The Problem

You train shoulders religiously each week, but you’re not making progress, you’re constantly in pain, and you’re ready to scrap shoulder work altogether.

The Solution

Most guys run into problems when they try to do too much with their shoulder workouts. They’re performing too many moves, they choose their exercises unwisely, and they don’t pay attention to balancing out the muscle groups that form their shoulders as a whole.

With the setup here, we’re stripping down to the bare essentials. You’ll perform barbell shrugs to develop your traps, then a balanced dumbbell raise attack that will keep your lats, a delicate muscle group, evenly developed and help protect your shoulders when you bench press. Now that your shoulders are warmed up, we’re getting you yoked up by throwing in the military press as your finishing move.


Shrugs work best for most guys as a high-volume, mass-building exercise, so check your ego, strip a plate off each side of the bar, and work these for three or four sets of at least 20 reps, holding the top position for at least a second on each rep.

Rear/Side/Front Delt Raise

Giant set these moves three times. This means performing them one after the other, with no rest, for 10 reps each. Stay on the lighter side with your dumbbell selection, trying to keep only a minimal bend in your elbows.

Rear Delt Raise


Side Delt Raise

Front Delt Raise


Military Press

Stay conservative with the amount of weight you use and focus on using your shoulders—not your legs—to raise the bar. At the top of the lift, the bar should be locked out above your head and slightly behind it. Perform four sets of eight.