T Nation

ABBH and Shoulders

I don’t see any shoulder work in ABBH, either direct or indirect. I can understand not working bi’s and tri’s, as they are hit with other movements, but why are the delts and traps being omitted?

This is from CW himself:

"Waterbury Forgets Shoulders! Details at 11!

Q: I noticed that your “Anti-Bodybuilding Hypertrophy Program” doesn’t include any direct shoulder work. Why the hell not?

A: You?re kidding right? You might want to spend some time studying a few anatomy and biomechanics textbooks. Dips, bench presses, rows, and chin-ups are massive shoulder exercises. There’s just no need for direct shoulder work in a program with all of these exercises involved, especially with the volume of work I prescribe.

But much of it’s my fault. When you’re a professional in an industry, it?s easy to get caught up in a trap where you assume that everybody knows what you’re talking about. I made that mistake when I wrote the ABBH program (http://www.t-mag.com/nation_articles/244anti2.html). For instance, when describing the vertical pressing day for upper body, I gave the example of dips as the vertical pressing exercise.

As a result, many readers asked me why there’s no overhead pressing prescribed. That?s because I just gave a few exercise examples for each method. I didn?t expect everyone to follow the program with the exact sample exercises, therefore I should have written the routine with more optional exercises. Hindsight is 20/20 my friend. So let?s get to the details.

First, bench presses and dips are great anterior deltoid exercises. In fact, barbell bench presses are considered by many, including myself, to be more effective at building anterior deltoid and triceps size than pectoral size. Have you ever analyzed the anterior deltoid and triceps development of a champion bench presser? If so, you’ll quickly realize how massive they can become.

Second, rows and chin-ups are probably the two best posterior deltoid building exercises.

Okay, so what about the medial deltoid? Well, in either case (presses/dips or rows/pulls), the medial deltoid fibers are also activated.

There is, however, one modification you can make to my Anti-Bodybuilding Hypertrophy program if you feel you have the deltoid development of 90-year-old woman: substitute standing military presses for dips on the vertical pressing day.

This simple substitution will ensure that you’re completely taxing all those deltoid fibers. Trouble is, your triceps development suffers because dips are a superior triceps movement. So choose wisely, future Jedi."

“I can understand not working bi’s and tri’s, as they are hit with other movements, but why are the delts and traps being omitted?”

you dont think delts and traps are being trained during other movements?

most big exercises train all the smaller muscles. for example, deadlifts will hit the traps nicely. however, don’t fall for the new trend of excluding teh small muscle groups from your workouts. while the small groups get hit fairly well on many big exercises, quite often te smaller muscles are the limiting factors in the performance of big exercises and will need some individual attention. for example, if you get stuck on a bench press and are having problems with your lockout, you would be a fool not to train your triceps. YES GOD FORBID i am suggesting you do some triceps extensions, close grip benches, etc… as that will bring the weak muscles up to speed. so yes, big exercises hit the small muscles, but sometimes the small muscles need some luv too. question the dogma brother…

if it helps I’m doing ABBH at the moment, and my shoulders are plenty sore.

I had a similar conversation only yesterday with my housemate (about no direct shoulder work) because we went swimming and he noticed a size improvement in them!


Sort of off topic, but this thread was fading fast, so what the heck, I don’t want to start a new one for this…

I’ve been doing ABBH now for a while. I just finished the 10x5 on the chin ups today. A few months ago I could only do about 1x3 chinups, but today I’m up to 7x5 + 3x4.

I know, if you read carefully the chin ups were given as 5x10, but there was no way I could do 10 so I reversed the vertical day with the horizontal day so I could avoid the pull downs.

I’ve put on some weight on ABBH, which is good and makes the chin ups improvement even better, but I can’t tell if it’s just creatine or some muscle mass since I started it when I started ABBH.

Finally, I’ve bitten the bullet and started eating some reasonable calories and fat levels so I’m hopeful on the gainage front.

As a few of you might recall I dropped from about 250 pounds to 195 pounds… and have slowly crawled back up to about 200 pounds at 6’ and 36 years of age. The spare tire remnant is really hanging on dammit and if it wasn’t for that I’d be ecstatic.

Once payday arrives and I get through a cycle of hotrox and/or the latest and greatest stuff coming down the pipeline maybe I’ll be motivated to post some midway pics. Given my age I’m thinking some Tribex/M or Alpha Male might just do the trick.

Psst, thanks t-mag! And launch the new products already would ya?

Thanks for the update! It was a good move on your part to switch the vertical/horizontal planes since your chin-ups were a weak point.

Thanks for the feedback. I missed that article in issue 282. I’ll search better next time.

BTW, I’m on day 4 (second rest day) and I’m SORE already! (Mostly my abs, which is a weak spot for me) Looking forward to tomorrow!

Thanks all.