When you combine your chest, back and legs into a single workout, you’re getting almost a full-body workout. This beneficial side effect occurs because many chest exercises also work your shoulders, and when you work your triceps and back exercises, you typically also work out your biceps. Working your legs typically means using a compound movement, which means you activate more than one joint and end up working a larger group of muscles. Combine your chest, back and legs workout to bounce from one exercise to the next without resting between sets.
Schedule your chest, back and leg workout one to two days per week. If you decide on twice-a-week workouts, allow for two to three days of rest between the sessions.
Pick two to three exercises for each your chest, back and legs. Exercises that work the chest include chest press, pushup, chest fly and pullover. For your back, choose from pullup, lat pulldown, bent-over row and seated row. To develop your legs, select either a squat, lunge, deadlift or step-up.
Organize your workout into a circuit structure. Begin with a chest exercise, then move to a back exercise and then a leg exercise. Continue this cycle until you’re finished with your entire battery of exercises for the day. When determining which three exercises to combine together, pick ones that you can do without having to move around the facility too much to make the efficient use of your time.
Set a goal to determine how many sets and repetitions to perform of each exercise. To build strength, complete two to three sets of three to six repetitions. To increase tone or muscle size, do three to five sets of six to 12 repetitions.
Select a weight for each exercise that challenges you. Don’t be afraid to push yourself. You build strength and tone when your muscles have to take on a load that they’re not used to, so use a weight that’s appropriate. If you’re training for strength and can do more than six reps of an exercise, for example, it’s time to kick it up a notch.
- Regularly change up the chest, back and leg exercises you do to change up the stimulus and stress your muscles have to undergo and prevent hitting a plateau.
- Find a friend to train with so that they can act as spotter for those exercises where you’re holding weights over your head. Visit your doctor to get a check-up before starting a new workout plan.
Kim Nunley has been screenwriting and working as an online health and fitness writer since 2005. She’s had multiple short screenplays produced and her feature scripts have placed at the Austin Film Festival. Prior to writing full-time, she worked as a strength coach, athletic coach and college instructor. She holds a master's degree in kinesiology from California State University, Fullerton.