Should You Do Squats And Biceps On The Same Day?
April 25th 2019
Is doing squats and biceps on the same day a good idea? In many strength training programs today, we see that most of the emphasis is around the big 4 movements - the squat, the bench press, the overhead press, and the deadlift. If you chose modified general strength training programs, you may also include exercises like dips, pullups, and barbell rows. However, what about growing your biceps? Curls for the girls? In this article, we will discuss whether or not you should do squats and biceps on the same day.
Squats and biceps on the same day?
It does not matter if you do biceps and squats on the same day. It is more important that you follow your strength training program and get closer to your physique or strength goals.
Do you get better arm growth if you do biceps on the same day you do squats?
This is a broscience myth. You may have read online that your body produces more growth hormones and testosterone if you do leg day. As a result, some lifters may think that going another body part while you do legs may actually make your arms bigger. Right or wrong?
Your body does not work like that. Growth and gains are slow, but a continuous process. If you want to continue growing, make sure to get a lot of sleep and to eat at a caloric surplus. You have a much better time and will see more results in your training when you are slowly gaining weight. With excess macronutrients, this will allow your body to grow relentlessly.
Is it a matter of preference if I want to do squats and biceps on the same day?
Again, if you look online, you will see that many lifters will spew out tons of information. But is it valid? Yes and no.
Yes, it does matter what you prefer. Here is why:
1. You will not be motivated if you hate your routine
This is why there are so many programs out there in the lifting community. To really address everyone’s individual needs while trying to touch bases with all the strength training principles, many fitness enthusiasts and strength coaches have designed excellent programs. To be honest, even the most poorly programmed routine will get you better results if you are mentally committed to it.
For instance, if you have a perfect program that optimizes everything on recovery and strength training, but you hate to do it, how long will you force yourself until you quit? 1 week? 1 month?
Now, picture yourself doing a program you actually love. You may stick with it for 6 months, a year even? A few years? Hard to say, right?
But we do know one thing - motivation is somewhat important. For a lot of people, working out is difficult and boring. If they are not getting closer to their goals physically, why go to the gym? Unfortunately, this is the state we live in now where it is actually a minority of people who actually lift weights.
2. You will need to get closer to your goals
A lot of strength training programs do not include any bicep accessories. Unless you run Greyskull LP or Fierce 5, there are very few general programs that will even address biceps growth. Unless you pay for customized programming (not worth it if you are a beginner), you might as well design your own program and learn from your mistakes. It will be a more fruitful experience for you in the long term. You will develop the skills and understanding of how to program for yourself this way.
One big reason for this is that many strength coaches understand that time is better spent if you learn how to do compound movements first. As a novice lifter, you have a wonderful opportunity to make as much strength gains in both your upper and lower body. As someone who started off with a bro split, I wanted to get stronger for basketball. At the time, I thought just lifting weights in the gym, regardless of routine, will help me get closer to my goal. I was partially correct. In order to effectively use your time, know exactly what it is you want and craft your plan to get there.
However, it goes back to bullet one about motivation. If you do care about growing your biceps, you will want to see it in your program. And your program should get you closer to your results. You may want some aesthetics as well as some strength gain. Or you just want to develop functional strength but some arm growth. There are so many different combinations of goals but workout programs are designed to help you get there in a more focused way.
Alternatively, it does not matter what you think. Here are a few reasons why you just need to do your exercises according to your program:
1. Time constraint
If you are unable to spend too much time at the gym or you need to limit your workouts, you may need to squeeze both biceps and squats into your workout even if they were planned on different days. There is nothing wrong with that. Sometimes, life just takes a sharp left turn and we need to adapt. The most important aspect to take away is that you need to figure out your life first. Only then, you can really focus on which days you want to place your bicep and squat exercises.
Research suggested that elite lifters who workout 4x a week versus 6x a week made very similar patterns of growth when the training volume is kept constant. However, I have not found a study that suggested working out once a week was better than working out 3-4x a week, which is usually standard all lifters. I am confident working out once a week is better than nothing. But you need to put in the time to workout your body; if you can dedicate three or four separate days in order to separate your lifts and concentrate on your exercises, it would be effort better spent than trying to cram all your exercises from three days into one day.
2. Just follow the program
If you did not create your own program, the best thing you can do is to just stick with what your program says. Do not customize it unless you have years of lifting experience. Programs are there to provide your training with structure. Some people need to know what they are doing in order to stay focused.
Focus on picking a program that gets you closer to your goals. Let your desires decide on what exercises you get to do on any particular day.