Maximize your strength training routine by cutting out these time wasters.Read article
One of the first things you notice about IFBB Pro League athlete Eren Legend is the phrase tattooed on his chest: “Lost in the world.” For someone who has firmly established his credentials as a competitive athlete and celebrity trainer, he would seem the last person you’d expect to feel unmoored and alienated.
“I got that tattoo when I was about 22, and at that time I felt lost, obviously,” says Legend, 28. “My journey hasn’t been as challenging as other people’s, not that I haven’t had to overcome difficulties. But I had yet to find my purpose.”
Soon afterward, Legend found his purpose when he entered a fitness program. He quickly advanced and almost immediately began appearing in physique contests. Now he’s an IFBB Pro League competitor in the men’s physique division and one of the most sought after personal trainers in the Toronto area.
This “awakening,” as he calls it, has led him to become a creative and effective authority on all things fitness—somebody who can take a weak spot and transform it into a strength. His shoulder training is one such example.
“The funny thing is that I’ve always had really strong shoulders, but they just wouldn’t grow,” he says. “I was more recognized for my chest and abs. I needed to approach delts in an innovative way in order to improve them.”
You can see the benefits of his labors in the workout that follows. Legend likes to tweak tried-and-true movements in ways that stress and stimulate the muscle to strengthen and grow in novel ways.
His goal is rounded, full delts. For men’s physique competitors, the dramatic shoulder-to-waist ratio is crucial in performing well in the category. Over his career, Legend has always put a premium on symmetry and balance, while never sacrificing functional strength and agility. It’s the type of program most guys prefer these days—comprehensive and brutally effective.
Legend’s cerebral take on muscle building has made him an in-demand trainer. In fact, he’s had to take time out from competing this year to train a few celebrities in town for a production (the details of which he can’t divulge). But he plans to come back hard next year, beginning with the Arnold Sports Festival.
“I want to make the Arnold the first of three competitions I do next year,” Legend says. “I plan on literally eating as much as I can to put on size in the next few months. I’ll be ready.”
Lost no more, Legend knows exactly the path he wants his career to take. With a name that’s both a promise and a source of intense pressure, this rising star is well on his way to establishing his place at the top of his profession, to become a legend in more than name. “Don’t forget where you came from,” he says. “But know where you’re going.”
IFBB Pro League star and in-demand trainer Eren Legend created the following list of unique movements to help you build your best delts ever. These exercises utilize numerous angles for balance and symmetry—they are meant to complement basic moves that you may rely on for your program. As for when to use them, you can find a place for many of these movements in your routine or follow the Legend-approved splits on the following pages.
You can mix and match a variety of these exercises, but we recommend that you start with an upright-row movement to warm up the shoulder girdle. Choose from one of the two series below.