A Top Trainer Shared His Workout for Building ‘Boulder Shoulders’

In a new video on the Athlean-X channel, strength coach Jeff Cavaliere C.S.C.S. demonstrates a series of exercises that he says will help you build "boulder shoulders" by recruiting all three heads of the deltoid muscle.

He starts off with the dumbbell seesaw press, an alternating overhead press variation where you push one arm up as you're pulling the other down. "Neurologically, we actually function as push-pull machines, so we can get better output by pulling down while we're trying to push up," says Cavaliere.

He recommends doing this for 4 sets, starting with a weight where you can reach failure in the 8 to 10 rep range, then switching to a weight where you'll fail at 6 to 8 reps for the second, third and fourth sets. Then when you're hitting fatigue after the fourth set, finish off by dropping one of the dumbbells and perform over-and-backs, using a little momentum from your legs.

Next up, he demonstrates the cable side lateral row, pulling out across the body and out into abduction, hitting the middle delt. If you don't have access to a cable machine, you can recreate the same pattern of movement with a side-lying lateral raise. Cavaliere prescribes 3 sets of 8 to 10 on each arm. "No need to rest in between; as you're working one arm, you're resting the other," he says.

To hit the rear delt, Cavaliere uses the hip hugger, holding a pair of dumbbells at his side and then bringing them up and behind the body, squeezing at the top. Another rear delt builder, and a staple in Cavaliere's workouts, is the face pull. The key to this movement is to get the elbows level with or back behind the body.

Finally, Cavaliere works the front delt with a stretch front raise performed at an incline. "We can elicit a stronger contraction just by dropping those arms down, which naturally puts them into extension because of the angle of the incline bench," he explains. An alternative to this is the cable stretch front raise. Once again, perform 8 to 10 reps for 3 sets.

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A Trainer Shared a Chest and Back Workout to Boost Muscle Growth

In a new video on the Athlean-X channel, Jeff Cavaliere C.S.C.S. explains how he has been able to keep training while recovering from a pretty serious shoulder injury, by dropping the volume of his workouts and increasing the load. He uses his chest and back workout as an example, demonstrating how this approach can stimulate the muscles in a new way.

"The thing that will bother a damaged structure is not going to be the load, it's going to be the accumulation of more and more rotations on the tire," he says, adopting a car metaphor. "So volume is what you need to manipulate when there's already an issue... The volume is going to exacerbate an underlying condition that's already there."

Instead of performing one high-volume set after another, Cavaliere focuses on performing a smaller number of reps at a higher intensity on each exercise, increasing the weight and reaching failure on each set. "If I try to rush through my sets and lose good form, then I'm losing the stability and all of a sudden the structure becomes exposed," he says.

The workout begins with a superset of dumbbell floor flies and dumbbell bench press, performed for 1 to 2 sets. Cavaliere recommends using a high enough weight here that you will reach failure in the 6 to 10 rep range. He follows this with 1 to 2 sets of crossovers, reaching failure in the 15 to 20 rep range.

Next up is another superset, this time cable straight arm pushdowns and lat pulldowns (1 to 2 sets, reaching failure between 6 and 10 reps), and 1 to 2 sets of straight arm pushdowns (15 to 20 reps).

"If you're not used to these really low-volume workouts or these ultra high intensity efforts, this is going to be a novel stimulus for you that is going to push you to those edges of what you're comfortable with, and that is exactly where you want to be," says Cavaliere.

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