What's your favorite compound shoulder lift?
11-12-2008 12:16 PM
What's your favorite compound shoulder lift?
I've experimented over the years with numerous compound lifts for the shoulders: military press, dumbbell press, standing press, clean and press, and so on...
Recently I switched back to doing standing shoulder presses, and have fallen in love with them all over again! I'll do as many strict reps as possible, until I can't lift the weight anymore by only using my shoulders and triceps. At this point, I turn the exercise into a push press, using a little boost from my legs to help lift the weight. Even though I've turned a somewhat strict movement into a cheating movement, it allows my shoulders to keep working, past the point where they would normally be incapacitated with fatigue. I usually only do 2-3 extra reps this way. I've been getting a lot more responds from my deltoids though; much more than I got with regular seated military press, or even clean and presses, or just regular standing presses. I'm sure there are other plenty of other people who do this, but to those who've never tried it, you should!
Anyway, I was really just wanting to know what lifts have given you the most response. If you'd like to post your entire shoulder routine, that would be great too!
11-12-2008 12:39 PM
I figured since I asked others to post their shoulder routines, that I should better do that myself! I like to switch up my routines on a somewhat regular basis, but if I come across something that works for me, I usually stick with it until I stop seeing results. As of right now, this is what my shoulder routine looks like...
Standing Presses 4 x 12, 10, 8, 6
Seated Lateral Raises 3 x 10, 8, 6
Heavy Upright Rows 3 x 8, 6, 4
Superset: Seated Arnold Presses 3 x 6-10
Standing Rear Lateral Raises 3 x 6-10
** At the end of my shoulder workout I like to take hold of a couple 20-25lbs dumbbells and hold them out to my sides, about 7 inches or so from my thighs, and do static holds for about 20-30 seconds. This forces my deltoids to have to contract further, even after I've already pounded them, and gives me a great pump. Afterwards, I stretch like crazy!
This routine, or slight variations thereof, have been giving me great results lately. My shoulders are starting to look better and better, and my strength is going up as well. I guess I'm doing something right!
11-12-2008 05:24 PM
I like doing standing presses too... Let's me use more weight than I could if I were sitting down. A better power movement in my opinion.
11-12-2008 05:29 PM
can't do them standing due to back issues, but seated military is great overall.
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11-12-2008 05:29 PM
You're having to use more muscles to stabilize the weight as well. I think the more muscles the body has to recruit to stabilize the weight naturally, the more effective the movement is for stimulating overall muscle growth. Even if those stabilizing muscles aren't contracting through a full range of motion, which limits the amount of hypertrophy that can occur, they are still contracting isometrically.
I think all of the heavy compound shoulder lifts are great though. You really can't go wrong with any of them. There may be times where each one has the greater benefit for your current situation. Since the purpose of the deltoids is to rotate the arm in a 360 degree motion, working them from as many angles possible is the trick to developing good looking shoulders, in my opinion anyway.
11-13-2008 12:47 AM
11-13-2008 04:52 PM
i usually switch it up, but my first exercise will always be some sort of heavy pressing movement. My shoulder workout Tues. looke like
Seated military: 5 x 12, 8, 4, 3, 8
-standing arnold presses: 3 x 12, 10, 10 +run the rack at end
-side laterals: 3 x 15, 12, 12, + run the rack at end
-Bent over lateral: 3 x 14, 12, 12
-Upright Rows: 3 x 10, 10, 9
And then finished with 6 sets of Traps.
11-14-2008 02:06 AM
I love to superset arnold presses with straight arm raises! I'm actually starting to think that shoulders day is my favorite workout.
11-15-2008 11:37 AM
I like smith military. Much safer and easier on the inner shoulder.
11-15-2008 10:26 PM
one warm-up set per lateral exercises...good and pumped after that so no need to warm up for presses.
standing rear flys to OMG it burns x3
seated side laterals to OMG it burns x3
front laterals to OMG it burns x3 (kinda between a side and a front...not exactly a front)
dumbell press...heavy dumbell presses to failure x3
WIDE grip cable rows w/overhand grip 15x3 superset with upright rows 15-failure x3 and then shrugs to OMG it burns x3(doesn't matter which type as i do traps with back too)
11-16-2008 02:50 AM
x2! Not only is it a great workout, but so much anger and aggression goes into the lift IMO.
Originally Posted by Xodus
11-16-2008 12:29 PM
I like military, but seated,.. uses the stabilizers, and I can't cheat the weight up!
Think training's hard,. try losing!
11-16-2008 12:52 PM
I wrote this a while ago. I love doing strict overhead pressing, with dumbbells or with a barbell depending on what I'm training for.
