T Nation

Lateral Raise Progression

i like dumbbell lateral raises for working my middle delts. the only problem is that i don’t know how to progress on the exercises. middle delts are obviously a small muscle that fatigues rather quickly and doesn’t need a lot of stimulation.

how do you make progress in regards to this exercise? i’ve been trying for a while to figure this out.

one idea i have is to do a couple sets seated with strict form and lighter weights followed by a couple standing sets where i cheat with heavier weight. i also read that arnold would go “down-the-rack” and advocated occasional heavy sets. i know that many guys recommend side raises with a cable instead of dumbbells.

i tried searching the forum for the answer to this question but couldn’t find anything…

Personally I don’t worry as much about progression with lateral raises, I do that more with overhead pressing and what not for the shoulders. imo, progress with it how you could for any exercise.

It’s not one of those exercises you can plop more weight on weekly, which is why I think it’s best to focus on reps.

Shoot for more total reps than the week before, and try to keep your form consistent.

If you cheat a lot when you stand up, either keep doing the cheat the same way, or do them seated and as strict as possible.

I like cable lateral raises best.

IMO I have used the “cheat” method and I have grown a lot. I can do 40 DB with good form. I would do 2 cheat sets after your compound press, BL or BB. Then do 2 cheat sets and 2 strict rep sets.

Work wonders for me. But hey do what works for you.

I suck arse at lateral raises, like sitting using 15’s I get like 10ish reps, but I have decent shoulders, so I don’t know what gives…

Try this for insane burn in your shoulders:

Notes:

Use a weight you can do 8-10 reps with in the lateral raise.

All exercises seated except upright rows and bent over laterals.

All exercises slow and deliberate- no cheating please- it works with continuous tension>

Start with front raises on very high incline bench (both arms at the same time all the time)thumbs up, do 10 reps then immediatly turn around on the bench so that your stomach faces the bench insuring a slight forward lean. Now do lat raises to failure ensuring that your pinkies and elbows stay higer than your thumbs.

when you reach failure do more in a L-lateral style with a 90 deg. bend at the elbows until you reach failure again. Now stand up immediatly and do upright rows to failure. After this, do DB presses to failure with slightly heavier DB’s ensuring no more than 10 reps for failure. Now grab the lighter DB’s again and do bent over laterals till failure. That is one cylce. Rest 1 minute.

Once you can complete three cycles raise poundage and start again. This will make your lateral head burn like crazy from all angles! DOMS gauranteed with brilliant gains in the entire shoulder. This is an old routine from Don Ross and it does work (if you work).

By the way the serious heavy pressing in bench press and incline press stimulates the front delt more than enough not to use a very heavy weight for db presses in this routine. Be carefull not to go too heavy in the beginning because you won’t be able to finish the cycle.

[quote]Karras wrote:
Try this for insane burn in your shoulders:

Notes:

Use a weight you can do 8-10 reps with in the lateral raise.

All exercises seated except upright rows and bent over laterals.

All exercises slow and deliberate- no cheating please- it works with continuous tension>

Start with front raises on very high incline bench (both arms at the same time all the time)thumbs up, do 10 reps then immediatly turn around on the bench so that your stomach faces the bench insuring a slight forward lean. Now do lat raises to failure ensuring that your pinkies and elbows stay higer than your thumbs. when you reach failure do more in a L-lateral style with a 90 deg. bend at the elbows until you reach failure again. Now stand up immediatly and do upright rows to failure. After this, do DB presses to failure with slightly heavier DB’s ensuring no more than 10 reps for failure. Now grab the lighter DB’s again and do bent over laterals till failure. That is one cylce. Rest 1 minute.

Once you can complete three cycles raise poundage and start again. This will make your lateral head burn like crazy from all angles! DOMS gauranteed with brilliant gains in the entire shoulder. This is an old routine from Don Ross and it does work (if you work). By the way the serious heavy pressing in bench press and incline press stimulates the front delt more than enough not to use a very heavy weight for db presses in this routine. Be carefull not to go too heavy in the beginning because you won’t be able to finish the cycle.[/quote]

What is this cross fit?

I like 1 arm side laterals with a little bit of swing, you can really get strong on these. Personally I see the best growth when I get stronger in a higher rep range. And for me its allot easier to gain strength when I dont have to worry as much about form.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A46s9i2Me38

You don’t really have much of a question, man. Progress as with everything else. Aim for more reps, more weight, less rest, etc while throwing in exercise variations to keep things fresh.

[quote]Mega Newb wrote:
Karras wrote:
Try this for insane burn in your shoulders:

Notes:

Use a weight you can do 8-10 reps with in the lateral raise.

All exercises seated except upright rows and bent over laterals.

