Shoulder day is one of my favorite days to workout and I take shoulder training very seriously. If you want an impressive physique you can train chest, arms and back all you want but it is your shoulders that will tie everything together. What other muscle will make you look as good from any direction - side deltoids will give you width, front deltoids tie in with your chest and rear deltoids tie in with your back giving you thickness and width on your frame.
First thing you want to do is properly warm-up and doing that I like to grab a small weight plate like a 10lb and I warm up my rotator cuffs - by extending your elbow out to the side parallel I hold the plate and just move my forearm straight out in front of me for a light 10 reps for 2 sets each arm - then I hold the 10lb plate and keep my elbow right into the side of my body and just move my forearm from right to left back and forth for 10 reps two sets each side.
After a good warm-up I start with the mass builder exercise the shoulder press. I do one of two different presses - the first would be a front press on the smith machine seated. I start with one 45lb plate on each side and go from my chin to full extension for 12 repetitions. Then the second set I add another 45lb plate to each side for a set of 10 reps, 3rd set I add 25lb plate to each side for 10 reps and the last set I do 3 plates each side and complete 8 reps.
Every other workout I mix up the press with seated dumbbell presses. I start my first set with 80lb dumbbells for 12 reps. The second set I go to 90lb dumbbells for 10 reps, the 3rd set I do 95lb dumbbells for 10 reps and the 4th set I do 100lb dumbbells for 8 reps.
Presses are great and they hit the shoulders completely and are the mass builder but they don't really pump me up and make me really feel jacked in the gym - it takes the lateral raises to get the blood flowing.
Next exercise is front raises and I have 2 ways of doing this exercise too and I'll start with the first and that would be dumbbell front raises - I like to start with holding 25lb dumbbells and doing both arms raised from my side of my body and directly out in front of me for 12 slow reps. Second set I grab the 30lb dumbbells and do another 12 slow reps, third set I go up to the 40lb dumbbells and do them one at a time 12 reps with each arm alternating each arm. Last set is 45lb dumbbells one at a time each arm burning it out with another 12 reps. It is very important not to sway your body or get momentum rocking the weights make sure you slow down and let the muscle work so I like to do these seated. .
I also like to do front raises with a small barbell with the same weights and repetitions except when I do this I stand with my back to a wall for support. This is one of the few times you will ever see Mo Mendez with his back to the wall! Again, no momentum or swaying - let the muscle do the work.
Are you ready to look big then you have to hit the side lateral raises. Side laterals can be preformed with either dumbbells or a low cable you can do two arms raised out lateral from the sides of your body from a standing position and I prefer to do this exercise one arm at a time. The majority of the time I use the low cable and I stand with tension from the weight stack at the lower start position with 30lbs on the stack and I raise my arm directly out to my side and back down with the cable very close to the front of my body and my arm stops at the front of my thigh and back up with continuous tension on the pulley. Alternating arms I perform 4 sets 30lbs for 12 reps, 40lbs for 12 reps, 50lbs for 10 reps, and 60lbs for 8 reps.
Bangin' shoulders take rear delts and I stand inside the cable crossover machine and with each hand holding the bottom pulley handle (right hand holding left pulley handle and left hand holding right pulley handle) I bend over with bent knees and look straight ahead with any luck into a mirror to watch my form. You raise each arm straight out to the side of your body while leaning forward to do this which is called Rear Delt Cable Crossovers. This has to be a slowly performed exercise with no body momentum with a very slight bend at the elbow go out to the side of your body with each pulley handle squeezing your rear delts a the top of the movement keep never-ending tension on the muscle. Do 3 sets of 12 reps and I use 30lbs each arm first set, 40lbs second set, 45lbs third set.
Last exercise of the workout and my shoulders are boomin' I like to do upright rows. On my upright rows I prefer to use a barbell and a close grip. The grip I use is measured by sticking out my thumbs and touching them together so it is about 6 inches each grip on the barbell. Standing up I have two 25lb plates on the 45lb barbell and I have the barbell in front of my body below my waist and I lift the bar up the front of my body extending my elbows out to the side bringing the barbell up close to my chin for the first set of 12 reps. Second set I add a 10lbs each side for 10 reps and the last set is 45lbs each side for 8-10 reps.
Shoulder Press - 4 sets - reps 12, 10, 10, 8