T Nation

Fixing a Few Workout Issues


I've been involved in school sport for around 5 years now, namely rugby and was weight training (albeit poorly) in the school gym for last 1 of those years. It's currently off-season and I only have 1 more season of Rugby before I'm off to University, due to rushing hormones and such the focus is no longer on sport-specific strength and has turned to body building for aesthetics.

Due to this change, I fixed up my workout and work out at a fully equipped gym, school commitments are massive at the moment so the only weight training that can be performed are push and pull sessions on the weekend (Push on Saturday, Pull on Sunday). I've been training properly (as in, better than what I was doing in the mediocre school gym) since the 7th of April, I have some questions regarding my workout:

  1. Shoulders
    I perform 3 sets of 8-10 reps per muscle group + warm up set, the shoulder routine usually consists of:

  2. Barbell Military Press

  3. Lateral Cable Pulls
  4. Frontal Deltoid Raises

The anterior deltoids get worked in compounds with chest. After performing this routine I usually find it difficult to take my shirt off in the changing rooms, would seem like a good sign. However, the burn experienced on the last reps seem to be inside the shoulder, not outside where the lateral deltoid is. Poking the lateral deltoid during the following DOMS period doesn't induce pain, it feels as if it hasn't been worked.

Now my fear is that I've just been battering my rotator cuff instead of the muscle I want to work, can anyone tell me if I'm wrong?

  1. Biceps

The routine is 3 sets of pyramids, one warm up:

  • Standing EZ-Bar Curl
  • Dumbbell Curls
  • Bicep Machine curls

This seems adequate, I work to absolute failure (I promise you!), I hardly experience DOMS. I thought it was a case of switching it up, but swapping the EZ Bar Curls for preachers and the machine curls for concentration curls didn't make a difference. Most muscles take 2-3 days to recover (including deltoids), I've walked out and felt no soreness in the biceps the next day.

Excuse me if I'm wrong, but I thought soreness is an indicator that you've caused significant micro-trauma for optimal strength/size increases, without it you're not making any difference to the muscle... ?



For shoulders, a quick test to see if your developing an inpingement: try to touch the back of your left shoulder with your right hand (across your chest); repeat with left hand. If you fell any discomfort from the “inside” of the front portion of your shoulder (at the insertion of front delt), it’s time to stretch your front delt, and do bent-over lateral raises (with thumb turned inside) instead of Frontal Raises, and some rotator cuff work (which I’d recommend you anyway).

As long as strength and mass improve, don’t mind about DOMS: probably you’ve got a fairly high percentage of slow-twitched fibers in the muscles that don’t hurt.