Savage Pump Weekly -- Shoulders

So often when it comes to weight lifting, we’re quick to run our mouths about how much we can bench, deadlift, or squat. While it’s true that these three moves are some of the best compound movements for building muscle and strength, there’s one other big barbell lift that’s left out -- the overhead press.

 

The standing overhead press may be the single toughest movement to get strong in and progress with. Just think about it, to really move up in weight requires a core of steel and the mental, physical, and testicular fortitude to push heavy ass weight directly over your head...repeatedly.

 

Many guys will default to the seated military press, smith machine press, or one of the numerous dumbbell variations of overhead pressing to “check the box” on their shoulder workouts, but that’s not the way we do things here at Primeval Labs.

 

We’re here to get you to be truly savage in everything you do in life, including your training. That means getting back to basics and doing strict overhead barbell presses. Simply put, quite compares to seeing a person lift 200+ pounds over their head without jerking, flailing, and using all kinds of body english to push the weight overhead.

 

For this week’s savage pump weekly, we’re all about the shoulders, and it all begins with a solid helping of strict overhead press.

 

Savage Training Techniques

 

1.5 Reps

 

This technique is incredibly useful for increasing stress on the muscle and really helps connect the mind and muscle. The deltoids are an incredibly small muscle group and typically when doing any kind of lateral or rear delt raise, the time under tension is incredibly small. To maximize stress on the muscle, and provide a better workout for the delts, use 1.5 reps.

 

Here you’ll raise the weight, lower it halfway, then raise it all the way back up, and then lower under control to the starting point of the lift.

 

The burn you’ll feel in the muscle will be incredible, and it’ll also generate one of the best pumps you’ve ever felt before.

 

Drop Sets

 

After completing 10 reps for an exercise drop the weight to 75% of the working weight, and then bang out another 10 reps. After completing your second set of 10, you’ll then drop the weight again to approximately 50% of your starting weight and knock out a final set of 10 reps.

 

For example:

 

  • Working Set: 20 pound dumbbells

  • Drop Set #1: 15 pound dumbbells

  • Drop Set #2: 100 pound dumbbells

  • REST

 

Rest-Pause Forced Set

 

We’ve discussed this advanced training technique before in our recent Biceps Edition of Savage Pump Weekly, so go there if you want the full explanation. The gist of rest-paush forced sets is that you perform 5 “mini-sets” of 5 reps with 10 second micro-breaks in between each set of 5 until you accomplish 25 reps.

 

This is incredibly useful for increasing volume and load on a muscle to get a larger training effect, which ultimately yields bigger, better gains.

 

Partial Reps

 

After completing all reps of an exercise using a full range of motion, continue performing partial reps until failure.

 

Savage Pump Pointers

 

Similar to our Savage Pump Weekly: Biceps Edition we recently published, we’ve got a quartet of shoulder smashing routines to help you grow those boulder shoulders. Each week your delts will be assaulted by a mix of heavy weights, high volume, and undulating rest periods. As always, use good form, don’t “wing” the weight up and let gravity take it down. On top of that, here are some other pointers to keep in mind, specifically related to shoulder training:

 

Use Unconventional Exercises

 

The shoulder is the most complex joint in the body, and every has accumulated their own kinks, tweaks, and twinges along the way. For some, strict overhead pressing may irritate the shoulder, that’s when exercises like the landmine press or dumbbell overhead press may be more appropriate.

 

If you are dealing with a previous shoulder or low back injury, that doesn’t mean you have to completely lay off of training your shoulders. You just need to find some other means of overloading the deltoid that doesn’t irritate the area.

 

Train Shirtless

 

This is going to sound weird, especially if you’re a girl, but training shirtless enables you to watch the muscles contract. This also allows you to see if you’re actually using the proper muscles and not relying on auxiliary muscles of the chest and back to kick in and lift the weight.

