Without a doubt, one of the most sought-after asset for most bodybuilders is an impressive set of boulder shoulders. These will help you fill out your polos and look like a beast in sleeveless shirts. They also have a lot of functional benefits such as stronger benching strength. Shoulder exercises such as lateral raises and front raises are some of the most popular movements out there. Unfortunately, however, when it comes to building shoulders most guys are just going about it the wrong way.
The shoulders are in many ways a unique muscle – they are used to taking a lot of punishment and as a result need to be trained strategically. If you are someone who had struggled to make their shoulders bigger, or if you are a noob who wants to avoid the common mistakes, then this article is for you. Check out the list below for the most common mistakes guys make when training shoulders.
1 – Too Many Front (Anterior) Deltoid Exercises
Most guys will take pride in their chest day. They do various types of bench press, shoulder press, push-ups, dips, etc. Then comes shoulder time and they spend at least half the time training their front deltoids. The truth is that this is simply unnecessary. Your front deltoids already get a ton of work on chest day from all those pressing movements. Instead of emphasizing front raises and other exercises that focus on the front delts, try emphasizing the side and rear deltoids. This will avoid overtraining the front deltoids and give you more of an opportunity to round out your shoulders.
2 – Not Enough Focus on the Side (Medial) Deltoids
If you want that wide shoulder look – stop training front delts and start spending more time on the side delts! Stop adding in a couple sets of lateral raises as an afterthought. Instead, perform them earlier in the workout and do a variety of exercises that hit them such as one arm raises with dumbbell or cables. Feel free to work in any other pieces of equipment you have at your gym that work them.
3 – Keeping Things Too Vanila
Your shoulders are used to training in the typical 8-12 rep range with exercises like bench press and rows. In order to really hit those deltoids, start using supersets, giant sets and even drop sets in order to up the intensity level.
4 – You Don’t Train Deltoids Enough
Most guys typically train deltoids once per week. It’s no surprise then that most people have tiny shoulders. The reality is if you want those shoulders to grow you need to work them more often. In addition to having a dedicated shoulders day, we recommend working rear deltoids on back day and front deltoids on chest day. That way you give your shoulders the extra attention they need without messing up your training program structure.
5 – Testosterone Levels Are Too Low
Like any muscle group, shoulder need the right combination of exercise, nutrition and hormones in order to grow. While we know lots of guys who have the first two down, way too many people seem to neglect making sure their testosterone levels are as high as they can be. The truth is that if your testosterone levels are low you simply won’t grow no matter how hard you workout or how clean your diet is. Testosterone is, after all, THE male hormone – it gives us characteristics like strength, muscle mass, energy levels, confidence and sex drive. Without testosterone we wouldn’t have the characteristics that make us guys.
When it comes to boosting your testosterone levels, there are several important things you need to do. First of all, make sure you take a testosterone booster. These products use natural ingredients that are scientifically proven to boost testosterone production. When taken together you benefit from a powerful synergistic effect that will have your t-levels shooting to new highs. While high quality products aren’t necessarily cheap, they are well worth the cost if they help you achieve your goals faster. If you aren’t sure which testosterone booster to take, don’t worry – we’ve got you covered. Click here to check out our testosterone booster page for more information on our favorite products currently on the market.
Other than taking a testosterone booster, you should also make sure you are giving yourself plenty of rest and recovery time. That means 8 hours per night of sleep. Also, stick to a clean diet and try to avoid sources of stress. While everyone has some stress in their life there are many ways you can keep your levels in check such as doing yoga or meditation. If neither of those work you just might want to look at leaving that high-stress job for something that is less taxing on your mind and body.
6 – Too Much Weight and Bad Form
At some point in our bodybuilding careers we are all guilty of this one. Trying to lift more than we can handle with proper form in an attempt to speed up the growth process. The reality is that by using bad form and lifting weight that is too heavy we are not only slowing down progress – we are increasing the risk of injury. If you end up hurting yourself you could be out of the gym for weeks or months which will undo a lot of progress. Remember that the goal of bodybuilding isn’t to lift heavy weights – it’s to build muscle. Leave your ego at the door and focus on using the exercises as a tool to sculpt your body. If that means lowering the weight then so be it. At the end of the day nobody cares how much you can dumbbell press, they only care how your shoulders look.