BY BILL PEARL (1965)
Broad shoulders are something that can add s much to a person's physical appearance as any other part of the anatomy. Regardless of how the person is dressed, broad shoulders are hard to hide and will automatically, even if subconsciously, make an impression on any person who is interested in the physical aspects of the human body.
Throughout the years that I have acted as an instructor in health studios and the many years I have spent training myself, I can say that it is much easier for most people to talk about someone with broad shoulders than it is to build a set for themselves. I have also found that very few people really know exactly what to do to improve their shoulders, except for a few standard exercises.
The width of the shoulders is generally governed by the length of the clavicle bones. If you are fortunate to have exceptionally long clavicles, your shoulders will be broader than normal and the progress will be even more impressive. We cannot concern ourselves too much about how long or how short a person's clavicle bones are. A person can still improve his shoulder width by proper weight training and this is the reason for writing this book.
This book is designed to help you improve your shoulders as quickly and completely as it is possibly known today. we have not left out any muscle group and have concerned ourselves with the small muscles as well as the large muscle groups of the shoulders.
I strongly suggest that you follow the courses outlined as they are written. Do not deviate from them, if at all possible. All of the courses are written exactly as we feel they should be done and are placed as they are for a particular reason. If you find that one exercise seems to bother your shoulders, I suggest you stop the exercise and supplement it with another that does not bother you.
Concentration while you are doing an exercise is extremely important and will speed the progress of the muscle. Be sure that you do not get in the habit of handling too much weight as to do the exercise improperly. Always train within your limits. Keep a positive attitude towards your workouts and think even more positively about the muscle group that you are trying to bring along a little faster and you will be sure to show remarkable improvement. Train hard and be consistent.
Shoulders can be developed. Even though one does not have the bone structure for broad shoulders, muscles can be developed to broaden and give the desired width to your shoulders. If you are fortunate enough to have the natural wide shoulders which every bodybuilder desires you can still improve them by working these exercises along with your regular training program. If you are going to specialize, do the schedules outlined at the beginning of your workout schedule, and then continue with the balance of your exercises, working your arms, chest, midsection and legs. It is possible to improve your shoulders and continue with your overall body workout.
To get the most from this type of program emphasize strict adherence to the instructions. Do not get sloppy on the execution of the exercises. Anything worth doing is worth doing right. Use the prescribed series for at least a period of six weeks and then change and work on series 2-3-4-5. When you are in a balanced condition, work on any weak portion of the deltoids that you feel requires improvement.
It is best to start with the basic movements, then advance to the more difficult forms of shoulder or deltoid work. Bear in mind we are only interested in muscle, and nothing else.
Remember, you must analyze for yourself and decide which part of your deltoids need the most work, then reduce the sets on the strong or better-developed part. Add more sets for the weak part of the shoulders. There is a limit and when excessive sets are done the muscle does not grow, so there is a normal and reasonable amount of work to bring about the best results. To eliminate confusion follow this procedure. Do not add sets if the back part of your deltoid is weak and the side is not. Instead of doing five sets of an exercise for building the side portion of the deltoid, cut it down to two to three sets and work harder on the exercises which work and build the rear deltoid. Now, as stated before, overworking a muscle will tend to hold its growth back. It is a matter of the muscle never being able to fully recuperate and build in size and strength.
One must find the normal output for themselves. We have given you what we feel is the right number of sets and you can either increase or reduce the amount, whatever fits your particular physical makeup.
Follow each program for three days per week for a period of six weeks. The programs below are for individuals who have been training for a period of years. Beginners should do only one set of each exercise on Routine One. After completing the six week period, start Routine Two and do two sets of each exercise. Do not do more than three sets of each exercise until you have been working out for at least a year or more.
Work within your own limit.
1) Military Press 3 x 8-10.
This is the standard military press. Clean the weight to the chest, or take the weight from stands. Lock the legs and hips solidly. This will give you a solid platform from which to push. Keep the elbows in slightly under the bar, press the weight overhead, lock the arms out. When lowering the barbell to the chest, be sure it rests on the chest and is not held with the arms. If the chest is held high it will give a you a nice shelf on which to place the barbell and to push from. Inhale before the press and exhale when lowering the bar.
2) Upright Rowing 3 x 8-10
This is an excellent trapezius and deltoid exercise. Place hands on the barbell at roughly shoulder width. Keep the body erect and stationary and pull the weight to the top position at or above nipple height. Keep the barbell in close and pause momentarily at the top. Concentrate as you slowly lower the bar to starting position. Inhale up and exhale down.
3) Seated Dumbbell Press 3 x 8-10
Clean dumbbells to shoulders and sit on bench, placing one foot slightly ahead of the other to form a stable base. With the palms facing each other press the bells to arms' length overhead. Be sure to completely straighten the arms. Inhale before pressing overhead, exhale when lowering back to the shoulders.
4) Bentover Deltoid Raise 3 x 8
Lock the elbows and keep the arms straight. Bring the dumbbells to the top position and hold and contract the muscles. Do not swing the dumbbells up, keep the body rigid and strongly work the muscles of the deltoids and upper back. Be sure to bring the dumbbells straight out to the sides, inhaling up and exhaling down.
1) Standing Press Behind Neck 4 x 8-10
Stand with feet placed a comfortable distance apart. Use quite a wide grip, wider than shoulder width on the bar. Keep the elbows directly under the bar. Press the barbell overhead to lockout. Inhale as you press overhead and exhale as you lower to your shoulders. Maintain a solid foundation by keeping the legs straight and the hips flexed. Pause at the shoulder before pressing the barbell overhead. Make a full movement of the exercise by touching the barbell to the shoulders each time it is lowered and locking the elbows each time it is pressed overhead.
