The Best Chest and Triceps Workout, Scaled for Every Experience Level

Once you consider organizing your self a physique half break up, your chest and triceps appear to simply…match. They’re so inseparable that lots of the hottest splits will inevitably have you ever practice them collectively. 

Why? The 2 muscle teams are extremely synergistic. Your pecs transfer the barbell (or dumbbells, or cable, or no matter) while you carry out all method of urgent workouts, certain, however your triceps experience shotgun. You’d be hard-pressed to discover a compound push train that doesn’t contain them each to some extent.

Body builder bench pressing with a barbell.
Credit score: oleksboiko / Shutterstock

Whether or not that is your first foray into chest and triceps coaching otherwise you’re in search of a brand new spin on a basic pairing, this exercise is constructed for you. These are the perfect chest triceps exercises you are able to do to your distinctive expertise stage within the weight room.

Greatest Chest and Triceps Exercises

The Greatest Chest and Triceps Exercise for Newcomers

Coaching your chest and triceps as a newbie will increase your strength and muscle mass on the similar time. Combining some multi-joint urgent workouts can actually smoke each muscle teams whereas additionally build up some foundational urgent energy. 

You’ll be able to dig into the small print on the finish of your session with isolation workouts on machines or cables to totally fatigue your muscle mass as nicely.

The Exercise

Utilizing an train like a machine press is a unbelievable approach to begin engaged on long-term energy features that can carry over to different forms of tools. It should assist you to construct your base in a bit extra of a managed trend when you study to make use of your urgent muscle mass as nicely. 

Cables present a number of exterior stability and assist you to isolate your chest and triceps individually when you’re achieved with the massive compound exercises

  • Machine Chest Press: 3 x 12
  • Machine Dip: 2 x 12
  • Machine Pec Flye: 2 x 12
  • Cable Cross-Physique Triceps Extension: 2 x 15

On the intermediate stage, you must begin fascinated about transferring away from high-stability machines and towards more difficult choices within the free-weight part of the fitness center. 

A person exercising his triceps using a cable machine.
Credit score: Srdjan Randjelovic / Shutterstock

Head to the dumbbell rack to begin your session earlier than returning to the tools you’re aware of. You’ll additionally wish to combine some coordination-based workouts into your coaching. On prime of all of it, after a yr or two within the weight room, you must in all probability up your coaching quantity by rising the variety of workouts you carry out.

The Exercise

You’ll wish to preserve probably the most difficult workouts first in your exercise routine. Prioritize free weight work or calisthenics earlier than you accumulate an excessive amount of fatigue, then work in some secure actions utilizing machines or cables. This concept holds true for exercise order because it pertains to the muscle mass you practice; begin along with your chest, then isolate your triceps on the finish. 

  • Incline Dumbbell Bench Press: 3 x 10
  • Body weight Dip: 2 x AMRAP
  • Machine Pec Flye: 3 x 12-15
  • Single-Arm Triceps Cable Pushdown: 2 x 10
  • Single-Arm Overhead Cable Triceps Extension: 2 x 12-15

Word: An “AMRAP” set refers to performing as many repetitions as you may throughout a single set earlier than hitting muscular failure. 

The Greatest Chest and Triceps Exercise For Superior Athletes

When you’ve established some vital energy and muscle features, it’s time to throw your self into the lion’s den of chest and triceps coaching. This implies heavy barbell-based coaching to proceed constructing energy in your chest after which selecting particular actions that take your pecs (and triceps) to the brink.

The Exercise

The barbell bench press would be the centerpiece of your coaching day. Subsequent actions littered all through your exercise will incorporate high-intensity training strategies. You’ll additionally use workouts that hit your higher chest, decrease chest, and all three heads of your triceps individually. Go away no stone unturned and no muscle fiber untouched. 

  • Barbell Bench Press: 3 x 5
  • Weighted Dips: 3 x 8
  • Incline Cable Flye: 3 x 12
  • Cable Cross-Physique Triceps Extension: 3 x 12*
  • Single-Arm Overhead Cable Triceps Extension: 2 x 12-15

Word: *Carry out a drop set in your remaining set of cable cross-body triceps extensions. When you hit 12 repetitions, drop the burden by 20 to 30 p.c, and full as many repetitions as you may. 

