Extreme Shoulder Workout For Size

Huge bodybuilder shoulders


Don’t miss this opportunity to get a year’s supply of high quality protein at no cost, a must for recovery after an intense shoulder workout.

My current lifting program consists primarily of squatsbench presses, deadlifts and accessory movements for each of these lifts.  Because I am a powerlifter, I generally stay away from high-rep, isolation, bodybuilding style workouts.

These types of workouts for muscle mass certainly do have their place in all sports and fitness programs.  However, I haven’t performed a truly intense, hardcore bodybuilding workout in years.

I was explaining this to a bodybuilder coworker of mine and we decided to lift together one day recently.  In recent months he’s made me aware of his two hour long, high volume bodybuilding workouts for size and muscle mass.

Knowing that these types of workouts are challenging for me, I asked him to put me through one of his hardcore shoulder workouts for muscle size.  He cautioned me that his shoulder-blasting bodybuilding workout was intense.  I informed him that I could handle it so we set to work.

The Workout

Rear Delt Dumbbell Raises 

We started off with three sets of bent-over rear delt dumbbell raises.  The weight was light enough to easily complete twelve reps during each set but heavy enough to warm up the muscles of the shoulders and upper back.

Cable Front Raises

Next we walked over to the cable crossover pulley machine and did three sets of shoulder raises to the front.  Like the rear delt raises, we completed three sets of twelve with a light to moderate weight.

With the shoulders warm and loose, our first compound movement was the seated overhead barbell shoulder press.  The challenging thing about this movement was that we were starting each repetition from the bottom and un-racked the bar from the front at throat level.  It took incredible explosive power just to get the barbell to a position overhead to start the set.

Arnold Press

Seated Barbell Shoulder Press

We started light to get the kinks out and worked up to three heavy sets of two to five reps.  Our top weight was challenging enough to prevent us from being able to complete two full reps.  In all, we completed six sets of barbell shoulder presses for our first big movement.

Strip Set Barbell Shoulder Press

As if all of this heavy pressing weren’t enough, we loaded up the barbell with six ten-pound plates on each side and performed seven sets of strip sets in rapid succession of barbell shoulder presses with no rest between sets.   This equated to over 40 grueling repetitions of strict shoulder presses with the barbell.  Talk about a burn.

One Arm Dumbbell Upright Row

Next we took hold of a couple of heavy dumbbells and performed three sets of one arm upright rows while holding onto a bench.  The upright rows were performed strictly to isolate the trapezius muscles and rear deltoids.  I was sternly corrected by my training partner when I attempted to execute a set by using leg drive to explosively row the weight upwards.

Seated Dumbbell Front Raises

Once the upright rows were finished, we did three sets of seated front dumbbell raises with a pause at the top of each rep.  The weight was moderate, but doing this movement in a fatigued state made it very challenging toward the end of each set.

Seated Dumbbell Lateral Raises

We followed the seated front raises with three sets of seated lateral raises with dumbbells.  Again, the weight was moderate but the muscle fibers of the entire shoulder complex were pretty fried, so the last few reps of each set were pretty tough.

Cable Rear Delt Raises Compounded with Strict Standing Behind the Neck Press

When we finished the lateral raises, my training partner prepared a set of pulleys for some rear delt cable raises.  I made a sarcastic comment that doing that exercise was overkill but I was promptly reminded that I was the one who requested a hardcore shoulder workout for insane muscle growth.

  I shrugged my pumped up shoulders and proceeded to perform three sets of cable rear delt raises compounded with three sets of strict standing behind the neck military presses.  It was only then that my training partner conceded that the last movement may have been overkill. 

Behind the neck shoulder pressThe entire workout looked like this:

Rear Delt Dumbbell Raises

3 sets of 12 reps with a moderate weight

Cable Pulley Front Raises

3 sets of 12 reps with a moderate weight

Seated Barbell Shoulder Presses

6 sets of 2-8 reps with a heavy weight

rear delt dumbbell raiseSeated Barbell Should Press Strip Sets

7 sets of 6 with a light weight and no rest between sets

Standing One Arm Dumbbell Upright Rows

 3 sets of 12 reps with a heavy weight

Seated Dumbbell Front Raises

3 sets of 10 reps with a moderate weight

Seated Dumbbell Lateral Raises 

3 sets of 10 reps with a moderate weight

Cable Pulley Rear Delt Raises

3 sets of 10 with a moderate weight

Strict Standing Barbell Behind the Neck Military Press

3 sets of 10 with a light weight

huge shoulder pum

Give it a Try

If you’re looking for a workout to shock your shoulders into an incredible growth spurt, give this one a try.  It’s best performed with a partner to keep you motivated as this workout is tough.

  Also, for best results you’ll need a competent person to strip the weights of the barbell during your strip sets. This shoulder workout for mass took about an hour and a half and completely annihilated my shoulders, traps and upper back.

To ensure extreme muscle growth after a workout like this, it is critical to ingest a high quality protein supplement.  Upon completion of this workout, I made my favorite protein shake for muscle growth and drank it down.

A word of caution: If you decide to try this workout, be sure to ingest high quality protein and recovery supplements for muscle mass before and after you lift.  That is the best way to ensure rapid, extreme muscle growth.

About Kristoffer Perry

Kris Perry is a former competitive powerlifter and certified personal trainer. He currently works as a police officer in the state of Maryland and is the physical fitness coordinator and consultant for the Annapolis Police Department. He also works as a fitness consultant and health and wellness freelance writer and blogger.

View all posts by Kristoffer Perry →

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