Better Shoulders with 5 Key Tips and 8 Great Workouts

February 28, 2016 — Leave a comment
Delts-Alissa

My shoulders have been the hardest for me to build. They are coming along and I’m seeing gains.‬” – Alissa

Here are five key tips we practice when training shoulders and below are eight shoulder workouts that are among our favourite and most result-producing.

FULFILL YOUR GREATER POTENTIAL with SMART EXERCISE and SMARTER NUTRITION

  1. Exercise Selection: Select exercises that hit the shoulders from a variety of angles to target all three heads of the muscle (anterior, medial and posterior).
  2. Exercise Technique: Don’t throw away results with sloppy technique. Most shoulder exercises lend themselves easily to using momentum or poor posture. The better your exercise technique, the higher the quality of time under tension within the targeted muscle. Make ongoing, fine-tune adjustments to body positioning, range-of-motion and rep speed to best recruit the targeted muscle.
  3. Training Frequency: Match training frequency to the natural recovery cycle of your shoulders. Being a smaller muscle group, the deltoids tend to recover more quickly than larger muscle groups. This means you can train them with greater frequency which translates into accelerated progress.
  4. Training Intensity & Volume: Getting our shoulders to respond tends to require a higher level of intensity and volume than for most other muscle groups. Therefore, we take shorter rests between sets, use high intensity techniques like supersets, dropsets and circuits, and often include higher reps and more sets.
  5. IMG_5782

    Amplify Your Workouts! The Amped Performance Line of nutrition products has proven to be a true game changer for us! Full of quality, but free from stimulants, artificial sweeteners and artificial colours.

    Nutrient Timing & Supplementation: No matter how effective your training, nutrition is the limiting factor. What you do for nutrition and supplementation is of paramount importance to muscle growth and your body’s ability to train with greater intensity and then recover more efficiently. For example, pre-exercise we have our Amped Power (creatine + Nitrosigine) and Amped NOx (nitrate-rich fruit and vegetable blend). Then immediately post-exercise we have IsaPro (pure protein with 18g undenatured whey concentrate) with Amped Recover (BCAAs) followed one hour later with an IsaLean Pro shake (complete meal replacement with 36g undenatured whey concentrate),  and then another hour later we have one of our largest meals of the day higher in both protein and carbs.

SAMPLE SHOULDER WORKOUTS (BB = Barbell, DB = Dumbbell)

Workout 1A (Heavy): This is comprised of three distinct phases (1A, 1B, 1C) that are each performed for one week, and then a fourth week (not shown) should be a light, easy recovery-style training week before repeating the three phases again.

1. BB Standing Military Presses: Work up to a heavy triple (3RM) in 4-5 sets. Rest 2-3 minutes between sets.

2. DB Standing Partial Range Cheat Laterals: Work up to a heavy set of 6 reps in 3-4 sets. Rest 2-3 minutes between sets.

3. DB Seated Power Cleans: Work up to a heavy set of 10 reps in 3-4 sets. Rest 1.5-2 minutes between sets.

Workout 1B (Intensity):

1. Plate Front Raises: Grab a 25lb, 35lb or 45lb plate with both hands. Work up to a heavy set of 10 reps, then perform a triple drop-set.

2. Shoulder Complex Tri-set: Perform 20 seated DB Front Raises, 20 seated DB Lateral Raises, and 20 seated DB Forward Leaning Laterals. Perform consecutively without rest between exercises; rest 2-3 minutes and repeat for a total of 3 repeats.

3. Band Pull-Aparts: Do 5 sets of 10 reps with 30 second rest periods.

Workout 1C (High Volume):

1. DB Seated Shoulder Presses: Work up to a heavy set of 8 reps for 4 sets. Rest 2-3 minutes between sets.

2. DB or Cable Upright Rows: Work up to a heavy set of 8 reps for 4 sets. Rest 2-3 minutes between sets.

3. DB Seated Lateral Raises: Work up to a heavy set of 8 reps for 4 sets. Rest 2-3 minutes between sets.

4. DB Seated Leaning Forward Lateral Raises: Work up to a heavy set of 8 reps for 4 sets. Rest 2-3 minutes between sets.

Workout 2:

1. BB Standing Military Press: 1 warm-up set then follow weekly weight progression (Week#1 = 5 sets of 10 reps; Week #2 = 5 sets of 8 reps; Week#3 = 5 sets of 5 reps; Week#4 = 5 sets of 3 reps. Repeat weekly progressions for up to a 16 week cycle.)

