Old School Shoulder Smash

Dennis James & Toney Freeman talk shop on building round, capped delts


Throughout their careers, these old-school ballers have shown everyone else how the game is played. Nobody talked about X-frames until Freeman came along and unveiled the archetypical one. The X-Man’s shoulders cap one of the best structures in the game. They called James “The Menace” because he was a threat to anyone else when he stepped onstage. His width, due in part to his thick, massive deltoids, shouldered lesser bodybuilders of the stage.

The two men, who are now both 47 years old, sat down to talk about training shoulders. 

Chris Nicoll
FLEX: Do you guys do a lot of warming up before your shoulder workouts?

Chris Nicoll
Dennis James: I’ve never had any shoulder injuries, so I jump right into the workout and warm up with the movements.

Toney Freeman: I warm up going through all the exercises I learned in physical therapy: movements for my elbow joint, the biceps and triceps tendons, the rotator cuf. This’ll take 10 minutes and then I’m ready to train. By the second set of any exercise, I’m using the weight I’m going to be using.


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