How do I cut up my shoulders?

Bolder, Boulder Shoulders!

I know… we like being strong… but, if we’re being honest, we also want for that hard work to become obvious.

We look for those lines on our arms and our legs as proof that we are moving things in the right direction.

Nothing wrong with that!

Fitness can be about health and wellness but no need to apologize if there’s a little vanity mixed in there too!!!  I mean we didn’t name a class Vain by accident people!!

This post is not going to be about food or diet but suffice to say that what you drink and eat plays a big part in hypertrophy (muscle gain) and fat gain and even on the daily look of “crispness” in the muscles you’re presenting.  If you want to know more about this or be coached through this then Diet Rebellion is where you want to go.

For now, let’s just focus on shoulders b/c for sure this is one area that is of main interest to men and women alike.

To do that… I’ve written out for you a Vain style workout served up 3 different ways- beginner, intermediate, and advanced.

So just like at Sweat in Vain you might see just ONE workout, focused on ONE muscle group, we’re not going to prescribe it as THE ONE AND ONLY way to get the job done.

You’ve got to meet yourself where you are and push that boundary slightly every time you workout so that you end up with results not scheduled surgeries.

I’ve provided video tutorials to each level so you are well guided!

And by the way, if you love this type of information and coaching, you absolutely need to come to Sweat, take your free week, and experience what we are all about.

If you aren’t in town or just not sure if we’re right for you, join our newsletter Sweat Unfiltered.  I email once a week and talk nutrition, exercise, and mindset.  We will be starting our #SweatStrongChallenge soon so I’ll be talking TONS of strength and technique in the next few weeks.

Step 1: 5-10 minute warm up!  Non-negotiable.

Foam roll: back, pecs, lats then grab a light cable, band, or dumbbells and at the very least do 3 sets of 10- front, lateral, reverse flies.  Loosen the joints.  Bring blood to that area.  Never ever ever hit shoulders hard without warming them up first.

Step 2: The workouts

Beginner Shoulder Workout- Prep those shoulders

(*) indicates super set

Beginner Shoulder Workout Tutorial

DMB Neutral Grip OH Press

Shoulder Taps

15 x 3

10/10 x 3

 For proper overload and focus on form, complete all 15 reps and move directly to SLOW PACED Shoulder Taps
10/10 x 3  Slow taps.  I’m sure you could go fast and “finish it.”  Don’t care.  Not the point.
Front Raises 10 x 3  Control the raise.  Control the descent (the negative
Lateral Raises 10 x 3
Band/Cable Pull Aparts 10 x 3


Intermediate- Shoulders strong, form is good, but need to perfect the Snatch in advanced to move forward.

(*) indicates a tri-set- check that ego at the door for this one.  The burn is ridiculous!

Intermediate Shoulder Workout Tutorial

DMB Neutral Grip Over Head Press 15, 12, 10, 8
Single Arm Push Press- 5 second release on the negative 5/5 for 5 minutes
Front Raises *

Lateral raise *

Reverse fly *

10 Do 10 front raises and immediately move to…10 lateral raises and immediately move to…10 reverse flies.  REST 1-3 minutes before repeating this.
Total of 3 times!!!!
Band Pull Aparts 10/10


Advanced- ready for heavy lifting work and power.  You have a full understanding of form.  You have a full understanding of what “heavy” means for each particular movement.  

Triple check that ego at the door for Death by Delts.  It’s brilliantly brutal and wickedly effective.

Advanced Workout Tutorial

DMB Neutral Grip Overhead Press 15, 12, 10, 8 As reps get reduced, weight goes up.  Even if you cannot finish your set at the heavier weight, begin that way.  
Single Arm Snatch- 5/5 for 5 minutes take 5 seconds to bring the dumbbell back down after each rep
You will get 3-4 sets with good form this way.  
Death by Delts

5- heavy front raises

5- medium weight front raises

5- iso-moving front raises

5- heavy lateral raises

5- medium lateral raises

5- iso-moving lateral raises

5- heavy reverse flies

5- medium reverse flies

5- iso-moving reverse flies

5/5/5 Drop set Technique
  1. Watch Death by Delts video!! (warning- pretty sure song has a BIG cuss word!)
  2. Rest 1-3 minutes before repeating.
  3. You will do 3 sets of this.
 Band Pull Aparts  3x 15

No matter which workout is right for you the name of the game when you chisel out muscle is OVERLOAD!  You want to hit the area over and over again in different angles, different lifts.  In addition, with shoulders you want to make sure you hit all 3 heads so that you end up with well rounded delts.  Many folks will forget to hit those rear delts simply b/c they aren’t visible to them in the mirror.  They forget they even exist!

I hope you love these and of course, if you want more… See you at Sweat or on Sweat Unfiltered!!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *