Old School Shoulder Smash

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


Toney Freeman: I’ve never been a really big presser. I’ve never been able to press more than a couple hundred pounds over my head so I always had to find ways to stimulate growth. You can grow without having to use exorbitant amounts of weight.

FLEX: Are there any exercises for your delts you actively avoid?

Dennis James: Yeah, physically I can’t do behind-the-neck presses. When I was younger and just starting out I used to do them and behind-the-neck lat pulldowns, but right now that’s not even possible. You put a certain amount of size on your shoulders and rear delts and you can’t get behind your head no more. I’d bust a hole in my head with the bar trying to get back there! It’s crazy.

Toney Freeman: I can still do behind-the-neck presses but I’ll only do them maybe once every couple months to mix things up. The thing is, if I’m doing a military press or behind-the-neck press, it takes so many sets for me to stimulate the muscle versus what I do now. Plus, I’m doing four body parts in one workout, so I don’t have time to waste.

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