02-07-2004, 11:48 PM #1Anabolic Member
- Join Date
- May 2002
SHOULDERS: Some advice on sparking growth
Purpose of this post:
The following is an edited version of a response I sent to someone asking help with their shoulders. I thought that it might be helpful for others to see this in case they are having similar problems or questions.
The person who wrote me appears to be either an ectomoph (very hard gainer) or an ecto-mesomorph (slightly hardgainer). Other body parts are apparently growing reasonably well, so diet does not seem to be an issue here. He works his shoulders separately from his chest and back. Here's a brief look at his shoulder routine:
Front raises: 3 sets
Dumbbell Press: 3 sets
Reverse Flyes: 3 sets
Side lateral raises: 3 sets
Shrugs: 3 sets
Here's the edited version of my response to him:
If your satisfied with your back growth, then there's no need yet to tweak your back program. On the other hand, you shoulder plan needs some attention.
My first observation is: You might be overworking your shoulders.
Remember that you work your shoulders in every upper body routine. So, if your workout split is (for 7 days): chest, rest, back, rest, shoulders/arms, rest, legs; then you'll have worked your shoulders 3 times in one week and will not have given them time enough to grow (while resting). NOTE: the above is not a recommended split, it was written only to make a point about the shoulders.
Consider combining your shoulder workout with either back or chest. This way, You will pre-exhaust your shoulders by working either chest or back first, will put less strain on the shoulders (using less weight because they are pre-exhausted), and will have more days to rest your shoulders and to let them grow.
Take a weak-point training approach in which you combine some of the other body parts such as chest and back on one day to allow you work shoulders on a single day (alone) so you: (1) can put effort as possible into using heavy weights to work shoulders (2) can avoid working your shoulders 3 times per week as described above. A rest day should follow your shoulder day to allow for growth.
When you’re not growing, do not be afraid to rest more, for we grow as we rest.
My second observation is:
Front raises and lateral raises are fine-tuning exercises that should be completely thrown out of your routine if you are having difficulty making your shoulders grow. I'll tell you why in a second. First let me say:
I have lateral movement exercises in my routine that I shared with you because my shoulders tend to grow fast, mainly because I am a shoulder presser (I use my shoulders too much when doing pressing exercises for the chest). That's why my chest is lagging, and that’s why my shoulders are developed. So, I can throw in a few fine-tuning exercises for shoulders; however, using variations of shoulder presses are the only way to make your shoulders grow. The overhead press (and variations) is to deltoids as the squat is to quads.
Front raises and lateral raises sap your energy--energy that could be used far better doing heavy presses. You should NOT put any exercise before the main exercise for the muscle group unless it is light weight used ONLY for warm up of one or two sets. However, it's preferable to warm up using the same exercise with which you're about to begin your routine. In other words your routine should start with one or two LIGHT warm up sets of dumbbell presses then you should head straight into HEAVY dumbbell presses.
When I say use heavy weight, I mean that the weight should be heavy enough that you will fail (without spotter-forced reps) at the 8th - 10th rep. If you cannot execute every rep of an exercise using perfect form (no cheating, twisting, arching your back excessively or using momentum at the beginning of the exercise to move the weight), then you are using too much weight. All of your reps must be controlled and slow—not explosive. Explosive pressing uses momentum to move the weight. Explosive pressing deprives your muscle of much needed time under controlled stress while pressing the weights upward at the beginning portion of a rep of an exercise.
