Struggling to grow my middle deltoid. Any advice?

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    Struggling to grow my middle deltoid. Any advice?


    Hi Guys,

    For a long time my shoulders have been the weak part of my lifting game. I never liked training them which is probably a big part why.

    Anyhow they have been enjoying a big focus of my attention for the past 9 months, and I'm seeing good progress, but the middle deltoid seems to be lagging behind the front and rear and I don't know why as I'm trying to give this part more attention. I want a nice balanced round shoulder which peaks in the middle...

    Here's the current shoulder workout from my 3 day split:

    Overhead Dumbell Press 4x
    Behind Neck Press 4x
    Upright Barbell Rows 4x
    Lateral Raises 5x
    Bent Over Lateral Raises 5x

    Previous shoulder workouts have looked very similar.
    I'm going as heavy as I can to loss of form failure.
    I have also been adding extra sets of lateral raises to the end of the other workouts as well so I've also been trying more volume.

    I'm now thinking of adding lateral raises on the cable station to try and help but I'm probably not going to see much change. I think I'm missing something fundamental.

    What do you suggest I do to try and plump up the middle head?

    cheers,

    Batesy

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    My 2 cents:
    That's an awful lot of volume for that muscle group. More does not always equal better when it comes to training.

    What's the rest of your WO look like?
    How many calories (fat/Pro/Carb) are you getting in??
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    Yah, That is alot of sets. Drop it down to like 3 sets each. Also, switch up your overhead dumbell presses for some arnold presses, do super strict form, with light weights, for like 12 reps, it pumps your shoulders so much, including the middle delt.
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    Cheers Lads,

    To answer your question Crunch, the other workouts in the current 3 day split are looking like this (and from what you've said already I expect you are also going to say these are high on volume as well):

    Chest / Tris

    Flat Bench 4x
    Dips 4x
    Close Grip Bench 4x
    Incline DB Press 3x
    Lying Tri Extensions 3x
    DB Kickbacks 3x

    Back / Bi's

    Wide Grip Pullups 4x
    Chins 4x
    Bent Over BB Rows 4x
    Single DB Rows 3x
    BB Curls 3x
    Incline Hammer Curls / Zottman 3x

    Not too scientific on the nutrition but I'm eating pretty clean. Calories are plentiful (and other areas are growing nicely) and trying to keep fat low. I do work hard to keep the protein at min 2g per kilo ED with Whey PWO and also to top up.

    Supplementing currently with an complete multi, additional B Complex, fish / flax oils, BCAA's, Co Q10, Glucosamine and creatine off and on.

    Batesy
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    You may want to move your middle delt targeting exercises to the beginning of the workout for awhile. Also, try working the middle delt with variations of the lateral raise: leaning, and lying sideways on an inclined bench. This way, the muscle will the hardest part of the movement, during a different angle of the movement. Does that make sense?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Batesy
    Cheers Lads,

    To answer your question Crunch, the other workouts in the current 3 day split are looking like this (and from what you've said already I expect you are also going to say these are high on volume as well):

    Chest / Tris

    Flat Bench 4x
    Dips 4x
    Close Grip Bench 4x
    Incline DB Press 3x
    Lying Tri Extensions 3x
    DB Kickbacks 3x

    Back / Bi's

    Wide Grip Pullups 4x
    Chins 4x
    Bent Over BB Rows 4x
    Single DB Rows 3x
    BB Curls 3x
    Incline Hammer Curls / Zottman 3x

    Not too scientific on the nutrition but I'm eating pretty clean. Calories are plentiful (and other areas are growing nicely) and trying to keep fat low. I do work hard to keep the protein at min 2g per kilo ED with Whey PWO and also to top up.

    Supplementing currently with an complete multi, additional B Complex, fish / flax oils, BCAA's, Co Q10, Glucosamine and creatine off and on.