Quite a few guys have emailed and PM'd me about bringing up shoulder strength to help the bench. Thank you. A lot of these ideas are modifications of what I have learned from Vincent Dizenzo, and were bounced off Matt Rhodes, but trial and error is also a huge part of it.
A couple of years ago when pondering my lack of a raw bench, I found that my shoulder strength was severely lacking. My speed has always been pretty good so I dropped speed work and incorporated direct shoulder work. As good intentioned as my move was, the first thing that happened is that my raw bench dropped about 30lbs. Not the results I was looking for. Frustrated, I tried to lower the volume on my direct shoulder work day keeping the intensity moderate to high and it seemed to help a little on the bench front, but still not the results I was looking for. I tried stopping the shoulder work when I had a lot left in the tank -nope, still too much like max effort work. Realizing that my shoulders were still a weak point I decided to over think everything and here is what I came up with.
We tend to use a bar in lieu of dumbbells because we use more weight, we get more of a carryover to our competition lifts, and in general we get better results. Along with these better results are a greater drain on our CNS and overall muscular fatigue. Reaching across to bodybuilding, many bodybuilders will tell you that the weight used is not always so important when it comes to growing -at least as compared to the powerlifting mentality that more (heavier) is clearly better. This in mind, I decided to try to use the least amount of weight I could to elicit a gain. The hardest exercise I could come up with was strict standing dumbbell overhead pressing for high reps.
When I first started doing them I was surprised to find that my triceps were my limiting factor and my shoulders were looking pretty jacked at the end of a workout. A few weeks into it I started getting some comments from people about me looking bigger even though I had lost a few pounds. All I did was the minimum I could on shoulder day. My shoulder work usually consisted of high rep standing strict dumbbell presses. Most of the time I was doing sets of 20. Without worrying too much about it I waved my progression. For instance at one point my best set of 20 was with the 75lb dumbbells:
Week 1: Work up to the 60's, do 2-3 sets of 20.
Week 2: Work up the 70's, do 2-3 sets of 20.
Week 3: Work up to a set of 20 with the 80's.
Week 4: Work up to the 60's, do 2-3 sets of 20…
This worked for a while, after which I just went by feel. I didn't start going by feel until I was a couple months in. Other exercises I incorporated were standing strict 1-arm dumbbell pressing, not so strict standing dumbbell pressing, and doing any of the above with slightly lower rep ranges.
My Thursday is my shoulder day, I also do lat work on this day. To further reduce the weight I was using I started doing all my lat work first, ending with the standing strict dumbbell work when I was fatigued at the end of the workout. My bench kept going up and my shoulder strength did too. Interestingly enough, this seemed to help my shoulders feel better, I think it was just the very long warm-up. Nice note for those with shoulder issues.
Curious as to what my strict standing overhead press was doing, I gave it a shot one day and smashed 275 pretty easy. If I remember correctly, that was a big PR for me back then. Clearly the high rep dumbbell work was helping my shoulders get bigger, and the max effort bench work was carrying my strength. In other words, I don't have to do max effort shoulder work for my strength to go up.
I incorporate barbell overhead lifts when I feel like it, which isn't really that often. I have trouble doing heavy overhead work and not having it effect my bench work. I haven't done any seated barbell overhead lifts for a while. I used to do them often and liked them but end up tweaking my pecs when I do it. I'm not sure how, but that's another story. I do seated dumbbell presses every now and then, but find that I get so much more out of the standing presses -because they're so much harder- that I don’t often have a reason to do them seated. I'm sure given enough time I'll cycle back to more seated work.
I usually only do 1 pressing exercise. As I was prepping for my last contest, in which I was also competing in the overhead press, every other week or so I would do the bare minimum of barbell work and chase it with some volume with the dumbbells. I rarely do front raises, and I work my scapular retractors/rear delts 2-3 times per week (also high volume work).
The bottom line here is that I do a lot of very high rep standing strict dumbbell work and it's made my lifts go up pretty well. I keep the weight light, the reps high, the form strict, and the volume high. I hope this helps some of you.
Some questions I have been asked:
Q) I can't sleep at night without doing speed work. What do I do?
A) I would do the shoulder work after speed work. Keep the speed work on the light side. Don't do twenty billion sets.
Q) I do repetition work on a second bench day. What do I do?
A) I would make my second movement on your max effort day a repetition movement, and I'd just do the overhead stuff on the second day.
Q) I want to do max effort shoulder work. What do you think of that?
A) I want to do it too, but I can't. It takes too much away from my bench. Vincent Dizenzo is able to get away with doing max effort/near max effort shoulder work, I am not. It's worth a try but don't be shocked if your numbers take a dive.
