Roelly Winklaar's Delt Demolition Program

The Beast's shoulder training regimen for monstrous delts!
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Winklaar admits that doing one’s own contest prep is difficult because it’s hard to be objective. But he had complete faith in his own instincts and the lessons he learned about dieting over the years. His goal for the Chicago Pro was simply to come in fuller. So his diet stayed the same as for previous shows, except for the gamble he took in deciding not to reduce his calories as much in order to keep his hard-earned muscle. Amazingly, he also did less cardio. (Don’t hate!) This would seem like a recipe for disaster. However, the real secret was that he revamped his training, actually stripping it down to basic movements. Instead of incorporating variations during his prep— doing supersets and dropsets as he’d done in the past, and varying the tempo—he simply went very heavy and stuck to a strict range of sets and reps with perfect form. Clearly this shocked his body, because his enormous traps and massive shoulders made him a standout in the Chicago Pro lineup.

We asked Winklaar to take us through a normal delt routine and explain the rationale behind the exercises he chose. First, some basic anatomy: The deltoids are comprised of three parts: anterior (front), medial (middle), and posterior (rear). Winklaar works all three to achieve that full, round look onstage. He consistently performs five exercises, each of which hits a different head of the deltoids. It might surprise you that even though he increased the weight for this prep, he still kept the reps high. He doesn’t believe in “powerlifting style” training with low reps, so he never goes below 12. By keeping the volume high, he burns calories throughout his workout (thus, less cardio!).

He’s a stickler for form, however, never swinging the weight or cheating. He also avoids locking out at the top, in order to keep constant tension on the muscle and ward of injuries that would come with overloading the joint. “Time under tension is very important,” Winklaar says. “Locking out allows you to rest briefy. You should avoid resting the muscle at all costs during your set if you want the muscle to grow.” He keeps the same basic exercises, but may vary the grip on an exercise depending on how he’s feeling.

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