I believe that well-developed shoulders are essential to a winning physique. You need wide shoulders and a small waist to create a dramatic V-taper on and off stage. Without big shoulder caps, your physique can end up looking like a straight line.
If you want to carry the aesthetic appeal of a modern physique athlete, competitor or not, you need to pay special attention to your shoulders.
Your Get-Wide Workout
The purpose of this workout is to help you build just such a set of shoulders: round, thick, and full. If you're posing on stage, your shoulders need to look wide from all angles, even from the back. So, in this workout, you'll hit each of your three deltoid heads—front, middle, and rear—for 3-D growth.
When you've completed all the regular sets in this session, you'll finish off your delts with FST-7 sets. The goal of FST-7, or fascia stretch training, is to expand and create microscopic tears in the connective sheath—the fascia—surrounding the muscle fibers. These tears are achieved by flooding the muscle with blood while you work toward the most epic pump of your life!
When you're done demolishing your shoulders, you'll move on to your triceps. Because you're working two muscle groups, this workout may take you a little longer than you're accustomed to—around 60-75 minutes. You need to bring intensity and effort for the entire workout. Don't quit!
Two-time Olympia men's physique champ Jeremy Buendia and I will take you through this tough but effective, shoulder session. Jeremy will show you the intensity; I'll give you the cues. Put them together when you do the workout on your own, and you'll see and feel insane results!
Hany's Shoulder Hints
Dumbbell shoulder press
Take your time warming up your shoulders. Don't skimp here; do both of the prescribed warm-up sets to prepare your body for the tough working sets. Then, when you start lifting heavier, don't forget to breathe. A lot of people hold their breath, but your muscles need oxygen in order to function.
Take all 90 seconds to rest between sets. If you take too little time, you won't be able to get through the next set. Trust me, you're going to need all the reps you can get.
Cable lateral raise
This is a great exercise to hit the lateral (outside) head of the delts. When you do this exercise, lean away from the cable tower. Doing so will provide constant tension on your delts. If the weight slams back into the stack, step farther away from the machine.
Cross your feet and pull your arm right up to about trap height. Anything higher will engage your trap, and we want to keep the focus on the shoulders. Add some flexing and posing after you're done with the set to maximize blood flow to the muscle.
Dumbbell front raise
Dumbbell front raises are great for working your front deltoid heads. Keep your thumbs up and don't lift the dumbbells any higher than your traps. Control the weight and squeeze at the top of each rep. Don't just swing the weights and let gravity do the work. If you start to swing or are unable to control the weight, the dumbbells are too heavy.
At the end of each set, try to bring the dumbbells up at the same time and pause for maximum muscle-fiber recruitment. You can also throw in some partial reps to really burn things out.
Bent-over lateral raise
The bent-over lateral raise and high-pulley row are great exercises for the rear delts. On the lateral raise, keep your torso just slightly above perpendicular to the ground. Your arms should be almost straight and your pinkies should be up.
Stay low and keep your head straight. Don't move your neck. Quickly catch your breath after the first set, then move right on to the row.
Put one foot up when you do these rows, in order prevent your body from getting dragged forward. Squeeze back and keep your elbows and your rear delt on the same plane. Pull right to your nose.
The key to building rear delts is finesse. Don't lift too heavy, or other muscles will kick in and do a substantial amount of the work.
Dumbbell lateral raise
During these FST-7 sets, rest for 45 seconds between sets. Adjust your weights so you hit failure at about 10 reps. Add partials and/or negatives to the end of your sets. Remember, the goal with these sets is to get the biggest possible pump! You want to drive blood into the muscle to really stretch the fascia.
Hany's Triceps Hints
Triceps cable press-down
Use your index finger and middle finger to push the weight down and away from your body, which will ensure that you're hitting the outside head of your triceps. Squeeze your triceps hard through each rep.
Don't go too heavy. If you use too much weight, you'll get the rear delts and traps involved. Concentrate on using only your triceps so you can really develop a thick, horseshoe shape.
Dumbbell overhead triceps extension
During this exercise, bring the weight down far enough so that your wrists are parallel with your elbows. Try not to let your elbows flare out. As you move the dumbbell up, squeeze the triceps to reach full extension.
Overhead cable triceps extension
Keep the head and chest up as you do these FST-7 sets. The trick to getting the most out of this movement is to turn your wrists in as your arms come over your head. Once turning your wrists becomes too difficult, straighten out and do some partial reps to achieve maximum burnout.
Try to fail around 10 reps. If you can get to 12 or even 15 reps easily, you need more weight. Don't forget to keep your rest to 45 seconds! As before, you want to really pump some blood into the muscle with these sets. Push through till the end, and growth will be your ultimate reward!