Monday, August 10, 2015

Shock-Therapy Demolition Deltoid Training

High-Voltage Shock Therapy Training for Stubborn Delts!

by Jared Smith
Arnold and his massive shoulders!
         Few things will make one stand out in a crowd quite like a super-wide, capped set of deltoids. Shoulders have always been the symbol of strength, and give a bodybuilder a comic book-character look.  
         While it is true that the delts get trained, to a certain degree, when training the chest, that doesn’t mean you can skimp on training them or simply press your heart out in order to earn them. Pressing will stimulate all three heads of the deltoids, but the anterior—or front deltoid—will get the brunt of the work. The best way to add width and dimension to the shoulders is to add a significant amount of beef to the medial and posterior delts.
Delts to be Inspired By
         I must admit that for a long time my shoulders were lagging far behind my back and chest. Though I trained them with the same volume as the aforementioned groups, they seemed to stay far behind. I was sitting on the porcelain throne one day, thumbing through an old issue of FLEX magazine, and I saw a picture of Kevin Levrone.  His Deltoids were some of the most monstrous of all time! I was immediately inspired, and decided that I was going to make it my mission to make my delts swell to match my back and chest.
Kevin Levrone - Jared's inspiration for his insane delt training

         On my way to the gym, I kept thinking of different ways to up the intensity of my training but, by the same token, I wanted to increase volume as well. I knew that muscle damage would cause some fiber remodeling, but I also recognized that cell swelling and hyperemia were closely correlated with hypertrophy. As I sipped on my naNO Vapor—shameless plug for a Muscletech product which, by the way, I find to work very well—I formulated a game plan. I decided that I would perform a set of 10 reps on lateral raises between every set of my first two exercises, which would be two different pressing variations. Next up, I would do the same with seated bent laterals and reverse peck deck flies.
Double-Duty Shock-Therapy Training
To this day, Don Howorth still has some of the best delts of the bodybuilding world

         For starters, I would perform seated smith-machine presses, and chase them with laterals. As soon as my set of presses was done, I went immediately into lateral raises. Each set of presses was done with a six-count negative to cause plenty of mechanical trauma to the deltoids, and the laterals help to pump the muscle. The goal with the presses is to actually train to positive failure. I made sure that I would get all ten reps on all sets of lateral raises, concentrating on contracting the muscles and keeping that pump going. After four sets of smith-machine presses, it was time to move on. (We are at eight sets thus far but we are just getting started.)
         Next up, I opted for seated Arnold Presses and, again, I would perform a set of lateral raises between each set of presses. As soon as I put down the dumbbells I was pressing, I did a set of laterals. Back and forth until four sets of presses were completed, bringing the total number of sets to sixteen.
         From there, I began attacking the rear deltoids. I started the assault with seated bent laterals. I keep my palms facing down on this movement, which seems to keep my trapezius from coming into play too much, and allows for a better contraction of the posterior delts.  Yet again, I tack on a set of laterals to polish off each set of bent laterals, and by now my delts are really starting to ache! I was now twenty-four sets deep and I was in the home stretch!
         Finally, I made my way to the peck deck machine and simply performed a static hold. I contracted my rear delts against the resistance, and kept them in there until the weight literally forced my arms all the way down. The goal here is one minute but if you can go longer, then do so! Immediately grab a set of dumbbells and raise them until they are parallel to the floor, and hold them there. The weights here will seem tiny and insignificant, but I promise you it will feel like a thousand pounds!
         Here’s what all that looks like:
Smith machine Shoulder Press 4x8-12       6/0/1 Tempo
Lateral raises 4x10       1/0/1 Tempo
Seated Arnold Press 4x8-12       2/0/1 Tempo
Lateral Raises 4x10     1/0/1 Tempo
Seated Bent Laterals 4x8-12   1/0/1 Tempo
Reverse peck Deck 1xStatic Contraction
Lateral Raise 1xStatic Contraction

     I know it seems like an absurd amount of volume, but I guarantee this will make those shoulders expand. Give this an honest try once a week for four weeks, and you will notice that you are casting a shadow so scary the Boogie Man will be checking his closet for you at night!


  1. Love routines that "sneak in volume" by adding in sets between your exercises. I've done this with pull-ups....since ive switched from competitive bodybuilding to competitive PLing my delts have lost thier swole....throwing this routine into the mix!

  2. Awesome! Even when shooting for maximum strength and power it can give you a boost to get your pump on!


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