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How Bodybuilders Train Their Shoulders
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How Bodybuilders Train Their Shoulders

Every bodybuilder dreams to have a complete body, so he can successfully compete in any bodybuilding stage, near top guys like Ronnie Coleman, Jay Cutler or Dexter Jackson. Today we are going to talk about a special muscle group, which is quite hard to train effectively.

But before that, tell me one thing? What gives that round shape aspect at the upper form of the body? The biceps? The Triceps? No, not at all. The real answer is "Deltoids". They are a small muscle group, very hard to train though, mainly for a single reason: it's really hard to isolate them, therefore most of the athletes don’t just train their shoulders, but they also train their traps, chest and triceps in the same time.

What’s the key for a successful shoulder workout? Well, we have to say that this is not likely to work for all people, but however, the following method has some big odds of working for intermediate athletes, who know how to squeeze and perform most of the deltoid exercises.

So, because shoulder are very hard to isolate, the first exercise for them should always be an isolation movement, such as lateral raises with dumbbells or at a special delts machine. 4-5 sets of 10-15 reps each will not only warm up the deltoids, but will also increase the temperature of the body, sign that the body is prepared for dealing with some big weights.

Next, athletes will have to do some overhead presses, preferably from standing(and not seating), so they can train also the stabilizing muscles and the abs. However, it’s important to understand that the deltoids will already be kind of tired, therefore people should not use in any circumstances a bigger weight than their 8RM weight(the maximum weight people can perform 8 reps on their own, without requesting any help from their partners). This will not only prevent them from suffering injuries(as after all, the shoulder press is a really dangerous exercise), but it will also add serious muscle mass on their delts.

Why 8 reps and not more? Because this number of reps is high enough in order to get in a hypertrophy condition, but it is also a sufficient number of reps to stimulate the muscle strength, without going into the cardio/endurance zone.

That said, every bodybuilder should concentrate their shoulder workouts only on the above 2 exercises: they are the most efficient ones, and in terms of muscular development, they are the only mandatory ones. As for the other deltoid parts, they should be trained only prior to a competition, in order to get some more details. But otherwise, it's not worth it.


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