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Hard and Heavy


How To Build Softball Size Shoulders

Beginner set #1 

Standing Barbell Press

This is a movement where you can really use some weight. That is, you should do all your exercises in proper form, but in some, such as this one, you should also use as much weight as you can while keeping good form. In other movements the weight is not so important.

Start holding the bar at your shoulders, with a grip a bit wider than the shoulders. If you wish, you can try it with an extra-wide grip... this works the deltoid equally well, and where you hold the bar is just a matter of personal preference. I alternate between the two, for a little variety.

The most important point to remember in doing this exercise is to keep the elbows as far back as possible while you're pressing the weight. If the elbows stray forward, the stress of the movement is transferred to the triceps. Also, don't cheat with your legs . . keep the knees locked throughout the exercise.

Sets and Reps
Beginners do at least 3 sets of 8 reps.
Intermediates do 4 to 5 sets of 8 reps.

Upright Rowing

Try not to get weight happy in this exercise, for your form is the most important factor. Wait until you have the movement down pat before you start to add more plates.
If you are doing the exercise correctly, you will notice the front and side deltoid heads, and the trapezius starting to grow. An important point to remember for correct growth is to try not to lift the shoulders while you are doing the movement. Your arms are supposed to be doing the moving alone, otherwise the trapezius will get too much work.

Hold the bar in the center, either about six inches apart or with your hands together, depending on your preference. I usually do it with a little distance between the hands. Lift the bar straight up to your neck, keeping the elbows out in front of you, lower slowly and repeat.

Sets and Reps
Beginners do 2 sets of 10 reps. 
Intermediates 3 or 4 sets of 10 reps



Incline Lateral Raise, Two Arms

The weight used in this movement is not too important, but the form is. Don't try to cheat at all . . . lie with your chest flat against the bench, and don't try to raise it at any time during the movement. Just raise the weights as high as you can, out to your sides.

If you prefer, turn your head to the side, for a bit more comfort. And, if you think the puny weights you're using aren't doing any good, you're wrong. The burn you get from this exercise alone makes it worth its weight in muscle . . . keep it up and you'll get some really sensational results.

Sets and Reps
Beginners do 2 sets of 12 reps. 
Intermediates 3 or 4 sets of 14 reps



One Arm Bent-Over Side Lateral Raise

The weight is a little more important in this movement than in the last, but form is again of paramount importance. Make sure you do it right, and don't be afraid to increase the weight when you can.

The exercise is excellent for working the side and rear deltoid heads, but you should watch yourself in the mirror very closely to make sure you're doing the exercise correctly. Be sure to keep your shoulder low at all times, and just lift the arm. Do one arm and then the other right away . . . you don't need to rest between them.

Sets and Reps
Beginners do 2 sets of 12 reps. 
Intermediates  4 sets of 10 reps



Course #2


The exercises are a bit more difficult in this group. The experience obtained from the previous course should make you ready for this course. Although the movements are more difficult, you should pay closer attention to the exercise descriptions.


Standing Alternate Dumbbell Press


This is the heavy one of the group, so you should try to use all the weight you can, while still maintaining proper form. Hold the dumbbells at the shoulder, and press one of them overhead. As the first one starts on its return trip, press the other dumbbell up, so they are working in alternate fashion. And remember, for best affect on the deltoid, keep your elbows out.

Sets and Reps
Beginners do 2 sets of 8reps. each arm
Intermediates  4 sets of 8 reps



Barbell Front Raise

A little cheat may be used in this movement, and consequently use a good, heavy weight. Just be sure you are lifting it up with the shoulders, not throwing it up.

Hold the bar with a shoulder-width grip, and lift it up and out with your arms locked throughout the movement. Do not use too much 'upper back motion, rather try to keep your upper body as stiff and motionless as possible.

Sets and Reps
Beginners do 2 sets of 10 reps. 
Intermediates 2 sets of 10 reps




Incline Lateral Raise, One Arm

This is the exercise that the great Steve Reeves used to do all the time, and when done correctly it works solely on the side deltoid head, pumping it to massive proportions. But this is another one of those exercises where weight is of minor importance compared to the exercise form, so you must do it properly for best results.