I suggest that you do the following for your shoulders:
--Dumbbell Press: (dumbbells kept at side of shoulders)** 4 sets, 3 when doing drop-sets
--Military Press: (front press--pressing bar approximately from chest to above head)** 3-4 sets, 3 when doing drop-sets
--Reverse Flies: 4 sets, 3 when doing drop-sets
--Shrugs: 4 sets...In this exercise you should be able to slowly pull your shoulders up so they move up noticeably, hold at the top for a second, then slowly return weight to starting position. DO NOT completely relax your shoulders at the bottom of the shrug, or else you risk damaging your shoulders by transferring the weight to non-muscular structures. Keeping the shoulders under stress at the bottom of the shrug helps protect your shoulders and it increases the intensity of the exercise and the stimuli necessary for the shoulders to grow. DO NOT rotate your shoulders when doing shrugs—the rotation under stress damages the shoulders. The motion should be straight up and straight down. First, do the exercise without any weight in your hands and note how far your shoulders move up. If you cannot move your shoulders that far up with weights in your hands and if you cannot hold the weight for a second at the top of the shrug, then you are using too much weight.
**--NOTE: Do not do behind-the-neck presses. They put too much strain on the shoulders (as do behind the neck lat pull-downs) and can damage them.
Let me know if you have more questions.
02-08-2004, 02:06 AM #2
Good post, especially bringing up over-training your Shoulders. I'm not a big believer in over-training since I think it's over-hyped, but it's a very valid point.
Good job brah.
02-12-2004, 12:41 PM #3
great info on shoulders bask8kace
i have to ask you tho: **--NOTE: Do not do behind-the-neck presses. They put too much strain on the shoulders (as do behind the neck lat pull-downs) and can damage them.
i aggree with you that its bad for the shoulders and i have experienced that behind the neck presses damage shoulders BUT why is kevin levrone (for example) doing them? is he not getting damaged? is he doing them in a special way?
02-12-2004, 01:05 PM #4
Nice post Bask.
02-12-2004, 01:43 PM #5
i acctualy saw him doing them in his own Maryland Muscle Machine video.. and i know that what works for someone sometimes does not work for me, as i said, i have experienced that behind neck presses do damage my shoulders.. i liked your post, i bet u have alot of knowledge thats why i thought u knew a better way to do behind neck presses than i do.. and if u would have an answer ofcourse it would be worth trying.. you´d be surpriced how the same exercises work great for all types of people..
btw. why is kevin an a**? what did he do? i heard from some other dude on the board that he was nice when he met him..
02-12-2004, 03:34 PM #6Anabolic Member
Originally Posted by BeatOriginally Posted by Beat
- Join Date
- May 2002
Everyone has his/her preferences. Behing the neck presses may have or may not have injured him in the past.
An alternative to behind the neck presses are military (front) or dumbell presses (side) as described in my first post. Keeping the dumbbells in the same vertical plane created by the shoulders or slightly forward will keep undue stress off your shoulders.
The experience with Kevin at the bar in Maryland involved several different people. The bar was happy to see him go when he left. Perhaps it was a bad night for him. Either way, he left a bad impression on many people that night.
Last edited by BASK8KACE; 02-12-2004 at 03:41 PM.
02-12-2004, 03:41 PM #7
why did you put shrugs in there?
02-12-2004, 07:54 PM #8
I like BASK8'S lay out. I would also recommend starting with a pressing movement. Military Press, Dumbell press, etc. Than moving on to your isolation movements. I.E. Side Raises, Rear Raises, etc. Also, try mixing up the reps. Try doing 4 sets of 5-6 for a month. Than switch to 4 sets of 10-12. I see WAY too many people doing the SAME exact reps for the SAME exact weight. And they never seem to be growing. I like to switch up my reps and order of exercises every 4 weeks. This allows me enough time to make some progress on a particular schedule. But not enough that my body or mind get stagnant.
Another point, try getting a good ammount of rest in between shoulders and chest. Maybe chest on Monday and shoulders on Thursday. Otherwise, as BASK8 said, your shoulders take a pounding. Also, how intense are your sets? Are you giving true focus to every set? I'll tell you what seems to work very well for me. As well as any friends who have copied this style. After a little warm up, go right into a REAL set. Too many people make huge jumps in weight in each set. The only set that seems to require any effort from them is the very last one. To me, that's 3 warm up sets and 1 work set. I like to come right out of the gate with focus. If I'm doing 4 sets of 6-8, than my first set is at about 70% intensity. The next set is about 80%. The 3rd 90% and the 4th is 100%, I hit failure right here. I might only add 10 pounds to each set. But EVERY set required effort and focus. I also only rest 1-2 minutes between exercises. I hope this helps someone.
