T Nation

Shoulders and Arms Specialization



Hi CT , was wondering what is the best split to use for arms and shoulders specialization phase , i know its kind of an odd combination but they are my most stubborn body parts and idlike to do a single phase for both of them for time efficency .
also another question is in a complete direction , whats your take on lyle mcdonald UD2.0 , is it more effective then a standard diet like the 100 gram carb diet or carb cycling when it come to a sprint fat loss.
note i am a type 2A


Ok first I don’t think you should use a training program to be more efficient at fixing two or three problems. Because if your spec on too many things, it is a great way not to get maximum results, resulting in not fixing anything.

I’m not saying that it’s the case with what you are trying to do, after all biceps and triceps are two small muscles (delts too) so strictly talking about volume you might be fine. The problem , however is that you might be hitting (indirectly) some muscles too often. And the fact that working biceps and read delts can interfere with the back workout and working and working triceps and anterior/medial delt might interfere with the chest workout might be problematic.

And I dot not like to work more than two spec muscles in one workout. So focusing on three at a time would need to use a workout approach that I don’t normally use.

Honestly I don’t like it. I also think that it show impatience, which is just about the worst trait to have in training.

But I will still give you a split. If someone put a gun to my head and told me to design a split to focus on these 3 muscles, here is how I would do it … BUT I cannot guarantee optimal results because I don’t believe in specializing on 3 muscles.

Here do mostly heavier work… 4 compound lifts, two for delts and two for triceps. These are done alone (you don’t superset or alternate).
For example:
Military press
Close-grip bench press
High incline dumbbell press

Do 2 back exercises, one horizontal pull trained heavier, one vertical pull trained lighter focusing on mind-muscle connection (mind including holds at the peak contraction)
1 trap exercise
2 biceps exercises (one heavier focusing on the contracted position; preacher curl for example, and one lighter for higher reps and slower tempo focusing in the stretched position; incline DB curls for example)

Here you focus on time under tension, meaning that you use techniques that allow you to prolong a set once you hit failure… rest/pause, drop sets, partials after the full reps, etc.
3 exercises for delts
2 exercises for triceps
Only one compound lift for each

Do 2 leg exercises. We want efficiency so use one squat variation and one hinge variation
Do 3 biceps exercises using the extended set methods, we want one neutral grip, one supinated grip and one pronated grip exercise.

*NOTE there should be a day off between day 4 and day 5, and between day 5 and the next week workouts
For delts and triceps you use a post-fatigue method (one compound lift superset with an isolation exercise), for biceps you will use mechanical drop sets (I’ll explain it) and pecs are done with only 1 isolation exercise it is already being trained with close-grip bench and dips).

For example …

A1. DB shoulder press x 8 reps
A2. DB lateral raise x 10-12 reps

B1. Close-grip bench press x 8 reps
B2. Lying DB triceps extensions x 10-12 reps

C1. Pronated (reverse) DB curl x 8-10 reps
rest 10 sec, using the same weight
C2. Supinated DB curl x max reps (same weight)
rest 10 sec. using the same weight
C3. DB hammer curl x max reps (same weight)

D1. Reverse grip EZ bar curl x 8-10 reps
rest 10 sec, same weight
D2. Wide-grip supinated EZ bar curl x max reps (same weight)
rest 10 sec, same weight
D3. Narrow grip supinate EZ bar curl x max reps (same weight)

E. Pec deck or cable cross-over

THE KEY is not doing too much volume. For the non-spec parts I would recommend 3 work sets. For the spec muscles I’d recommend 3-4 (heavier go with 4, longer sets/supersets do 3)

AGAIN I do not believe that trying to accomplish too many things at once is a great idea.


First I hope that you are not looking at doing a sprint fat loss phase WHILE fixing 3 weaknesses. Because I guarantee that it will not work. Now you find yourself trying to accomplish 4 things at once.

Second UD2.0 is not for a sprint fat loss. It more of a medium term approach (a typical 8-12 weeks dieting phase). It works well for a Type 2A because there is a lot of variation during the week.


hhhhhh certainly i wouldnt attempt specialiation while on diet but was planning to use it after specialiation phas to clean whatever fat accumulated .
Thank so much coach ,


Hi Chris,

I’m chiming in because I would like to do a biceps and delt specialization after my fat loss phase.

I don’t think I need to focus in my Triceps as they are visibly bigger than my biceps, which are pretty long hence not looking very big (difficult to see a peak).

I would also like to add some more mass to my delts.

Would you please mind giving an example split for someone who wants to do specialization on biceps and delts? After reading some of your works I believe you would approve specializing on those two muscles as they are pretty small groups.

Thank you so much, lemme know