 

Doing this, you’ll be amazed at how quickly you can establish a strong mind muscle connection and really focus on blasting the target muscle. And if you really don’t want to train shirtless, especially if you are a female and/or in a public gym, where a tank top that shows off your shoulders. If you don’t have boulder shoulders, don’t worry about it. Get over your insecurities.

 

If you’re serious about building your shoulders, ditch the mental games you play with yourself and get out of your comfort zone. By being able to see the muscle you’re trying to work in the mirror, you’ll have a significantly better idea of how effectively you’re training it.

 

Go Heavy, But Not At the Expense of Good Form

 

When it comes to training shoulders, it’s easy to think that because they are a small muscle group, they need to be trained differently than big movers like the chest, back, or legs. Nothing could be further from the truth.

 

Muscles respond to progressive overload, and the easiest way to accomplish that is by adding weight to the bar. Where most people go wrong, aside from not going heavy enough, is going too heavy.

 

Yes, you can, and should, still do lateral raises and rear delt work in the lower rep ranges (6-12 reps). Find a weight you can move with good form for all reps, and when you can accomplish more than the goal, increase the weight.

 

If you want a massive muscle pump, then keep doing high reps, but if you really want to build muscle and strength, go low.

 

Don’t Forget the Back Side

 

So often when training shoulders, we’re so focused on overhead presses, lateral raises, and front raises, but we forget about the third head of the shoulder -- the rear delt. While it’s a small muscle, it’s an incredibly important muscle.

 

Failure to train the rear delt with the same tenacity you attack the front portion of your shoulder can lead to severe muscle imbalances, a hunched over posture, and shoulder impingement down the road. And don’t think a couple sets of reverse pec dec are going to cut it. We’re going to hit the rear delts hard, probably harder than you’ve ever worked them before, but it’ll be worth it, when you’re sporting the v-taper and filling out a t-shirt better than you ever have before.

 

Alright, enough foreplay, it’s time to get to the workout!

 

Savage Pump Weekly Workout -- Shoulders

 

Week 1

Sets

Reps

Rest

Standing Overhead Press

4

6-8

90 sec

Arnold Press

3

10-12

60 sec

Dumbbell Side Lateral Raise (1.5 reps)

3

10

60 sec

Seated Bent Over Rear Delt Raise (1.5 reps)

3

12

60 sec

Face Pulls

3

10/10/10

60 sec



Week 2

Sets

Reps

Rest

Standing Overhead Press

5

6-8

90 sec

High Incline Dumbbell Overhead Press

4

8-10

60 sec

Dumbbell High Pull

3

10

60 sec

Elbow Out 1 Arm Dumbbell Row*

2

25

60 sec

Face Pulls

3

10/10/10

50 sec

*Note: Use rest-pause force set

 

Week 3

Sets

Reps

Rest

Standing Overhead Press

5

6-8

75 sec

Landmine Press

4

8-10

60 sec

Landmine Lateral Raise

3

10

40 sec

Face Pulls

3

10/10/10

40 sec

Band Pull Aparts*

1

100

0 sec

*Note: Using a moderate strength band, perform 100 reps, taking rests when needed.



Week 4

Sets

Reps

Rest

Standing Overhead Press

5

6-8

60 sec

Kneeling Landmine Press

4

8-10

60 sec

Leaning Cable Lateral Raise

3

10/10/10

30 sec

Face Pulls

3

10/10/10

30 sec

Wide Grip Seated Cable Row

1

50

0 sec

 

*Note: Rather than pull directly back, keeping your elbows drawn in toward the body, all the elbows to drift up and out so as to better target the rear delts.

 

Get a Savage Pump with the Engorged Ape Stack!

 

Ready to really build those boulder shoulders and unleash your inner savage on the weights?

 

We’ve got you covered with the Engorged Ape Stack!

 

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To really take your pumps on shoulder day to the next level, the Engorged Ape Stack also includes Vasogorge. This stimulant free nitric oxide booster pre workout further enhances the pumps initiated by Ape Sh*t creating a monumental muscle swelling that’s sure to pump up your shoulders into twin cannonballs.