    Batesy
    It's a three day split, does that mean each of these workouts once per week or twice per week - as in a three days per week or six days per week lifting program?
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    Work out 3 days a week.

    Each of these workouts is done 1x per week.

    Yes I do know what you mean Lanbane and it's definitely worth a try. One of the reasons why I'm thinking about getting in the cable station, with the almost infinite amount of angles you can employ.

    cheers again, keep it coming.

    Oh and BTW before someone chimes in to say "Where are the Legs / Squats etc" After 12 years of top level competetive fencing I have legs like Quadzilla. This said it's been a while since I have been training seriously so I have recently brought in Squats and other leg work which I do on Shoulders day.
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    more is not always better, drop the volume way down.
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    Dude. The volume is way too high imo. Not to mention, remember, your also hitting shoulders when you do chest. Your doing a ton of front delt work. I'd definitely knock out one of the oh presses from your routine. Behind the neck isn't all that good for your shoulders anyway and can cause impingement down the line. I'd stick with the front oh press, lateral raises, and switch out upright rows with shrugs(also less impingement). Drop it down to 3 sets each exercise. Are you doing 3 on 1 off 3 on 2 off? You said 3 day split?
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    Lads, bit of an update for you. Very positive.

    Trained shoulders today for the first time properly since posting.

    Still a Work in Progress, but I already took on board a lot of the advice so far. Workout looked like this:

    Arnold Press 3x
    Upright BB Rows 3x
    Seated Lateral Raises 3x
    Bent Over Lateral Raises 3x
    and to finish low weight Low pulley Lateral raises to failure in the cable station

    - > Swapping the OH press for Arnies for a while
    -> Sacked the BN Press
    - > Reduced volume

    Had a really good workout, felt the burn quickly on the Arnolds and felt super pumped in the middle delts at the end after the cable work.

    Looked nice and swole / rounded in the mirror at the end of the workout (pity that doesn't last...) so yeah, I think I'm onto something now. The key is variety and I'll keep tweaking and experimenting.

    cheers,

    Batesy
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    Hi Mack, maybe my terminology is wrong.

    I'm understanding 3 day split to be a whole body workout split into 3 workouts of different body parts.

    =
    Chest / Tris
    Back / Bi's
    Shoulders / Legs

    Typically Mon / Wed / Fri

    Maybe I got it wrong but that's what I mean.

    Batesy

    p.s. I'm having a play with upright rows at the moment, having not really done them before (cos of the bad rep). Also shrugs have never really appealed before but again for completeness I will bring them in at some point. I understand shrugs to be mainly a trap specific exercise? Do you find they hit your delts as usefully as the upright rows?
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    Delt could be very stubborn if you lack the knowledge to train them, they are smarter than you are and they adopt to your workout before you even notice .

    i've been there myself for quite good time until one very experience personal trainer told me to keep shifting and changing the basic delt workout.
    this means keep rotating your workout from BB & DB to cables to machines , and change the inensity and volume levels as well, doing so will prevent your delts from adobting workout and there for, keep growing.
    Just my .02

    Cheers
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    cheers Mess,

    If you keep collecting the 2 cents you will soon have yourself some $$$'s

    Batesy

    LOL I like the idea that your delts are smarter than you are! Was starting to feel that way!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Batesy
    Hi Mack, maybe my terminology is wrong.

    I'm understanding 3 day split to be a whole body workout split into 3 workouts of different body parts.

    =
    Chest / Tris
    Back / Bi's
    Shoulders / Legs

    Typically Mon / Wed / Fri

    Maybe I got it wrong but that's what I mean.

