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8 Weeks to Boulder Shoulders

Having well defined shoulders isnt easy...Having Boulder Sized Shoulders is difficult.

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8 Weeks to Boulder Shoulders

The 8 Weeks to Boulder Shoulders Program maximizes overall shoulder size and width. It is a two-phase program, with each phase maximizing a specific aspect of deltoid muscle growth. Regardless of the phase, the workouts target all three heads of the deltoid muscle. The deltoid is compromised of three heads, the anterior (front) head, the middle head, and the posterior (rear) head. The workouts involve exercises that hit the front head - seated alternating dumbbell front raise; exercises that target the rear head – incline bench rear delt raise and incline bench rear delt cable raise, exercises that target the middle head - seated dumbbell lateral raise, dumbbell later raise (standing), and cable lateral raise; as well as exercises that hit all three deltoid heads, with greater emphasis on the middle and front heads - barbell shoulder press, standing barbell shoulder press, seated dumbbell shoulder press, and Smith machine behind-the-neck shoulder press. Hitting all three heads is critical to developing deltoids that are massive from all angles, the front, side and rear. The program emphasizes more middle delt work, through the variety of lateral raises and shoulder presses, as this head makes up the largest portion of the deltoid and is the muscle that gives your shoulders width and the cannonball shape.

Phase 1 (weeks 1-4)

The first phase of the program is done with very heavy weight, lower reps, and the high intensity techniques - negative reps, forced reps, extended sets, and drop sets. These techniques will overload your muscles and maximize the amount of muscle damage they sustain. There are basically two mechanisms by which muscle grows. The first is through muscle damage. When a muscle is damaged due to the mechanical stress from the resistance of the weights, new muscle cells replace the damaged muscle cells. The new muscle cells grow bigger and stronger than the old muscle cells in an effort to prevent further damage to the muscle from the same stress. However, the more experienced of a lifter you are, the less muscle damage you experience. This is because your muscle fibers are strong enough to resist further damage. That is why you will need to train very heavy and with the high-intensity techniques employed during this phase to fully overload your muscles and ensure maximal muscle damage and growth through this mechanism. During Phase 1 you will follow a five-day training split, in which you train shoulders and all other major muscle groups (except for abs) just once per week. See 8-Weeks to Boulder Shoulders Split (Phase 1) for details of the split.

Training your delts just once per week during this phase will optimize muscle recovery from the brutally intense workouts that you will attack your delts with. Since you're training during this phase to maximize muscle damage you need to allow time for optimal recovery, which will allow the new muscle cells time to replace the old ones and proliferate. You will train shoulders on Thursday following a complete day of rest on Wednesday, which will help keep your strength and energy levels high during the delt workout. You will follow the 8 Weeks to Boulder Shoulders Phase 1 training program on shoulder day. For all other muscle groups, follow your typical training program. Limit the use of high-intensity training techniques for the other muscle groups to focus your body's efforts on maximizing delt muscle growth.

During the shoulder workouts in Phase 1, you will start with two sets of the seated barbell shoulder press. These two sets will include negative/forced reps. To do this, select a weight you can lift for 6 reps on the seated barbell shoulder press. After reaching failure, perform three more reps in the following manner. Slowly lower the weight from overhead to your upper chest with a 5-second negative rep. Have your partner help you lift the bar back to the start (with no more force than needed to help you press the weight back up). Repeat this two more times for a total of 3 negative/forced reps. Next you will do two more sets of the shoulder press using a technique known as extended sets. Extended sets allow you to continue the exercise for more reps by moving to a position that places you in a better biomechanical position. To do this you will do one set

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