trouble getting progress in my delts

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    trouble getting progress in my delts


    I'm having a tough time getting size in my middle delts. No matter what I do seems like I can't get any kind of cannonball on there. Bad part is my traps are my strongest body part. So it looks even worse. I've thought about pre exausting shoulder presses with laterals. Right now I'm doing a HIT routine. So I could probably work that in there. Anyone ever have this same problem and come up with a remedy?

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    military press?
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    Yeah I do military press all the time. From some reason I can't get any size really with it. I go fairly heavy. I've tried high reps, low reps, slow reps. I always go as heavy as I can, but just can't seem to get any growth.
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    get a spotter, and do them DC style - rest pause. its your heaviest, and last. you should pick a weight you can get 8-9 reps from. rerack the weight, take 15 breaths (30 seconds) and do them again. you should get 4 reps this time. rerack, 15 breaths, do them again. you should get 2 reps this time. if you get to 18 reps total, add the 2.5 pound plates next week. 12 is minimum total reps, 15 is good, 18 is too much. hope this helps.
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    I never thought about trying DC. This should fit somewhat well with HIT too. Just use the break between those sets as one of my 2 workout breaks. Thanks bud. I'll try that for 6-8 weeks and see if that gets me somewhere. You recommend military or behind the neck press? I usually feel like I have a little better pump behind the neck but what do you think?
    Last edited by calidood; 09-28-2008 at 11:34 PM. Reason: misspelled word
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    way too much controversy on this. behind the neck is really good, but you run the risk of injury. i do them to the front because i'm scared about screwing my shoulder up. do whatever works for you.

    so many pro's swear by behind the neck, and so many others say don't because of rotator cuff injuries. just play it safe. i'd say any time you were going for a personal best with weights (not reps) do them to the front to lessen the risk of injury. its your call though.
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    what about doing Arnolds for your press....ever try them?
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    Quote Originally Posted by suncloud View Post
    get a spotter, and do them DC style - rest pause. its your heaviest, and last. you should pick a weight you can get 8-9 reps from. rerack the weight, take 15 breaths (30 seconds) and do them again. you should get 4 reps this time. rerack, 15 breaths, do them again. you should get 2 reps this time. if you get to 18 reps total, add the 2.5 pound plates next week. 12 is minimum total reps, 15 is good, 18 is too much. hope this helps.

    after that i sometimes do a burnout set, like a Widowmaker on my lagging body parts. i duno if its working yet though lol i do seem to be getting stronger
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    you can also try upright rows using a cable pulley.
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    Quote Originally Posted by R-Mac View Post
    what about doing Arnolds for your press....ever try them?
    Yeah I've tried those. Don't seem to help much. I DO like them though. But I think I might not have the best form on them. I always see people doing them differently. And when I see them in books and stuff it's just the before and after pictures. So I can't see the motion for the actual exercise. But I see some guys bring their elbows out and then push up. i've seen other guys do it perfectly fluidly. I can't tell which way really works best for me, although I've tried it both ways.
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    Quote Originally Posted by suncloud View Post
    you can also try upright rows using a cable pulley.
    I've tried these too. I think these are my favorite for how they feel. But still, they don't work too well for size gains.
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    yea like you my shoulders and chest DONT GROW , no matter what i do, my arms will get bigger before my chest and shoulders, just do to the secondary muscle group.

    pisses me off non the less.
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    I'd recommend starting your shoulder workout with a couple of power lifts, such as any combination of military press, push press, clean and press, upright rows, ect.. Picking a heavy weight, trying to hit around 6 reps, give or take. Then follow up with some isolation work such as side DB raises, rear DB raises, ect.. You won't' be able to use a lot of weight if you're really trying to isolate the deltoid heads (any straight arm raise), but you're making the deltoids do most all of the work, which is what you want anyway. Pick a weight that allows you to do around 8-10 reps or so, really concentrating on contracting the muscles and having to use every muscle fiber you have!

