Our biggest training influence as we got older—and wiser—was Vince Gironda. In our last Moment of Bodybuilding Zen, we featured Larry Scott and Freddy Ortiz, a photo from the ’60s taken in front of Vince’s Gym in Studio City, California. [Read more…]
Arnold was revered for his arms, particularly his sky-high biceps—but check out Arnold’s delts in the photo below. They were really popping that day. [Read more…]
Q: How can I get wider shoulders, and I mean as wide as possible? I want more of a classic bodybuilder look.
A: Wider shoulders will definitely give you a more commanding appearance, but understand that your shoulder width is limited by your clavicle, or collar-bone, width. The good news is that you can still look a lot wider with full, round delts. Larry Scott, the first Mr. Olympia, had narrow clavicles, but he packed a lot of meat on his delts and solved the problem, becoming the best bodybuilder in the world in his day. [Read more…]
Q: I have flat shoulders. I do lots of sets of dumbbell presses, but they aren’t helping. Should I try doing lateral raises first in my shoulder workout?
A: We both have to fight and do everything right to sculpt our delts into round mounds of muscle so we don’t suffer from flat shoulders. One thing we’ve learned is that overhead presses—for us, anyway—tend to put almost all of the stress on our front deltoids, and those front heads don’t add to the roundness you’re after… [Read more…]
Q: I noticed in some of your newsletters and in articles on your website that you guys do behind-the-neck presses and behind-the-neck pulldowns. Don’t you know those can trash your rotator cuffs?
A: You’re not the first to reprimand us for using those so-called dangerous old-school muscle moves. However, we think the injury potential of behind-the-neck pulldowns and behind-the-neck presses is overblown because it’s dependent on genetics, exercise form, and where you place them in your program.[Read more…]
Q: I like the idea of doing dumbbell upright rows first as the midrange movement for shoulders [as recommended in the 3D Muscle Building e-book]. I just have trouble feeling the X Reps at the end after I reach exhaustion. Should I just do a drop set instead?
A: As we explained in the last e-zine, drop sets are better for continuous tension/occlusion exercises—contracted-position moves like laterals for delts, leg extensions for quads, etc. You’re looking to maximize force production with the big midrange exercise, so X Reps is the best choice…[Read more…]
Q: In 3D Muscle Building you have incline one-arm laterals or one-arm cable laterals as the stretch move for the side-delt head. Is one better than the other? They feel completely different to me, and I just want big round delts, so which is the best exercise?
A: Both provide resistance on the medial-delt head when the arm is across the front of the torso. You don’t get that with standard lateral raises because of gravity and your arm positioning—at the bottom of the stroke, your arms are perpendicular to the floor with delts resting (zero resistance).[Read more…]
Q: My girlfriend likes to critique my body when I ask. She’s got a good eye for proportion—and if I look good for her, I get the benefits, if you know what I mean—LOL. Lately, she’s been saying my shoulders are too flat. I need more roundness and broadness. What do you suggest?
A: When you think about it, most barbell and dumbbell shoulder exercises are lacking—inefficient to say the least, so you need a real delt-stretching combo to grow… [Read more…]
Q: The incline one-arm lateral raise is very awkward for me. Is there another exercise I can use for the stretch in my [Positions-of-Flexion] delt routine?
A: That exercise was an Arnold favorite in his prime because it provides some stretch overload to the medial- and posterior-delt heads. Arnold knew instinctively that stretch overload triggered significant mass gains (this was decades before the animal study that produced a 300 percent mass increase with one month of stretch overload—Arnold just had a knack for knowing what packed on muscle). [Read more…]