T Nation

Shoulder Attack


I’ve been lifting for about 4 years now and cant seem to put size on my shoulders if anyone out there can help a girl out here and kindly give me some much needed advice that would be great…

overhead presses. Both BB’s and DB’s.

Lateral and bent DB raises.

If you have a rear double-bi pic that would help identify any weakness. From that pic you seem to have very nicely developed anterior delts. If you’re unhappy I suspect the lateral and posterior heads must need work. It’s often difficult to isolate the mid and rear delts once the anterior head becomes too strong. It tends to take over and deprive the target muscles you’re trying to work.

Doing very strict isolation exercises will help but you have to start with such light loads it’s hard to stimulate growth. Although I hate to recommend a smith machine for anything I do use it for partially bent-over rows and high pulls. It allows you to use more weight since you don’t need to balance and can focus on contracting the upper back and traps at the top of the lift.

That and lots of lateral raises should get you on track. I’m sure you know this by now but you should expect some rather severe lactic acid pain while working the delts. I’ve often been amazed at how hard I “thought” I trained my shoulders only to have no soreness the following days. These muscles seem to need a beating to stimulate any growth in size or strength.

Good luck and let us know how you’re progressing. BTW, you look fantastic!


Thanks a million for the info…this is the only pic i could download hope this will help to get a better perspective on the back side…

Take a look at HSS-100: Shoulder Specialization and Blood on the Barbell by Christian Thibaudeau for some examples.

I’ve always liked the shoulder tri-set of DB side raise 6-10 reps, no rest, into DB or BBL press 6-10 reps, no rest into upright rows 6-10 reps.

Repeat 3 times for a total of 9 sets (3x3).

Maybe 4-6 weeks should do it, once every 5 days.

I was going to offer this same suggestion in another “unresponsive shoulders” thread but that one turn to shit faster than a speeding bullet.

An individual must learn what makes their body part respond. Research is important, but experimentation is king. YOUR shoulders respond to the stimulus best suited to YOUR genetics. Many people will give you advice that works for them, but until you try it yourself, you won’t know whether it works for you or not.

Research, patience, and trial and error, will give you the answer you are looking for.

Good Luck.

[quote]BigRagoo wrote:
overhead presses. Both BB’s and DB’s.

Lateral and bent DB raises.[/quote]

I agree with everyone, but these are the meat of my shoulder workouts, excluding rotators.

I finally got girth on my shoulders through full range shoulder presses and lateral raises. Rear delts are often underdeveloped too, so be very mindful of those.

Few questions :

What is your shoulder workout routine each week?

Set #
Rep #
Time rested between sets?
What exercises do you do?

I also advocate looking at Christian Thibaudeau’s HSS-100 Shoulder Specialization.

i mean no offense to anyone, but i think this is the best response so far:

[quote]kinein wrote:
Few questions :

What is your shoulder workout routine each week?

Set #
Rep #
Time rested between sets?
What exercises do you do?

I also advocate looking at Christian Thibaudeau’s HSS-100 Shoulder Specialization.
[/quote]

i really cant see so much of an imbalance, looking at the front pic and the back pic. perhaps the posterior delt should be SLIGHTLY (wheres the damn italics key?) brought up to match the ant/lat heads. and really, from what i see, that is only slightly.

other than that i dont have much to say. it becomes increasingly obvious to me that muscular imbalances, unless major, arent as obvious to me on a female as opposed to male.

or perhaps the OP is happy with the balance of her shoulders and simply wants the whole musculature to be bigger?

thanks everyone for all your comments and advice I’ll take and use it wisely and find something that will hopefully work for me…

I should of put in my shoulder routine workout for everyone to know what I’m doing so here it is…

Arnold presses 20lb DBs
sets=3
reps=8
1-min rest between all sets
Overhead presses(smith)40lbs
sets=3
reps=6-8
Upright rows BB 60lb
sets=4
rep=10
end with 15lb DB front raises
sets=3
reps=6-8

[quote]!vic wrote:
I was going to offer this same suggestion in another “unresponsive shoulders” thread but that one turn to shit faster than a speeding bullet.

