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Shoulder day is a workout few lifters look forward to. In fact, most people hitting the gym simply perform a few sets of lateral raises after their chest and triceps workout is complete. This same approach to training is the reason so few lifters actually have an impressive pair of shoulders.
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Well, that changes today.
It’s time you start paying your shoulders the respect they deserve and give them a proper challenge.
Today, we’ve got an intense shoulder pump workout courtesy of Primeval Labs athlete Parker Physique. Included in this workout is everything you need to start your journey to building a set of broad, powerful shoulders.
Here’s the full workout:
The lateral raise is one of the best exercises for building bigger, broader shoulders. Unfortunately, while the exercise appears rather simple, most lifters make the mistake of not performing it properly.
By that, we mean they start and lead the movement with their hands or wrists rather than their elbows. When performing lateral raises in this manner, less tension is placed on the side deltoid (the target muscle of lateral raises) and shifted to other supporting muscles.
To ensure that the side delts are performing the majority of the work, focus on keeping your hands and elbows directly in line with each other as you raise the dumbbell (or cable handle) up.
Lifters are often told that using a full range of motion is the only way to properly perform an exercise. While this is true for the vast majority of lifts, in certain instances, performing an exercise through a complete range of motion can actually reduce the tension on the muscles.
Case in point, overhead shoulder presses.
It’s quite common when performing overhead shoulder presses, be it with dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells, or machines, to allow the elbows to drop below shoulder height. When you do this, tension is shifted away from the deltoids and onto the triceps.
Since our goal here is to build muscle and get a crazy ass pump in the shoulders, you want to maximize tension on the delts and not the triceps or other supporting muscles involved in the overhead press.
In order to do this, you want to stop the eccentric portion of the shoulder press when the upper arms are parallel to the floor, pause, and then press up. While this may result in you using a smaller range of motion than you are used to, it will significantly increase the amount of tension placed on the delts, leading to bigger, stronger shoulders.
The shoulders are a relatively small muscle group, and the most common exercises for shoulders (lateral raises, front raises, etc) typically don’t place much tension on the deltoids when in the fully lengthened position.
The reason this is an issue is that it limits the overall amount of tension the deltoids receive as they aren’t exposed to as much eccentric muscle damage that other muscles, such as the pecs, or quads, can be exposed to.
This is where it becomes important to choose exercise variations that allow for greater tension to be placed on the deltoids when in the fully stretched position. Two prime examples of this are side leaning cable lateral raises and face-away cable front raises.
In the video above, you saw how Parker was facing away from the cable machine when performing the front raise. Doing so allowed his arm to be pulled behind his body, allowing for maximum stretch of the anterior deltoid. This enables him to work the muscle more thoroughly and expose the deltoids to more total stress, which is ideal for building muscle and increasing the pumps.
While we’re on the subject of eccentrics, it’s imperative that you control the lowering (eccentric) portion of each lift, especially with shoulders. So often lifters raise the weight and allow gravity to do all of the work with lowering the weight. However, when doing this, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to work the muscle fully.
As you perform each rep, “resist” the weight down, fight gravity, and do not let it just drop back to the starting point. You’ll induce more tension on the muscle, perform more total work, and get bigger, better gains from your shoulder training.
Parker Physique loves to chase the pump with shoulder training. To help him increase blood flow, muscle fullness, and pumps, he uses Vasogorge Black.
Vasogorge Black is a stimulant-free pump pre workout supplement fueled by a trio of muscle swelling agents, featuring GlycerPump and L-Norvaline. The combination of these three cutting edge ingredients boosts nitric oxide production, increases vasodilation, enhances nutrient delivery, and induces significant cellular swelling.
The end result is bigger, fuller-looking muscles, greater vascularity, and massive muscle pumps.
Parker chooses to use Vasogorge Black on its own, but it can easily be stacked with any of Primeval Labs stimulant-inclusive pre workouts such as Ape Sh*t or Mega Pre Black for added energy, intensity, and focus.