T Nation

Shoulders Lack Progress


Hi guys, First of all my workout routine :


bb bench pres
incline db bench press
military press
lateral raise
triceps extension


bb rows
lat pulldown
preacher curls
alternating db curls
seated calf raises


fron squats
leg press
romanian DL
leg curls

My diet is very clean :

carb sources : oats, pasta , potatoes, veggies, fruits , rice
protein sources : chicken , beef, eggs, protein powder
fats : nuts , eggs

I am really making some good progress with this routine, especially in the compound lifts like bench press, front squats, bb rows, RDL
However I have been stalling for weeks now when it comes to my sohulders. I simply cannot increase the weight or reps in Military Press, Lateral Raises and Dips.
Incline is no progression either ( which is probabl due to the shoulders)
what can i do ?

  1. Eat more.

  2. Change rep and set scheme.

Dips is more of a lower chest/tri movement, not as much of a shoulder one.

Do more of 1.


A nice plateau breaker right here. I first ran into this exercise when I was training in Ottawa Ontario. A trainer I worked with dubbed it "The dirty thirty". Hope it might help.
perform in one big superset:
-10 dumbell lateral raises
-10 dumbell front raises (scapation)
-10 dumbell rear delt flys

For the best results use drop sets. Start as heavy as you can and repeat "the dirty thirty" for five consecutive sets.


I don't see any specific rear delt work in there. Do some face pulls and reverse flies (on pec deck). I've seen better growth in the 10-15 rep range for rear and side delts.


But isn't the progress in other compound lifts a sign that I am eating enough ?


You need front shoulder and rear delt work to have the shoulders looking good.

Progress in other compound lifts will come simply from practice....eat!


So its possible that I am eating not enoguh , although I progress in some lifts ?



I've always done three sets (supersetted) of DB lateral raises/Straight arm pulldowns.
just added in the DB reverse flies to make a circuit (added this yesterday)

Today I read that this addition was BRILLIANT.

What is your height and weight?


height : 6'2
weight : ~93kgs or 205pounds


Don't you want to be bigger? I would guess most 6 2 men that are into bodybuilding would not be satisfied with 205 pounds. I'm assuming you are not dieted down and super lean.

I'm going to go ahead and agree with the suggestion to eat more in addition to the shortcomings already mentiond in your routine.

Uup the cals for growth, add the reverse flies or face pulls for rear delts (as I've been told Chris Thibs says "squeeze at za top") and DB front raises or straight arm pulldowns for front delts.

I think there is also a thread around here somewhere dedicated to shoulders... can't remember where maybe in T-Cell. Oh, here it is:


This article also looks promising:

Oh damn, I'm pretty sure this is the article/routine jhew posted about upthread.


Thanks for the reply.
Of Course I am not satisfied with 205 pounds. With my height I look actually pretty skinny to be honest.
I should be somewhere at 12-13% bodyfat. Just thought that I made everything right, since I was able to do some more reps on almost every workout ( except for some exercises , and every shoulder exercise obviously )
It may sound weird, but it seems that I progress best at the exercises I do first ( bench press, barbell rows and front squats ). The ensuing exercises' progression could be much better imo, but I don't think that this adheres with the nutrition ; However I'll follow your advice.
by the way, what about doing overhead press at a smith machine ?

Or should I simply stick to the MP with a barbell and add reverse flies ( or facepulls ) and front db raises ?


Do shoulders before you do chest on your chest/shoulders day. Even better would be to give shoulders their own day. Do more shoulder work as well, two exercises for shoulders is hardly enough.


how much do you OHP currently? Its an absolute bitch to improve sometimes. What i have found that works for me is Bulgarian wave loading - work up to a 1 or 2 rep max then do loads of singles/doubles/triples between 85-95% of that weight.
Depending on your current strength levels, it may be worth focusing on bringing your numbers up for a while


I think about 80 pounds for 1RM. Hasn't been changing for months now, really frustrating.


Train 4 or more times a week.. and emphasize each group more thoroughly or is this a 3 day workout schedule for 2x a week?

And eat more.


A lot of good advice for direction here so i thought i'd just mention some general stuff which may help:

  • With lateral raises I like to hold a slight forward lean throughout the movement. Also, try leading with your pinky finger through the movement to help you recruit delts.

  • Personally, I don't like the military press as a shoulder exercise but a lot of people do. I would have a go at push press and also seated presses because both allow for more weight.

  • Also, as stated by Rattler prioritising shoulders would help. At the moment you are performing the military press after two chest pressing exercises, this is going to effect your military press. Especially if you are using a high incline for your chest. Give them their own day and hammer them.


Train 4 or more times a week.. and emphasize each group more thoroughly or is this a 3 day workout schedule for 2x a week?

And eat more.


yeah its a 3 day split performed 2 days on 1 off and so on, 5x times a week in other words


Okay, then disregard the 4x or more times a week thingy. Photo's of your upper body would help.


Push press for the win. Great exercise to work on power also you are not limited by the weight that you can start the first part of the press with. A slight leg drive to help it get moving can really help putting extra weight over head without really sacrificing anything.