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Delts - What works best for you?

UsmcOldSchoolMuscle

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What "style" of training do you prefer. How much weight, volume and sets do your perform. Which movements work best for you and why? Does it target or exhaust the specific muscle best or are your preferred movements just what's most comfortable perhaps post injury etc?

There's been some good posts on a thread qbkilla created and I was hoping we could expand further in regards to training the delts.

First to be clear I do not follow any one specific form of training. I try different things and I implement and adjust to what suites me best. This is what I've found works best to add size and dimension to my delts:


*Posterior Delts:
High rep range for rear delts: 22 to 30 or more reps for bent over dumbbell Flys. I bend over and place my chest on an incline bench so that I can't sway at all as I perform the strictest form possible.
I start my routine this way for 3 working sets.
(I get that this might seem nonsensical but this is what's worked for me)

*Medial Delts: lateral raises with medium average rep range of 16 reps.
[I prefer and prioritize Y raises over side laterals]

Side Delts: 2 variations - 4 sets each exercise.


First exercise I will aim for 18 to 20 reps each set
Second exercise I will aim for 15-16 reps

Smith Machine Overhead Presses alternated with upright rows on occasion for less chance of shoulder pain - impingement etc. These are the only "heavy" movements I perform. 3 sets aiming for 12 reps on the first set. (1st set maybe 12 reps then 10 and 8 reps for the final set)

O.H Presses never did much for my delts, certainly not giving them that capped look so these aren't really necessary but I do enjoy performing them. I do not consider O.H presses to be all over delt movement. For me these target medial delts and do a subpar job of incorporating the anterior deltiod muscle. The late great John Meadows speaks to this in some of his videos.

*Anterior Delts:
I will perform 1 excercise for front delt.
Front raises 3 - 4 sets 15 reps each

Then back to rear delts for final 2 exercises.
Cable one armed rear fly: these are performed quite slowly with strict form to ensure the anterior delt is doing the work.
3-4 sets 15 reps each

Rear Flys from the Pec-Deck pushing everything left in the tank.
2 - 3 sets shooting for 30 reps each

20210902_014651.jpg
20210902_014509.jpg


Far from the biggest guy on this forum but the routine I outlined finally allowed me to develop better dimension to my delts for which really got little to nothing from Dorian Yates like H.I.T nor D.C style training.
When it comes to training delts if there's one person that I've gotten the most from, that person would be Eugene Teo.


 

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alfresco

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Earliest memory. Behind the neck barbell presses. 3 sets, 10 reps.

Later. Lateral raises / wide grip upright row / presses behind neck. Zero rest between exercises. (I used the same weight on rows and presses, just cleaned the bar.) Best routine ever. 2 cycles, 20 reps.

Later yet. Seated db presses. Stopped doing them when I could no longer clean the weight into position. 3 sets, 10 reps.

Still later. Db laterals, up and down the rack. 2 cycles, 20 reps.

Now. Machine laterals as described in an earlier post. Face down on adjustable bench set at somewhere between 45 deg. and 30 deg. Both exercises, 2 sets, 20 reps. Have not found a way to cheat try as I may 😉

Zero shoulder problems. Use Dante’s pole stretch every workout which I give much credit to.

No weights listed. They are irrelevant to anybody but myself but suffice to say I broke no world records.
 

qbkilla

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Imo delts are key, If you have a big torso big chest wide back and the delts aren't proportional, hell I'd almost want to stop work them to look better, it's a very strange look.

My delts suck but aren't terribly disproportionate because I'm not a Big guy to begin with.

Trying to bring them up. Bro split, rest pause all parts to keep volume low so I can accommodate more shoulder volume during the week.

