Man of Steel Cannon Ball Shoulders

Posted: June 17, 2013 in fitness, fun


As with my “super drops” Chest routine article, this shoulder routine is designed to be worked into the  help bring up the Building a physique like Henry Cavill’s Superman program…

Delts are a small muscle group, so they can be trained more frequently than chest, they also tend to respond best to high volume and constant tension.  The danger is that if you overwork it without proper warmups, stretching, etc, you can injure the joint pretty easily.

Shoulders have always been a point of weakness for me, so I put a lot of work into trying to find the best way to get them to respond, so the following program is based on my findings:


Step 1: Warmup!! – do at least 5-10 minutes of DYNAMIC warming up of your shoulders.  I usually do giant sets of light weight shoulder exercises such as incline DB presses, 3-way delt raises, incline rotator cuff extensions, etc.

Step 2: CNS Activation – to begin this workout we want to activate the brain so that muscles are fired efficiently and effectively

  • DB Press Pyramid – 6 sets pyramiding from 10-12 reps down to 4-5 reps. On the last set, use SUPER DROPS (as discussed in the chest routine), doing two drops of 25%. rest 2-3 min between sets (except of course the drops at the end).

Step 3: Volumize!

  • Dumbbell side laterals – 4 sets x 8 *PARTIAL* reps, negatives at the end of each set, 1 min rest between sets – The partial rep is to accommodate the constant tension, if you lower the weight too far you relieve tension, so go as low as possible while maintaining tension on the shoulder. To perform the negative, you basically perform a hammer curl to bring the dumbbells up towards your shoulders, then extend your elbows out. Now straighten your elbows until you are essentially in the top position of a lateral raise, then lower as slowly as you can.
  • Lying dumbbell side laterals – 4 sets x 8 reps – This is to work the lower part of the range of motion.
  • Bent Dumbbell lateral raise w/external rotation – 4 sets of 12 reps superset with:
  • Incline dumbbell front raise

Step 4: Stretch! – Hang from a chin-up bar for 20-30 seconds letting your shoulders stretch as much as possible. Not only will this help the recovery process, but will also help avoid injury.

This routine is very similar to the Alpha workout I posted previously, which includes traps into the same workout.

If you are overloading your shoulders by working them out I suggest alternating the angles and moves every workout so the joint doesn’t get worn down too much. For example, you could switch out the DB presses with Arnold presses; You can also switch out dumbbells for cables to change the wear pattern. I would also strongly suggest making one of your sessions focussed on flexibility.

Additionally, adding in a joint supplement is a good idea when training shoulders frequently.  Certainly use MSM, or you can be more aggressive and use a mega joint supplement such as Animal Flex.

In terms of progression, since high volume is the key focus on increasing by a rep or two before moving up in weight.

Good luck, may your guns blaze and delts blast!

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Super Hero Physique
superhero_physique by Shawn Buffington

  1. […] here are a few articles you can start with: Isolating compound movements Shoulders Chest Arms Arms II Back Back II Legs (overall) Quads Glutes/hamstrings Nutritional […]

  2. […] Man of Steel Cannon Ball Shoulders […]

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