Old School Shoulder Smash

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


FLEX: Toney, your delt training and your workout split are a little unorthodox. Would you walk us through it?

Chris Nicoll
Toney Freeman: I’ve been doing chest, shoulders, bi’s, and tri’s together. I’ll get to delts after I’ve done 12–16 sets of pecs. For shoulders, all I need are three sets of one compound movement and two or three giant sets of laterals from four different angles. I’ll use dumbbells or kettlebells for a giant set. What I’ll do is 10 reps of front lateral raises with my hands neutral at the top; 10 reps of front raises with my hands a little wider than shoulder width and my palms facing the ground; 10 reps of side laterals; and a final 10 reps of a kind of upright row where I’m moving each dumbbell or kettlebell about six inches, the bottom third of the upright row movement. That’s it for shoulders. 

FLEX: You follow a three-day training cycle. Do you schedule days off?

Toney Freeman: I take a day off when I need to. I used to try to schedule them, but what would happen is on a day I was scheduled to take off I’d feel like working out. Recuperation at this level is an everyday thing. You can’t really gauge how many days it’s going to take you to recover from any particular workout.

Chris Nicoll

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