    Batesy

    p.s. I'm having a play with upright rows at the moment, having not really done them before (cos of the bad rep). Also shrugs have never really appealed before but again for completeness I will bring them in at some point. I understand shrugs to be mainly a trap specific exercise? Do you find they hit your delts as usefully as the upright rows?
    Gotcha. Now I think I understand. Just keep it simple. I used to do upright rows all the time. The only thing I really noticed was more definition beteween my traps and delts. I usually stay away from cables unless I'm rehabing. My suggestion is to add 1 or 2 more sets to your side delt exercise and subtract from your front delt and rear delt. Maybe do 3 sets of arnies and 4 sets of lateral raises. Arnies work front delts really well. Its one of my fav's and my front delts are very pronounced from doing arnie's.
    What are your stats? Did I miss that? Sounds like your on the right track.
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    If I'm not on the right track I feel I certainly know where it is now.

    I need to feel my way through the next few workouts and tweak here and there. I'm pretty sure the key to success with the Delts lies with variety (exercises, angles, grips, equipment, sets, reps) and always keeping them guessing with frequent changes.

    I love changing my workouts and this way it always makes me look forward to the next one. Cables are definitely going to get some attention for the next few, the burn on them today was delicious. Arnie's as well.

    Stats (if these are the ones ur after)

    Age - 34
    Height - 5' 11'
    Weight - 96 kilos
    BF % - 15-18% honest est.
    Training - >8 years with differing levels of dedication. Last 9 months making it an important part of my life and making the necessary sacrifices that go with it.
    Goals - Reduce BF to 10%
    Get to a lean 100 kilos
    Able to do 3x10 wide grip pull ups with good form
    and some other strength related targets
    Feel like I have a good balanced physique

    Batesy
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    Batesy,

    If this has already been mentioned, ignore me.
    Another item to focus on regarding the lifts is full focus and concentration on the muscle you're targeting. otherwise, everything else will do the work for you to compensate for the lagging muscle. I've dug myself into this particular hole as of late.... and it's a struggle to get back out. Front delt strength for me is awesome, medial is WEAK. (DB Shoulder Press 100's, Lateral Raises with 20's)
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    Aye true.

    You'd certainly expect the compound movement of the DB press to easily outweigh the stats of the lat raise isolation exercise. This said, the difference factor you're talking about is perhaps still larger than might be ideal.

    If I look at my stats, I'm currently on 50kilo (total) DB overhead and 12's lateral with good form.

    So scaled up, to your 100 I'd be doing 24 on the raises which isn't a big difference but perhaps is significant when you're talking about a relatively small muscle in isolation?

    aah **** you can obsess about these things... and what the **** do I know? You're certainly no weakling (like me) are you happy with how you look?

    Batesy
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    See. Medial strength for me is really good 65's-70's db's 8-10reps. Arnie's 70's.
    Personally, I think you just need to keep it simple and not overcomplicate things. I'd alternate arnie's with front barbell and front db's. I'd do lateral raises. And then bent over lateral's. 3 exercises per workout. Plus your hitting front delts on chest day. If your doing bent over barbell rows with palms facing out then your also hitting part of the rear delts. I have very good shoulders according to trainers I've worked with in the past. Probably my best bodypart. Batesy, also as we get your bf down your going to appear wider in the shoulders once your waist narrows. The cables will help build up your stabilizers but they won't add mass. They do have their purpose though. Trust me. Stick with free weights to build mass.
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    Yep Mack (I have a hunch you're not so little).

    I understand those exercises mentioned to be the meat and potatoes of a decent shoulder workout (yes of course there's lots of veg you can add which is good for you!)

    Perhaps the biggest factor causing the improvement of how I look muscular wise is the weight loss. I've been a lazy undisciplined bastard for the past couple of years and really let it go. I've come down very slowly from a few % higher and the difference (with also adding muscle mass and definition again) is remarkable by my standards.

    I'm going to carry on trickling fat off, and adding lean on and hopefully by early next year I'll be ready to quit my job and work as a mens magazine cover model

    Batesy
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    Eat your meat and potatos and you'll be fine....haha
    You've got a great attitude Batesy! Attitude will get you far in life my friend. I started out the same. Worked out. Then became a fat lazy bast@*&. hahaha
    Once your ready to step it up a little bit with a little more advanced routine, then let me know, and I can help with that.
    Stick to the basics for now though.
    Good luck with it!
    Tiny Mack.
    6'ft. 210lbs, 13%bf
    ahahahahaha
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    For me, the only thing that has ever really made the middle heads of my delts grow was doing lateral raises running the rack.