2. Shoulder Complex Tri-set: Perform 20 seated DB Front Raises, 20 seated DB Lateral Raises, and 20 seated DB Leaning Forward Laterals. Perform consecutively without rest between exercises; rest 2-3 minutes and repeat for a total of 3 repeats.

3. Rear Delt Laterals on machine (3×20). Rest 2-3 minutes between sets.

4. Upright DB or Cable Row (3×10). Rest 1.5-2 minutes between sets.

Workout 3:

1. DB One-Arm Leaning Lateral Raises: Grab onto a sturdy structure with one hand and hold the dumbbell in the other. Keeping your feet together and close to the structure, lean away from it until your arm is straight. This will make the movement very strict and hit the medial delt hard. After 1-2 warm-ups, perform 3 sets of 20 reps with a smooth and controlled tempo. Rest 2-3 minutes between sets.

2. Band Pull-Aparts: Perform 4 sets of 25 reps. Focus on using the rear delts and try to engage the traps as little as possible.  Rest 2-3 minutes between sets.

3. BB Standing Military Presses: Work up slowly in sets of 6 reps until you reach your max set of 6. At least 4 of these should feel like work sets. Rest 2-3 minutes between sets.

Workout 4:

1. DB Seated Power Cleans: Do 3 sets of 25 reps with 60 second rest periods.

2. Plate Front Raises: Grab a 25lb, 35lb or 45lb plate with both hands. Perform 5 sets of 10 reps with 30 second rest periods.

3. Band Pull-Aparts: Do 5 sets of 10 reps with 30 second rest periods.

Workout 5:

1. Upright DB or Cable Row: Pyramid up in weights for 4 sets of 10, 8, 6, 6. Rest 1.5-2 minutes between sets.

2. DB One-Arm Leaning Lateral Raises: Grab onto a sturdy structure with one hand and hold the dumbbell in the other. Keeping your feet together and close to the structure, lean away from it until your arm is straight. This will make the movement very strict and hit the medial delt hard. Perform 3 sets of 9-12 reps with a smooth and controlled tempo. No rest between arms or sets.

3. DB Seated Leaning Forward Lateral Raises (12-15 reps) supersetted with DB Standing Shoulder Press (pyramid up in weight for sets of 10, 8, 6, 6). Perform 4 supersets with no rest between exercises and 2-3 minute rest between supersets.

Workout 6 (Crazy 8’s): Use approximately 60% of your 8RM for each exercise. Use the same weight on all 8 sets that allows 8 reps for all sets. Rest 15-30sec rest between sets (except on unilateral exercises where there is no rest as you switch between left and right arms). The goal for progressing is to decrease rest between sets to 15sec. When rest for any exercise is down to 15 sec between all sets then increase weight and rest up to 30 seconds, then work towards decreasing rest back down to 15 seconds with the new weight.

1. DB One Arm Incline Lateral Raise: Lay sideways on an incline bench holding a dumbbell in the hand of the top arm. Perform a lateral raise with the upper arm. Complete 8 reps then lay on opposite side to perform 8 reps with the other arm. Repeat with no rest for a total of 8 sets.

2. DB Seated Shoulder Press or DB Arnold Shoulder Press: Perform 8 reps for 8 sets resting 15-30 seconds between sets.

3. Cable Standing Single Reverse Fly: Complete 8 reps with one arm then switch arms. Repeat with no rest for a total of 8 sets.

4. DB Standing or Seated Static/Isometric Lateral Raise: With a dumbbell in each hand hold in the fully contracted position of a lateral raise. Use a weight that is challenging to hold in this position for 45-60sec.

Delts-TrainersDen

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