Advantages of Chest and Triceps Exercises

A significant good thing about chest and triceps workouts is that the 2 muscle mass are naturally synergistic. They work collectively that will help you build muscle and energy, making them a great pairing for a physique half break up. However the advantages don’t finish there.

Synergy Equals Effectivity

Many workouts that construct your chest will even contain your triceps, from machines to your physique weight and every part in between. That is completely unbelievable for coaching effectivity, as your “predominant” workouts will successfully at all times assure that each muscle teams get a wholesome dose of stimulation. This profit carries over fantastically to virtually any setting you would possibly end up in. Pairing your chest and triceps makes for some tremendous viable coaching classes within the fitness center, at residence, or on the run.

Builds Higher-Physique Power

Most of the key workouts you’ll discover in a chest and triceps exercise additionally occur to be nice for gaining normal energy. Workouts just like the dumbbell bench press or dip demand loads of your coordination, muscular engagement, and drive output if you wish to carry out them efficiently over an extended time period.

man attempting bench press
Credit score: sportpoint / Shutterstock

As such, a chest and triceps exercise works wonders for serving to to skyrocket your total upper-body energy whereas constructing piles of muscle within the course of. 

They Match Into Any Exercise Cut up

It’s important to use some kind of construction to your coaching if you wish to make progress. Chest and triceps exercises match properly into any kind of workout split or program, particularly should you’re solely utilizing a once-per-week frequency. 

Pairing these two muscle teams collectively received’t impression your efficiency on leg, again, arm, or shoulder day, both. This allows you to focus exhausting on creating your physique with out having to accommodate excessive quantities of muscle soreness. 

Who Ought to Carry out Chest and Triceps Exercises

The chest-and-triceps pairing is gorgeous in its simplicity, and the simplicity is what makes these exercises so efficient within the first place. Newcomers, bodybuilders, and powerlifters alike can use chest and triceps exercises to nice impact.


Should you’re a newbie, utilizing a chest and triceps exercise could be a useful gizmo for constructing early energy and muscle. The 2 muscle mass are extremely synergistic, that means that lots of your chest exercises will truly stimulate your triceps as nicely — consider all method of bench presses, the push-up, or the dip. 

Once you’re a newbie, your physique is a sponge able to adapt and develop at a speedy tempo. Hitting your chest and triceps collectively in the identical session will help you develop an important baseline of energy and muscle with out having to carry out loads of totally different workouts in a single exercise.


Should you’re available in the market for extra muscle, you’re a primary candidate for a superb chest and triceps exercise. The synergy of the 2 muscle teams lends itself nicely towards creating most hypertrophy

A person doing dumbbell presses on an inclined bench.
Credit score: Artem Bestsenny / Shutterstock

By the point you arrive at your capstone chest workouts or your triceps extensions, these muscle mass ought to already be partially fatigued. As soon as all of the exhausting work is finished within the weight room, it’s again to fundamentals: Eat, sleep, and repeat subsequent week. 


Surprisingly, powerlifters may also gel with a superb chest and triceps exercise, particularly in the event that they make the barbell bench press the centerpiece of the exercise. You’ll be able to tweak and tailor your session to extra intently align along with your performance-related objectives.

For instance, as a powerlifter, you would possibly hit a couple of hard-and-heavy units of flat bench urgent earlier than including in an adjunct train just like the weighted dip. Bolster your lockout energy with triceps extensions or a couple of units of push-ups to failure and also you’ve obtained one heck of an off-season workout.

The best way to Progress Chest and Triceps Exercises

You’ll be able to progress your chest and triceps exercises in quite a lot of alternative ways, however you may’t get across the necessity of exhausting work. The easiest way to chase — and catch — progressive overload is to regulate your quantity, depth, frequency, or work with high-intensity training strategies. All roads result in features.


Quantity — as in, how a lot work you do within the fitness center — is a robust driver of muscle development. Should you’re within the earlier levels of your chest and triceps coaching, slowly including units or repetitions for a couple of weeks will help enhance your progress. 