Delt day I go heavy rest pause focus on progress.
Side delt machine rest pause set
Side cable raise, hard to progress on so this is a drop set
Reverse pec dec rest paused set
Rear delt db fly rest paused set
Oh machine press rest pause set

Then in addition to my heavy low volume delt day, I add in a dropset for rear and side each at the end of legs and chest Day

So delt day is heavy, then some lighter drop set (15-20 on first part before dropping) on 2 other days of the week, so hit em 3x

Chest + light delts
Back
Legs + light delts
Off
Arms
Delts (heavy)
Off

If I'm recovering I'll probably add partials on the heavy day, or even add in some light delt work at the end of back and arms day.
 

UsmcOldSchoolMuscle

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Earliest memory. Behind the neck barbell presses. 3 sets, 10 reps.

Later. Lateral raises / wide grip upright row / presses behind neck. Zero rest between exercises. (I used the same weight on rows and presses, just cleaned the bar.) Best routine ever. 2 cycles, 20 reps.

Later yet. Seated db presses. Stopped doing them when I could no longer clean the weight into position. 3 sets, 10 reps.

Still later. Db laterals, up and down the rack. 2 cycles, 20 reps.

Now. Machine laterals as described in an earlier post. Face down on adjustable bench set at somewhere between 45 deg. and 30 deg. Both exercises, 2 sets, 20 reps. Have not found a way to cheat try as I may 😉

Zero shoulder problems. Use Dante’s pole stretch every workout which I give much credit to.

No weights listed. They are irrelevant to anybody but myself but suffice to say I broke no world records.
I too am a big proponent of the pole stretches. I perform them before every workout in which I do pressing movements.
 

specter

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my delt was/is prob the worst bodypart for me, but they have gotten better over the last couple years, i dropped the heavy weight pressing and focused more on side/rear latterals with light weight and high reps 20-30.
 

qbkilla

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I see guys doing high reps, when you do your dropsets, what is usually the first part what number of reps do you aim for?

Just curious if it's 20, or 20 total for all 3 drops. I've been trying to start my dropsets with a weight I can get 15, end up dropping weight twice and hitting 30 total reps then.

Also I see y raises are so popular on YouTube cable but not dumbbell. Interesting because I never saw people do them 10 years ago was a physical therapy exercise not a mass builder. Do people think this is just an ig fad or is an old physical therapy stabilization movement actually a great mass builder?
 

heavyhitter

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I see guys doing high reps, when you do your dropsets, what is usually the first part what number of reps do you aim for?

Just curious if it's 20, or 20 total for all 3 drops. I've been trying to start my dropsets with a weight I can get 15, end up dropping weight twice and hitting 30 total reps then.

Also I see y raises are so popular on YouTube cable but not dumbbell. Interesting because I never saw people do them 10 years ago was a physical therapy exercise not a mass builder. Do people think this is just an ig fad or is an old physical therapy stabilization movement actually a great mass builder?
I prefer to do y raises leaning face down on an incline bench with dumbells. And y raises of any kind are a great medial delt builder
 

buck

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I found DB's for overhead press to be effective. But i see most bringing their elbows down to shoulder level then pressing back up. And the traps and tri's are doing most of the work. I would only press up till my elbows were a little over shoulder height. Side laterals with cables or a decently built machine with higher reps. Rear delts with bent over DB's or on a machine with a controlled moderate speed.
 

qbkilla

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I prefer to do y raises leaning face down on an incline bench with dumbells. And y raises of any kind are a great medial delt builder
Why do you prefer db vs cable? I always thought the science guys hate DB for side delts and love cables because the resistance is only at the top with db. Plan to try the incline version because my gym doesn't have an apparatus to do the cables.

I remember a year ago alot of people were doing the full ROM lu raises or butterfly laterals but seems like the hype has died down on them
 

heavyhitter

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Why do you prefer db vs cable? I always thought the science guys hate DB for side delts and love cables because the resistance is only at the top with db. Plan to try the incline version because my gym doesn't have an apparatus to do the cables.

I remember a year ago alot of people were doing the full ROM lu raises or butterfly laterals but seems like the hype has died down on them
Just try them both, Dumbell feels better, and you can use more weight. I use both though
 

Baphomet36

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My style of training is more lower volume high intensity.
I only count failure sets

My favorite movement is a db lateral raise that’s heavy and explosive but controlled. I use momentum to get them up.

