Build Without Bulking | Shoulder Tri-Set | Erin Stern

Posted on March 29, 2017 at 12:00 AM

If you’re trying to build shoulders, consider incorporating one low-rep heavy weight shoulder day, and one high-rep light day. Shoulders are a combination of fast twitch and slow twitch muscle fibers, which require a variety of movements to stimulate growth. I hit a plateau in training, and only broke through it when I found myself on the road. I only had access to light weights and did a lot circuits and supersets. The higher-rep light weights combined with consecutive exercises can help stimulate and grow slow twitch muscles. In this month’s blog, we’ll be focusing on a tri-set of barbell movements: military press, wide grip upright row, and behind the neck shoulder press. A few key points for this tri-set:

  • Work with a weight that’s about 40% of what you’d normally do. You’ll be doing 15-20 reps of each exercise, with no rest in between.
  • Perform the exercises kneeling as this will help to work the core, but will also limit the use of momentum and your legs.
  • For the presses, pay attention to proper form. Keep your elbows under the bar and try to point your thumbs backwards. Keep your lower back in a neutral position, and try to keep your shoulder blades pinned back and rotated downward.
  • For the upright rows, think about pulling through the elbow. The lower arm should remain neutral, and no pulling should come from the forearm. The wide grip should encourage proper form. Lift with the delts, and try not to engage your traps.
  • The last few reps are the toughest – focus on proper form and full range of motion.
  • Aim for 3-4 sets, with about 1 minute to 1:30 rest between tri-sets.

For higher rep days, you can combine antagonist or opposite movements (like “push” and “pull” exercises), or you can do compound sets that burn out the shoulders. An example of this might be front raises on a cable, followed by light dumbbell front raises. Drop sets can also be an effective way to target slow twitch muscles.

Supplementing with PEAK ATP has helped me through workouts like this one. I’m able to get more quality reps and more volume. Check out the corresponding video for an exercise demonstration and for more tips and tricks!

Thanks for reading – until next time, train hard, y’all!

- Erin Stern, 2x Ms. Figure Olympia

I can and will do this! Thx for sharing!
Heather | 1/30/24 at 1:25 AM
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