There’s no debate that your legs and back are responsible for the majority of your overall muscle mass. If you neglect them, you will fall extremely short of reaching your potential.
But can you train legs and back together on the same day?
The short answer is yes, you can, but you shouldn’t.
Legs and back are your largest muscles, therefore they require more energy to train. And it’s close to impossible to focus enough energy on legs and back in the same workout.
However, there is an exception to this rule, and I’m going to share that with you in this post. In fact, this ‘exception’ is going to lead to more muscle growth and strength gains for you!
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Reasons Not to Train Legs and Back Together
Before we get into how you can benefit from training legs and back in the same workout, let’s go over some reasons why you should not do this.
And yes, I realize I just made a ‘huge’ contradiction. But I promise this will all make perfect sense when I show you this specific workout method!
- Both legs and back require more training volume to build muscle mass, which is not feasible to achieve in one workout
- Legs, especially if you’re doing squats, require complete focus and concentration; that’s going to be very difficult if you’re trying fit in another major muscle, like back
- Like legs, back also needs more volume than the rest of your upper body muscles so the same rule above applies to back
- It’s almost impossible to have enough energy and stamina to effectively train back and legs in the same workout
- Because both need extreme focus, training legs and back together makes you more vulnerable to injury
All that being said, you’re probably wondering what the heck I mean when I say there is one exception to this rule where you can train these two muscles together.
I’ll explain below, and I’m actually going to give you a full workout…
How and When to Train Legs and Back Together
The exception to the rule is simple:
- Have one workout dedicated to legs
- Have one workout dedicated to back
- Have another workout that same week where you train legs and back together
Here’s an example of a workout schedule using this method:
|Wednesday||Chest and Biceps|
|Thursday||Shoulders and Triceps|
|Friday||Legs and Back|
**The key workout days are in bold (back, legs, and legs and back)
As you can see, this looks like a typical bodybuilding split, or what many refer to as a bro-split.
You’re essentially training each major muscle once a week, dedicating a full workout to that major muscle (with the exception of throwing in some arms at the end of your chest and shoulder workouts).
The difference is you’re adding another training day to hit your largest muscles for a second time in the same week: legs and back.
Now we’re going to take a look at what you can do for that 2nd workout below…
Legs and Back Workout (Together)
Obviously this second workout for legs and back will not have as much training volume as a full leg or back workout. In this case, you really want to focus on the below:
- Make sure you do at least one compound exercise for back and for legs
- Choose exercises that you want to increase your strength on
- Choose exercises that also give an awesome pump and that you feel your muscles working the most
Basically, you’re going to be doing the key exercises that matter and combining them into a back and leg workout.
Here’s an example of what you can do:
|Exercise||Sets x Reps|
|Leg Extensions||5 x 15*|
|Hammer Strength Rows||5 x 10*|
|Squats||4 x 10|
|Barbell Rows||4 x 10|
|Seated Calve Raises||1 x 75**|
*Drop set: For leg extensions, a drop set was done on the 4th and 5th set. For rows, a drop set was done only on the last set.
A drop set is where you perform a set, then immediately reduce the weight by about 30% and do another set. It’s an excellent way to push your muscles to that next level.
**Giant rest-pause set: Choose a weight that you can do for about 20 reps. Perform a set, rest for 10-15 seconds, and perform another set using the same weight. Continue doing this until you hit a total of 75 reps.
If you want your calves to grow, this is an awesome method to try!
Notes About this Workout
Remember, the workout above is not a full workout for legs or back. It’s the 2nd time you’ll be training those muscles for that week. And it’s actually perfect for a Friday (or end of the week) workout.
Here are a few important notes to consider:
- Make sure there are at least two days from your last back or leg workout before doing this workout
- You may also want to choose different exercises for this 2nd workout than you did for your first workout for these muscles
- In the workout above, I have you alternating a leg and back exercise – this is to ensure both muscles get a balanced focus
Video: Legs and Back Workout
You can also watch this video of me talking more about this specific workout. This is part of a series I started on YouTube called ‘Muscle Talk with Jason.’
It’s kind of like you’re riding home from the gym with me chatting about muscle-building tips! Be sure to subscribe to my channel here.
How to Build Your Legs and Back
Back and legs can be some of the most stubborn muscles to grow. The ‘biggest’ reason for that is because people don’t train them hard enough or they lack the volume it takes to build those muscles.
One of the ‘secrets’ to building your back and legs is simply training them twice a week. This allows you to add more overall volume to those muscles.
Because those are such large muscle groups, you have to treat them differently than your chest, shoulders, or arms. You need a different, or rather, more aggressive approach.
Twice a Week Training
We all have body parts that are lagging behind the others. More than often it’s going to be either legs or back.
Again, that’s because of the sheer size of those muscle groups. They’re so much more complex and take more effort to build. But hitting those muscles a 2nd time each week may help you break past that plateau.
If you’d like to read more about training legs and back twice a week, I have two blog posts you will be interested in:
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Excuses Don’t Build Muscle,