This third superset combines two isolating exercises, that allow you to contract both muscle groups properly.

If you have done cable exercises before, you know what we’re talking about.

Execution (Cable crossover) :

  1. Grab both upper pulleys of the cable machine
  2. Stand in the middle between them
  3. Take a step forward and bend over slightly
  4. Bend elbows slightly
  5. Push the cables down
  6. Contract the chest at the bottom
  7. Pause for a brief moment, then release back up slowly
  8. Repeat

Execution (Lat pulldowns) :

  1. Grab the pulldown bar as wide as possible
  2. Sit down comfortably
  3. Lean back slightly and look up
  4. Pull the bar down, to the upper portion of the chest
  5. Contract the back powerfully, pause briefly then release slowly
  6. Repeat

Superset #4 – Push-ups & inverted rows

Sets: 4

Reps: 6-10

Rest times: 100 seconds between sets

Finally, we’re going to finish the workout off with another two bodyweight exercises.

These two movements will target the middle and lower portions of the chest, as well as the upper and middle portion of the back.

Execution (Push-ups):

  1. Get into a push-up position (Arms wider than shoulder width, torso straight, elbows slightly bent)
  2. Dip down slowly, until your chest touches the floor
  3. Pause briefly
  4. Explode on the way up
  5. Contract the chest up top
  6. Repeat

Execution (Bodyweight rows):

  1. Place a bar lower on the rack and lie below it
  2. Grab it at shoulder width and keep your torso straight
  3. Pull yourself up and contract the back up top
  4. Go back down slowly

Workout tips

Having the right workout is of prime importance but there are other, tiny yet important aspects of a workout, which you can take into consideration on your path to aesthetics.

Manage intensity

As we already mentioned, a superset of the two biggest muscle groups in the body, inevitably means that a lot of energy will be used.

And since you are looking to create quality volume in the workout, you have to pick the right weight and avoid failure.

Generally, this would mean, picking a weight that is suitable for 8-10 repetitions, with 1-2 reps in reserve after the last rep.

Rest times

This is another crucial aspect of realizing as much quality volume as possible, since this is what will actually have you perform at your best from set to set.

Though the general population thinks supersets are done with little rest, it is best to take 100-120 seconds between the separate supersets.

This means, doing the two exercises one after the other with no rest, followed by 100-120 seconds of rest until your next superset.


Periodizing your training around the natural human cycles & the nature is one of the best things you can do for your training cycles.

That is to say that your bulking periods should be focused around the colder seasons, when we are moving less and it is easy to create a caloric surplus, which is required for optimal muscle gain.

On the other hand, cutting fat is easily done during the warmer seasons, as these are more active times, during which we also experience less hunger because of the heats.

All of this makes it easier to create the caloric deficit needed for fat loss.

We recommend doing this superset chest and back workout during both periods, but managing intensity according to your caloric intake – Heavier workouts during bulks, lighter workouts during cuts.


A good superset chest and back workout will create massive growth stimulus and will give you the feeling of being an OAK!

These carefully selected exercises are the perfect addition to your workout routine, be it during a cut or a bulk.

We’d advise slowly implementing them into your routine and testing the water to see what works best for you.

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