Currently doing these 3 sets 2x per week.
First set is 6-9 reps then I reduce the weight for the other 2 sets.
That’s it.
 

marssel

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What "style" of training do you prefer. How much weight, volume and sets do your perform. Which movements work best for you and why? Does it target or exhaust the specific muscle best or are your preferred movements just what's most comfortable perhaps post injury etc?

There's been some good posts on a thread qbkilla created and I was hoping we could expand further in regards to training the delts.

First to be clear I do not follow any one specific form of training. I try different things and I implement and adjust to what suites me best. This is what I've found works best to add size and dimension to my delts:


*Posterior Delts:
High rep range for rear delts: 22 to 30 or more reps for bent over dumbbell Flys. I bend over and place my chest on an incline bench so that I can't sway at all as I perform the strictest form possible.
I start my routine this way for 3 working sets.
(I get that this might seem nonsensical but this is what's worked for me)

*Medial Delts: lateral raises with medium average rep range of 16 reps.
[I prefer and prioritize Y raises over side laterals]

Side Delts: 2 variations - 4 sets each exercise.


First exercise I will aim for 18 to 20 reps each set
Second exercise I will aim for 15-16 reps

Smith Machine Overhead Presses alternated with upright rows on occasion for less chance of shoulder pain - impingement etc. These are the only "heavy" movements I perform. 3 sets aiming for 12 reps on the first set. (1st set maybe 12 reps then 10 and 8 reps for the final set)

O.H Presses never did much for my delts, certainly not giving them that capped look so these aren't really necessary but I do enjoy performing them. I do not consider O.H presses to be all over delt movement. For me these target medial delts and do a subpar job of incorporating the anterior deltiod muscle. The late great John Meadows speaks to this in some of his videos.

*Anterior Delts:
I will perform 1 excercise for front delt.
Front raises 3 - 4 sets 15 reps each

Then back to rear delts for final 2 exercises.
Cable one armed rear fly: these are performed quite slowly with strict form to ensure the anterior delt is doing the work.
3-4 sets 15 reps each

Rear Flys from the Pec-Deck pushing everything left in the tank.
2 - 3 sets shooting for 30 reps each

View attachment 163595
View attachment 163596


Far from the biggest guy on this forum but the routine I outlined finally allowed me to develop better dimension to my delts for which really got little to nothing from Dorian Yates like H.I.T nor D.C style training.
When it comes to training delts if there's one person that I've gotten the most from, that person would be Eugene Teo.


Imo Devil you need to do volume with drops and giants, followed by a rest day. With a emphasis on front delts too which most of us don’t have to isolate bc we get big enough from pressing movements. You have a round physique that looks good but you’re a little narrow. How long you been out? I didn’t truly grow until I stopped doin my 3-5 mile runs, it’s hard to quit but once I did I drew and fast.
 

Wonton

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Criticism and Pointers are very welcomed.
I like your method..anything that is different high chance of stimulation..all based on execution


First shoulder press - 75% to .80% movement - I use smith machine - tier up weight - range between 10 - 12 first two sets
then increase weight every set - till you can barely get 6 for 2 sets

NOW - heavy weights - if you look at 60 and grab a 50...put it back and try the 60 - min reps 8 to 9
Warm up light weights both exercises - safety first
how about Heavy weights - partial side laterals - followed immediately with low weight high reps
and
partial bent over lateral - Heavy Weight - followed once again low weight high reps

Even when you fail the partial as long as you can move it 4 inches...your good to go..keep the muscle FIRING

Check JOHN MEADOWS Shoulder workouts for this approach partials - high reps is an add on for extra stimulation

After that Reverse pec deck - reps you fail every time around 15...every time - change the weight - DO PARTIALS as well after you fail at 15 reps
Don't over strain

Then do w.e you want another exercise or two - depends what you want to work on

sets I normally hit like 4 or 5 depends if I think they counted - meaning if I felt it worked the muscle hard enough
 

Muay Thai

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based on some of the mega sets I have observed in this thread I did really light 20lbs x10 reps 8-10 sets today instead of heavier up to 40-50lbs dropsets. instead of reverse peck deck, what about using the cable machine and "tricep" rope and doing eye level "rows or pulls" for rear delts? I am not sure what these are called or how to better explain.
 

