Shoulder Shaper

Happy Monday! I love the start of a new week, for me it’s day 1 of my workouts, so I always try to get off to a strong start with a good training session.  Well, I try to give my all for every workout, but sometimes coming off a more leisurely or unstructured weekend calls for a strong day 1 🙂

One of my favourite muscle groups to train is my shoulders – Love. It. (along with my butt which I mentioned the other day :).  I like the look of nice shoulders so I try to give them a little extra attention so I can give them a little extra shape. This means I train them 2 times a week, sometimes on their own, and other times paired with other muscle groups.

shutterstock_197488247The workout I have posted below is a workout really isolating the shoulders (or speaking more technically, your deltoids).  I performed different shoulder exercises to target the muscles form different angles.  I wanted to place stress and overload all parts of the shoulder – the front aspect of the shoulder (anterior deltoid), the middle (medial deltoid), and back of the shoulder (posterior deltoid). I’m just telling you the more technical terms in case you are interested, or if you come across someone at the gym who talks like a wise guy 🙂For resistance training workouts higher in volume, like this one (meaning several exercises, sets and reps for a specific muscle group), you want to give yourself a couple days rest to adequately recover your shoulders before training them with higher volume again. The recovery is every bit as important as the workout if you want the best results!

Here’s the workout….

Full workout:

  • Warm-up/starting cardio: 15 minutes cross-trainer
    • Warm-up 0-5mins: steady moderate pace (I used level 15 resistance)
    • Work 5-15mins: 1:1 intervals – 1 minute fast/hard pace & increase resistance
      • I increase to resistance level of 17 and RPM’s were between 70-78 (all machines are different with their levels & resistance so the key is to find a challenging and uncomfortable level that you could not maintain for much longer than 1 minute).
      • After the 1 minute of high intensity, bring down your pace and resistance (I dropped back to level 15 and RPM’s of about 60) for 1 minute.
      • Continue the interval pattern until 15 minutes and then cool down at a slow low intensity pace for a few minutes until your heart rate and breath have come down.

The Shoulder Shaper:

  • 4 sets of:
    • 3 Reverse DB Flies – Squat – DB Push-out x 5
      • TIPS for Reverse Fly: keep your back in a neutral position and abs tight, as you lift the DB’s rotate your thumbs down toward the floor
      • For Squat: sit back in your heels, thighs parallel to the floor and pause
      • For push-out: once you’ve paused in your squat and holding DB’s at your chest, move them away from your body in a slow and controlled tempo, then return back to reverse fly start position).
      • Repeat this sequence 5 times
      • REST 60-90 seconds then repeat.
  • 4 sets of:
    • 15 Lateral DB Raises, TRX tilt (you can hold onto any fixed/stable structure) each side. (TIP: make sure you DO NOT swing the DB’s)
    • REST 30-60 seconds between sets then repeat.
  • 4 sets of:
    • 16 Standing 2-Point DB Press (8 lifts for each point) (TIPS: Stand tall, keep your abs tight and your back in a neutral (good posture) position. As you fatigue, DO NOT let your back arch back)
    • REST 60-90 seconds between sets then repeat.

**How much weight should you use??? Use an amount of weight that allows you to perform every repetition without letting your form break down, BUT the weight should be challenging and the set should feel uncomfortable! If you could maybe squeak out 1 or 2 more reps that’s fine, but you should not be able to perform 5,6,7… more reps. If you can then you need to increase the resistance.

  • Finishing cardio: 15 mins treadmill
    • I finished with: 0-5 minutes at 4mph & 6% incline
    • 5-15 minutes: 1:1 intervals – so 1 minute fast pace (I increased to 7mph and up to 8mph), after the minute, slow the pace to a brisk walk at 4mph for 1 minute. Repeat this until you reach 15 minutes. 6% incline stayed throughout.
    • Cool down with 5 mins walk until heart rate and breath have come down.

**How fast??? Working intervals should feel like HARD WORK but you can maintain the pace for the full minute. Your recovery minute should allow you to catch your breath and recover enough to perform at the high intensity the next minute.


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