    I do three sets of 45x8, 35x8, 25x8. Yes, it's high volume, but that's the only thing that has ever made a difference in how round my shoulders were. Maybe it'll help
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    Quote Originally Posted by Batesy
    Cheers Lads,

    To answer your question Crunch, the other workouts in the current 3 day split are looking like this (and from what you've said already I expect you are also going to say these are high on volume as well):

    Chest / Tris

    Flat Bench 4x
    Dips 4x
    Close Grip Bench 4x
    Incline DB Press 3x
    Lying Tri Extensions 3x
    DB Kickbacks 3x

    Back / Bi's

    Wide Grip Pullups 4x
    Chins 4x
    Bent Over BB Rows 4x
    Single DB Rows 3x
    BB Curls 3x
    Incline Hammer Curls / Zottman 3x

    Not too scientific on the nutrition but I'm eating pretty clean. Calories are plentiful (and other areas are growing nicely) and trying to keep fat low. I do work hard to keep the protein at min 2g per kilo ED with Whey PWO and also to top up.

    Supplementing currently with an complete multi, additional B Complex, fish / flax oils, BCAA's, Co Q10, Glucosamine and creatine off and on.

    Batesy
    No Leg days?


    A little tidbit about leg days, they produce massive amounts of IGF-1. This raises serum concentrations of IGF-1-BP3 (a dormant form of the hormone). You know that burning sensation you sometimes get at the end of a set, well the lactic acid strips off the binding protein, making the IGF-1 active again in a localized area. You'd be surprised how much more you'll grow if you train your legs every once and a while.
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    Quote Originally Posted by thesinner
    No Leg days?


    A little tidbit about leg days, they produce massive amounts of IGF-1. This raises serum concentrations of IGF-1-BP3 (a dormant form of the hormone). You know that burning sensation you sometimes get at the end of a set, well the lactic acid strips off the binding protein, making the IGF-1 active again in a localized area. You'd be surprised how much more you'll grow if you train your legs every once and a while.

    Now how did I miss that. Hahahaha. Batesy, you gotta do some legs man. Do you want to look like a lightbulb? Squat...squat...and when your tired of squating...squat some more until you pass out....
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    AT EASE MARINES!!!

    Sorry, only focused on the Ur body in this thread. Realised after it was only gonna be a matter of time before "Hey man where's the Legs!!"
    I do train legs, and it's done on Shoulder day, after the shoulders. I have never felt the need to do too much in this area because after 12 years of competetive fencing and being a keen telemark skier they're big and strong already (call me Quadzilla ) OK there'll be plenty bigger out there but I ain't no Hasselhoff!

    Only brought Legs in properly in the past couple of months or so. Squatting and Bent Leg Squatting (Farmers Walk style) is the bulk of it with occasional extensions / ham curls if the mood takes me.

    I ain't squatting my bodyweight yet but I'm 'ass to the grass' so don't call me no Hoff!

    Laters,

    Batesy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Batesy
    cheers Mess,

    If you keep collecting the 2 cents you will soon have yourself some $$$'s

    Batesy

    LOL I like the idea that your delts are smarter than you are! Was starting to feel that way!
    LoL, well not letraly, when you workout, you apply stress on the trained muscle, and in order to handle the extra stress it get stronger and bigger, so after a short period it realizes the stress (adopt), so in order to keep growing, dont let a muscle adopt ( be smarter )

    Another .02

    Cheers
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    back off on the overall volume by 50% and really concentrate on your form, especially on side lateral raises.
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    Two points of input.

    Prioritize.

    Accept genetic limitations.

    I'm done.
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