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buff guy pushupsFor Wider, Rounder Delts by: Tim Wescott

Nothing offsets a good physique like an impressive pair of cannonball deltoids. The problem for most people however is how to go about attaining a pair!

I’ll skip over the anatomy of the deltoid muscle as most bodybuilders will have the general idea about how dolts work, and how the muscle has three heads which should all be trained, except for the beginning bodybuilder of course; but this article is aimed at intermediate or advanced bodybuilders whose delts have stopped growing, are stagnated mentally and would like a fresh approach, or whose delts are responding very slowly to training.

First thing, let me say that for the most part, you should focus on mass of course, but balance between the deltoid heads is paramount for a nice rounded appearance. Too many bodybuilders have big anterior delts from pressing, benching, and doing inclines, etc and as a result, their development is not in proportion.

Here is a routine that I have tested personally and have also tried with lots of my clients at various times…I have yet to see anyone who hasn’t progressed from doing it as long as it is done in the manner as it is written.

Here ya` go…

  • do a set of strict laterals for 10-12 reps
  • followed by a set of Bradford Presses, for 8-10 reps, with no rest in between the two exercises
  • rest 45-60 seconds only, add weight, and repeat this procedure for a total of 4 sets each, adding weight and decreasing reps each set (you may want to use a constant poundage on laterals…your choice, but keep them strict and pull with the side delts)
  • then go back to your original starting weight on your last set, and go to failure on each exercise regardless of how many reps you can get

The reps are just goals or targets to aim for but laterals should be a minimum of 10 reps on the heaviest set and the Bradford Presses should be at 8 minimum at the heaviest point.

Doing both exercises with a constant weight and resting only 30 seconds between Super-Sets is another good way to perform these, especially if you do not feel particularly strong on any given shoulder day.

Here is a ‘how to’ on performing Bradford Presses
Place a barbell at the shoulders as you would in a normal barbell front press, press to just the top of the head, then lower it behind the neck. Press again just clearing the top of the head, and lower to the front again, and repeat until you reach your rep goal…back and forth, front to back, just clearing the crown of the head.

To reiterate, the bar should just be clearing your head…you do not lock out…this non-locking motion keeps continuous tension on the shoulders and doing the laterals before the presses in Pre-Exhaust Super-Set style without rest, is a foolproof method for building bigger delts.

Again, I have trained many people and never have seen anyone fail to improve their delts with this combo.

Now onto the next exercise where we will once again focus on the lateral deltoid in an effort to increase shoulder width.

Behind The Back Laterals
Just as written, you do a lateral but bring the bells behind the butt instead of to the front as you would in performing a normal lateral raise…better stretch and better isolation…three sets, 10-15 reps.

Now we move onto the often neglected rear dolts. I do around six sets total, a Super-Set consisting of Bent-Over DB Laterals, or Incline Rear Delt Raises…your choice, coupled with Face-Pulls, also for 3 total sets…no rest between exercises and only 30 seconds rest between Super-Sets.

Explanation of Face-Pulls
Grab a high pulley with a rope attachment and pull to the face while keeping the elbows wide…really targets the rear delts.

Explanation of Incline Rear Delt Raises
Lay face down on a 30 to 45 degree incline bench holding 2 moderately weighted dumbbells…with thumbs facing each other and do a bent-over lateral while lying on the incline.

That’s it, but remember to train with strict form and as heavy as possible for the targeted rep range; and keep rest periods minimal.

To recap:
Super-Set # 1:
4 x 10-12 (very strict, no swinging or heaving)
{Bradford Presses:
4 x 8-10 (seated or standing)

Laterals Behind Back:
3 x 10-15

Super-Set # 2:
{Bent-Over DB Laterals or Incline Rear Delt Raise: (alternate from workout to workout)
3 x 12-15
3 x 15-20

There ya` go…nothing fancy or scientific, just very results producing!

Give it a shot and possibly, just possibly now, you may have to turn sideways to enter a room because you got so W-I-D-E !!!

This routine works well and you can thank me later for the bowling balls that you created!