All exercises slow and deliberate- no cheating please- it works with continuous tension>

Start with front raises on very high incline bench (both arms at the same time all the time)thumbs up, do 10 reps then immediatly turn around on the bench so that your stomach faces the bench insuring a slight forward lean. Now do lat raises to failure ensuring that your pinkies and elbows stay higer than your thumbs. when you reach failure do more in a L-lateral style with a 90 deg. bend at the elbows until you reach failure again. Now stand up immediatly and do upright rows to failure. After this, do DB presses to failure with slightly heavier DB’s ensuring no more than 10 reps for failure. Now grab the lighter DB’s again and do bent over laterals till failure. That is one cylce. Rest 1 minute.

Once you can complete three cycles raise poundage and start again. This will make your lateral head burn like crazy from all angles! DOMS gauranteed with brilliant gains in the entire shoulder. This is an old routine from Don Ross and it does work (if you work). By the way the serious heavy pressing in bench press and incline press stimulates the front delt more than enough not to use a very heavy weight for db presses in this routine. Be carefull not to go too heavy in the beginning because you won’t be able to finish the cycle.

What is this cross fit?

I like 1 arm side laterals with a little bit of swing, you can really get strong on these. Personally I see the best growth when I get stronger in a higher rep range. And for me its allot easier to gain strength when I dont have to worry as much about form.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A46s9i2Me38

[/quote]

How do you get crossfit out of that description?

[quote]PF_88 wrote:
Mega Newb wrote:
Karras wrote:
Try this for insane burn in your shoulders:

Notes:

Use a weight you can do 8-10 reps with in the lateral raise.

All exercises seated except upright rows and bent over laterals.

All exercises slow and deliberate- no cheating please- it works with continuous tension>

Start with front raises on very high incline bench (both arms at the same time all the time)thumbs up, do 10 reps then immediatly turn around on the bench so that your stomach faces the bench insuring a slight forward lean. Now do lat raises to failure ensuring that your pinkies and elbows stay higer than your thumbs. when you reach failure do more in a L-lateral style with a 90 deg. bend at the elbows until you reach failure again. Now stand up immediatly and do upright rows to failure. After this, do DB presses to failure with slightly heavier DB’s ensuring no more than 10 reps for failure. Now grab the lighter DB’s again and do bent over laterals till failure. That is one cylce. Rest 1 minute.

Once you can complete three cycles raise poundage and start again. This will make your lateral head burn like crazy from all angles! DOMS gauranteed with brilliant gains in the entire shoulder. This is an old routine from Don Ross and it does work (if you work). By the way the serious heavy pressing in bench press and incline press stimulates the front delt more than enough not to use a very heavy weight for db presses in this routine. Be carefull not to go too heavy in the beginning because you won’t be able to finish the cycle.

What is this cross fit?

I like 1 arm side laterals with a little bit of swing, you can really get strong on these. Personally I see the best growth when I get stronger in a higher rep range. And for me its allot easier to gain strength when I dont have to worry as much about form.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A46s9i2Me38

How do you get crossfit out of that description?[/quote]

How the hell do you get any kind of progression out of that?
Newb’s variant allows for progression. That other thing smashes you into the ground for one workout… And what does that help you with?
You don’t grow from annihilating your muscles once, or from lifting the same or nearly the same (light) weights every session.

#Edit: I would go for 7-8 reps and more control on the negative though, newb. But to each his own.

[quote]Cephalic_Carnage wrote:
PF_88 wrote:
Mega Newb wrote:
Karras wrote:
Try this for insane burn in your shoulders:

Notes:

Use a weight you can do 8-10 reps with in the lateral raise.

All exercises seated except upright rows and bent over laterals.

All exercises slow and deliberate- no cheating please- it works with continuous tension>

Start with front raises on very high incline bench (both arms at the same time all the time)thumbs up, do 10 reps then immediatly turn around on the bench so that your stomach faces the bench insuring a slight forward lean.

Now do lat raises to failure ensuring that your pinkies and elbows stay higer than your thumbs. when you reach failure do more in a L-lateral style with a 90 deg. bend at the elbows until you reach failure again. Now stand up immediatly and do upright rows to failure.

After this, do DB presses to failure with slightly heavier DB’s ensuring no more than 10 reps for failure. Now grab the lighter DB’s again and do bent over laterals till failure. That is one cylce. Rest 1 minute.

Once you can complete three cycles raise poundage and start again. This will make your lateral head burn like crazy from all angles! DOMS gauranteed with brilliant gains in the entire shoulder.

This is an old routine from Don Ross and it does work (if you work). By the way the serious heavy pressing in bench press and incline press stimulates the front delt more than enough not to use a very heavy weight for db presses in this routine. Be carefull not to go too heavy in the beginning because you won’t be able to finish the cycle.

What is this cross fit?

I like 1 arm side laterals with a little bit of swing, you can really get strong on these. Personally I see the best growth when I get stronger in a higher rep range. And for me its allot easier to gain strength when I dont have to worry as much about form.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A46s9i2Me38

How do you get crossfit out of that description?

