Boulder Shoulders: Creativity & Intensity Are The Keys To Building Bigger, Rounder Delts
Bringing out the shape and striations of the shoulder muscles is a big part of upper-body training, but first, you need to make sure you have sufficient delt muscle mass. Here are three tips for adding massive size to the shoulders, but before we get into the workout here is what we suggest you do pre-workout.
1 – Have a good training partner for those compound lifts, but don’t stress if you are flying solo.
2 – The Flawless Pre-Workout Stack – MuscleMeds NO BULL XMT for incredible Focus, Energy, and Pump.
Working in the 8-12 rep range is typically the best way to add muscle mass to most body parts (the one exception being legs, which respond better to slightly higher reps). But we firmly believe that muscles, especially the deltoids, also need to be exposed to very heavy weight to grow to their potential. Pick a weight at which you can only do 5-6 reps. Feel free to do lateral raises in the 8-12 range (even 15-20), but I recommend doing overhead presses in the 5-6-rep range at least every other workout. It’s not that every set of presses has to be heavy; if you’re doing, say, 4-5 sets of seated barbell presses, you can do your first set or two for eight reps, but then make your last 2-3 sets heavier or vice versa (heavier to start-lighter finish).
Get Creative With Your Presses
Most people vary their shoulder training only when it comes to lateral raises. They’ll do the front, middle and rear-delt raise with Creatine dumbbells and cables, from different angles, but when it comes to presses, they mainly stick to barbells and dumbbells.
There are many other versions of overhead presses that you should work into your delt routines, such as the Smith machine overhead press, Arnold press, both in-front-of-the-head and behind-the- neck overhead presses (using a barbell or a Smith machine) and standing overhead barbell or dumbbell presses (military press).
Utilize Rest-Pauses on Presses
As far as intensity techniques go, I think drop sets and supersets are great when doing the front, middle and rear delt raises. On overhead presses, however, my favourite technique is the rest-pause. The reason behind this is with rest-pauses, you never have to lighten the load, you start with a heavy weight and stick with it for the whole set. For those of you who don’t know or have forgotten, here’s how to perform rest-pauses:
Pick a weight for a Smith machine overhead press with which you can do about six reps. Do a set of 4-5 reps, rest 15-20 seconds, and then do 2-3 more reps with that same weight. Rest another 15-20 seconds, then do another 2-3 reps. At that point, you’ll have done 8-11 reps with a weight with which you could normally do only six.
These tips will help trigger growth in your shoulders, so give them a try next time delt day rolls around. Follow your pressing moves with high-intensity laterals and you’ll have the best of both worlds: size and definition.
Boulder Shoulder Routine
This workout emphasizes going heavy on your first two exercises, and it’s ideal for building massively rounded delts.
Exercise Sets Reps
Smith Machine Overhead Press 4 5-6
Arnold Press 4 10, 8, 6, 6
Barbell or EZ Bar Upright Row 3 8-10
Dumbbell Lateral Raise 3 10-12
-Superset with Dumbbell Bent over
-OR Reverse Fly on the Pec Deck Machine- 3 10-12
On your last two sets, remember to try the rest-pause technique.
Congratulations, you are one step closer to those perfect rounded massive delts, keep grinding and let the gains begin!!