Most guys on the hunt for aesthetics spend at least one day each week training dem delts. Build a perfect set of shoulders and you'll be the aesthetic beast you constantly wet your bed dreaming about.

I fully agree that training shoulders is a must. Your delts are the workhorse of the body, so they deserve some special recognition and their own exercises. But, are you doing your delts a disservice by training them too much or too little?

Here's the real deal on delt training.


Being a big proponent of frequency of training over volume, I consider shoulders to be my favorite body part to train. If you missed the memo, your shoulders work every time you work any upper-body part. You can use strict form when you hit chest, back, bis, or tris, but whether you like it or not, those shoulders are going to kick in to assist the lift.

For this reason, I like to hit a little bit of the opposing section of the shoulder I'm using to assist my lift. On chest day, for instance, I know that my front and medial delts are getting quite a bit of work while I'm pressing. So, to maintain proportionality, I add anywhere from 3-5 sets of rear-delt lifts at the end of the workout.

I think these extra sets provide the fullness and round shape of the shoulder, even on days I'm not directly targeting shoulders. I will reverse this procedure on back day and hit some front delts because I know the back sides of my shoulders are working as I do pulls.


Now, just because you're combining your delt training after your push and pull days doesn't mean your shoulders don't deserve their own workout. Put this routine into your split and you'll make every squeem-wearing physique competitor go home crying to his mommy.

Build The Perfect Set Of Shoulders


The best way to avoid injury is to warm up properly and stay flexible. Do external rotator-cuff exercises before diving into this workout.

Good luck, stay strong, and don't forget to hit the rear.

Siege Shoulder Workout
5 sets
Smith machine shoulder press
5 sets, 12 reps
Smith machine shoulder press
5 sets, 12 reps
Arnold press
or Scott Press.
3 sets, 8-10 reps
Seated dumbbell shoulder press
'W' press position.
3 sets, 8-10 reps
Single-arm dumbbell upright row
3 sets, 8-10 reps (per arm)
Side Lateral Raise
2 sets, 12 reps (per drop)
Standing face pull
3 sets, 15 reps (low-pulley)
Front Raise And Pullover
Or perform with dumbbell.
2 sets, 12 reps
Single-arm side lying rear fly
2 sets, 12 reps
Lying rear delt fly
2 sets, 12 reps

Smith Machine Press

We're going to start this workout with a burst of blood. I use that sissy machine all you real men avoid called the Smith Machine to do some behind-the- neck presses. Using the Smith machine is safer, easier to control, and less likely to cause me to over-rotate my shoulder. I use a wide grip and bring the bar down just to the top of the ear. It's a good enough range of motion to get the shoulder going. Alternate the behind-the-neck press with sets of close-grip military press.

Scott Press

The Scott press is an interesting variation on a standard shoulder press because it takes the triceps out of the press. To do it correctly, rotate your shoulders forward as the weight is in front of your face. When you bring the weights away from your face and up, pull your shoulders backward as much as possible. It's sometimes difficult to perform these correctly, but the feeling you get in your shoulders is undeniable.

W Press

I consider the W press a chest fly for the shoulders. I have seen a lot of athletes perform this exercise incorrectly and turn it into a press from the W position (the shape of your arms at the bottom of the movement). This movement is a fly, so don't press the weight up. Use your shoulders to elevate and rotate the dumbbells overhead.

Single-Arm Upright Dumbbell Row

This are my favorite exercise to hit heavy and hard. Lean over and support yourself with your opposing arm at a slight angle—around 70 degrees. This will allow you to hit the rear and middle delt hard. Don't be afraid to mess this form up—it's pretty simple. Using your elbow as the catalyst, pull the dumbbell up high towards the ceiling.

Dumbbell Lateral Raise

Let's do this standard shoulder move and add a little run-the-rack twist. Pick a weight you can hit for 12 reps, and work your way down the rack by five-pound increments. Try to hit 12 reps every time you drop.

Low-Pulley Face Pull

Low-pulley face pulls on the cable row machine work wonders. Using the rope attachment, pull the cable from the low position to get the middle of the rope right to your nose. Concentrate on pulling the rope apart while pulling your elbows up from the shoulders.

Rear-delt Combo

Lay your chest on a 45-degree bench with a dumbbell in each hand. Raise the dumbbells to the front for 12 reps, then directly out to the sides for 12 reps, and finish by pulling your elbows as high as possible for 12 reps.

About the Author

Noah Siegel

Noah Siegel

In addition to his day-to-day activities, Noah Siegel is also a personal trainer, fitness model, and sponsored athlete for Optimum Nutrition.

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Shoulders Shoulder Workout