Shoulder day is one of my favorite days to train and I take shoulder training very seriously. If you want an impressive physique, you can train your chest, arms and back all you want, but it’s your shoulders that will tie it all together. What other muscle will make you look so good from any direction? The side deltoids will give you width, the front deltoids meet your chest, and the rear delts meet your back, giving you thickness and width in your frame.
The first thing you need to do is warm up properly and when doing that I like to grab a small weight plate like a 10lb and warm up the rotator cuffs – by extending my elbow to a parallel side I hold the plate and just move my forearm straight in front of me for 10 light reps for 2 sets with each arm; then i hold the 10lb plate and keep my elbow right on the side of my body and just swing my forearm right left back and forth for 10 reps two sets each side.
After a good warm up I start with the shoulder press muscle building exercise. I do one of two different presses: The first would be a front press on the seated Smith machine. I start with a 45lb plate on each side and go from chin up to full extension for 12 reps. Then on the second set I add another 45lb plate to each side for a set of 10 reps, the third set I add a 25lb plate to each side for 10 reps and the last set I do 3 plates on each side and complete 8 repetitions.
Every other workout I mix the press with the seated dumbbell press. I start my first set with 80lb dumbbells for 12 reps. The second set I do 10 reps with 90 pound dumbbells, the third set I do 10 reps with 95 pound dumbbells, and the fourth set I do 8 reps with 100 pound dumbbells.
Presses are great and totally hit the shoulders and are the mass builder, but they don’t really get me pumped up or get me really excited in the gym – you need lateral raises to get the blood flowing.
The next exercise is front raises and I have 2 ways to do this exercise as well and I’ll start with the first one and that would be dumbbell front raises. I like to start by holding 25lb dumbbells and raising both arms from my side of my body. and directly in front of me for 12 slow reps. Second set I grab the 30lb dumbbells and do another 12 slow reps, third set I move up to the 40lb dumbbells and do one at a time 12 reps with each arm alternating each arm. The last set is 45-pound dumbbells, one at a time, burning each arm for another 12 reps. It’s very important not to sway the body or gain momentum by swinging the weights, be sure to slow down and let the muscle work, so I like to do it sitting down. .
I also like to do front raises with a small barbell with the same weights and reps, except when I do this I stand with my back to a wall for support. Once again, without swinging or swinging, let the muscle do the work.
Are you ready to look big? Then you have to do the lateral raises. Lateral lats can be performed with dumbbells or a low cable. You can raise two side arms to the sides of your body from a standing position and I prefer to do this exercise one arm at a time. Most of the time I use the low cable and stand with the tension of the weight stack in the lowest starting position with 30lbs on the stack and raise my arm directly to my side and come back down with the cable very close from the front. of my body and my arm stops at the front of my thigh and comes back up with continuous tension on the pulley. Alternating arms, I perform 4 sets of 30 pounds for 12 repetitions, 40 pounds for 12 repetitions, 50 pounds for 10 repetitions, and 60 pounds for 8 repetitions.
The striking shoulders engage the rear deltoids and I stand inside the cable crossover machine and with each hand holding the lower pulley handle (right hand holding left pulley handle and left hand holding lower pulley handle right) I bend over with knees bent and look ahead hopefully in a mirror to see my shape. Raise each arm out to the side of your body as you lean forward to do this, called rear delt cable crossovers. This needs to be an exercise done slowly with no body momentum with a very slight bend in the elbow come out to the side of your body with each pulley handle squeezing the rear deltoids at the top of the movement keep endless tension on the muscle . Do 3 sets of 12 reps and I use 30lbs each arm on the first set, 40lbs on the second set, 45lbs on the third set.
Last exercise of the workout and my shoulders are booming. I like doing upright rows. On my upright rows I prefer to use a barbell and close grip. The grip I use is measured by sticking my thumbs out and touching them so that each grip is about 6 inches on the bar. Standing I have two 25lb plates on the 45lb bar and I have the bar in front of my body below my waist and I lift the bar across the front of my body extending my elbows out to the side bringing the bar closer to my chin for the first set of 12 repetitions. The second set I add 10lbs to each side for 10 reps and the last set is 45lbs to each side for 8-10 reps.
Shoulder press – 4 series – repetitions 12, 10, 10, 8
Front raises – 4 series – repetitions 12, 12, 12, 12
Lateral raises – 4 series – repetitions 12, 12, 10, 8
Rear delt crossovers. 3 sets – reps 12, 12, 12
Up Right Rows 3 sets – reps 12, 10, 8