Shoulder Workouts

Shoulder workouts are important because they frame and complete your upper body look. Having big shoulders will make you an imposing figure when walking into any room. I'm sure you have never heard of anyone complaining of having "too big" shoulders.

The good news about shoulder muscles is that the front and side shoulder react very well and very quickly to weightlifting. These two shoulder muscles can get big pretty fast.

The bad news is that the rear shoulder (which is a much smaller muscle on the back side of your shoulder) reacts much slower. It's a small muscle and most beginners and intermediate weightlifters do not know exactly which exercises to implement to "hit" that rear muscle.

Thus, the workouts that we have composed here will focus on the rear shoulder as well. Some guys at the gym will have a great front and side shoulder but nothing in the back/rear shoulder area. This creates a very unballanced look which is not what you want.

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The shoulder routines here are proven to work if followed faithfully. The first routine is for building bulk and putting on some mass on your shoulders while the second routine is for getting some muscle definition and shape. Therefore, depending on where you are at right now (do you already have some bulk and need to shape and define or do you need to start from scratch and build bulk first?) you will select which type of workout you will follow.

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>>Click here if you would like to download and see the following shoulder workouts in printable format (.PDF file format)

Shoulder Workouts: Bulking-Up (Mass-Building) Routine

Shoulder Workouts - Bulking-Up (Mass Building) Phase
Weeks 1-6
Sets
Reps
Seated barbell press
3
6 to 8
Dumbell lateral raise
3
8 to 10
Standing dumbell front raise
3
8
Dumbell incline bench reverse fly
3
8 to 10
Weeks 7-12
Sets
Reps
Military press
2
6 to 8
Barbell front raise
3
8
One-arm dumbell lateral side raise
3
8/side
Bent-over dumbell reverse fly
3
8 to 10

Exercise Notes

  • This routine should be done 2 times per week with at least 48 hours of rest before you repeat. The first 6 weeks you will be doing one set of shoulder exercises and the next 6 weeks you will change and do a different set. This helps maximize growth and avoids hitting a plateau.
  • Go heavy with the weight providing that you stay in the designated repetition range. In other words, if you are supposed to do, for example, 8 reps of a given exercise and you can do 10 or even 12 - that means you are not going heavy enough. Similarly, if you can only do 4 reps but you need to do 8 then you are going too heavy with the weights and need to lighten your weight load.
  • As with any bulking-up phase make sure you eat well and take your supplements - ie. whey protein shakes before and after your workouts. Furthermore, taking ZMA and a multivitamin pill dialy would also be advisable as it would aid in your muscle recovery and help boost your testosterone levels.
  • Equip yourself with a good pair of gloves that will protect your hands. Shoulder workouts can be taxing on your palms.


Shoulder Workouts: Muscle Definition Phase

Shoulder Workouts - Muscle Definition Phase
Weeks 1-6
Sets
Reps
Smith machine shoulder press
4
12 to 14
Weight plate front raise
4
12
Machine lateral raise
4
12
Seated Arnold press
4
12 to 14
Weeks 6-12
Sets
Reps
Superset #1
Seated dumbell press
4
12
superset with...
Alternating bent-over reverse dumbell fly
4
12/side
Superset #2
One-arm cable front raise
4
12 to 14
superset with...
Seated alternating dumbell lateral raise
4
12/side
Finish with...
Standing Cuban press
4
10 to 12

Exercise Notes

  • Do this routine 2 times per week with at least 72 hours of rest before you repeat. The first 6 weeks you will be doing one set of shoulder exercises and the next 6 weeks you will do a different set.
  • Before you do the weightlifting routine warm-up for 10 to 15 minutes on a treadmill or stationary bike to get your heart rate up and ready for the shoulder workouts.
  • Go as heavy as you can with the amount of weight providing that you stay in the designated repetition range. In other words, if you are supposed to do, for example, 12 reps of a given exercise and you can do 14 or even 16 - that means you are not going heavy enough. Similarly, if you can only do 8 reps but you need to do 14 then you are going too heavy with the wieghts and need to lighten your weight load.
  • Weeks 7 to 12 you will be doing supersets. A superset means you do two sets of two different exercises consecutively without break in between sets. You repeat this cycle until you do the designated total number or sets. For example, let's say you have to do seated barbell press and dumbell side raises in a superset - thus, you do one set of the barbell press and when you're done you pick up the dumbells right away and do one set of side raises - then you rest. This is a superset! Therefore, you will keep doing this until you go through the entire number of sets outlined in your routine.
  • Make sure you adjust your diet and take your supplements - ie. whey protein shakes before and after your workouts. By adjusting your diet we mean lowering the ratio of carbs to protein. You will need a 60/40 split (60% carbs 40% protein) to get a good fat-burning effect which will strip fat from your entire body and create a lot of muscle separation and definition in your triceps/arms area. With this workout we strongly recommend ZMA and Animal Pack multivitamin. Supersets are demanding on your body and you need the best supplements you can get to help your body recover. There is no substitute for Animal Pack as it is currently best on the market.
  • Make sure you have the right equipment for the workouts - a good pair of gloves that will protect your hands.





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