T Nation

Building Delts


#1

Just wondering if anyone has had any success building side delt with low ROM side raises.
I currently do 5/3/1 for MP & BP (cant SQ or DL at the moment).
I have noticed that once the weights/reps for MP get so that I doing less than ~5 reps (3+ & 1+ days) for more than a couple of weeks, it irritates my shoulders. I ususally throw in a couple of sets of 12-15 reps with a fat bar after the top set, using around 65-70% Tmax.
When I have added in side raises I've used really light weight, short rests and hi reps (15-25) which feels quite OK but I'm not really getting the growth I want in the side delt.
I was considering using a heavier weight but with restricted ROM (say to ~45degrees) as full range with anything heavy irritates the shoulders.

Comments / suggestions gratefully received.


#2

Look up John Meadows shoulder stuff.
Golden for stubborn delts.


#3

Yeah, his stuff is good, and IDK about ‘‘heavier weight’’, so many variables regarding your genetics, etc.
Shoulders can only get so big as an adult for most, and ‘‘heavier weight’’ for Shoulders one must be very careful overall
because Shoulder muscles are really quite small in the first place compared to your other muscles,
and like it or not at some point with heavier weight you will be sacrificing form with the increased pounds used
and likely have the ‘Chickens come home to roost’ one day with injury and/or chronic pain somewhere down the road.
I’ve seen it happen over and over again to the supposed ‘best of us’ in many gyms…it’s more common than you
think.
train wisely.


#4

I’ve made some visual improvements in my shoulders lately in the last 2-3 months doing a few things.

  1. The rear delts give a lot of ‘width’ to your physique, just like the medial delts. So I would definitely make sure to nail those

  2. Medial delts, my favorite movements are basically the partial ROM laterals you’re talking about in the OP. I hit the Partials for 4 sets of 30 one day of the week. My next delt day, I hit 4 sets of regular Laterals for 10 + 20 partials at the end of each set. Really burns my shoulder.

  3. I like to do high rep DB presses after hitting rear/medial delts. Like sets of 15+


#5

Try using a swiss bar for your high rep sets, it crushes my side delts with no shoulder irritation


#6

[quote]Smashingweights wrote:
Look up John Meadows shoulder stuff.
Golden for stubborn delts.[/quote]

This end thread nough said


#7

Cheers guys!
Some good stuff there, yes (at 53yo) I’ve had a few shoulder issues. I dont do any direct front delt work (Bench & it’s variants along with MP do enough) I do more pulling than pushin AND do face pulls / rear delt flyes; these seem to have helped, though tbh I dont handle much weight in the bench yet.


#8

To echo the other posters in this thread, Meadows shoulder stuff is awesome! I’ve always had issues with my shoulders stemming from various baseball injuries, and overhead pressing is a no go for me. I’ve been pretty happy with the progress I’ve made since starting to use mainly John’s shoulder training strategies


#9

i used to have terrible shoulder pain from overhead presses, so now i only do incline presses. it hits the front delts almost as well but leaves much more free space in shoulder joint so there is no irritation.
some people think lateral raises hurt their shoulders, but they usually put them after overhead presses so their shoulders are already irritated by then.

i also want to recommend cable lateral raise cheats for the side delts. i prefer cables over free weights because it has a constant tension and is more stable and lets you really dig into the muscle. i like to do about six full reps with a heavy weight, then start giving a little momentum till i am halfway to 90 degrees and strain isometrically and hold it for a second or two, really struggle to lift it. after two of those cheat reps i feel all the tension deep in my side delt. cable lateral raises have given me the best burn in my delts.

i tried dumbbell lateral raises with a short rest and i mostly felt it in my traps