Q) So and so does no direct shoulder work and they bench 9000.
A) I'm not them. My shoulders were weak, I have to do the work.
Q) What works better, volume or intensity?
A) Who knows. For me, intensity works but at the expense of my bench. That leaves volume. We're (usually) not competing in overhead movements; do the minimum you have to do to keep your strength up.
Q) Do you do push presses?
A) I did a long time ago. I liked them; 6 weeks of push presses made my seated military press go up 30lbs. I haven't done them for a while because I tend to go very heavy when I do them, which once again tends to take away from my bench (gasp). I have not experimented with keeping them moderate in intensity, or doing higher rep variations.
Q) It's wrong to do accessory movements (lats) before the main movement (shoulders).
A) That's not a question. Also, I don't care.
Q) High reps won't build muscle, they're more for endurance.
A) I don't care. Also, I disagree.
Q) You suck at writing these things.
11-16-2008 02:59 PM
mill press seated or standing(prefer seated more) can do more weight standing kind of compresses back , esp with heavier weight lower back actually
11-16-2008 03:48 PM
I know that with standing presses you'd have to use more muscles to stabilize the body. But I'm wondering if it makes any difference to the spinal column. The weight overhead is being drawn downward by gravity, so I'm wanting to say that the spinal column is going to take about the same amount of load, whether you're standing or seated. When you're seated, the bench you're sitting on takes some of the load, therefore some of the muscles that you would have to use to stabilize if you were standing aren't really drawn into the picture.
Originally Posted by smeton_yea
I don't know, that's just what I'm thinking. If anyone can elaborate, that'd be great. I'll have to look into that one..
11-16-2008 04:39 PM
ive had two minor injuries from standing and doing too much weight or lifting it too far above my traps. It was in my traps or close to them both times. thus when and if I do do standing I dont stretch it as far up as possible, I just do normal movements, never push it up farther.
Originally Posted by Joshua86
11-16-2008 06:44 PM
When you say you don't go for a full stretch, do you mean you don't lock out? With any overhead press I avoid locking out, as to keep the most of the stress on my muscles, rather than inadvertently putting more stress on my joints than I have to.
Originally Posted by smeton_yea
11-16-2008 06:53 PM
yeah lockout is not good with any lift. i have a hyperextended elbow. my avi doesn't show it, but my left elbow goes to maybe 190 degrees. lockout on dips would take me out of the gym for awhile.
i work my chest/shoulders together, twice a week. here's tuesday's routine :
4 sets of 5 as supersets (strength)
bench press 205/210/215/210 (5-10 lb increase on 3 sets)
military press 155/160/165/165 (10 pound gain for two sets)
incline bench 175/175/180/180 (up 5 lbs for two)
DB front delt raises 30/35/35/30 (up 5 lbs for two as well)
butterfly machine 220/220/220/220 (machine maxed still)
DB side delt raises 25/30/30/30 (no change)
chest dips 40/40/40/40 (nothing)
rear delt DB raises 25/25/25/25 (nothing)
smith upright row 90/100/100/100 (up 10 lbs for three. tried 105 and noticed my calves moving)
wide grip pullovers 80/80/80/80
here's fridays :
4 sets of 10 as supersets (time under tension)
DB bench press 55/60/60/60 (up 10 pounds for two, PR with the 60's. had to rest pause last set to get 10 reps)
DB arnold press 35/35/40/40 (up 5 lbs for two sets)
DB incline bench 50/50/55/55 (up 10 pounds for two again - WTF?)
cable front delt raises 25/30/30/30 (up 5 lbs for three)
decline barbell bench 225/235/235/235 (up 10 lbs for three)
cable side delt raises 30/30/30/30 (nada)
cable crossovers 65/65/65/65 (happy just to make it through this)
wide grip pullovers 50/50/60/60 (up 10 lbs for two)
cable upright rows 70/80/80/80 (up 10 lbs for three)
cable rear delt raises 20/20/20/25 (failure on 25 on rep 8)
cut/pasted from my log. guestimating weights for cables (its not always what the machine says), and i'm assuming the smith machine weighs 10 pounds unweighted.
going from military press to incline bench really beats the front delts up . probably a silly routine, but i like it.
11-16-2008 07:27 PM
yes don't lock out and like shrug the traps in a way to do a longer range of motion. and kind of arching the back. injuries screaming your name for all of these.
Originally Posted by Joshua86
11-16-2008 07:29 PM
I have the same. found out from my elbow specialist that's been treating me. yeah no lock outs on anything. even tthe reverse way of pullups, pull-downs and even deads.
Originally Posted by suncloud
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