Wonton

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based on some of the mega sets I have observed in this thread I did really light 20lbs x10 reps 8-10 sets today instead of heavier up to 40-50lbs dropsets. instead of reverse peck deck, what about using the cable machine and "tricep" rope and doing eye level "rows or pulls" for rear delts? I am not sure what these are called or how to better explain.
Why not do both - rope pulls - face pulls w.e and reverse pec dec -- rear delts people normally have issues - have to squeeze at the end of the pec and end of the face pulls - Squeeze baby

It all works as long as its stimulation - once its not...switch out
 

Muay Thai

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Why not do both - rope pulls - face pulls w.e and reverse pec dec -- rear delts people normally have issues - have to squeeze at the end of the pec and end of the face pulls - Squeeze baby

It all works as long as its stimulation - once its not...switch out
in the same day or throughout the week? good looking out bro
 

Wonton

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Same day - for me though shoulders and arms go together so I would only do bent over raises and reverse Pec dec
But if I was only doing shoulders and wanted to blow out shoulders I'd do all 3


You have bent over raises 4 to 5 sets

Reverse Pec dec 4 to 5 sets

Face pulls you can do 3 sets and then 2 burner sets right after your 3rd set
10 to 15 second rest for buners

Or

4 ref sets BUT I SUSPECT 3 sets with 2 burner ...will def do the trick and promote growth more so

But mix it up

This is only rear delts ...for anyone skimming the post
 

st114

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I don't post here very often, but have been a longtime lurker for at least 10 years. I think my last post here was about how I felt like I was going to tear my pec, and as everyone can see from the pictures I'm about to post below, it happened haha

I'm not a monster, or really anything impressive from a bodybuilding standpoint, I just love the gym. With that said, I hope this helps someone. Delts were one of my weaker body parts, and they were a bodypart I was really striving for. So I did what I've always done up to that point in the gym, heavy progressive overload on compound movements. I worked up to 295 for reps on seated military, and was repping the 120's on seated dumbbell press. I was using the 60's on laterals with decent form. None of this really worked in bringing up my shoulders, even if I kept making strength gains.

This last year, I have switched from my bread and butter powerbuilding type training (think metroflex gym powerbuilding basics style, heavy compounds, explosive, etc) to more volume type bodybuilding training. Now I follow Mike Van Wyck on youtube and follow all of his cues, and piece together similar workouts to what he puts his clients through.

The pics I'm about to post are taken maybe 10 months apart. My delts have really improved I think.

While before a workout would look like:

Heavy seated OHP: Top set of 5-8, back off set of 8-12
Dumbbell OHP: Top set, back off, same loading
Heavy upright rows: 3 sets of 8 heavy
Heavy laterals: working up to 60lb dumbbells
Heavy front raises: working up to 80s
Rear delt pec dec machine: full stack to failure


Now I do instinctual volume training and lots of giant sets

Seated hammer press, supersetted with viking press: high reps, controlled x4

Seated dumbbell laterals, into standing dumbbell laterals, into seated arnolds, all slow and controlled x5

front raises, supersetted with upright rows, supersetted with bent over laterals

Rear delt giant set of various dumbbell/cable exercises, whatever is open

I don't really count reps or sets anymore, I just try to push as much blood in the delts as possible. Every couple weeks I'll start off with a heavy movement up to a top set just to maintain strength. But basically, watch any of Mike Van Wyck's videos and that's what improved my delts. No other changes in diet, supplements, just training change

Like I said, I'm no impressive bodybuilder compared to the freaks here, but I hope this might help someone, or at least gets some discussion going. I've gotten so much help from this board over the years
 

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