T Nation

Shoulders: Most Effective Exercises?


I am new to the site. Thanks for all the great articles and forums you have available.

Ok, let me get right to it:
I'm back in the gym, again. A while back I started training to gain weight (muscle) because I'm a running freak and got very small (skinny). I looked sick. In about a year I went from 165 lbs. to 205 lbs. Now that sounds nice, but it was a little too fast and I gained more fat than muscle.

My workout, I think, was very effective though. I increased greatly in strength and size (obviously). My only problem with the workout, though, is that it had very little focus on shoulders and my shoulders never seemed to grow OR get that much stronger. Plus, I hated the way it made me look.

So, (for some reason) I quit the gym and started working out at home. The home workout was not very effective. I started running again and adapted a clean eating lifestyle and now I'm back to 165 lbs. Now, I want gain, gain, GAIN!

Keep in my mind:
I'm 6' 4" (very long arms, legs, and torso) and 165 lbs. (very skinny, lean). My goal, right now, is to get to 185 lbs.
I keep up with my nutrition very well I believe. I consume anywhere from 2,600 to 2,800 cal. on the days I train with good fats being around 25%, protein 35%, carbs 40%

My weekly routine: (Upper body and Lower body workouts twice a week)
Mon.: Bench, Smith rows, Incline bench, Lat pull downs, Lateral raises, Tris, and Bis
Tues.: Deadlift, Leg press, Seated leg curls, Calves
Wed.: Off
Thurs: Pull ups, Shoulder press, Cable rows, Flat dumbbell bench, Decline flyes, Bis, and Tris
Fri: Squat, Split squats, Laying leg curls, Calves

For the most part, this routine has been effective for me in the past. EXCEPT FOR SHOULDERS.. and bis and tris, really.
My inquiry is this:
Can I keep this type of Upper body/Lower body routine (instead of working one or two muscle groups in one day once a week) and somehow incorporate an EFFECTIVE SHOULDER WORKOUT?
Can I add an effective shoulder workout/exercise to this routine?
Do I need to just do everything different?
Does the length of my arms or my bodybuild in general impact the effectiveness of certain shoulder exercises?

I understand you have articles on this subject and trust me, I've read every single one of them. I've tried some of them in the gym. Some felt alright, some hurt, some I didn't feel anything at all. The reason I'm inquiring is because I don't know what's best for me, and you guys are the experts. I inquire because I don't how to incorporate more into the workout I'm already doing. If I need a new workout. If certain exercises just aren't right for me, etc.

Thank you so much in advance. I'm so sorry for the long inquiry.
Any advice at all will be greatly appreciated.
Thank you


If I were you I would either 1. drop some isolation exercises on upper days flyes, lat raises and do 2-3 growth factor complexes. 2. do a growth factor shoulder workout on wed or Saturday or 3. do the shoulder spec routine in the forum. Train hard for 4-6 weeks or so then reassess, if your still unhappy do the shoulder spec routine for 4 weeks


Thank you so much for your reply! I see this as excellent advice! I do want to ask one question though, and I apologize in advance if this sounds dumb, I just want to make sure I understand that what you’re saying is drop (remove) my isolation exercises on my upper body days and replace them with complex superset exercises for the same muscle (lateral raises: shoulders / flyers: chest), correct?
And by the way, the shoulders specialization routine seems amazing! After I build my base back up, I definitely want to try that!
Again, thank you so much!


drop (remove) my isolation exercises on my upper body days and replace them with complex superset exercises for the same muscle (lateral raises: shoulders / flyers: chest), correct?

yes, swap isolation for complexes