T Nation

How Much Do You Lateral Raise?


Everyone knows what are the standard for bench, squat and deadlift. But what is a decent lateral raise? Post how much do you lateral raise, and what are you present big three number (so I can compare and make my mind)


First set - 30's (for about 12 reps), then I work down from there.

Bench - 330 or so
DL - 430+
Squat - no clue; maybe 300-something?


40s X10, but I can do 90sX15 on DB Shoulder Press, which I find better at building shoulders...

Bench ~ 330
Dead ~ 395 (been a while since I've done them)
Squat ~ 275 (been longer since I've done these (knee))


Lateral Raise - Usually do 20's for 15 reps
Bench - about 275ish
DL - 400ish
Cant Back Squat... but Front Squat - 220ish


What's next how much can you wrist curl?.....


I hate lateral raises so I don't do them anymore, but I'll use 25-30lbs.

Bench: Max might be 225
Deadlift: Max 365
Squat: Max might be somewhere between 335-365


a pair of 45's 3X10




@165 lbs


How the hell do you do 45's? (just really curious)
I use 20~25 with strict form (body perfectly still elbow little bent and going above parallel) for maybe 12.

My stats are way higher than yours and shoulders are not my weak points.
S~250 (front FULL squat)


bench 385x2
squat 495x1
deadlift 585x1

lateral raise 50x6


60lbsx8 REALLY cheated, haha. I think I've done 45lbsx8 with better form.



bench 10000x10
deadlift 120000x3
squat 4000000x5

what can I say being a sayain gives me extra strength, plus girls like my tail


Really great contribution there, buddy.

25's is the highest I've gone so far, I try to stay really high rep with lateral raises. 12-15 reps.


i just use the machine raise... i feel it works better and sometimes dbs will bug my left shoulder


I go with 45's x15

Squat-don't do it


I've seen a lot of guys at the gym throwing shit all over the place. I prefer to actually let me delts do the work, and can say with some confidence that my results back up my approach. I never do more than 30 lb DBs for standing laterals, no more than 25's for seated, and if I'm intentionally going for a little 'cheat' on the leaning away variation (even with a solid pause at the top), I can use a 40.

I will say though, that despite the fact that I've always been on the stronger side, there's always a young kid or two that will take a heavier DB than I'm using, stand right next to me and do his best impression of a shoulder exercise. How it doesn't occur to him that we're doing completely different movements, and his delts look like crap and mine look like,.. well, the way they look, is beyond me. The typical "You're not so tough, I'm lifting heavier than you are!" stare I get in the mirror is always priceless as well.



i guess stu knows the secret. he's growing wings out of his delts


Like Stu, I never use more than 35's and that is if I am feeling great. Usually doing working sets of 8, sometimes 10. If I really want to trash the delt I will do a drop set: 35x8, 25 - failure, 15 - failure.


have you tried using a bit of body english to get your numbers up, so your body gets used to it, then dropped the weight slightly and found that you can handle a higher weight or is the 30lbs db as high as you can go without sacrifing the form after trial and error?

the reason I'm asking is I feel my lateral raise is quite pathetic so to get my numbers up I'm sacrificing form until my strength catches up and I use better form. if that makes sense


Well, I use a little bit of a bounce at the beginning of the leaning-away 1 arm laterals, which allows me to use the 40's. I will note that my arm is straight, none of this bent at 90 degrees BS, and I really try to milk the pause at the top, before lowering as slowly as I can. There's no way I would use the 40's for strict seated laterals though.

I can understand trying to get your body used to a heavier weight, but only if you can honestly get something out of it (ie. actually working through the negative portion like I try to do). All in all, I don't think this particular exercise is really suited to worry about how much weight you lift though. That's probably why so many people never develop a great 'capped' look to their shoulders.



Stu, I do them with my arms bent and I will challenge you on overall shoulder development even though you may be leaner than me currently. Let's not think in a box.

I have gone up to 75lbs for side lateral raises. That was right before I started using the machine more for this movement because it causes less strain on my upper arm. My lateral head didn't really begin to sit out there until I was using greater than the 45lbs dumbbells. I do swing a little. I have seen Vic Martinez do partial raises with the heaviest dumbbell he can hold for that movement.

I think the one thing that can hold people back (assuming they understand the difference between swinging a little and all out cheating to the degree of promoting injury) is the belief that you need some sort of straight armed perfect form with no swinging EVER to build great shoulders.

My guess is, most of the guys with really big shoulders do swing a little the heavier they go....and it works.