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Best Workout for Massive, Strong Shoulders

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Check out this workout for powerful, strong shoulders!

When it comes to fitness, a broad set of shoulders conveys a message of power and strength. Thick shoulders are hard to miss, regardless of what an individual is wearing. Building shoulder mass is not only aesthetically pleasing but also improves the ability to perform functional activities.

There are many different variations of shoulder training plans, and this one is tailored to build the deltoids from all angles so that size is symmetrical and strength is well-balanced. Often the rear deltoids get neglected because their involvement in upper body pressing motions is limited. However, this program will help to bring them up to your standards!

Each person is different genetically, so exercise selection, volume, and order will strongly influence your results. This plan is set up so that the most difficult multi-joint exercises are performed first while your energy level is at its height. Warm-up sets are not included, so use as many per movement as you feel necessary, just make sure that you do not take any of them to failure.

 

Three unique things you will notice about this program are:

Perform most of the exercises listed while standing. Standing burns more calories than sitting and therefore will help contribute to improving definition.

Many of the exercises use dumbbells. Dumbbells use will stimulate improved proprioception and will encourage the balanced development of strength and mass bilaterally. Dumbbells also provide the opportunity to move through a greater range of motion.

There are very few machine-based movements, as free weights are the superior long-term muscle building method.

 

Training Plan: 

Week Day Exercise Sets Reps
1-3 1 Standing Dumbbell Shoulder Press 4 8-10
  1 Standing Dumbbell Upright Row 4 8-10
  1 Standing Dumbbell Lateral Raise 4 8-10
  1 Bent Over Reverse Fly 3 8-10
  1 Cable Rear Deltoid Fly 3 8-10
  2 Standing Barbell Push Press 4 7-9
  2 Standing Behind the Neck Barbell Press 4 7-9
  2 One Side Standing Dumbbell Lateral Raise 4 7-9
  2 Reverse Pec Deck Fly   3 7-9
  2 Bent Over Reverse Fly    3 7-9
 
Week Day Exercise Sets Reps
4-6 1 Standing Dumbbell Upright Row 4 6-8
  1 Standing Arnold Dumbbell Press 4 6-8
  1 Cable Rear Deltoid Fly 3 6-8
  1 Standing Bent Over Rear Deltoid Raise 3 6-8
  1 Standing Cable Lateral Raise 4 6-8
  2 Standing Dumbbell Shoulder Press 4 6-8
  2 Standing Barbell Upright Row 4 6-8
  2 One Side Standing Dumbbell Lateral Raise 4 6-8
  2 Cable Rear Deltoid Fly 3 6-8
  2 Reverse Pec Deck Fly 3 6-8
 
Week Day Exercise Sets Reps
7-9 1 Standing Barbell Upright Row 4 5-7
  1 Standing Barbell Shoulder Press 4 5-7
  1 Cable Rear Deltoid Fly 3 5-7
  1 Bent Over Reverse Fly 3 5-7
  1 Standing Dumbbell Lateral Raise 4 5-7
  2 Standing Behind the Neck Barbell Press 4 5-7
  2 Standing Dumbbell Push Press 4 5-7
  2 Standing Cable Lateral Raise 4 5-7
  2 Bent Over Reverse Fly 3 5-7
  2 Reverse Pec Deck Fly 3 5-7
 
Week Day Exercise Sets Reps
10-12 1 Standing Dumbbell Upright Row 4 4-6
  1 Standing Arnold Dumbbell Press 4 4-6
  1 Cable Rear Deltoid Fly 4 4-6
  1 Standing Bent Over Rear Deltoid Raise 3 4-6
  1 Standing Cable Lateral Raise 3 4-6
  2 Standing Barbell Shoulder Press 4 4-6
  2 Standing Dumbbell Upright Row 4 4-6
  2 One Side Standing Dumbbell Lateral Raise 4 4-6
  2 Cable Rear Deltoid Fly 3 4-6
  2 Reverse Pec Deck Fly 3 4-6
 

 

                           iStock 643897970

Training reminders:

Maintain your rest periods at 60-90 seconds between sets.

Allow 48 hours rest between working each body part for adequate rest and recovery.

Drink water frequently to maintain adequate hydration throughout the training session.

 

Make sure you choose a weight at the beginning of the program of which you can reach all your sets and reps. Increase the weight 5 to 10 pounds as often as you are able. Concentrate on maintaining strict technique before adding weight.

When you get to week seven, incorporate a spotter so that can work to failure as frequently as possible, because by this time the weight should be quite heavy.

If you are looking to increase your caloric expenditure, you can superset any combination of exercises; keep sets and reps in the moderate range.

This program is designed to be challenging enough to help you push through past plateaus, but simple enough not to have to waste time learning new movements every three weeks. It is also built with flexibility in mind, so that individuals with different goals, such as less mass and more definition, can easily alter the sets and reps without having to change the exercise order or choose new ones.      

 

Jeff Redekopp

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