You’d Rather Miss Training Chest and Arms Than to Not Train Back and Legs

You rather miss a chest and arms session than to miss a back and legs session if your goal is to become bigger and stronger (not only in certain lifts). I can tell that thing is what most of you people would disagree on nonetheless.

You rather overdevelop your back than your chest. Yes I know Monday; the first day of the week is usually chest day and most gym goers would go to the gym ONLY to train CHEST (and nothing else). And for most people who want to get big this sometimes (most of the times: according to my experience) come at the expense of training their back or lats.

Result: Overdeveloped (if they are lucky) or over trained chest that somehow would not grow as well (even if they bombard it with hundreds and hundreds of useless sets).

This also results in a funny looking posture where your hands are positioned into that of a gorilla or what is called “kyphosis” since the chest is so tight and the back is so under developed.

So I say I rather you miss a chest session than to you miss a back session.

Great back muscles will make your chest look bigger – I will talk about that later

Compare the surface area of the back to the surface area of the pectorals (the chests):

Back versus the chest surface area covered

The latissimus dorsi (your back) and other muscles of the back cover the entire length of your upper body, the chest – not so much. Over developed pectorals (chest) with no back looks disgusting and is also non functional. But an overdeveloped lats even if the chest is rarely trained will always look awesome and will surely lead to a good posture where one will have no trouble maintaining a straight back – the proud man’s posture.

Strong back will also translate to a strong pulling power and will also add to the strength of your bench press since when you bench your back serves as a base and as a major stabilizer, but don’t take my word for it – you can ask the author of Critical Bench. Take a look at this post and see what he has to say about the importance of back development – even for BENCH PRESS!!!!

For example, just bench pressing more often will NOT help you gain strength or muscle. In fact, the opposite occurs… you actually lose strength and muscle if you start to bench too often.

It’s because you’re OVERUSING the chest muscles… but UNDERUSING your other muscle groups.

Why Most Guys Can’t Bench Much Weight… And What To Do About It

So remember… bench pressing more often or several times a week will make you weaker. And you definitely do not want that.

The secret is… start working the lats that stabilize the weight on the way down. Or the biceps that keeps the weight tight on your chest before pressing.

Barbell rows and forearm strength will even help you bench press more weight and these exercises will all help you build more muscle as well. The real secret to a attaining a powerful looking physique is to combine strength training with bodybuilding principles in the same training.

Doing this alone will help you increase your bench press, add more muscle mass, and get the kind of physique you’ve always wanted.

– Mike Westerdal, CPT, Critical Bench


So you see, even the most famous bench-pressers and powerlifters have a good lat foundation or else they won’t be able to achieve their maximum potential with their “pushing” events.

And have you ever seen a bodybuilder with a back  “too big” ? It always looks cool and symmetrical even with the absence of bigger chest. Now don’t get me wrong here. I myself specialize my pecs since it has always been a weak point for me.

Let me tell you: my back and legs are my strong points but I never really realized that until a certain guy, a trainer in the first (or is it second I can’t remember) gym I trained at; named Arthur urged me to train them regularly. He said if I always just trained chests I would soon end up looking like some marching toy soldier with nothing in the back. And indeed he is right and I also see this for a lot of people that once they train their back properly, they find that it responds quite well and sooner or later they would gain some pounds at last.

Not to mention that training the legs will also have your body growing in no time as well. Not only do whole body moves like squats, deadlifts, lunges, etc involved in training legs stimulate the body to produce more testosterone – legs are actually a very huge group of muscles that when trained to experience growth will surely add pounds of lean muscle to your overall mass.

So now tell me – which will add more mass to your overall frame:

A: Over developed arms and chests

B: Over developed Legs and Back

You do the math. Heck! Training back seriously will even add to your arm size! In the end I guess my point is this and is STILL this: The body will only allow for a certain level of imbalance, and after that it will halt further development. That is SO the case if you are under developing HUGE body parts namely your back and your legs.

My usual Back day:

Deadlifts/ Rack Deadlifts – 5 by 5

Pull ups (close grip or wide grip) – complete 50 reps (negatives on the last few reps upon possitive failure)

T bar (supported or the one where I make just put the other end of a barbell bar against a wall and fill the other end with 25s) – 2 sets 10 reps then on the third set I do at least 5 drops of drop sets

Pull overs to stretch the lats – partial stretched out angle reps, 40 seconds each set 3 sets


Great back muscles will make your chest look bigger:

And one last thing – great back make the chest look bigger since your back will pull your shoulders backwards making your chest more pronounced when you stand up. So it is better if your back is somewhat “tighter” than your chest instead of the other way around.

Anyway it is REALLY hard to achieve a disproportionately huge back. It is really next to impossible to make your back “too” large” in comparison to the rest of your body frame. In fact I it is your back that dictates the frame or size of your upper body to a large degree.

Tell me something: Do you know someone with some funny over developed chest or arms? Or how about the other way around? Answer those below in the comments section. Eat your eggs, people!

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4 thoughts on “You’d Rather Miss Training Chest and Arms Than to Not Train Back and Legs

  1. Thanks man just what I needed to read I was confused about the importance of working out the back vs chest you cleared it up pretty well.

  2. Hello,
    I used to go the gym every week and to be honest I trained chest and other muscles groups more than back, my neck started to get tight and still is intact and my posture is poor I don’t know if that has anything to do with my back though??
    Do you reckon I should go back the gym and start training back to strengthen it ??

    1. Yeah, from the sounds of it you might have developed an imbalance…

      your anterior (frontal) muscles are too tight and developed but the back muscles are pretty much left behind..

      The fix for that is to train chest and back together,

      you can reduce the volume but be sure to train back and chest on the same day to make sure you avoid imbalances.

      And off course do back first before chests

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