P.S. Props to BASK8KACE for his help. He is always willing to share his knowledge with all who ask. And all of his posts are well thought out and informative. You're a great asset to the board brother.
02-12-2004, 08:05 PM #9Anabolic Member
Originally Posted by superjew
- Join Date
- May 2002
05-18-2004, 10:21 AM #10Anabolic Member
- Join Date
- May 2002
Bump for Justincase to find.
05-23-2004, 11:21 PM #11Associate Member
- Join Date
- Apr 2004
- Small Town, Tx.
Bask..I thank you for the good info...I am doing basically that same routine, but I like the part about weight too heavy equals sloppy reps....I see alot of dudes tryin to impress someone and totally throwin their body around....how about the one who tries to show off on curls and starts almost dancin he gets movin soo fast...u know the one....archin his back and all that....lol...peace
05-24-2004, 02:13 AM #12Originally Posted by Devourer
05-24-2004, 04:10 AM #13
So you say that lateral raises are a waste of time for deloid mass building? What should I be doing then?
05-24-2004, 08:06 AM #14
great post but...
Great post but personaly I can say that my shouldrs only started groing when I added front and lateral raises on top of my normal routine.
But as we know everyone responds differently.
05-24-2004, 09:12 AM #15
great post man, i am a hardgainer, perfect for me
05-24-2004, 09:57 AM #16Anabolic Member
Originally Posted by singernOriginally Posted by Darkness
- Join Date
- May 2002
Singern & Darkness:
If you re-read the first post you'll see that I only advise pople to toss out the fron lateral raises if the shoulders aren't growing. Read the following quote from the post:
"Front raises and lateral raises are fine-tuning exercises that should be completely thrown out of your routine if you are having difficulty making your shoulders grow. I'll tell you why...
"Front raises and lateral raises sap your energy--energy that could be used far better doing heavy presses. "
In other words, it's better to focus on the basic, heavy movements to spark growth than the smaller "fine tuning exercises". The same logic can be applied to legs. For example, if you are having difficulty making your legs grow, then I'd suggest that you toss out leg extensions (on the seated leg extension machine) and use the extra energy to do heavier/more intense squats or leg presses. The main idea is to use less energy doing "fine tuning" exercises (front/lateral raises and leg raises) and more energy doing basic "bulking" exercises (overhead presses, squats and leg presses).
05-24-2004, 12:22 PM #17Associate Member
- Join Date
- Dec 2003
I can relate to having stubborn shoulders. I recently eliminated a seperate shoulder and incorporated them into other days. On chest day, I do my pressing movements and lateral movements. On back day, I do upright rowing movements and rear delts. I do really isolate my frontal delts due to them being the dominering head of my shoulder. I have never seen my delts look so good. As stated, everyone responds differently. My only real advice is to be open to changing a routine. I have seen idiots complain about not making progress on a bodypart as others grow and they don't try anything new. Like b*tching will gain new results.
06-29-2004, 08:25 AM #18
great post Bask8kase.....bump to the top....im gonna try this out, and hope that my lagging shoulders start growing now!!!!!
07-28-2004, 11:03 PM #19
i see a lot of people saying that their shoulders didn't grow until they started doing lateral raises, or doing some other exercise they don't usually do. i think the key may not be the exercise itself (although i'm a big believer in basic movements) but shocking the muscle with a movement it is not used to. sometimes those tired 'men's fitness' magazines have some strange exercises they tell u to do (i saw one guy in the gym lifting a dumbbell in a lateral raise, then moving it out to his side, then bringing it over his head). but sometimes i look at them just to see if i can do an exercise with a different angle or something because that has always helped me grow (not the strange exercises, but different exercises i dont usually do)
07-29-2004, 08:25 AM #20
Users Browsing this Thread
There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)