Your Workouts Reviewed: Getting Shredded Shoulders

Shoulder workout_teaser

Everyone’s got a workout of their own—their “go-to” routine. But is your routine good enough? We asked our Men’s Fitness Facebook friends if they had a killer routine to share and subject to the scrutiny of our readers. The big catch? Our team of training experts also review it, critique it and tweak it if necessary.

Workout Submission

Stuart Harrowing: Men’s Fitness Facebook Friend

“Here’s my workout looking at building wide, ripped shoulders.”

* Clean and Press/weight plate shrugs superset (SS) – 15reps/15reps – 4 sets
* Cable Upright Row/Bent over laterral raise SS – 15reps/15reps – 4 sets

My Shoulder Shredder to finish : Four exercises back to back.
Start with a weight about 50% of your one rep max, its going to hurt.
* Lateral Raise
* Front Raise * Reverse “swim” (hold dumbells at chest height, elbows inline and draw large flat circles anti-clockwise)
* Breast stroke (same motion as above but in reverse in a breast stroke motion)
>> Complete 5 reps of each x 4.

Expert Assessment

Dan Trink C.S.C.S., CPT is the Director of Personal Training Operations at Peak Performance NYC. Check out Trink’s website: Follow Trink on Twitter: @TrinkFitness.

Pros: “First off, I like your goal. Having wide, ripped shoulders always look impressive and will give you the appearance of a smaller waist. It’s also hard to get wide and ripped without getting somewhat strong—and strong shoulders are a key component to success in the majority of upper body movements. The addition of an Olympic Lifting variation (the clean and press) is a great and overlooked way to build shoulders and traps. And, since your shoulder muscles are mixed fiber-type (they have both fast twitch and slow twitch fibers) having higher and lower rep sets in your program will work really well here.”

Cons: “Though I love that you start with the clean and press, I am opposed to super-setting such a neurologically demanding and technical lift with an isolation move such as weight plate shrugs. Your rep and set schemes are completely backwards as I would go with more sets, less reps for the power and strength movements (like the clean and press) and keep the higher reps for the ‘finisher’ at the end. And be careful with the cable upright row. This move works for some people but can place a lot of stress on the shoulder joint in others.”

Comments: “I would keep the clean and press in the beginning, do those on their own (no super-set) and keep it to a more appropriate rep range such as 5 sets of 3 reps. Then I would move on to a superset of seated dumbbell shoulder press and bent-over lateral raises for 4 sets of 8-10 reps. Finish up with a higher-rep version of a ‘shoulder shredder’ (my favorite: pick up a one set of dumbbells to use for the entire circuit. Complete 15 reps of dumbbell lateral raises. Go straight into 15 reps of front raises and finish by going into 15 reps of overhead dumbbell press. Rest for 60 seconds and repeat for a total of 3 sets) and your shoulders will be strong, wide, ripped and ready. “


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