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3 Easy Tips to Grow Massive Shoulders

Improve your upper body physique with these easy tips.

Can you upgrade your shoulders by implementing just a few tweaks to your training? Hell yes. That is what John Meadows talks about in a video.

John Meadows“The Mountain Dog”, was a professional bodybuilder, trainer and nutritionist who died in 2021. He is famous for sharing gym tips, and workouts and showing how he trained to achieve his goals.

The shoulders are a complex group of muscles and joints that allow for a wide range of motion in the arms and upper body. There are several muscles that make up the shoulders, including the deltoid, rotator cuff, and trapezius muscles.

To grow massive shoulders, you need to know how to apply progressive overload to each of those muscles that constitute the shoulders. But beyond that, you need to apply these 3 easy tips shared by Meadows.

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3 Easy Tips to Grow Massive Shoulders

As we wrote above, you need to apply progressive overload to your shoulders if you want them to grow. Although many people immediately assume that progressive overload means lifting heavier, that is not what Meadows advocate as his first easy tip.

“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, in other words, when doing rear delt exercises, do high repetitions – around 30.

Meadows’ second tip to grow massive shoulders is to do heavy partial reps on lateral raises. Whatever number you use now for your dumbbell lateral raise, increase the weight significantly (but don’t double it) and do partial reps.

The key is to lift the dumbbells halfway through as you normally would, with elbows bent just a little bit. And you also need to do high reps again, so fight through the pain. The idea is not to do partials instead of full range of motion lateral raises, but rather to add these heavy partials to your training plan – aim for 2 sets of 25 reps twice a week.

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John Meadows’ last tip to grow massive shoulders is about joint health and flexibility. A healthy and flexible shoulder will allow you to keep it strong while lifting weights. One exercise that helps with that is over-and-back with a resistance band.

Using a resistance band is great for this case as you can increase the tension of the band depending on how close your grip the band. Meadows enjoys doing about 10 reps of this exercise after his shoulders are pumped and stiff.

Click on the video for more detailed information from the Mountain Dog himself.

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Training the shoulders to make them bigger can be challenging for a few reasons:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

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how to build capped shouldersSource: Photo courtesy of CrossFit Inc.

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.

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