    That's what works for me anyways. If your shoulders aren't responding, you'll have to increase the intensity somehow; increasing weight or maybe having to change the way you train them completely. If the rest of you is growing, and your shoulders aren't, then it shouldn't be a matter of diet, but rather how you're training them and what works best for you. Trail and error my friend.

    Good luck bro
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    military or dumbell press 3 sets 4-6 reps heavy to positive failure
    side laterals heavy as hell (i do 75-80lbs DB) but dont use straight arms, bend at elbow a bit and cheat a little with natural body movement. go until arms are parallel to floor not above (most people go above this = bad for joints and limits weight)

    this will get you the bowling ball

    also a fun thing to do now and then is really get that military press up go 4 sets of 3, 3, 2, 2 for reps like a powerlifting kind of style. do this for 4 weeks get the weight up there then go dumbells 4-6 reps again pushing the weights up
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    shoulders may also not be growing because you are overtraining them....shoulders get a lot of indirect work when working other muscle groups, so its easy to overtrain them IMO......try reducing volume
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    Quote Originally Posted by fritzer View Post
    side laterals heavy as hell (i do 75-80lbs DB) but dont use straight arms, bend at elbow a bit and cheat a little with natural body movement. go until arms are parallel to floor not above (most people go above this = bad for joints and limits weight)
    This is my favorite thing to do for medial delts. Finding the right balance of heavy weight and good form for these is the magic trick for me. I've tried going very heavy with loose form and I've gone light with perfect form.
    Best bet has been in the 40-60lb dumbbells range with "good" form. Acting like I'm "pouring a cup of water" while raising the db's seem to help a bit with contraction as well. By this, I mean rotating the db's forward as you get towards peak contraction...thus looking like you are pouring something; really bring the whole girdle into the lift.

    Hope that helps a bit.
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    Suncloud i've also heard that upright rows are rough on the rotator cuff as well. I agree with you though on anything behind the head or neck. I just dont think it's worth it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sreed11 View Post
    Suncloud i've also heard that upright rows are rough on the rotator cuff as well. I agree with you though on anything behind the head or neck. I just dont think it's worth it.
    I can understand your guys feelings on this issue. Behind the neck does increase the possibility of injury. But for those of you that do it anyway, like me, you can't deny the results. Behind the head military presses just provide me with better results than the front. It will improve the shoulder size. But be careful not to go down to far or you may injure yourself.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sreed11 View Post
    Suncloud i've also heard that upright rows are rough on the rotator cuff as well. I agree with you though on anything behind the head or neck. I just dont think it's worth it.
    jury is still out on this. it can hurt the rotator cuff, sometimes its used to rehab a rotator cuff. sometimes if upright rows hurt, you can fix this by using an EZ bar to slightly change the movement. you could also do them much lighter using a cable, focusing more on time under tension than the weight itself.
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    Trust me. There is ABSOLUTELY nothing wrong with BTN press. As a matter of fact, my left shoulder is really really bad, so when i do military press, it hurts so bad. When i do BTN press, no pain at all.

    I feel BTN press is a superior lift. Just make sure when you do it standing up to help your core and lower the bar to where it is even with your ears, maybe a tad lower. I do 3x8 of standing BTN press and my shoulders are loving it. Adding 5lbs every week to it also.

    My shoulder routine is like this...
    BTN PRESS
    DB LATERAL RAISE
    PEC DEC or BENT OVER DB PULL (rear delt)

    Quote Originally Posted by suncloud View Post
    way too much controversy on this. behind the neck is really good, but you run the risk of injury. i do them to the front because i'm scared about screwing my shoulder up. do whatever works for you.

    so many pro's swear by behind the neck, and so many others say don't because of rotator cuff injuries. just play it safe. i'd say any time you were going for a personal best with weights (not reps) do them to the front to lessen the risk of injury. its your call though.
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    Thanks for the help guys. Lot of good info here for me to try. I'm excited about it.
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    My advice is DO NOT do behind the neck. You should be going to the front bringing the bar right to the top of your upper chest. it can actually almost rest there if the movement is done correctly. this is a full range of motion. from here push up and stop before arms lock out, you can even stop a little ways before lowering triceps involvement = more energy for your shoulder = greater intensity = HUGE shoulders.

