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Real-Man Deltoids: A Preview

Someone asked earlier a question about how to combine my new negative technique, 30-10-30, into a normal HIT routine.

On page 265 of The New Bodybuilding for Old-School Results, there’s a chapter that describes a pre-exhaustion shoulder cycle. The three exercises involved are the

  1. Overhead press with a barbell, very strict style, immediately followed by
  2. Lateral raise with dumbbells, immediately followed by
  3. Overhead with barbell, done in a looser style

Try to do 8-12 reps in each exercise and move quickly between them.

Okay, doing that routine will give a deep, stimulating burn throughout your shoulders.

Here’s how I might improve the routine by adding 30-10-30 to one of the exercises.

The first exercise is my target for 30-10-30. Drop your normal resistance on the overhead press by 10-15%. Get the barbell over your head quickly. Lower the barbell slowly. Be halfway down in 15 seconds and all the way down to your collarbones at 30 seconds.

Then, without resting, perform the overhead press for 10 reps.

Hold the last rep at the top, and try to another 30-second negative.

Place the barbell on the floor and immediately do the lateral raise and the overhead press, looser style, as noted previously.

Done properly, you should feel a deeper inroad being made in the involved muscles. And that’s what I’m talking about with 30-10-30 and the other negative techniques that I’ll be exploring in my eBook on Backloading: New Discoveries in Negative Training.

The new shoulder routine would look like the following:

  1. Overhead press with barbell, 30-10-30
  2. Lateral raise with dumbbells
  3. Overhead press with barbell, looser style

It will take a while for the Backloading eBook to get published. In the meantime, we did get The New Bodybuilding for Old-School Results in an eBook format. It’s now available through T-Nation.

In Chapter 29, there’s an upfront story that will get your attention. I heard it from the man who worked for Vic Tanny at Tanny’s original Dungeon gym in Santa Monica during the later 1940s. The guy in the story had shoulders that were 25 inches across and broader that those of Steve Reeves.

You’ll get a front-row seat at that year’s Mr. USA contest. Don’t miss the action.

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Just to clarify,

This would act as your shoulder training for one of the 3 training days during the week? Or is this a special program that is not a 3x/wrk full body HIT program?

I’d say do the shoulder routine twice a week for two consecutive weeks.

Exercises two and three are done in normal fashion? And what is the target rep range if exercises two and three are done normally. I certainly wouldn’t be able to perform 8-12 reps on exercise three with 85-90% of normal pressing weight.

I’m talking about using 85-90% of what you’d normally do for 8-12 reps – not 85-90% of your maximum pressing weight. I shoot for approximately 10 reps on each of the three exercises.

Forgive me but im just learning your ways and recommendations so this may be a stupid question.

Are you saying to drop down from 3 full body HIT workout/week to 2, and this shoulder routine would be the way you train shoulders in both of those workouts (im assuming you keep the other training unchanged?), or would you continue to do 3 workouts a week, but only train shoulders at 2 of those days?

Two or three times per week? It depends on your strength level.

If you are a beginner, or not very strong, then three times per week.

If you are reasonably strong, or have been training more than a year, then two times per week is better than three times per week.

If you, for whatever reason, have to train three times per week, then I’d recommend to only train your shoulders on two of those days.

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Not to rock the boat, but Doug’s book show overhead presses are unnatural, leading to shoulder impingement. I found that myself, prior to reading about it. Never understood what was happening, just my shoulders felt “impinged”. Since dropping overhead presses, my delts feel 100% again. Food for thought.

Doug also doesn’t like the pullover, and doesn’t really believe in the value of HIT. I respect him, but I certainly disagree with his views on training and exercise.

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Doug’s book is certainly interesting and provides an alternative look at exercise from HIS interpretation of the biomechanics information out there.
It is important to add that people such as Tom Purvis and Bill DeSimone have also studied biomechanics in great detail , and have different opinions to Doug (and each other) in their exercise recommendations.
Plus with resistance training “biomechanics” are only one part of a very complex process.
In regards Nautilus, Doug has in the past shown to be ignorant of the company’s history and development.
He stated that the “pullover machine” does not “isolate” the lats.
True. but since Jones originally called it “the upper body squat” , neither did Jones or Nautilus ever claim that.
What they did state was that the machine removed the “weak link” of the upper arms from the exercise, which typical back movements such as chins and pulldowns did not.
The movement that Doug does recommend for lats is pretty close in execution to the Nautilus Behind Neck Torso , except that the Nautilus machine removes the weak point of the upper arms. which are involved in Doug’s preferred exercise.
I do however highly recommend Doug’s book. as it offers good alternatives to people who may suffer from joint pain etc in some typical gym movements, plus it challenges many things that most of us believe in , which is always a good thing.



I don’t agree with all Doug says either. But I must say, I was wondering why my shoulders were feeling like they did, then his book arrived and I understood why. Overall I feel he has the right idea applying physics to exercises…which he outlines in great detail.

Doug’s pulldown is pretty nifty, though I have grown visibly wider lats the past month from, what I coin, 75o Pulldowns. I thank Ryan Humiston for this wonderful lat builder. It’s the closest I’ve found, with free weights, to Nautilus pullovers.

All said and done, like all things, I pick and choose what I take away from Doug. He’s somewhat a volume trainer, which has never sat well with me. But his book is an eye opener. And I expect it to enhance my longevity.

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You may have a pinched nerve in the neck…i have this and do not perform shrugs and the laterals only go to parallel…i have no issue with presses when the grip is in the front and no issue with pullover…i do perform chin tucks to relieve the pressure from the pinched nerve

Actually it’s right in the joint/s. It would flare up after each press session. Thankfully, once I ditched presses, all my shoulder discomfort disappeared.

If you’re going to do overhead presses i think it’s best to use dumbbells…as previous post stated I agree overhead presses done with barbell or machines in the long term is detrimental to shoulder joints which is my case…I can no longer perform barbell or machine overhead presses but instead I do standing overhead dumbbell presses and my shoulders feel so much better as a result

I very, very rarely do shoulder presses. You’re really hitting mostly the front delt and that gets plenty of stimulation with chest pressing moves. However, if doing shoulder presses, I would avoid the tip third motion and focus mid and lower range (but not too low either). On any rate, I use the dumbbell lateral raise as my core delt exercise and it has really brought out my side delts and rear tie-in. I do lean a little more forward when doing them. Rows and pulldowns suffice for my lateral delt.