T Nation

How to Grow Big Delts, While Not Getting Bigger Triceps?


Hi, I've got sort of an aesthetic problem. My triceps are out of proportion, compared to my delts.
I want this "pop" on my sidedelts so badly, and I don't know how to make them grow without the triceps also growing. All overheadpresses involves the triceps aswell, and the only compund exercise I can think of is upright rows, that doesn't include the tricep.
If I could, I'd even shrink my tricep.

I would love it if anyone would give me a sample shoulder workout that includes the triceps minimally.



Front Raises with dbs and cables
Lateral Raises with dbs and cables
Rear Delts with dbs and cables

will all help your shoulders without pressing


Hammer the Medial/Rear Delts. Power laterals/strict laterals/cable laterals, just keep hitting em hard and don't be afraid to hit em more than once or twice a week. Whatever it takes, good luck brah!


Yes, but won't I need any compound exercises? Is that enough for them to grow?


Just do shoulder presses after lateral raises.

Definatley dont be afraid to do two or more variations of lateral raises in the same workout and dont neglect rear delts. Maybe like Dixie said do one lateral raise with db's and the other with cables.

Alot of people dont think upright rows are a great exercise, but uf they work for you go for it.

And having a day dedicated to just shoulders may help aswell

EDIT: You cant have triceps that are too big IMO


Do whatever compound (Standing/seated military,DB press, BTN Press) you like, but incorporate both (compound/ isolation). Just hitting the medial and rear delts isn't going to be enough to develop big shoulers, but to get that 3d effect you're going to have to focus on them.


My bad I wasnt clear, I meant all that as well as compound exercises.

And you dont have triceps that are too big.


I knew you'd say triceps can't get too big etc.!:stuck_out_tongue:
Well, I guess I will have to stay away from presses then? Or maybe I can do partial reps, what do you think about that?

I can train shoulders alone 2 times per week, as it is my main priority.
I only have access to BB's and DB's, as I workout in my basement.

How about this:

Sideraises (preexhaustion)
Partial barbell overheadpresses
Upright rows
and then a failure set of sideraises with 15lbs dumbells?

What do you think?
Also, what rep ranges would you use for the different exercises?


there are guys i know, that haven't done a military press, barbell or dumbell in years, yet have great shoulder width and thickness. to hit the side head of the shoulder, try doing dumbel side raises. but just do one arm at a time. when your finished with the right, do a set for the left. you can go alot heavier this way. just make sure to always keep your pinky side of your hand higher than your thumb or you won't be hitting the side nearly as good.

doing tons of different exercises for the same muscle isn't going to make them grow faster, in fact you will just over train them. do a couple of heavy side dumbel raises as described. oh, and keep your arm bent, not straight.do 8-10 reps per side.


Take all this with a grain of salt, its just my opinion.

In my experience, less is more for shoulders. I am on the tail end of nursing a shoulder injury now, it sucks. So having said that, just play around with it. IF I WERE training shoulders by themselves twice a week, I would prob not do more than 15 total sets in each of those days. What I would prob do:

Warm ups

Lateral Raises /ss/ Front Raises
4 x 8-15 each

Seated DB Press or Military Press
3 x 6-8

Shrugs with DB or Bar
2-5 x whatever I feel that day

EDIT - re thought it a bit


try looking at some of Meadows shoulder training int the mountain dog articles he wrote for T-Nation. great stuff there and ive seen good results in about 5 weeeks


This is what I've started doing like a month ago and i've seen pretty damn good improvement (starting to get that 3d look)

DB seated shoulder press: 3 x 6-10 <-- for last set pick a weight you can do 6 times once you can get it 10 times use more weight next workout. (if im feeling good i'll do two sets with the top weight)

1-arm DB lateral raises: 3 x 6-10 <-- like roguevampire said, pinky up and one arm at a time. Reason for reps being so low for these are cause I want to get stronger here, I think it would benefit growth.

1-arm Cable lateral raises: 3 x 10-15 <-- for these I would highly suggest doing them like so; have the cable behind you not in front of you. remember to keep pinky up, and be ready to feel an intense burn by now.

**Rear delts are important for that 3rd look so don't neglect them. I'd do these like Meadows suggests. 2-3 sets for 20-30 reps using w/e exercise you can isolate them the most. (you can do rear delts on back day, depends on your programming.)

Shrugs: 3-4 x 8-15. I use HammerStrength for my shrugs. Every rep at the top squeeze for a second or two. Once you reached failure you can pump them out without squeezing at the top to extend the set (my traps can take a lot of abuse, and they seem to like it.)


To take the body english out of the movement and to put more of the focus on the delts perform 'doubles' of front raises and side laterals on an incline bench.

So your first set would look something like this

Front raise - 1 set x 12

  • Immediately right after

Side lateral - 1 set x 12

  • Go immediately to smith machine or use free weights and do btn (behind the neck) or military style presses (preferably seated) with a slightly wider grip than what you're used to doing with typical overhead pressing. Press overhead but do not lockout and do not go below ear level. Pressing in this manner will reduce the triceps involvement to a considerable degree and should tax your shoulders quite nicely.


A picture would help. Perhaps it's all in your head.


Maybe it's just that you have rounded soldiers, meaning your posture is bad. When my posture got better my lateral head all of a sudden looked a lot bigger.


I agree with that sentiment.




My posture sucks. Really bad.
I know alot of you will disagree with my triceps being to big and all that. Don't have many pictures of it tho, but I can post some pics from december. My delts are pumped in all the pics.

(sorry about the links, the upload image didn't work)


Can you see them?

I think it shows very good how overdimensioned the triceps are in the last pic compared to the rest of the body.

So what im going to do now is superset front and side raises and cap it off with a partial overheadpress..


I'd actually say your delts overpower your triceps...


In the first pic it looks to me your shoulders are ahead of your arms not the other way around... 1 arm barbell rows work for my side delts, 2 arm supinated barbell rows work for my rear delts. All pressing works the front delts.

I repeat, your triceps are not too big! Methinks you troll.