T Nation

Tip of the Day


Anyone agree with todays tip of the day.

I couldnt agree more, i hate it when i read in some articles that there is no need for direct shoulder work.


I think it's a personal thing. Much like calves or arms. Some people don't need to do shoulder isolation, myself included. But then some trainers will say "none necessary", not realizing that others might need it to really grow.


I am in 100% agreement. This is the same type of argument used by those that say no direct arm work is necessary.

Bottom line, if you want them to be big and boulderish, they need to be worked directly


I want to see the amazing shoulders of the guy who does no direct shoulder work at all. I also don't understand anyone not training arms directly.

I put calves much on the same level as forearms. My calves used to be a weak point. They measure about 18.5" now from working them everyday. However, I don't train forearms directly because mine grow just fine from holding weights in my hand.

I can honestly say this new fad to iognore directly training some muscle groups makes no sense. Had anyone said they didn't train shoulders or arms directly even ten years ago, they would have been looked at funny. Now it seems like the in thing to do.

Funny, I don't see too many guys with 20" arms who do absolutely no direct work for biceps.


I honestly think it comes down to laziness. I think that people are looking for new, easier, ways to work out. If someone comes along and says you don't have to train arms or shoulders, they won't question it, just accept it, so they don't have to work as hard


I think it is priorities.

If you are a bodybuilder you have to train shoulders, arms, so isolation work etc.

If you play a sport and lifting is a way to condition for your sport isolation work, direct arm and shoulders take a back seat to compound work.

It is hard to hold a job or go to school have 1 to 2 hours of practice a day and lift for every bodypart.

If the only thing you do is lift weights you should find the time to do these extra things for best results.


I understand and respect what you are saying, but every collegiate athlete (and now 2 who are pro athletes) that I have been friends with over the years, continue to do direct arm and shoulder work. I do agree the compound lifts are prioritized in their training, but I have never seen isolation moves blatantly ignored.

The other thing is, it would seem those who are doing no direct arm work are teenagers that are converts of "the beach workout", or the 30-plus lifter.

I understand it can be tough to get all your workouts in in a week, but accepting the notion that shoulders and/or arms should not be directly trained is ridiculous.

It doesn't even take that long to train them. I generally do 10 sets for bi's and 10 for tri's, it maybe takes 15 minutes for either one.


I use to work my shoulders directly, but I have alot of shoulder problems in my right shoulder, so when I had been hearing that direct shoulder work was not nessicary, I stopped and my shoulder pain is less than it was before. So now I'm kind of wondering what you guys think. My goals are to eventually enter bodybuilding contests. I'm only 18 right now so I'm not planning on entering anytime soon as I feel any contests I enter now would hinder my growth (due to needing to diet down for so long.Which than takes time away from getting bigger. My shoulders right now have some good size to them and are symetrical to the rest of my body, however its only been about a month and a half since I stopped training them. Advice?


The answer depends heavily on the nature of your injury and whether it's something that will respond to rehab. If your problems are the result of an acute injury and their isn't much that can be done about it, then take pain as a guide. If it's something chronic or otherwise unaddressed then you need to deal with that first.


I have trained mostly for maximal strength in the powerlifts, and I was confused about shoulder training for a long time. For one, you don't hear about shoulder presses in the Westside program, or many of the PL programs out there.

Gradually I came to realize that there are two completely different functions of the "shoulders" and they usually just get tossed together.

One is the flexion of the deltoid muscles themselves.

The second I will generally call shoulder girdle elevation and scapular rotation and as well external rotation. This function is essential for strength movements, and its taken me a long time to come up with good exercises to target this function.

I do know that full extension overhead pressing is not good for me.


I would say it isn't good for most people. I generally use the Cybex plate loaded machine for that movement. I also don't bring the weight down any further than the equivalent of the bar touching the tops of my ears. I have always paid attention to the large numbers of people with shoulder injuries if they have been training for years. I would like to avoid that.


The same thing can be said about bulking. Its a good thing if not abused (Dave Tate). This whole clean bulk thing is ok if you want to put on weight slower. Also, steriods being bad... pplleeaasseee. There ok to do if done right.... A.Robertson has proved that. Isnt he on them year around, at least thats what he said in his last interview here a week back. Its funny all these fads starting/ coming out. Ive almost been swindled by a few of them, but I seen right through them. Stay up Proff.X. good to see you back around here lately schoolin people, stay up & strong.


I don't think Dave Tate abused the idea of bulking. In fact, I think he did a damn good job.


He did do a good job at getting huge and strong. Im talking about his health and the article about how all the un-healthy stuff was affecting him. Im glad to hear he's doing way better health wise now that hes eating cleaner and being more cautios about what he eats.


When I was playing rugby I always did direct shoulder work because I felt it helped them hold together.

I often dropped much isolation work and direct arm work (although I would try to sneak in a set or two of curls) when I was pressed for time.


Though I agree with direct stimulation being absolutely necessary, I sometimes worry that the delts are prone to overtraining because they are invloved in so many "non-delt' movements.

To ephasize them I may train them first on the same day I do other pressing and pulling movements. For the following workout, I avoid, or at least limit, movements involving this joint to give it adequate rest and repair time.

What about Polquin's assertion in his recent articles that lack of shoulder girdle development may limit bench press and other poundages?



[quote]simon-hecubus wrote:
Though I agree with direct stimulation being absolutely necessary, I sometimes worry that the delts are prone to overtraining because they are invloved in so many "non-delt' movements.

I believe it is near impossible to overtrain the shoulders. Some may call me stupid for thinking this but i used to bench on monday to failure on every set.

The next day i usualy had serious DOMS in my pecs.

On tuesday i trained shoulders which consisted of, 6 sets of shoulder pressing to failure (front of the neck), 4 sets of lateral raises on each delt and 3 sets of behind the neck pressing (everything to failure), 6 sets of shrugs to failure.

Never once did i get DOMS in my deltoid s from that type of training. I only ever got DOMS on my traps, but not too often.

I also had this experince with my biceps, no matter how many sets to failure i did, i never got DOMS.

BTW i dont train to failure like that anymore, i realised it took much less work to achieve my goals lol.

Another plus of shoulder training is it makes you feel stronger as you put the weight above your head.


The question to be asked is: Did you increase weights and reps consistently on that program?


Why would someone worry so much about overtraining if it wasn't happening?


I think that this first piece is dangerously vague; I said the same thing when the article was originally published.

"1. The shoulder joint is the most mobile in the body. As such, it's rather fragile and prone to injury. Strengthening the shoulder joint muscles is a sure way to reduce the risk of getting hurt."

"Strengthing the shoulder joint muscles" doesn't tell me much about shoulder health. Make the pecs, delts, and upper traps strong, and you can actually be contributing to shoulder pathology. Making the lats stronger can help or hurt shoulder problems. Rotator cuff strengthening is what he meant, and you just don't get that with lateral raises and overhead pressing.

Just my two cents; I would have left that first bit out.