Whereas analysis has famous that doing extra “work” over time does result in extra muscle development, this relationship does have its limits. (1) Logistically there may be solely a lot you may add to any given exercise earlier than you merely run out of time or gasoline. Most information recommend capping your weekly quantity round 20 troublesome units. 


Depth is one other useful gizmo to assist generate progressive overload. Whereas it’s not essentially sensible to have a 1-repetition most (1RM) for each single train in a chest and triceps exercise, you may definitely observe your energy on most barbell presses.

It’s usually beneficial to coach for hypertrophy between roughly 60 and 80 p.c of your max. If you wish to emphasize muscular energy, you may push a bit larger. (2) Broad loading ranges will help construct some muscle, however you shouldn’t take issues too simple within the weight room if you wish to maximize your potential. (3)


Frequency is a two-for-one: You’ll be able to apply extra “doses” of coaching to your chest and triceps frequently, however it’s also possible to use larger coaching frequencies to interrupt up your training volume into manageable chunks.

Say you’re already performing 20 units of chest and triceps coaching in a single lengthy exercise. The place do you go from there? You in all probability don’t wish to spend three hours within the weight room. As a substitute, you may transfer to a twice-per-week exercise frequency, beginning with 10 units twice per week, then steadily transferring as much as 11 or 12 should you discover you may get better from it. 


In resistance coaching, intensifiers are particular strategies you need to use to change the way you’d carry out a typical set of a given train. These bodybuilding intensity techniques are sometimes reserved for intermediate or superior gymgoers, as they’re extremely taxing and infrequently require a reliable spotter.

Nevertheless, they are often extraordinarily potent if used correctly. Add within the occasional drop set, cluster set, do a couple of forced reps, or carry out rest-pause training to your chest and triceps exercises to bolster the stimulus you obtain.

Use Periodization

The easiest way to ensure long-term development along with your chest and triceps exercises is to combine some type of training periodization. Periodization is, merely put, any type of organizational construction utilized to your exercises in service of a particular objective.

A bodybuilder using a chest press machine.
Credit score: YAKOBCHUK VIACHESLAV / Shutterstock

There’s a wide selection of analysis that demonstrates the efficacy of periodized coaching, particularly with regard to gaining muscular energy. (4) You might be able to wing it within the weight room as a newbie, however finally you must make an effort to construction your coaching with linear, block, or daily undulating periodization (DUP) to make sure issues stay productive. 

Chest and Tris, Presses, Dips, and Flyes

Chest and triceps go collectively like hen and rice. These two muscle teams are greater than the sum of their components and may improve each your exercises themselves and the outcomes you glean from them. It doesn’t matter what you practice for, there’s a dependable chest and triceps exercise for you. Use these three exercises to set your self up for long-term success within the fitness center. 


  1. Schoenfeld, B. J., Contreras, B., Krieger, J., Grgic, J., Delcastillo, Ok., Belliard, R., & Alto, A. (2019). Resistance Coaching Quantity Enhances Muscle Hypertrophy however Not Power in Educated Males. Medication and science in sports activities and train, 51(1), 94–103. 
  2. Krzysztofik, M., Wilk, M., Wojdała, G., & Gołaś, A. (2019). Maximizing Muscle Hypertrophy: A Systematic Assessment of Superior Resistance Coaching Strategies and Strategies. Worldwide journal of environmental analysis and public well being, 16(24), 4897. 
  3. Schoenfeld, B. J., Grgic, J., Ogborn, D., & Krieger, J. W. (2017). Power and Hypertrophy Variations Between Low- vs. Excessive-Load Resistance Coaching: A Systematic Assessment and Meta-analysis. Journal of energy and conditioning analysis, 31(12), 3508–3523. 
  4. Williams, T. D., Tolusso, D. V., Fedewa, M. V., & Esco, M. R. (2017). Comparability of Periodized and Non-Periodized Resistance Coaching on Maximal Power: A Meta-Evaluation. Sports activities drugs (Auckland, N.Z.), 47(10), 2083–2100. 

Featured Picture: ArtOfPhotos / Shutterstock

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