Shoulders Like Boulders: A Serious Shoulder Workout

My New Shoulder Workout From Hell

ShouldersIf you are reading this, then you are just like me always striving for a better workout and for new ways to hit the muscles to force growth. If you are, then you probably like to experiment (a lot) to find new exercises or angles to hit your muscles from. From all of this tinkering, sometimes I come upon a golden workout and that is just what we have here. My latest shoulder workout is a no frills workout that blasts the delts from all angles and shocks them into growth.

I have made a pact with myself to seriously increase strength over the next few months. For the most part, I have focused on targeting the muscles for growth, but I have been wanting to make serious gains in strength and this new shoulder routine has given me size and strength.

For background, I work my shoulders once per week. I am on a five-day split with 2 rest days, but I take them as I can instead of scheduling them. The fall and winter months are rather busy for me and sometimes I just cannot get an hour to lift. That is fine. That becomes a rest day and I move on from there.

Five-day Split Routine

Day 1: Chest, Calves
Day 2: Back (Heavy Day)
Day 3: Shoulders, Traps, Triceps
Day 4: Quads, Hamstrings
Day 5: Back (Light Day), Biceps, Forearms

Shoulders fall directly in the middle of the week. They get some work on chest day and then are fully worked on Day 3 along with the traps and triceps. As you can see, this is a pretty intense day and a long day at the office for me.

My new theory for training some body parts has been to start it off heavy and then focus on some isolation exercises to close things out. You will see some massive strength gains this way and you will surprise yourself.

Exercise# Reps# SetsRest (Sec.)
Seated Barbell Press5460
Seated Arnold Press5360
Incline Lateral Raise8-12345


Exercise# Reps# SetsRest (Sec.)
Seated Lateral Raise8-12345
Seated Arnold Press8-12345
Exercise# Reps# SetsRest (Sec.)

Some people will look at this and think that it is too much. Others will say that it is too little. For me, this is just right and I have the gains to show for it.

Please note that the number of sets above are the number of working sets and not the number of total sets. I like to have 1-2 warmup sets before getting into the working sets.

Barbell Shoulder PressI start off the lifting session with going heavy and I do that with the seated barbell press right off the bat. I prefer the seated version and it makes it easier to maintain perfect form. Even though I am lifting heavy, I will never sacrifice form. I find a weight where I can get the weight up 5 times until I reach failure, which in this case means when I begin to lose form.

After bashing the front delts, we are not done yet. We are now going into Arnold presses at a weight where we max out at 5 reps. This may appear to be a lot of front delt work, but I make up for it later.

Now that the blood is rushing fully, we head to the incline bench and do incline lateral raises. At the top of the movement, I twist the wrist a little to hit the front delts a little more. This isolation exercise is a nice compliment to the heavy exercises that started the workout.

Next, we go into a superset as a time saver more than anything else since we still have to hit the traps and triceps. We hit seated lateral raises and go straight into lying rear delt raises. To close out the shoulders, we do some face pulls to ensure that we are not neglecting the rear delts. Just because you do not look at them directly, that does not mean that they do not exist.

One thing to note is that I like to work quickly. My breaks are short and sweet. I use a timer between sets. I have just enough time to drink water and adjust the weights or get the ready for the next exercise. With any leftover time, I do quick flexing and stretching. I also sneak in rotator cuff work early in the workout since I have a history of rotator cuff problems.

Overall, this shoulder routine gives you the gains in both size and strength, which is what my current goals are right now.

Listen to the Mass and Shred Podcast: Episode 57: Bullet Proof Shoulders: Avoiding Injury.

5 Responses

  1. Mrjutz says:

    I just stumbled across your blog, it’s great! Going to try this workout this week. One question though I have a shoulder that tends to dislocate, should I add the rotator cuff exercise as well? Will that help?

  2. Mike Guerreiro says:

    Thank you so much for checking out the post. I doubt that rotator cuff exercises would help shoulder dislocation. You should get checked out as to what is causing the dislocations, especially if it happens very often. I would assume that there is some underlying issue causing these like perhaps a bone spur that is not allowing the full range of motion. That can be correctly fairly easily without too much recovery time needed. Rotator cuff exercises is for the actual rotator cuff, which tends to get inflamed and or torn rather easily. Actually, as it becomes inflamed, the rotator cuff rubs against the shoulder causing micro tears, which will ultimately lead to a torn rotator cuff.

    • Mrjutz says:

      Oh I have they said the cup joint isn’t bad enough to warrant surgery, they said the only thing I can do is to strengthen the muscles around it to hold it in place.

  3. Mike Guerreiro says:

    Surgery is not always the solution. I am only an advocate of surgery if there is no other option. Often, one surgery leads to another and then you get to a point where surgeries can no longer help and you are worse off than before. Keep in mind, this is not always the case because surgery is sometimes the only solution left.

    If the cause of your dislocations is due to the cup joint, then rotator cuff exercises are a great starting point.

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