By Brad Borland, MA, CSCS
Wide "boulder shoulders" is one of the many goals a bodybuilder has when it comes to a complete and balanced physique. Width can set you apart from the pack by giving you that powerful look others only dream of building. Waking sideways through a doorway is every narrow shouldered trainer's fantasy! But how (and can) we build our delts to greater dimensions when we are challenged with less than great genetics?
The first step toward any progress is admitting you have a problem. By this I mean you must ask yourself some tough questions: Do you press heavy weight only to have your shoulder joints sore with little or no development to show for it? Do you stay in the 8-12 rep range with less than skin-busting pumps? Are you really making any progress at all?
If you answered all of these questions honestly - meaning you need a delt program make-over - then take note and begin to change the way you think about weak point training.
One reason your deltoids are subpar may be the fact that you have not really developed the mind-to-muscle connection as with other body parts. By this I mean going beyond just thinking about what you are working. You must cultivate such an intense isolation and burn in the entire deltoid complex that blood flow to the area will no longer be an issue.
Another reason is rep range. I find that most trainees - when faced with a weak area - are not performing enough reps to "connect" with the muscle. This combined with other intensity techniques such as drop sets, working to failure and supersets will ensure the muscle is truly getting punished.
The routines below include variety of movements, intensity techniques and muscle confusion to get you on the right path to growth!
Alternate between routines A, B and C and perform as many warm-up sets as needed. Perform one set of each movement without rest for three rounds - rest one minute after each round.
Standing dumbbell side lateral raise - 10-20 reps
Wide-grip barbell upright row - 10-20 reps
Seated dumbbell shoulder press - 10-20 reps
Dumbbell upright row - 10-20 reps
Standing barbell shoulder press - 10-20 reps
One-arm cable side lateral raise - 10-20 reps
Bent-over dumbbell lateral raise - 8-12 reps (last set drop the weight 15% for more reps)
Seated side lateral raise - 8-12 reps (last set drop the weight 15% for more reps)
Front plate raise - 8-12 reps (last set drop the weight 15% for more reps)
This exclusive article (and others) can be found in the latest Wannabebig Serious About Muscle Newsletter - November 3rd, 2010
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