Developing Shoulder Delts With High Reps Workout

shoulder delts

Ever watch NBA basketball? Before the Sonics got moved to Oklahoma City, I watched all the time. Back in the 90’s I saw a game where the Sonics were playing The Spurs.

Me and my buddy were given tickets just a few rows back from the front. David Robinson walked by and I was amazed at this guy’s shoulder development. Pretty amazing basketball player too.

Anyway, after watching the NBA for years it seemed that almost every guy on the court has great shoulder development. If they are muscular at all, the shoulders are top notch.

They aren’t lifting heavy weights on the court. Just holding their arms over their heads during the game fatigues and develops their shoulders. I’m now fully convinced that the shoulders respond best to high rep, high volume work, at least some of the time.

I also believe that it pays to fatigue the muscles by minimizing rest in between sets. Are your shoulders stubborn? Experiment with reps of 20-30+ in at least some of the sets. Various lateral and bent over lateral raises work well. I typically end my shoulder workout by grabbing 10 pound dumbbells doing a set until my shoulders are burning like crazy. Wait 30 seconds and pick up the dumbbells again for another painful set.

It only takes 3-4 sets like this to really fatigue the shoulder muscles. High reps really hurt on overhead presses.

Tip: To make high rep shoulder presses tougher, push both dumbbells up together. When you alternate, the shoulders get to rest too much each rep. The idea is to fatigue the heck out the delts.

I typically use 20 pounds (which feels ridiculously light at first), but then the shoulders start burning when I’m at 15 reps I continue to push past the pain as long as possible.

If you are paranoid that you will lose strength and size? Do heavy presses for lower reps, and just use high reps for your laterals. Hope this tip helps you.


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  • January 2021
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