While you can find plenty of ways to attack your delts in each issue of M&F, we’ve dropped five of our fave techniques – and the mini-programs to go with ’em – here for you to try. While we recommend using a complete program as the backbone of your training efforts, it never hurts to try some of these grab-bag programs to see what works best for you.


Benefit: Training with lighter weight in higher-than-normal rep-ranges exhausts your slow-twitch fibers through the first half of the set. In the later stage of the set, your fast-twitch muscle fibers come into play to pick up the slack, leaving you with a pervasive muscle pump and a surge in growth hormone.

How To: Pick a weight that you can handle for around 70 reps. Once you hit initial failure, rest for as many seconds as remaining reps. For example, if you fail at 70 reps, rest 30 seconds then continue. Repeat as many times as necessary to reach 100. For an extra burn, hold the 100th rep for up to 10 seconds.

Sample workout:  Exercise				Sets/Reps  Overhead press			        5/6-8  Wide-grip upright row		        5/12-15  Supported dumbbell rear-delt raise	1/100  Dumbbell lateral raise			1/100  Dumbbell front raise			1/100    

Power Training

Benefit: Training explosively without going to failure can help you maximally recruit your growth-prone fast-twitch muscle fibers.

How To: Perform the positive portion of each rep as explosively as possible using a weight you can handle for about 20 normal-speed reps. Always go controlled on the negative.

Sample workout:  Exercise				Sets/Reps  Power rack push press			5/5  Hang clean				5/5  Kettlebell/dumbbell swing		5/5 (each arm)  

Boxing Stamina

Benefit: Using this boxing-inspired shoulder circuit will result in increased shoulder stamina and detail.

How To: Using no more than 3-5 pounds, perform six, 30-second shoulder exercises in a row to make for a three-minute round. Always begin and finish with a brisk set of straight punches. The four exercises in between should be any combination of straight reps, or static holds of, lateral raises, front raises, rear-delt raises, overhead presses and overhead punches. Keep the pace up to maximize fiber recruitment and calorie expenditure.

Sample workout  Exercise				Sets/Time  Straight punches			1/30 sec  Overhead press			        1/30 sec  Rear-delt raise				1/30 sec  Lateral raise hold (at top)		1/30 sec  Lateral raise				1/30 sec  Straight punches			1/30 sec



Benefit: Performing single-joint exercises before compound exercises fatigues the targeted muscle group so that when you perform the multi-joint exercise, the target muscle is already exhausted. This ensures that the target muscle receives ample overload so your other muscles don’t fatigue first and limit the amount of work you can perform.

How To: Pick a single-joint exercise for the muscle you are targeting and perform several sets in a similar rep range to the multi-joint exercises that will follow.

Sample workout:  Exercise				Sets/Reps  Dumbbell leaning lateral		3/10  Machine overhead press		        4/10  Reverse pec deck			3/10  

Unilateral Work

Benefit: Performing exercises one limb at a time allows you to snuff out muscular imbalances since your working limbs won’t have support from the non-working limbs. When training very heavy, you can also use your off-limb to spot your working limb, allowing you to safely train past failure. Over time, this allows you to become stronger overall.

How To: In this dumbbells-only workout, you’ll perform a giant set – several exercises performed in circuit-fashion – for each shoulder, completing all exercises and reps for your left before moving on to your right. For each set, choose a weight that brings about positive muscle failure at each listed rep range.

Sample workout:  Exercise				Sets*/Reps  Standing one-arm overhead press	        4/6, 8, 10, 12  Seated single-arm lateral raise  Seated incline front raise  Rear-delt raise

-giant set- * Complete all exercises and reps for each side before switching. Rest only as long as it takes to grab the proper weight between exercises. Rest no longer than 2-3 minutes between each arm and each giant set.

NOTE: Be sure to perform both general and specific warm-ups before each set when using any of these workouts.