Shoulder Workouts: 8 Weeks Plan For Mass And Definition

Shoulder workout plan - fitzabout

This 8-week shoulder workout plan is designed to help you to build mass and definition in your shoulders.

Building mass and definition in your shoulders requires a combination of weight training, proper nutrition, and rest and recovery.

To build mass, it’s important to focus on progressive overload, compound exercises, and heavy lifting. To achieve definition, it’s essential to focus on isolation exercises, higher reps, and a diet that promotes fat loss.

Shoulder workout strategies

Here are some shoulder workout strategies for mass that can help you build mass in your shoulders:

  • Progressive Overload: To build mass in your shoulders, it’s essential to gradually increase the resistance you’re using. This can be done by adding weight, increasing reps, or doing more sets. 1 2
  • Compound exercises: Incorporate compound exercises such as the shoulder press, upright row, and pull-ups which work multiple muscle groups at the same time. These exercises allow you to use the most weight and recruit the most muscle fibers, which leads to the most muscle growth. 3 4
  • Heavy lifting: Use heavy weights that are challenging to lift for fewer reps (6-8 reps) to build mass.
  • Volume: Incorporate more volume in your shoulder workout by increasing the number of sets and reps you’re doing.

Here are some shoulder workout strategies definition that can help you achieve definition in your shoulders:

  • Isolation exercises: To achieve muscle definition, you should include isolation exercises such as lateral raises and rear delt flys, which target specific muscle heads of the deltoid. These exercises allow you to target the specific muscle group with less weight and higher reps, which will help chisel out the muscle shape.
  • Higher reps: Use lighter weights for higher reps (12–15 reps) to build definition.
  • Incorporate Supersets: performing two or more exercises back-to-back with little to no rest in between can help to increase the muscle activation and promote muscle definition.
  • Cardio: Incorporate cardiovascular exercise to burn fat and create a calorie deficit, which will help to reveal the muscle definition that you have built. 5

Vary your exercise selection, don’t always do the same exercises, to target all of the deltoid head and maximize muscle activation. 6

Always use proper form and technique when performing exercises to avoid injury and to target the correct muscles. 7

Giving your shoulders enough rest between workout sessions is important for muscle recovery and growth. 8 9

Stay consistent in your exercise and nutrition plans. Building definition takes time and requires a consistent effort over a period of time.

Eating a diet high in protein and calories will help support muscle growth. Make sure to eat enough protein and calories to support muscle growth and recovery, and to eat a well-balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. 10 11

Shoulder muscles function

The shoulder is a complex joint that is made up of several different muscles that work together to allow for a wide range of motion.

The three main muscle groups in the shoulders are the deltoid muscles, the rotator cuff muscles and the trapezius muscles. 12 13

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The deltoid muscle is the large, triangular muscle that covers the shoulder joint.14 It is responsible for shoulder movement, and is divided into three heads:

  1. Anterior (front)
  2. Medial (middle)
  3. Posterior (rear) deltoid

Anterior (front)

The front (anterior) head of the deltoid muscle is the portion of the muscle that is located on the front of the shoulder. It is responsible for shoulder flexion and is typically the most visible portion of the deltoid muscle.

Exercises that target the front deltoids include the standing military press, the front raise and the push press.

  1. Standing Military Press: This exercise targets the front deltoids and the triceps. You can perform this exercise using a barbell or dumbbells. Start with your feet shoulder-width apart, grip the barbell or dumbbells with an overhand grip, and press the weight overhead while keeping your core tight.
  2. Front Raise: This exercise is specifically targeting the front deltoids, You can perform this exercise using dumbbells or cables. Start by holding the dumbbells in front of your thighs, or holding a cable in front of your body with both hands, and lift them directly in front of you, keeping your elbows slightly bent and your palms facing down.
  3. Push press: The push press exercise works on the front deltoids, triceps, and quads, start with your feet shoulder-width apart and grip the barbell or dumbbells with an overhand grip, dip your knees slightly and push the weight overhead while straightening your legs.