The arm is never locked out during the movement, rather always keep a slight break in it. The most important form factor is the position of your palm . . . everyone tends to bring up the inside of the palm, the thumb side, and this is where everyone goes wrong. This will only work the anterior deltoid head, and not the lateral one. And, it's the side you're striving to work.

The answer is to keep the rear of the palm higher than the front. This will severely limit the amount of weight you can use, but it also is the only way to correctly activate that side deltoid.

Sets and Reps
Beginners do 2 sets of 10 reps. 
Intermediates  4 sets of 10 reps




This is a fairly easy exercise to do correctly. I got a lot of practice doing this in school. This was my reaction to just about every question I was asked . . . and that's all you do in this movement also. Just shrug.


The weight you can use is considerable, as the traps can really stand it. Hold the bar with a shoulder-width grip, and simply lift the shoulders up and return them to their original position. Do not roll your shoulders back or in a circular motion. This can sometimes cause injury. Just shrug your shoulders up towards your ears.

Sets and Reps
Beginners do 2 sets of 10 reps. 
Intermediates 3  sets of 10 reps

Course #3


This is the most difficult of the three courses to perform, but with all your previous deltoid training you should be able to get through it OK. Lets get started . . .


Standing Dumbbell Press


This is the heavy exercise of the group, so you should try for all the weight you can properly handle. And, keep trying to increase it whenever you can.

This exercise was one of the favorites of the great Reg Park, and he had unbelievable delts! I can't recall a single bodybuilder that even to this day could rival the shoulder development of Reg Park. (That's Reg's picture on the cover).

This is simple exercise to do, and all the comments I've made before on Pressing still go. Keep the elbows as far back as you can, and simply Press the two dumbbells overhead, with the palms facing away from you, to the front.

Sets and Reps
Beginners do 2 sets of 8 reps. 
Intermediates 4 sets of 8 reps



Alternate Front Raise

Use a fairly heavy dumbbell for this exercise, and make yourself really strain. Hold the two dumbbells in front, resting on your thighs. Raise one up to shoulder level, keeping the arm locked and the outside of the palm as high as the inside, then as you are lowering it raise up the other one. Keep alternating until you've completed your set.

Sets and Reps
Beginners do 2 sets of 10 reps. 
Intermediates 3 sets of 10 reps



Standing Side Lateral Raise

As in most of the Lateral Raise movements, form is the most important factor. Use only a weight that will pump the muscle well, and don't allow your form to suffer because of too much weight.

Allow a slight bend at the waist, and hold the two dumbbells in front of you. Bring the dumbbells up to the sides, remembering to keep the outside of the palm higher than the inside at all times. If you do not do this, all the emphasis will be placed on the frontal deltoids, and your work will be wasted. Keeping the palms on this position will restrict the amount of weight you can do, but will give you much better results in the end.

Sets and Reps
Beginners do 2 sets of 10 reps. 
Intermediates 3 or 4 sets of 12 reps


Rear Lateral Raises

This movement directly affects the rear head of the deltoid, and there is no better exercise for this body part.

Once again, the weight is of little importance compared to the exercise form, and the position of the palms is all important. If you allow them to stray, the trapezius instead of the deltoid will be getting all the work. Notice also the arms are not locked out, as this too would weaken the affect on the rear deltoid.

Many times this exercise is done with the head on a bench or something of similar height, for this takes the strain off the back and enables you to concentrate more on the movement. Try it and see if it helps you. Also, do not raise the dumbbells above the level of the shoulders, as this again will affect the traps more than the delts.

Sets and Reps
Beginners do 2 sets of 10 reps. 
Intermediates  4 sets of 12 reps

In Closing


Hopefully you can see from the comments I have made how important little things like the angle of the palms, the lock of the elbows, keeping the arms back while pressing, all are essential to the success of your deltoid workouts.

Deltoid work has always been one of my favorites, and I hope you are as interested in it as I am. But you must be, or you wouldn't have bought this course. Well then, my best advice is to keep your eye constantly on the little things in your deltoid training, and to persevere in your training. As the delts are one of the smaller muscle units of the body, gains are often hard to see, and frustration is easily built up if you don't see new muscle growing all the time.

You have to work hard for anything you get in life, and in bodybuilding this is especially true. You spent all that time in the gym, sweating and suffering for that body of yours . . . so make sure that training is effective by always keeping your eye on those little things and always putting 101% into your training.

That way your success is assured.

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