T Nation

Shoulders on Max OT

recently started using max OT using the exercises laid out by kingbeef. It seems like a decent routine, but the shoulder workout doesnt seem very productive. Side laterals in the 4-8 rep range i dont know if i should be going really heavy and swinging the weight up then controlling the negative, or going really strict but then not really reaching failure.

Same with rear delts, i’ve only just started working them and i’ve no idea if im hitting them or not with the 4-8 rep rear delt flyes. At the moment im on a cut so it doesn’t matter too much as im not likely to gain size, but does anyone else struggle to feel low rep weights on shoulders especially rear delts?

A little confused.

What do you mean by “doesn’t seem very productive.?”

You have trained consistently for three months and it is not working for you?

And, please re read the rear delt exercise.

Weight for hypertrophy is not the main concern (to a certain point). It is not about reaching PR’s every work out. The movement is “controlled”. Every rep, concentrate on getting the most of every movement. Close your eyes if you have to. For the rear delts, you concentrate on getting 12-15 reps. If its to heavy, lighten the old, etc.

Get a pen and paper, do the exercise as prescribed, reap the rewards. It is a very good program, if followed. Once you grasped the concept and the nuances, feel free to add your personal touchs.


If you are going to follow Max OT, then you should be using the most weight you are capable of with form that maximizes the weight used but allows you to still feel the target muscle working.

When i say not very productive i mean, i have no idea if my rear delts are doing the work or my rhomboids/traps etc. KB said he tried them both high and low reps and both worked. I literally just feel like im moving my arms backwards cant get a MMC with rear delts at all.

Lateral raises i used to feel working and get a good pump with like 20 reps, but 4-8 reps i can either go strict with a light weight which means its nowhere near failure, or heavy and it just feels like im throwing the weight around.

It’s the same with chest to an extent, i can incline press a certain weight for 2 sets of 4-6, but i cant do it slowly and maximise the contraction. Yet i can move the weight throughout the ROM so any less and i would feel i was not pushing hard enough for progression.

I’d suggest that you either:

  1. Choose a different program that is more focused on mind-muscle connection and pump/fatigue since you seem to be convinced that this will work for you.


  1. Buy into the principles of Max OT and go after it full force.

Right now, with your current mindset you aren’t going to get much out of the program (since you obviously don’t believe in the underlying principles).

Cephalic Carnage posted on this exact issue with shoulder development with Max OT (along with arms) and the weak points in the physiques of adherents. Performing reps below 8 for isolation and all direct arm exercises never sat well with me.

I actually find the arm sets to be my favourite part, 4-6 on pinwheels and DB curls really allows me to focus on good form and squeeze for each rep, but still push the boundaries with weight selection. It’s just shoulders that i have the problem with, for everything else i think max-OT is great.

Then change the rep range for shoulders and see how it works for you.

For rear delts keep it on the heavier side as this will keep your shoulders healthy for side laterals go for whatever gives you a good pump