Medial (middle)

The middle (medial) head of the deltoid muscle is the portion of the muscle that is located in the middle of the shoulder. It’s responsible for abduction of the arm, and is engaged when you move your arm out to the side.

Exercises that target the middle deltoid include:

  1. Lateral Raise: The lateral raise exercise targets the middle deltoid. You can perform this exercise using dumbbells or cables. Start with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold the dumbbells at your sides. Lift the weights out to the side, keeping your elbows slightly bent and your palms facing down.
  2. Cable lateral raise: This exercise can also be done using cables, either with a handle attachment or a rope. It works in a similar way to the dumbbell lateral raise.
  3. Dumbbell Arnold press: This exercise is named after Arnold Schwarzenegger, it targets the middle and front deltoids, as well as the triceps. It starts with the dumbbells held in front of the chest, then press them up and out to the side, rotating the hands as you lift.

Posterior (rear)

The rear (posterior) head of the deltoid muscle is the portion of the muscle located on the back of the shoulder. It is responsible for shoulder extension and is typically less developed than the front and middle deltoids.

Exercises that target the rear deltoids include:

  1. Reverse Fly: This exercise targets the rear deltoids. You can perform this exercise using dumbbells or cables. Start by sitting on a bench or standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, and bend forward from the waist, keeping your back straight, and lift the weights out to the side.
  2. Bent-Over Lateral Raise: This exercise also targets the rear deltoids. You can perform this exercise using dumbbells or cables. Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and bend forward from the waist, keep your back straight, and lift the weights out to the side.
  3. Face Pull: The face pulls exercise targets the rear deltoids as well as the upper back. You can perform this exercise using a cable machine with a rope attachment, hold the rope attachment with both hands, pull the rope towards your face, and keep your elbows high.
  4. Seated Row: This exercise can help build the muscle of the upper back, which helps pull the shoulders back and make the rear delts appear fuller.
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Rotator cuff

The rotator cuff muscles are a group of four small muscles that attach the upper arm bone (humerus) to the shoulder blade (scapula). These muscles are responsible for holding the upper arm bone in place and allowing for rotation. The rotator cuff muscles include the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, subscapularis, and teres minor.

Trapezius

The trapezius muscle is a large, flat muscle that extends from the neck to the middle of the upper back. It is responsible for moving, rotating and stabilizing the shoulder blade.

All these muscles work together to allow for a wide range of motion in the shoulder, such as lifting, reaching, and rotating the arm. Additionally, these muscles play an important role in activities like throwing, swimming, and pushing.

8-week shoulder workout plan for mass and definition

DAYSWORKOUTS
MondayShoulder workout for mass
Tuesday
Wednesday
ThursdayShoulder workout for definition
Friday
Saturday
Sunday

8-week workout plan that targets both mass and definition in the shoulders can include a combination of exercises that focus on progressive overload and higher reps; in addition to a well-rounded routine that hits all the different muscle groups of the shoulders.

1. Shoulder workout for mass

An 8-week workout plan to build mass in your shoulders:

EXERCISESSETS × REPS
WARM-UP
1. Straight Arm Circles
2. Rolling Shoulder Circles
3. Overhead Band Rolls
1 × 15
Barbell Shoulder Press
+
Barbell Upright Row
3 × 8
Barbell Front Raise
+
Dumbbell Side Raise
3 × 8
Dumbbell Rear Delts Fly3 × 8
Barbell Shrugs3 × 8
There is a 2-min rest in between the set.

2. Shoulder workout for definition

An 8-week shoulder workout plan to achieve definition in your shoulders:

EXERCISESSETS × REPS
WARM UP
Empty Barbell Press
2 × 20
Dumbbell Shoulder Press3 × 16
Double Cable Front Raise3 × 16
Single Hand Cable Side Raise3 × 16
Rear Delt Cable Fly
+
Cable Rope Shrugs
3 × 16
There is a 90 sec rest in between the set.

This workout plan focus on progressive overload and heavy lifting to build mass, and also isolation exercises with higher reps to build definition.

Make sure to also incorporate cardio and a balanced nutrition to achieve the best results.
Also, as always, make sure to seek advice from a professional and consult with your doctor before beginning any workout program.

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