Shoulder Smackdown

An intensive routine designed to crush those caps and reignite growth.

Pavel Ythjall


The workout continues with front raises and upright rows. This time, you won’t begin with four separate sets of the raise— instead, you’ll go right into the superset, pairing rows with dumbbell raises, pyramiding up in both instances from a lighter warmup resistance to a challenging weight. While you won’t always be able to get it, over time—as with the presses—you’ll strive for a new personal best on the final set of six for the rows.


By now, all three heads of your delts should be toast—much like the Bears’ gassed D in that fateful Miami showdown. For some of you, ending the workout here is a good choice, especially if you struggled to complete the last of the three superset combos.

But for those of you with a little left in the tank, we have one more finishing touch: a dropset of cable lateral raises or pike pushups, your choice. If you go the cable laterals route, use the variation where the cable runs behind your body instead of in front, and start with a weight you can get about 10 reps with.

Immediately after hitting failure, drop the weight by about 30% and continue repping. Once you reach failure again, attempt a few final partials, first halfway up and then quarter-reps and pulses. Then switch to the other side, and repeat.

Pike pushups can be performed with your hands and feet on the floor, with your butt high in a pike position so your body forms a flipped V. From here, simply bend your elbows to bring your forehead down toward the floor, then extend to raise yourself back up, repeating as many times as you can and terminating the set when you can’t complete a full rep. If you’re more advanced, you can put your feet up on a flat bench—just be careful to end the set before your upper body completely gives out and sends you tumbling to the floor.


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