Shoulder Saturation

William Bonac's 12-week delt program.

Shoulder Saturation
Ian Spanier

Since his first open-class Mr. Olympia appearance as part of Team Y3T in 2014, William Bonac has grown to become one of the most feared athletes onstage in bodybuilding. After his dominating display in 2016 at the Mr. Olympia (where he took fth), we came up with a game plan to improve for 2017.

One of the key areas was adding more width to Bonac’s already freaky deltoids in order to emphasize that taper from the front and back. We also wanted to bring more width to his upper back and posterior deltoid tie-in. 

Varied Angles

With Bonac, his Y3T program will always introduce new angles into his workout to not only add width and fullness to the area but also emphasize the tie-in across his posterior deltoids into his upper back. This is an area where we’ve really focused on this year, as it will add more maturity and width to Bonac’s physique. For instance, one Y3T workout might consist of using conventional lateral raises superset with partial lateral raises. The next workout might focus on lying cable incline lateral raises. The point is, to maximize shoulder development there must be a varied use of angles to target the same muscle using the same exercise. Another important thing to consider in relation to angles is range of motion. I will often shorten the range of motion Bonac is doing in order to keep the target area under tension. 

Rep-Tempo Manipulation

As with all Y3T workouts, one of the key principles I focus on is prescribing very specific rep tempos. We’ve used a cross-section of more explosive-based tempos to target the fast-twitch fibers in certain workouts and slowed things down significantly in other workouts to hit slow-twitch fibers. Some workouts there will be a range of rep tempos used in order to make a specific area of the deltoids work harder. For instance, the posterior deltoid is harder to isolate in many instances, therefore the rep tempo is designed to make this more achievable. 

Rotating Rep Ranges

Usually a Y3T split will work over three weeks focusing on lower reps in Week 1, moderate reps in Week 2, and higher reps in Week 3. However, the deltoids have more slow-twitch bers than many other muscle groups. As a result, to get as much fullness into Bonac’s deltoids as possible—leading to extra width— we’ve focused on more Week 2 and Week 3 Y3T workouts. We’re still doing Week 1 shoulder workouts, but we’re investing more of his training time on shoulders in the Week 2 and Week 3 ranges.

Training Frequency

Bonac will have additional posterior-deltoid work to include within back training. This means that this specific area of his deltoids is being stimulated more frequently, thus leading to quicker improvements within the area.

Machines, Cables, and Free Weights

Cables are a phenomenal training tool for achieving added time under tension, making them a perfect choice for Week 2 and Week 3 Y3T workouts. This lends itself perfectly toward maximizing sarcoplasmic hypertrophy. However, during a Week 1 in which we want to be more explosive, using free weights and machines is often favorable. 


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