Training Plans - Shoulder Workout

March 2017, Shoulder Progress

March 2017, Shoulder Progress

March 2017, Relaxed Shoulders

March 2017, Relaxed Shoulders

Shoulders are a big area of focus for me in 2017. I really want to widen out the top of my frame to make my top half appear more triangle shaped. Shoulders are a great area to put focus on because their appearance can drastically change the way the overall physique looks. If your shoulders are rounder and more developed, they will make the rest of your arms and chest seem more defined. By training the front, top, and back of the shoulder muscles, you'll end up with a very full shoulder cap that is larger in width and height.

I really enjoy training shoulders because the burn that you get is really nice. They are a perfect muscle group to super set heavier low rep exercises with high rep low weight sets. My current routine focuses on putting mass on the shoulders. Each time I train shoulders, I focus on overloading them with a difficult heavier (not too heavy) weight and then cooking them with a high rep more isolated movement. Try out some of the combinations and always remember that when training shoulders form is top priority. This muscle group is one of the easiest to injure and hardest to heal, so be cautious and take your time with each rep.


  • To find your "Warm Up" weight, perform 12-15 reps of the exercise with ease. If it's too easy, move up and if that rep range is too hard, move down in weight.
  • To find your "Working Set" weight, perform 6-8 reps of the exercise. This should feel hard once you get past 6 reps. Anything after 8 reps should be really tough. For shoulders, I train a little higher on the working set rep range, 10-12 is how I like to get a good burn.
  • Focus on doing the exercises with the best form possible. You will know that you are in proper form if you can feel the muscle you are targeting contract. Also, it is important that nothing hurts with a sharp or stabbing pain. A little discomfort is ok, it means you're working. Find the difference between working hard and hurting yourself, avoid the latter. 
  • Train in good view of a mirror whenever possible, it will help you visualize the mind/muscle connection and it will also help you with proper form.
  • Don't get discouraged if you don't understand how to perform an exercise right away. Look up videos on how to do the movement (I have links to each), don't be scared to ask someone experienced for help, or train with a friend that is more experienced. Seasoned lifters love to share tips, tricks, and know how. 


  • This routine is part of a body part split routine. If you prefer a total body workout, grab a  superset or two from this routine and work it in to your total body workout.
  • I train calves with this workout, feel free to add in an ab routine or calf routine at the end of this shoulder session for a nice finisher to your workout.
  • If you want to get a nice pump on at the end of your workout, take the moves such as side lateral raises and front raises and perform them as drop sets at the end of the workout.


  1. Seated Barbell Military Press: Warm Up Weight x 2 sets x 12-15 reps
  2. Seated Barbell Military Press: Heavy Weight x 1 set x 4 reps
  3. Seated Barbell Military Press: 1 Rep Max x 1 set x 1 rep
  4. Seated Barbell Military Press: Working Weight x 3 sets x 10-12 reps
  5. Side Lateral Raise: Warm Up Weight x 2 sets x 12-15 reps
  6. Side Lateral Raise: Working Weight x 3 sets x 10-12 reps
  7. Seated Dumbbell Press: Working Weight x 3 sets x 8-10 reps
  8. Cable Face Pull: Working Weight x 3 sets x 12-15 reps
  9. Arnold Press: Working Weight x 3 sets x 8-10 reps
  10. Pullover: Working Weight x 3 sets x 8-10 reps
  11. Upright Row: Working Weight x 3 sets x 10-12 reps
  12. Advanced add ons: Front Raises, Single Arm Dumbbell Press, Cable Bar Pulldown, Ab Workout, and/or Calf Workout

How to superset in this routine...

  • Perform all sets #1 - #4 
  • Perform set #5
  • Perform 1 set from #7 followed by one set from #6 until all 3 sets of each are done (6 total)
  • Perform all sets from #8
  • Perform all sets from #9
  • Perform 1 set from #10 followed by one set from #11 until all 3 sets of each are done (6 total)
  • Perform any additional exercises


 This routine is for intermediate lifters and takes about 1 hour to complete (without the ab or calf workout and any add ons). It is extremely effective for growing the shoulders and giving a rounded out appearance. I have found military barbell presses great for achieving a deep burn when working shoulders. My favorite exercise for shoulders though is the Arnold Press, try a lighter weight drop set of these to really cook your shoulders. Try out the routine and see if you can incorporate any of these super sets into your shoulder workout.

*I am not a certified personal trainer. My experience is limited to myself. If you are new to lifting, please seek out resources online and the help of a trainer or experienced friend before embarking on a new fitness regime.

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