The Cashout Shoulder Training Thread

Cashout

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Someone, me thinks Patriot, asked me to expound upon my shoulder training philosophy and I agreed but I let it slip my mind. Apologies for the tardiness of the response but here we go!

The Beginning – do what everybody else does but just do more of it!

First, know that for much of my early bodybuilding career, I perceived my shoulders to be a “weak point” in my physique. To me, that was unacceptable because next to a small waist, “big shoulders” are perhaps the most important part of the illusion of bodybuilding. So initially, I watched a lot of guys with great looking shoulders and I noticed that they all seemed to press and press a lot. Like most guys, when training shoulders, much of my training revolved around some form of overhead pressing. I figured it was just a matter of time and that the progress would come if I stuck to the pressing. After 5 fruitless years of pressing and pressing and more pressing, I finally realized that my shoulders did not grow from pressing. Oh, I got stronger and stronger, but in terms of muscle size, quality, and development, my shoulders really showed little improvement. Sure, I could sit down and crank out 10 reps with 225 on behind the head presses but my development just didn’t seem to be moving forward. So I did what most guys do for lagging shoulders – I pressed even more! Behind the head press, in front of the head press, dumbbell press, Arnold press, Hammer press, you name it I pressed it! No results. The futility continued until 1991 when I finally decided that I had to try something different because pressing just was not helping the cause.

Enter Genetics!
As I started to study guys with great shoulders, I noticed that what I saw as “great shoulders” was really more than just muscle size. Great shoulders are made up of 4 distinct elements. The first 3 things are genetic – wide clavicles, round full muscle bellies and long points of insertion on the arm. The fourth is muscle size. The first 3 things, you are born with the last is the only one you can build. Very few guys actually have all 4 of these shoulder attributes. To see the best example of someone who possesses all 4 shoulder attributes look at pictures of Kevin Lavrone – perhaps the best pair of shoulders in bodybuilding ever. What you will see is a very wide clavicle with full melon-like caps that extend deep in the bicep attachment point. Of course, he has great mass to complement the superior genetics. Luckily, for those of us of average genetics, you don’t have to posse all 4 attributes to have decent looking shoulders.

The Plan & Program
Understanding a more about what I could control and what I could not control regarding shoulders forced me to realign my thinking about my goal for shoulders. I wanted to create a round –looking shoulder structure that was full and appeared that way from side-to-side and front-to-back. That meant I was dropping the pressing since it primarily hit the front delt. I was focusing on the side and rear delts in the hope of building up the ability to create the illusion of width and thickness in my shoulder structure.

I started doing a lot of dumbbell lateral work and a lot of rear delt work. In just a few months, I noticed huge improvements in my appearance. In fact, I stuck with that idea right up and through my last contest. It was at that show that I had more comments on my improved shoulders than anything else about my physique.
Twenty years later the routine is still very much the same. The only modifications involve the incorporation of the giant set approach for improved efficiency. Also, I feel compelled to tell you that this is the routine that I used today and I stole it from one of my personal benchmark bodybuilders Francis Bennefatto.

4 Giant Sets of
Combination Dumbbell side lateral raises/Dumbbell Front Raise: 12 reps X 35 lbs Dumbbells (performed in an alternating style: side rep then front rep back to side rep then front rep) one combo of side-front = 1 rep.
Supersetted with Seated Dumbbell Press: 12 X 70 lbs Dumbells
Supersetted with Dumbell side lateral raise: 12 reps X 35 lbs Dumbbells

4 Giant Sets of
Incline Rear Dumbbell raise 12 reps X 35 lbs dumbbells
Supersetted with Standing Cable rear delt raise 12 reps X 20 lbs each cable
Supersetted with seated dumbbell rear delt raise 12 reps X 20 lbs dumbbells.

So there is the routine. The goal with shoulders is to work on feeling each and every rep making a tight and forceful contraction. During the first exercise of combo side-front raise, you might feel like you can do more than 12 reps – don’t do 12 and move to the presses. You’ll understand why after you complete the first sequence 1 time.

This routine takes me about 25 minutes to complete and my shoulders are always blistered afterwards. Give it a try and report back!
 

PillarofBalance

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I have dog-shit shoulders for a guy my size. A lot I know is just my terrible arm genetics. I used to train my shoulders relentlessly trying to make them grow.

