Day 19:Delts & Chest

I started this workout with upright rows for shoulders because this move is feeling really good to me. It warms up the shoulder girdle, and gets my shoulders ready for isolation moves that come later. Regardless of whether you’re using a Smith machine or a barbell, widen your grip a little to get more delts work than traps. When you put your hands closer together you emphasize traps. Since I’m trying to hit delts, I’m going with the wider grip. Choose the right grip for your needs.

Next up is dumbbell lateral raises. I use a moderate weight so that I don’t involve my traps. I may go heavy for 1-2 sets, but I really want to hit the middle delts. Keep your rests short with a moderate weight to constantly drive blood into the muscle. It’s not a strength exercise, so you only need about 30-45 seconds of rest between sets.

My third move is an isolation move for rear delts. This is an overlooked muscle in your delts, but it really ties in your shoulders to your back to complete the appearance of fullness. Reverse cable flyes is a great exercise for isolating these muscles so long as you keep the weights light and you emphasize contracting and stretching your rear delts. This move is not about weight—it’s about developing the mind-muscle connection for this small-but-crucial muscle. Make sure to hold your arms high to hit rear delts.

Next up is one of my favorite versions of the front raise. Today, I’m using an EZ-bar with an underhand grip while I’m facedown on an incline bench to hit the front strips of the delts to add that cap to the shoulders. Go light and use lighter reps to really feel that muscle working.

To finish off shoulders, I’m going to perform machine shoulder presses with moderate weight and really strict form for 15 reps. Notice that I add a rest-pause at the bottom of each rep to add more time under tension (I don’t set the weight down). This also helps increase strength because there’s no bounce at the bottom or momentum.

For chest, I’m just doing an active recovery move. I’m only going to do 4-6 sets because my chest is still sore from Monday. Notice that for machine chest presses I’m not holding onto the handles. I’m grasping the outside of the apparatus with my hands parallel to one another. That’s because it also hits my shoulders and gives me a deep stretch in my chest.

 

Download the Workout

 

Morning cardio

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Perform 45 minutes before consuming food

 

Smith machine upright row 6 sets x 15 reps
Dumbbell lateral raise 5 sets x 8-10 reps
REVERSE CABLE FLYE 4 sets x 20 reps
Reverse Incline Front Raise 3 Sets x 15-20 Reps
MACHINE SHOULDER PRESS 5 Sets x 15 Reps
MACHINE CHEST PRESS 5 Sets x 15 Reps

Post-workout cardio

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Perform 30 minutes immediately after weight-training or add this session later in the evening

 

TAKEAWAY:

I didn’t do anything crazy during this workout, but my shoulders are fried. That’s because I emphasized isolation, a term that is often tossed around carelessly. When you don’t focus on the mind-muscle connection with the muscle you’re trying to isolate it’s not truly an isolation move.

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