How the hell do you get any kind of progression out of that?

Newb’s variant allows for progression. That other thing smashes you into the ground for one workout… And what does that help you with?
You don’t grow from annihilating your muscles once, or from lifting the same or nearly the same (light) weights every session.

#Edit: I would go for 7-8 reps and more control on the negative though, newb. But to each his own.[/quote]

Yeah the form could use some tweaking to get better results, it was my first time using that form and was just happy to use allot of weight.

[quote]PF_88 wrote:
Mega Newb wrote:
Karras wrote:
Try this for insane burn in your shoulders:

Notes:

Use a weight you can do 8-10 reps with in the lateral raise.

All exercises seated except upright rows and bent over laterals.

All exercises slow and deliberate- no cheating please- it works with continuous tension>

Start with front raises on very high incline bench (both arms at the same time all the time)thumbs up, do 10 reps then immediatly turn around on the bench so that your stomach faces the bench insuring a slight forward lean.

Now do lat raises to failure ensuring that your pinkies and elbows stay higer than your thumbs. when you reach failure do more in a L-lateral style with a 90 deg. bend at the elbows until you reach failure again.

Now stand up immediatly and do upright rows to failure. After this, do DB presses to failure with slightly heavier DB’s ensuring no more than 10 reps for failure. Now grab the lighter DB’s again and do bent over laterals till failure. That is one cylce. Rest 1 minute.

Once you can complete three cycles raise poundage and start again. This will make your lateral head burn like crazy from all angles! DOMS gauranteed with brilliant gains in the entire shoulder.

This is an old routine from Don Ross and it does work (if you work). By the way the serious heavy pressing in bench press and incline press stimulates the front delt more than enough not to use a very heavy weight for db presses in this routine. Be carefull not to go too heavy in the beginning because you won’t be able to finish the cycle.

What is this cross fit?

I like 1 arm side laterals with a little bit of swing, you can really get strong on these. Personally I see the best growth when I get stronger in a higher rep range. And for me its allot easier to gain strength when I dont have to worry as much about form.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A46s9i2Me38

How do you get crossfit out of that description?[/quote]

Well there is a ton of reps, a bunch of supersetts, and you talk about “the burn”

Its not necessarily a “bad” idea in my opinion. But I would rather do each of those exercises by them self and go heavy for a set or three than do them all in one big set where I get caught up thinking about the burn and the pump rather than progression.

I more or less agree with you, but crossfit would be more like run 400 metres, do 25 lateral raises for 3 rounds for time…blah blah blah.

I like to superset just about every bodypart, or even trisets, but 6 exercises in a row like the combo listed above is just not my thing, as you said, how the hell can you progress on that.

5x5 straight sets-ground breaking,I know.

The worst part is that i watch a lot of bodybuilding videos and they all do it differently! Ronnie never has good form on most exercises!!!

I think i’ll just do it twice on shoulder day, Heavy(ish) cheat sets and then at the end lighter set of higher reps and perfect form(slight bend to protect joints)…

If you’re working with decent form and getting to your max weight for reps they should grow. If you want to progress from that add a SECOND exercise such as doing one arm at a time or bending arms(or cable, but I personally don’t get a good focus on the muscle with cables). You may also want to do that second exercise on a separate day to be fresh for both. It will make all the difference.

I sit down and do lighter weights (10 - 15 reps) with strict form. Although it’s not just the middle delt. I really like doing the delt triad profiled in an article here.

It’s really given some nice growth to my delts. I do 3 sets of the triad, once a week. Each session, I try to add 1 rep to at least two, if not all three of the sets each week. I start with a weight I can do 10 times and move up. Once I can successfully do 15 tight reps for all three sets, i’ll jump up to the next dumbbell weight with sets of 10.

I tried that lat raise machine for the first time today. I liked it a lot. My shoulders felt much more exhausted afterwards than they do on dumbbell lat raises. You can also adjust the weight at much more reasonable intervals than with dumbbells.

The one thing that I didn’t like is that it’s pretty small. I felt it limited ROM by a few inches a side because I had to lift up the pads to get in it.

Anyways, that could be just the one at my gym. Try it out, very nice machine.

I found it’s a lot easier to progress on lateral raises if you stay in the high rep ranges. Adding a few reps to your 15 rep max is easier then adding weight or reps to your 8 rep max IMO.

I tend to progress the intensity over the load - as mentioned the medial head when isolated is a particularly weak muscle so other than microloading it is difficult - nay, awkward to progress.

So, i progress it with supersets, alot of drop sets, rest pause, strip sets primarily. One of my favourites is getting first failure with the 18kg DBs then doing a drop set of 10lb plate raises.
I also like to use the 12kg to failure for a very strict set of seated laterals, straight to standing with a little more body english - straight to 10kg plate side raises. 2-3 sets of that and the medial delt is toast.

JJ