Honestly though my biggest problem was I can't get a mind-muscle connection going. I smoke my traps and neck doing lateral raises. I've never, not once ever in my entire life had DOMS in my shoulders.

WTF?
 

StoliFTW

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thx Cashout. your routine's are top notch. going to follow that tonight - maybe not supersets but i'll follow otherwise... thx again
 

whitelml

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Awesome post cashout and greatly appreciated. Shoulders are my favorite to train. I learned that dropping my shoulders down and almost like turning them towards the front helped me a ton to isolate the side delt and prevent traps from helping. Also looking at the muscle helps me with the mind muscle connection.
 

63Vette

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Thank you so much Cash! I began to discover in the last few months that my lagging back and pathetic rear delts were in MAJOR need of work. This routine looks like it will fit perfectly in to what I am trying to accomplish.

Thanks again brother!

Much Respect,
Vette
 

Patriot1405

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Hey Cashout, thanks for remembering brother!! Routine looks awesome!!! Can't wait for shoulder day. Still running your chest routine, and am making great gains!! Thanks again my friend!
 

DarksideSix

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thanks for posting this, as it is at this exact time the #1 thing I am focusing on....trying to get well rounded shoulders.

Question, what about traps? do you do any trap work or figure that it just gets hit enough working your shoulders?
 
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Very nice. Might have to try this. Used your chest routine and was sore as fuck but love it
 

Cashout

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Since I do deads every week and with this style of shoulder training, I don't do any direct trap work. I haven't in a very long time.

thanks for posting this, as it is at this exact time the #1 thing I am focusing on....trying to get well rounded shoulders.

Question, what about traps? do you do any trap work or figure that it just gets hit enough working your shoulders?
 

Mind2muscle

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I have dog-shit shoulders for a guy my size. A lot I know is just my terrible arm genetics. I used to train my shoulders relentlessly trying to make them grow.

Honestly though my biggest problem was I can't get a mind-muscle connection going. I smoke my traps and neck doing lateral raises. I've never, not once ever in my entire life had DOMS in my shoulders.

WTF?

Same here POB. I never have DOMS in my shoulders even after a brutal shoulder workout. Although my traps do get really sore.
 

Azog

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Great thread, again, Cash. I will point my buddy to this thread. He asked me how to improve his shoulders, because my shoulders are by far my most well developed area. I told him not to ask me, because my shoulders grow like weeds no matter what I do. I told him to find someone who actually had to work hard for theirs. This thread is exactly what he needs! You are absolutely right about genetics. I swear if I look at my rear delts for too long they grow...
 

SuperBane

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I wish someone had a good routine for traps ... in the front right above the collar bone.
shrugs til i cant shrug any longer ... incline pressing nothing builds this area.
Deadlifts my ass.
I can not get that collar bone area filled in.
This area is lacking makes my delts look funny empty from the top.

View from backside? Traps looking okay. smh WTF?

anyways aside from my rambles, Thank you for the routine Cash.
Ever since I added in side laterals raises even at lower weight my delt's have taken off again!
 

Cashout

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Just for discussion, here is an illustrations that defines what I am stating regarding shoulders and the genetic aspects of development.

Kevin Lavrone - someone with a very wide clavicle structure, round muscle bellies, and deep insertion points. Kevin was unique in that all 3 of his shoulder heads were fantastically developed.

In the pic, Kevin is a boy of 14. Notice the width of this kid's clavicles. It is so pronounced that even at 14, this kid looks very very square in the shoulders and you can see that his delt insertions points are already pronounced and run deep down his arm. That is pure genetics.

Kevin_Levrone3.jpg
 

Cashout

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That is one body part I cannot help with. My traps have always been very thick. A lot of that comes from 5 years of wrestling and bridging constantly.

I wish someone had a good routine for traps ... in the front right above the collar bone.
shrugs til i cant shrug any longer ... incline pressing nothing builds this area.
Deadlifts my ass.
I can not get that collar bone area filled in.
This area is lacking makes my delts look funny empty from the top.

View from backside? Traps looking okay. smh WTF?

anyways aside from my rambles, Thank you for the routine Cash.
Ever since I added in side laterals raises even at lower weight my delt's have taken off again!
 