    look where the people that go BTN actually go to usually, they are doing a 25% shoulders and 75% triceps exercise! those with good genetic will get great results but those without will not. even if you go all the way to the neck (which is bad for joints) it is still not as big of a range of motion.

    for me it is all about efficiency. i can do shoulders completely in 3 sets. 2 military and 1 side lateral and have done this many times. The right form, heavy as weights, massive intensity and go on with the workout.
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    Quote Originally Posted by fritzer View Post
    My advice is DO NOT do behind the neck. You should be going to the front bringing the bar right to the top of your upper chest. it can actually almost rest there if the movement is done correctly. this is a full range of motion. from here push up and stop before arms lock out, you can even stop a little ways before lowering triceps involvement = more energy for your shoulder = greater intensity = HUGE shoulders.

    look where the people that go BTN actually go to usually, they are doing a 25% shoulders and 75% triceps exercise! those with good genetic will get great results but those without will not. even if you go all the way to the neck (which is bad for joints) it is still not as big of a range of motion.

    for me it is all about efficiency. i can do shoulders completely in 3 sets. 2 military and 1 side lateral and have done this many times. The right form, heavy as weights, massive intensity and go on with the workout.
    Cool. I'm doing HIT right now. So I think I'll pre-exaust with laterals and finish with some presses. Thanks.
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    i would not pre exhaust... presses use more muscles and greater overload

    save the side lateral for after
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    HIT training is all about pre exaustion. So I'm gonna do it that way. I'm not gonna stay on HIT. After that I'll do it your way.
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    In a sense, i agree. But when doing BTN press, i do them standing and in very much control, meaning i dont jerk and yank the weight around like some idiot. When lowering, i do it slow and just to ear level and NO lower. I have zero pain and really like the pump i get from it. My back right below my neck is really developing nicely. Although next week, i will probably go back to standing military press to the front or Seated DB presses. I still like them and have read many people who use them.

    thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by fritzer View Post
    My advice is DO NOT do behind the neck. You should be going to the front bringing the bar right to the top of your upper chest. it can actually almost rest there if the movement is done correctly. this is a full range of motion. from here push up and stop before arms lock out, you can even stop a little ways before lowering triceps involvement = more energy for your shoulder = greater intensity = HUGE shoulders.

    look where the people that go BTN actually go to usually, they are doing a 25% shoulders and 75% triceps exercise! those with good genetic will get great results but those without will not. even if you go all the way to the neck (which is bad for joints) it is still not as big of a range of motion.

    for me it is all about efficiency. i can do shoulders completely in 3 sets. 2 military and 1 side lateral and have done this many times. The right form, heavy as weights, massive intensity and go on with the workout.
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    msucurt... i see what you are saying that is marius puz..etc world strongest man style. i have tried that, it is a difficult method but if you can do it then i am all for that. i wouldnt recommend it for most though. but i get your drift

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    I just watched a military guy at my gym do a shoulder routine I'd never seen before. He took and olympic bar and put plates on one side. The other end sat on the floor in front of him. He'd press the weight with one hand up over his head like a shoulder press and then lower it down onto his other shoulder. This also involves the obliques. He also did them two handed.
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    i like fritzer's advice here. Shoulders are easy to overwork and they are alot of fun to work for me so that makes it alot easier to overtrain, not to mention the indirect work they get all the time. military to the front is better than the btn because its safer and just as effective. military, side laterals, and pec dec or db rear delt flyes should be more than enough.
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    For these you are gonna have to have really good flexibility in your chest but they will destroy your middle delts. You'll have to make a pretty large drop in the poundage you are using. If you usually use 75's for shoulder presses then go back to the 30's or 35's. Higher reps for these too.

    Sit backward on an incline bench (bench should be a few degrees short of 90). Kick the DB's up to your shoulders, lean forward and place your forehead against the pad pad of the bench (shoulder blades pulled together) then just press the weight like a regular seated DB press.

