T Nation

Shoulders with Layer System

Hi CT,

I’ve followed your stuff on Tnation for quite a while now but this is my first post on the forums.

I’m currently doing the layer system, doing high pulls twice a week, benching once, squatting once and OHP’ing once. The system has worked very effectively so and I’m loving it.

However, I’ve found that my shoulders are quite lacking at the moment compared to the rest of me (especially the lateral head) and as a result I don’t look as wide as I would like.

How would you recommend I go about incorporating some extra shoulder work with the layer system to help bring my shoulders up to par?

I know you are very busy, so any help would be much appreciated. Thanks :slight_smile:

[quote]Awes wrote:
Hi CT,

I’ve followed your stuff on Tnation for quite a while now but this is my first post on the forums.

I’m currently doing the layer system, doing high pulls twice a week, benching once, squatting once and OHP’ing once. The system has worked very effectively so and I’m loving it.

However, I’ve found that my shoulders are quite lacking at the moment compared to the rest of me (especially the lateral head) and as a result I don’t look as wide as I would like.

How would you recommend I go about incorporating some extra shoulder work with the layer system to help bring my shoulders up to par?

I know you are very busy, so any help would be much appreciated. Thanks :slight_smile:

[/quote]

Here’s a shoulder workout I’ve been using with one of my bodybuilding client who need to bring his delts up… he has narrow clavicle so it’s hard for him to look wide, but he is having some very cool changes right now.

  1. Savickas press (overhead press, seated on the floor with extended legs)
    5 x 5*

  2. Behind the beck overhead press (I like this one for shoulder width more than press from the front)
    5 x 5*

  3. Superset
    3.1 Lateral raises 8 reps
    3.2 Push press 5 reps

Do the superset 3 times

*Same weight for all sets, only go up when you can complete all 5 sets for 5 reps. Getting in 3 reps on a set is fine, but that means that you don’t go up in weight for the next workout.

Thanks very much CT, I really appreciate it.

I’m really keen to try it out. :slight_smile:

Coach,

 What is the advantage of doing the Savickas press as opposed to doing a regular back supported overhead press. I was assuming that I could hit the shoulders harder with the traditional version being the Savickas is difficult because of the positioning, lack of back support etc., causing me to lighten the load thus taking the stress of the delts. 

Or is the Savickas press harder on the shoulders because of the difficult execution.

I also am wondering what the Savickas press accomplishes in the context of the whole workout.

[quote]as wrote:
Coach,

 What is the advantage of doing the Savickas press as opposed to doing a regular back supported overhead press. I was assuming that I could hit the shoulders harder with the traditional version being the Savickas is difficult because of the positioning, lack of back support etc., causing me to lighten the load thus taking the stress of the delts. 

Or is the Savickas press harder on the shoulders because of the difficult execution.[/quote]

The instinctive reaction is to think that the delts will not get worked as hard because you have to use less weight. But for some reason the deltoid contraction is much stronger.

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]as wrote:
Coach,

 What is the advantage of doing the Savickas press as opposed to doing a regular back supported overhead press. I was assuming that I could hit the shoulders harder with the traditional version being the Savickas is difficult because of the positioning, lack of back support etc., causing me to lighten the load thus taking the stress of the delts. 

Or is the Savickas press harder on the shoulders because of the difficult execution.[/quote]

The instinctive reaction is to think that the delts will not get worked as hard because you have to use less weight. But for some reason the deltoid contraction is much stronger.[/quote]

Ok CT thanks, that’s what i was going to assume.

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:
*Same weight for all sets, only go up when you can complete all 5 sets for 5 reps. Getting in 3 reps on a set is fine, but that means that you don’t go up in weight for the next workout.[/quote]

I’ve seen you mention this scheme in a few places now.

What sort of ramping or activation do you use before these? Something like 4-6 sets of increasing triples to get to the working weight? Or do you “over warm up” and work to a higher percent before backing off to the work weight?

[quote]LoRez wrote:

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:
*Same weight for all sets, only go up when you can complete all 5 sets for 5 reps. Getting in 3 reps on a set is fine, but that means that you don’t go up in weight for the next workout.[/quote]

I’ve seen you mention this scheme in a few places now.

What sort of ramping or activation do you use before these? Something like 4-6 sets of increasing triples to get to the working weight? Or do you “over warm up” and work to a higher percent before backing off to the work weight?[/quote]

Double progression (the scheme explained above) and ramping are two different methods of autoregulation. You do not use both at the same time. If you use the double progression method you try to do the fewest preparation sets required prior to the work sets as we do not want too much fatigue. Do not forget that 5 work sets is A LOT of work. So if you perform 6 ramping sets, 3 of which are pretty close to your working weight, you will not have much fuel to recover.

Since you know what weight you will be using in advance, you can do 1 warm-up set and 2-3 preparation sets.

Warm-up with 25% of what you will use
Preparation set with 50% of what you will use
Preparation set with 75% of what you will use
Preparation set with 85% of what you will use

This is also why I prefer ramping when training using 1-3 reps… double progression is best used with rep ranges where the load are around 65-85% of your 1RM since they do not require as much activation.