As most of you know I am into training more total body for my clients or for my strength athletes movement/zone based protocols. Very few and far between do I just pick a body part and run with it in a specific workout. Sometimes though I will encounter someone looking for more size, or has a muscle group so lagging that extra attention needs to be paid. With the delts, it is a combination of the latter AND delts are my favorite body part to not only train myself, but make others train. Something about throwing a big poundage over your noggin just makes you want to grow more facial hair and get aggressive with people.
Here is a list of some of my favorite movements that I not only inflict upon myself but other as well. In my last post “Big, Thick, Powerful Lats” I explained the need of strong and dominate traps and rear delts. The obvious tie ins between all these groups is why for the normal Joe, traps and upper back can either be trained on a delt day or a lat day. Personally if I press anything at anytime I am always doing lats as well so this never presents an issue.
Pressing Movements -
Standing Overhead Press – These can be done with a bar, log, axle, dumbbells, keg, sandbag or any other implement you can get your hands on. Normally I prefer the weight to be cleaned into place from the floor before a press is completed. Some prefer to take it out of the rack and avoid the clean for a myriad of reasons. When it comes down to it if you want to become more jacked and athletic stop being a pussy and just clean it at least once and then press away. Standing press can be done strict, push style or even with a jerk. You can perform them for any amount of reps, sets or methods, just press.
Personal favorites include but not limited too…
1) Max Effort Axle – Clean and press every rep. Perform sets of 3 until sets of three are no longer possible. Continue singling up until you reach a PR. Same can be done with the Log. Occasionally after I reach a max I like to drop the weight and hit 3 downs sets of 3, 5 and 7+ reps.
2) Dynamic Effort Axle – Take the bar from the rack and perform 8 sets of 3 with 50-60% of your current max. 45 second break at the longest. To develop more force I typically perform these with 100+ of band tension from the bottom.
3) Standing Strict Barbell Press - German Volume Training is the name of the game here. Only try this method if you are angry at yourself. 10 sets of 10 with a 1:30 break in between is what we are looking for here. I like to keep the weight around 55% of my max. This is miserable; but doing so will make your beard thicker and your back hairier. If your a chick buy some Nair before you perform these.
Seated Military Press – Like the standing variety these can be done with a bar, log, axle, dumbbells, keg, sandbag or any other implement you can get your hands on. You can perform them for any amount of reps, sets or methods, just press. Now, however, we are seated, this means no leg drive and much more dependence on the delts.
Personal favorites include but not limited too…
1) Fall Back Dumbbell Press – I must warn you this is a ton of volume but it turns you shoulders into bowling balls. Snag a set of dumbbells and hop on an adjustable bench. In the military setting knock out a set, put down the dumbbells, adjust the bench a notch down and continue. You will run through sets at Military, Slight Military, High Incline, Incline, Low Incline, Slight Incline and Flat Bench. Your delts will be on FIRE!
2) Z Press – Named after Strongman Žydrūnas Savickas the Z Press is a seated style over head press that involves no bench. You simply sit on the floor and press the bar out of the pins above your head. All the standard rules apply to this form of overhead, but I am here to tell you the pressure on your middle back, and core is tremendous as you try to keep yourself tight through the movement.
Add these movements in and have fun with them. Play around with the sets, reps and implements. Change up the routine and watch your overhead confidence and delt size grow! Remember big movements. I can hear some of you asking where the lateral raises, front raises, and all other manner of raises are?!?! To be honest everyone already does enough of these little movements. Perform some of the treats listed above and put your heart and balls into it. If done right you won’t have the energy to add in the little stuff. Better yet try this…
Standing Bar Push Press – Start with an empty bar and perform 5 reps. Add 10lbs to the bar and continue doing 5 reps until you can’t. Takes breaks as needed, but on your last set, cut the weight in half and knock out one last set to failure.
Clean Grip High Pull/Clean/Clean Grip Snatch Combos – With a clean grip on a bar high pull the load 3 times, perform one power clean, and one clean grip snatch. This constitutes as one set. Take a break and perform 8 more.
Don’t forget for every press you do, you really should be doing a pull; this means you owe me a pull up, chin up, or row for every press you did today.
Upon completion of these 3 simple moments feel to do all the raises you have energy for!