    KEEP YOUR FOREHEAD PRESSED AGAINST THE PAD THE ENTIRE MOVEMENT.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtp217 View Post
    For these you are gonna have to have really good flexibility in your chest but they will destroy your middle delts. You'll have to make a pretty large drop in the poundage you are using. If you usually use 75's for shoulder presses then go back to the 30's or 35's. Higher reps for these too.

    Sit backward on an incline bench (bench should be a few degrees short of 90). Kick the DB's up to your shoulders, lean forward and place your forehead against the pad pad of the bench (shoulder blades pulled together) then just press the weight like a regular seated DB press.

    KEEP YOUR FOREHEAD PRESSED AGAINST THE PAD THE ENTIRE MOVEMENT.
    This looks pretty interesting...so I push it up over my dead, but instead of pushing up, I'll e pushing diagonally. Never thought of that at all. Thanks man.
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    By the way, how many reps?
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    Well its pretty clear to me, when you said you had trouble with your medial (side) delt and strong traps. This tells me you rotate back your shoulder to use your front delts during presses. Also when doing side or rear movements its apparent your lats are pulling up the entire joint for the lift until you can use fronts or biceps.

    I have a few simple solutions i guarantee will work.

    1) when doing laterals keep a constant slight elbow bend and do not allow your a) thumbs to point upwards or b) fists to rise higher than your elbows.

    When your elbow is beneath your wrist, your shoulder rolls back so your front delt is highest.
    If you have a back arch/lean back during military presses its using more upper chest and front delt.

    I should make a video to emphasise the difference, but try to do your laterals with your heel of your palm slightly higher than your thumb and keep your elbows above your wrist.

    This will feel difficult and use very low weight because those muscles typically dont bear much weight.

    Another easy way to overload the medial/rear delts is to do a lateral with a 90 degree arm bend and keep your elbows above your wrist.

    It is not neccessary to lift above shoulder height and this usually causes the front delt to kick in and take the load, so a smaller ROM is very likely for maximun benefit.

    Try it now with no weight and you will see what i mean.
    Then try to have thumbs up and elbows down on laterals and you will see how your front delts hold the load.
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    Quote Originally Posted by somewhatgifted View Post
    Well its pretty clear to me, when you said you had trouble with your medial (side) delt and strong traps. This tells me you rotate back your shoulder to use your front delts during presses. Also when doing side or rear movements its apparent your lats are pulling up the entire joint for the lift until you can use fronts or biceps.

    I have a few simple solutions i guarantee will work.

    1) when doing laterals keep a constant slight elbow bend and do not allow your a) thumbs to point upwards or b) fists to rise higher than your elbows.

    When your elbow is beneath your wrist, your shoulder rolls back so your front delt is highest.
    If you have a back arch/lean back during military presses its using more upper chest and front delt.

    I should make a video to emphasise the difference, but try to do your laterals with your heel of your palm slightly higher than your thumb and keep your elbows above your wrist.

    This will feel difficult and use very low weight because those muscles typically dont bear much weight.

    Another easy way to overload the medial/rear delts is to do a lateral with a 90 degree arm bend and keep your elbows above your wrist.

    It is not neccessary to lift above shoulder height and this usually causes the front delt to kick in and take the load, so a smaller ROM is very likely for maximun benefit.

    Try it now with no weight and you will see what i mean.
    Then try to have thumbs up and elbows down on laterals and you will see how your front delts hold the load.
    Thanks so much for the advice. Combined with JTP's advice for the presses, this will really work nicely when incorporated in my HIT routine. Everyone who has helped here is awesome and I really appreciate all the replies I've gotten from everyone.
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    It will still be a straight up and down press but when you have your head forward against that pad it just makes it 10 times harder. Your body shouldn't have much lean going on, just your head a little forward.

    I personally can't hardly do those w/ DB's. If you have a seated shoulder press machine at your gym you can do the same exercise but just setting backwards in the seat.
  

  
 

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