Can you upgrade your shoulders by implementing just a few tweaks to your training? Hell yes, and the renowned bodybuilder, trainer, and nutritionist, John Meadows, known as “The Mountain Dog,” had some valuable insights on how to achieve it. These are Meadow’s 3 easy tips for huge and strong shoulder muscles.
John Meadows, who sadly passed away in 2021, was a legendary figure in the fitness community, famous for his gym tips, workouts, and the remarkable transformation of his own shoulders.
The shoulders are a complex and crucial group of muscles and joints that enable a wide range of motion in the arms and upper body. Comprised of muscles like the deltoid, rotator cuff, and trapezius, developing massive shoulders requires understanding how to apply progressive overload to each of these muscle groups.
3 Easy Tips for Huge and Strong Shoulder Muscles
It’s important to note that progressive overload, as Meadows emphasized in his first tip, doesn’t necessarily mean just lifting heavier weights.
In one of his insightful videos, Meadows advises, “Do high reps and you’ll see what I mean. Three sets of 30, 3 sets of 25, twice a week. I think will take you really far for your rear delts.” So, for rear delt exercises, focus on high repetitions, aiming for around 30 reps per set.
Meadows’ second tip to grow massive shoulders is centred around performing heavy partial reps on lateral raises. Instead of doubling the weight you usually use for dumbbell lateral raises, significantly increase it and perform partial reps.
The technique involves lifting the dumbbells halfway through, keeping the elbows slightly bent, and pushing through the pain with high repetitions. The objective is not to replace full-range-of-motion lateral raises with partials but to incorporate heavy partials into your training plan. Aim for 2 sets of 25 reps, twice a week, to make the most of this approach.
John Meadows’ final tip for achieving massive shoulders revolves around joint health and flexibility, which are crucial for maintaining strength while lifting weights. One exercise he swears by is the “over-and-back” with a resistance band.
The beauty of using a resistance band lies in its adaptability; you can adjust the tension by varying your grip. After his shoulders are pumped and stiff from the workout, Meadows enjoys doing about 10 reps of this exercise. It helps to enhance shoulder flexibility and strength, contributing to overall shoulder development.
Incorporating John Meadows’ three easy tips into your shoulder training routine can undoubtedly help you on your journey to achieving impressive and massive shoulders. Remember to focus on progressive overload, utilize high reps for rear delt exercises, and embrace heavy partial reps and joint-friendly exercises for optimal results.
See all the information you need from the man himself in the video below.
Training the shoulders to make them bigger can be challenging for a few reasons:
- Genetics: The size and shape of your shoulders are largely determined by your genetics. Some people may have a genetic predisposition for broader shoulders, while others may have narrower shoulders. This can make it more difficult to achieve significant gains in shoulder size through training.
- Shoulder anatomy: The shoulders are a complex joint that is made up of multiple muscles, tendons, and bones. Because of their complexity, it can be challenging to target all of the shoulder muscles effectively with traditional strength training exercises. For example, the anterior deltoids may be easily stimulated with overhead pressing movements, but the lateral deltoids and rear deltoids may require more targeted exercises to effectively stimulate growth.
- Overtraining: The shoulders are often worked indirectly through other upper body exercises, such as bench presses and rows. This means that they can be easily overtrained if not given enough rest and recovery time. Overtraining can lead to injury and can also prevent muscle growth.
- Lack of progressive overload: Progressive overload is the gradual increase of stress placed on the muscles over time, which is necessary for muscle growth. If you are not progressively increasing the weight, sets, or reps of your shoulder exercises over time, your muscles may not be receiving enough stimulus to grow.
To effectively train the shoulders and promote muscle growth, it is important to incorporate a variety of exercises that target all three heads of the deltoids, as well as the rotator cuff and trapezius muscles. It is also important to allow for adequate rest and recovery time between workouts and to progressively increase the intensity of your workouts over time.
Should You Workout Your Shoulders Every Day?
No, it is not recommended to work out your shoulders every day. The shoulders are a complex joint that is involved in many upper body movements, and they require time to recover and adapt to the stress placed on them during exercise. Overtraining the shoulders can lead to muscle fatigue, decreased strength, and an increased risk of injury.
The frequency of shoulder workouts depends on several factors, including your fitness level, training experience, and workout intensity. Generally, it is recommended to allow at least 48 hours of rest between shoulder workouts to allow for adequate recovery time.
If you are a beginner, you may benefit from working out your shoulders once or twice a week, gradually increasing the frequency as your fitness level improves. If you are an advanced lifter, you may be able to train your shoulders more frequently, but it is still important to allow for adequate recovery time and to avoid overtraining.
Ultimately, the frequency of your shoulder workouts should be based on your individual fitness goals, training experience, and recovery abilities. It is important to listen to your body and adjust your workout frequency and intensity as needed to avoid injury and promote muscle growth.
Why Is It Important to Have Strong Shoulders?
Having strong shoulders is important for several reasons, as they play a crucial role in overall physical function and athletic performance. Here are some key reasons why shoulder strength is essential:
- Upper Body Function: Strong shoulders are essential for performing various daily activities and movements involving the upper body, such as lifting, pushing, pulling, and reaching. Whether you’re carrying groceries, lifting a heavy object, or even just performing tasks at work, strong shoulders provide stability and power for these actions.
- Injury Prevention: Strengthening the muscles surrounding the shoulder joints can help prevent injuries. Weak shoulders are more susceptible to strain, overuse injuries, and dislocations, especially during repetitive motions or heavy lifting. Building strength in the shoulder muscles can reduce the risk of such injuries and enhance joint stability.
- Posture and Alignment: Well-developed shoulder muscles contribute to good posture and alignment. They help maintain proper shoulder and spine alignment, reducing the risk of developing rounded shoulders or a forward head posture, which can lead to chronic pain and musculoskeletal issues.
- Athletic Performance: In sports and physical activities, strong shoulders are crucial for optimal performance. Whether you’re playing basketball, swimming, tennis, or weightlifting, shoulder strength is vital for generating power, stability, and control during movements.
- Upper Body Aesthetics: Well-developed shoulders contribute to a balanced and aesthetically pleasing physique. They enhance the appearance of the upper body, creating a more sculpted and defined look.
- Functional Training: Strong shoulders are a foundation for functional training, which focuses on movements that mimic real-life activities. Functional exercises that involve the shoulders improve overall functional capacity and make daily tasks easier to perform.
- Enhancing Other Exercises: Strong shoulders also support and enhance performance in other exercises like bench presses, pull-ups, and overhead presses. They act as a stabilizer and synergist for these movements, allowing you to lift heavier weights and progress in your training.
- Overall Strength and Core Stability: The shoulders are connected to the core muscles through various muscle chains. Developing shoulder strength contributes to overall body strength and stability, as it’s part of the interconnected network of muscles that support each other during movements.
- Long-Term Joint Health: A well-rounded shoulder strength program can improve joint health and longevity. Strengthening the muscles around the shoulder joint helps maintain joint integrity and may reduce the risk of degenerative conditions like osteoarthritis.
In conclusion, strong shoulders are crucial for daily functional activities, injury prevention, athletic performance, and overall upper body aesthetics and strength. Incorporating shoulder-specific exercises into your fitness routine can lead to numerous benefits and contribute to a healthier and more functional body.