AndroSport

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Just for discussion, here is an illustrations that defines what I am stating regarding shoulders and the genetic aspects of development.

Kevin Lavrone - someone with a very wide clavicle structure, round muscle bellies, and deep insertion points. Kevin was unique in that all 3 of his shoulder heads were fantastically developed.

In the pic, Kevin is a boy of 14. Notice the width of this kid's clavicles. It is so pronounced that even at 14, this kid looks very very square in the shoulders and you can see that his delt insertions points are already pronounced and run deep down his arm. That is pure genetics.

Kevin_Levrone3.jpg

Never looked at it like this... I certainly have a wide clavicle structure. I have always had large traps, shoulder and triceps. Right now I keep saying my arms are too small and I think it's because my shoulders dwarf my arms and make them look smaller than they are.

For most of my life I never even trained delts because they would just develop well from indirect work. Lately I have been training them and now I think my other parts need to catch up.

I also can't ever remember having DOMS in my shoulders. Weird.

Hre is my standard routine... It varies a bit and I will add things to it here and there but this is the main part of it:

Standing Lateral DB raises 30-35lbs x 10-14 reps

Superset:
Incline bench rear delt DB rows 60-80lbs x 10-14 reps
Front delt raises - Underhand grip weighted EZ curl bar (60-80 lbs) x 10-14 reps

Seated military press... In front of the head ~185 lbs x 10-14 reps

Pre-exhaust/superset:
Standing DB side lateral raises 25lbs x 15 reps
Smith machine overhead press (in front of the head) 185-225lbs x 10-14 reps

Reverse pec deck for rear delt or standing crossover cables

Here is an older photo its a shot from behind... My arms look small as shit here but they are at least 18" at the time (not huge but not small)

Delt_zps94eca44c.jpg


I will see if I can find an old photo where you can see the clavicles etc better... You can't really see them well in my last update photo shown below:

IMG_20130308_212102_zps9bf81798.jpg
 

Cashout

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<----This guy is jealous.

Andro, from the pictures, I can tell that you certainly have good genes for shoulder development. That sure does help...
 

AndroSport

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<----This guy is jealous.

Andro, from the pictures, I can tell that you certainly have good genes for shoulder development. That sure does help...

Thanks cash, I just gotta work on getting everything else caught up, lol.

This is a great thread... I will have to try some of your routines mixed in with mine.
 

corvettels3

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Never looked at it like this... I certainly have a wide clavicle structure. I have always had large traps, shoulder and triceps. Right now I keep saying my arms are too small and I think it's because my shoulders dwarf my arms and make them look smaller than they are.

For most of my life I never even trained delts because they would just develop well from indirect work. Lately I have been training them and now I think my other parts need to catch up.

I also can't ever remember having DOMS in my shoulders. Weird.

Hre is my standard routine... It varies a bit and I will add things to it here and there but this is the main part of it:

Standing Lateral DB raises 30-35lbs x 10-14 reps

Superset:
Incline bench rear delt DB rows 60-80lbs x 10-14 reps
Front delt raises - Underhand grip weighted EZ curl bar (60-80 lbs) x 10-14 reps

Seated military press... In front of the head ~185 lbs x 10-14 reps

Pre-exhaust/superset:
Standing DB side lateral raises 25lbs x 15 reps
Smith machine overhead press (in front of the head) 185-225lbs x 10-14 reps

Reverse pec deck for rear delt or standing crossover cables

Here is an older photo its a shot from behind... My arms look small as shit here but they are at least 18" at the time (not huge but not small)

Delt_zps94eca44c.jpg


I will see if I can find an old photo where you can see the clavicles etc better... You can't really see them well in my last update photo shown below:

IMG_20130308_212102_zps9bf81798.jpg

damn brother, you're looking thick.. nice job.
 

AndroSport

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damn brother, you're looking thick.. nice job.

Thanks bro... its been a journey to get here from where i was less than a year ago.

Having some muscle knotting issues that have started plaguing me in my rhomboid area the last few weeks that I am trying to get rid of so I can go heavy again without knotting up. Massage has helped but its still there and will flare up if I start to train hard. First speed bump on this journey in the way of injuries...
 

Jada

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Cash really great post, read it like two times . Andro look good man!
 
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