Focused Shoulder Workouts

focused shoulder workouts

Walk into any gym and look for the bodybuilders training shoulders. An interesting tidbit right off the bat is that you probably won’t see all that many bodybuilders even bothering with hitting their shoulders. It turns out most bodybuilders place more emphasis upon the chest, arm, back, and even leg muscles. The shoulders enjoy their secondary stimulation from hitting the chest and back. Occasionally, you’ll run into a dedicated bodybuilder who manages to fit in that 5th and final day for shoulders each week. This is admirable, albeit rare.

Okay, back to the gym. You finally find the guys training shoulders. Three-quarters of them are using some sort of shoulder machine. They want to train shoulders, and they like the fact the machine offers a fixed path of resistance. They’ll knock out their sets and settle on in for a nice protein shake, content in the fact they ‘trained’ shoulders. They didn’t destroy, annihilate, decimate, obliterate, or otherwise demolish their shoulders. They ‘trained’ them.

Then there is the other quarter of trainers. They don’t settle for the machines. They don’t mind a little bit of discomfort. They don’t worry about shoulder injury potential. They don’t mind a painful burn in the shoulders. This quarter of trainers look past the negatives from shoulder day, and they find the positives. They know they can stop halfway, and maintain their shoulder mass and strength with five sets of hammer strength presses and three sets of cable raises, as their smaller brethren used. But they don’t stop there. They keep pushing those weights. They make their way to the free weights section and they spend an hour there. They stretch with small plates. They jack up the incline bench and look for the most uncomfortable pair or 65 pound dumbbells on the rack. They ask their spotter for assistance as they reach that very vulnerable point in dumbbell presses.

What kind of shoulder trainer are you? Do you not only use the free weights, but use them long enough? Do you not only use heavy dumbbells, but go heavy enough? You probably believe you’re training hard enough, but if you’re not making progress – and you have all of your nutritional and rest ducks in a row – then the sad fact of the matter is that you just need to train harder.

Many bodybuilders attempt to train their shoulders harder by employing drop sets, slow-reps, down the rack, and many other tricks. The truth of the matter is that none of these gimmicks are as effective as just knocking out another repetition or two at the end of each set when you would normally just put down the weight. Making yourself train not beyond failure, as is the common battle cry, but beyond your normal stopping point, is all you need to do to succeed. When you’re training shoulders, you know what weight you can use for seated dumbbell presses to his six reps. Tomorrow, you will make yourself complete seven, allowing for no excuses.

On top of all these ideas, you have one more task. Move shoulder day to “Day one” of each workout week. Place leg day, then a rest day, immediately after that. You will never miss shoulder day again because you aren’t allowed to hit your preferred muscle groups until they have been trained. Trust me, you won’t be missing chest or biceps day, which means you just found a solution to training all five days this week – and hitting shoulders every time!