Q: I like the heavy/light approach you lay out in the Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout 2.0. I also do [Mr. America] Doug Brignole’s Super TORQ for only one exercise per muscle every few workouts. Great change to gain! My question is, when I do TORQ, shouldn’t I use overhead presses for delts? In your TORQ routines and Brignole’s Super TORQ program, the shoulder exercise of choice is one-arm cable laterals. But you have heavy presses in the Power-Density programs, which aggravate my shoulder joint sometimes. Still, shouldn’t I do presses in my TORQ workouts? It’s the best shoulder exercise, right?
A: We have a love-hate relationship with presses—and Brignole’s is mostly hate (as we’ll explain)…
There’s no doubt that heavy overhead presses can damage the shoulder capsule. However, it’s obvious that one function of the shoulder complex is to push overhead.
So you need overhead presses for complete, awesome delt development, right? Maybe not…
According to Brignole, the medial-delt head gets little DIRECT stimulation when you do an overhead press. In fact, he says it’s fairly worthless for WIDE-DELT development…
Overhead presses are more of a front-delt-head move—but the medial head does contribute…
Since you’re feeling pain in your shoulder joint, stop the presses—or at least stop doing them heavy. When you use the Power-Density routine, you have two options for keeping them in…
- Use presses as a warmup exercise ONLY. Take a weight that allows you about 20 reps, but only do 15; rest 30 seconds, then do 15 more. Rest one last time for 30 seconds and do a third set of 15. None of those sets will be taxing, although you will get plenty of blood into your entire shoulder area so its prepped for your first heavier shoulder exercise, which will now be dumbbell upright rows.
- Put presses at the end of your delt workout and use standard straight sets. Your entire shoulder area will be fatigued by that point from laterals and upright rows, so you’ll be forced to use a lighter weight than if you did them first in your routine.
As for TORQ (30-20-15) or Super TORQ (50-40-30-20-10), use either dumbbell upright rows or one-arm cable laterals. Even with the lighter poundages, the cumulative high reps may further irritate your damaged shoulder capsule.
Doug prefers cable laterals. He says it’s the ultimate medial-delt move because of the continuous tension and the resistance in the STRETCH position. In the interview with him in The Power-Density Mass Workout 2.0 e-book, he says…
The cable provides resistance right from the beginning of the movement, and it diminishes as the arm is raised to the point where it’s parallel to the ground…. Conversely, the standing dumbbell lateral raise starts with zero resistance–at the point where [the medial head] can best handle resistance [at the stretch point].
He explains that he tries to choose exercises with more resistance in the stretch position, something we’ve deemed important for years when it comes to building extreme mass. Remember the animal study that produced a 300 percent muscle mass increase with only one month of stretch-overload workouts? Important stuff (which is why we always mention it).
We’ll say it again: Stretch overload is a key to optimal growth—a hypertrophic component presses lack. So stick with upright rows or cable laterals for your one-exercise Super TORQ attacks.
[Note: The full interview with Brignole on his new one-exercise mass method is in the Power-Density 2.0 e-book.]
Till next time, train hard—and smart—for BIG results.
—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson
7-Minute “Miracle Fix” for Stubborn Belly Fat
Researchers from The Proceedings of The Nutrition Society are suggesting this “blood flow hack” is the fastest way to melt off frozen belly fat with minimal effort.
So if you want to switch on your fat-switch in just 7 minutes—without going to the gym or running on the treadmill, then check this out: