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Shoulders After Chest Day (Pros, Cons & Safety Tips)

If you’re wondering whether you can do shoulders after chest day, then you’ve came to the right place.

In this article, we look at the pros and cons of training shoulders after chest, as well as how to do it safely.

We also look at other suitable muscle groups you can train after a heavy chest workout.

A topless man doing a shoulder press while looking in the mirror

Can You Do Shoulders After Chest Day?

You can do shoulders after chest day, but it may not be the optimum way of working out.

Many chest exercises rely on your shoulders to initiate the movement. So, there’s a chance that you fatigue your shoulders from your chest workout.

If this is the case, you likely won’t be able to lift as much when it comes to training your shoulders, which can result in less progress being made.

That being said, if your shoulders still feel fresh after chest day, there’s no real reason why you can’t train them.

Benefits of Doing Shoulders After Chest Day

You Can Target A Small Muscle Group After A Large One

Sometimes, it’s a good idea to follow a large muscle group training session (chest) with a small muscle group training session (shoulders).

This is because after you’ve trained a large muscle group, you’ll have used up a ton of energy, will have performed some big compound movements, and will likely feel very sore.

If you were to train another large muscle group the next day, you likely won’t have the energy or motivation to train it as effectively as possible.

So, following it with a small muscle group training session, like targeting your shoulders, can be a good way of working through your training week while having minimal impact on the effectiveness of your workouts.

It Can Work Your Shoulders A Bit More

If you want to challenge your shoulders, then training them after chest day can certainly benefit you.

Since your shoulders work hard in many chest exercises, they may already be fatigued when you train them the next day.

While it’s true that this can limit the amount of weight you can lift, it means that you’ll be putting them under stress while they’re already stressed. 

This can sometimes help give you more strength and size gains, although you do need to be wary of overtraining.

(More on that soon…)

Drawbacks of Doing Shoulders After Chest Day

You May Feel Fatigued

A topless man lying down in the gym while resting his arm on his head

If you’ve pushed yourself to your limits during your chest session, then your upper body will likely feel sore and tired the next day.

This can cause low motivation for your next workout.

While those who are mentally elite can ignore this fatigue, most of us will likely feel the effects of it during our workout.

By training shoulders after chest, you may be tired and low on energy which can reduce the effectiveness of your shoulder workout.

You Can Overtrain Your Shoulders

Overtraining muscle groups can cause injury and time away from the gym.

If you do shoulder day after chest, there’s a possibility of overtraining your shoulders.

Obviously, injuries will hinder your fitness goals so if you’re concerned about overtraining, then you should maybe target a different muscle group after chest day.

Should You Do Shoulders After Chest Day?

While this ultimately comes down to your personal preferences, it isn’t optimal to train your shoulders after chest day.

Hitting your shoulders hard back-to-back has more risks than reward, so you probably shouldn’t train your shoulders after chest day unless you really want to.

Is It Safe To Do Shoulders After Chest Day?

A road with the words Safety First painted on in yellow paint next to double yellow lines

It can be, but you really need to be wary of overtraining your shoulders as this can result in injury.

If you want to minimize your injury risk in the gym, then you should maybe choose a different muscle group after chest day, or even have a rest day.

Is It Better To Do Chest After Shoulder Day?

It’s probably less effective to train chest after shoulder day.

This is because after shoulder day, your shoulders will obviously be sore.

Since your shoulders are used in chest exercises, they might actually reach failure before your chest does which will massively reduce the effectiveness of your chest workout.


In summary:

  • While you can train shoulders after chest day, it may not be optimal as your shoulders will have likely worked hard in chest exercises.
  • The risk of overtraining and injury significantly increases if your shoulders are heavily used in your chest session.
  • Therefore if you do train shoulders after chest day, ensure that your chest exercises are predominantly isolation exercises like flyes.

That’s all for this article, but can you do back after chest day? Or what about arm day after chest day?

Hope this helped!