2) Bentover Barbell Row 4 x 8
Use a wide grip on the bar and a wide foot spacing. you can bend the knees or keep the legs straight. The important thing is to bend forward at the waist and maintain a straight back. Keep the arms straight, pull he barbell up to the chest and make a definite pause. Lower the bar back to arms' length. Be sure to work the muscle both ways when pulling up and letting the weight down. Do your repetitions slowly and smoothly. Do not drop the shoulders or round the back. Inhale on the upward pull to the chest. By keeping the waist drawn in and the chest out, it will be easier to touch your chest with the bar and maintain a flat back position. Exhale when lowering the bar back to arms' length.
3) Seated Alternate Dumbbell Press 3 x 8
Clean dumbbells and sit down. Start with bells at shoulders. Press dumbbell in right hand to arms' length overhead, keeping dumbbell in left hand at the shoulder. Lower right dumbbell back to shoulder and press right dumbbell overhead. Maintain a rigid body position doing all the work with the shoulder and arm. Do not lean from side to side while pressing. Inhale up, exhale down.
4) Barbell Forward Raise 3 x 8-10
Use a shoulder width grip on barbell and stand with it at arms' length. Rest bar on thighs. Keeping elbows locked and arms straight, raise barbell over head. Slowly lower bar back to thighs, keeping arms straight. Inhale at starting position and exhale as bar is returned from overhead.
1) Wide Grip Upright Row 3 x 6-8
This is a more difficult type of upright rowing exercise. The deltoids are worked more and much concentration is required to perform it correctly. Start with the barbell at arms' length, resting on the thighs, but with a wider than shoulder-width hand spacing. Pull barbell up to a position at or above the nipples. Pause while contracting strongly, then lower to starting position. Inhale up, exhale down.
2) Seated Press Behind Neck 4 x 6-8
This is performed as the regular standing press behind neck, only in a seated position. Rest the bar on your shoulders between each rep and set yourself for the press.
3) Crucifix 3 x 6-8
To handle a substantial poundage, stand in a solid position and press two dumbbells to arms' length overhead. Slowly lower them with straight arms and locked elbows to the sides at shoulder height. Attempt to hold arms in position for a count of 5 to 10. The purpose of the crucifix is to use the deltoids as a support and this places a stress of a different nature upon the muscles. Inhale while pressing the dumbbells overhead and exhale as they are lowered.
4) Seated Alternate Dumbbell Raise 3 x 8
Sit with dumbbells held at arms' length at sides. With dumbbell in left hand in down position, raise dumbbell in right hand to arm's length overhead. Lower right arm to position hanging straight at side, raise the left arm. Inhale upward and exhale when lowering dumbbell.
5) Incline One Arm Lateral Raise 2 x 8-10
Assume the position shown above. Inhale as you raise the dumbbell, exhale as you lower.
1) One Arm Military Press 3 x 5-8
Using a dumbbell when pressing can allow you to get a lower position and fuller range of movement. Clean the bell to the shoulder. Keep the heels together and extend other arm for balance. Keep the body straight, press dumbbell to arm's length overhead. Work should be done entirely with shoulder and arm. Inhale and press overhead, exhale as you lower it to shoulder.
2) Incline One Arm Lateral Raise 3 x 8-10
3) Seated Military Press 4 x 5-8
This exercise is done exactly as standing military press, only in a sitting position, and in a stricter fashion. First, clean the barbell to the shoulders, sit down, and place the feet in evenly. Do not stagger the position of the feet in this exercise. Keep the chest high and back straight and press the barbell to arms' length overhead. Do the press slowly and steadily, keeping tension on the muscles at all times, except when barbell is resting on chest. Breathe the same as the regular military press.
4) Alternate Standing Dumbbell Raise 3 x 8
Assume a solid stance with a dumbbell in each hand. Inhale and raise the right arm overhead and to the front, keeping arm straight. Exhale as you lower the bell back to starting position. Raise left arm, keeping position stationary. Do not lean forward or backwards. Do the work with deltoid muscle and work each arm, one repetition at a time.
5) Seated Dumbbell Lateral Raise 3 x 8
Sit erect with arms extended by the sides. Raise them to just above shoulder height. The angle of the raise should be between the position of the regular lateral raise and the forward raise. Inhale before raising the bells, exhale as they are lowered under control.
1) Seated Press in Front and Behind Neck 4 x 8
This is one of the very best shoulder exercises. It must be done properly to obtain the full results. First, clean a barbell to your shoulders and sit down on a bench. Press to arms' length. Lower barbell to behind neck to the shoulders. Do not relax or rest at the shoulder, press the bar back to arms' length, lower it to the chest and repeat again. Keep the bar in motion throughout the exercise. This is a compound exercise and four presses to front and four to back are performed. Inhale up, exhale down.
2) Standing Lateral Raise 4 x 8
In a comfortable stance, start with dumbbells at arms' length, palms facing in toward the thighs. Slowly raise dumbbells to a position a little above shoulder height, pause and contract the deltoid, then lower back to starting position. Keep the arms straight and elbows locked throughout the execution of this exercise. Inhale when raising, exhale when lowering.
3) One Arm Rowing 4 x 8
Use a bench, placing one hand on the bench for support and spreading the feet wide. This will give you balance. Keep the back straight and extend the arm fully. Next, pull the dumbbell to the chest, keeping the elbow pointed outwards which will allow you to pull the bell higher and work the latissimus more fully. The dumbbell is pulled in a straight line. There is no rotating motion. Inhale on the upward pull and exhale when extending the arm to a straight position.
4) Bent Arm Lateral Raise 3 x 6-8
This is a standing version of the seated dumbbell lateral raise, exercise number 5 in routine 4.
5) Incline One Arm Lateral Raise 2 x 8-10
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