An individual must learn what makes their body part respond. Research is important, but experimentation is king. YOUR shoulders respond to the stimulus best suited to YOUR genetics. Many people will give you advice that works for them, but until you try it yourself, you won’t know whether it works for you or not.

Research, patience, and trial and error, will give you the answer you are looking for.

Good Luck. [/quote]

This is the best post.

For me: incline bench press, overhead press, horizontal fly and lateral raises.

I saw your routine, and I think your volume may be lacking. Stimulation through taxation. On a good day, I do ~ 180 reps on my shoulders.

[quote]rebeccamaria30 wrote:
thanks everyone for all your comments and advice I’ll take and use it wisely and find something that will hopefully work for me…

I should of put in my shoulder routine workout for everyone to know what I’m doing so here it is…

Arnold presses 20lb DBs
sets=3
reps=8
1-min rest between all sets
Overhead presses(smith)40lbs
sets=3
reps=6-8
Upright rows BB 60lb
sets=4
rep=10
end with 15lb DB front raises
sets=3
reps=6-8

[/quote]

sticking with my original thought, of the slight imbalance–where’s the rear delt work in here?!

certainly, rear delts could be getting a lot of stimulation on back day, but that again depends on each individuals musculature and how their body works. i would say throw in 3 sets of 12 reps of a rear delt raise/lateral. currently for this movement, i am setting an incline bench on one of the lower inclines, lying face down, and raising the bells from below my face, to the sides to be on the same plane as my back…thus, rear delt raise.

hehe, its funny that the boyz dont call “troll” when its an attractive lady.

if a guy with a comparative level of development went a-courtin’ advice for a “lagging” part thats what he would get: “troll”…

[quote]rebeccamaria30 wrote:
thanks everyone for all your comments and advice I’ll take and use it wisely and find something that will hopefully work for me…

I should of put in my shoulder routine workout for everyone to know what I’m doing so here it is…

Arnold presses 20lb DBs
sets=3
reps=8
1-min rest between all sets
Overhead presses(smith)40lbs
sets=3
reps=6-8
Upright rows BB 60lb
sets=4
rep=10
end with 15lb DB front raises
sets=3
reps=6-8

[/quote]

I would suggest adding bent DB lateral raises and cable lateral raises (with special attention to contract the rear delts at the peak of the raise). You’ve got great anterior delt development, these lifts would help balance the middle and rear delts.

I personally also prefer upright cable rows with a rope to BB upright rows, I find it is much easier on my wrists.

By the way, you look great, you’ve got nice definition to your traps, a little more rear delt will look great to separate those muscle groups. You’ve already got great separation of your anterior delts and biceps.

Add a posterior deltoid movement to your shoulder workout, perhaps in place of your presses or in addition if your shoulders tolerate heavy workloads well.

I’d prioritize those arms, perhaps more than your rear deltoid. They just look stringy compared to the rest of your physique.

You look great with some solid definition! Great job Keep it up. I would be interested in what you learn about shoulders

seems like ur doing a bit lower rep stuff , maybe u shld up the reps seeing as 12 reps or thereabouts is for growth u might want to do so , one another things I cld possibly suggest would be to do a 12-10-8 rep then do a dropset on the last couple of exercises so ur hitting ur type one and type two muscle fibres ( always slow on the eccentric n burst out on the eccentric)

I wouldnt bother with iscolated movements untill nearer competition time if u feel that there ur weak spot just keep the compound n stuff simple as there the key to growth,good one for rear delts - bent over rear delt flies,

just keep varying the type and way you train your whole upper body would be my two cents.

Vary rep, weight and type of exercises every 2-3 weeks and try pairing any shoulder exercise with a leg/calf exercise to mix it up a little.

Although this may not be an exact answer I think you may want to take a look at drastically switching up your shoulder training. Personally, I work low volume on most days (Legs, Chest, Back) doing only 5 movements.

For a long time I did this with my shoulders and found myself to be very unresponsive to training like this. I decided to give high volume training a try (8-10 movements, seems like a lot i know) and my shoulders are growing rapidly.

I would say that the most important thing is to switch up your shoulder training in every way you know how (The order in which you hit the different heads, rest times, number of movements) and I am sure you will find something that makes your shoulders pop (not in a bad way of course).