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Build Broader Shoulders In 12 Weeks

Joe Fazer is known for putting on mass.

 

He’s almost unrecognisable from the “skinny guy” (his words, not ours) he was when he first started out.

Joe’s always struggled to put on weight. But there are a few ways he’s managed to get bigger. One is through training. He’s successfully increased muscle mass in every area of his body. Two is through calories. Joe’s constantly smashing calorie challenges and drinking his body weight in protein shakes. And three is through a focus on getting broader.

Recently, Joe set himself a challenge to grow wide shoulders … and fast. 12 weeks later, he’s put on some serious size. Here’s how he did it.

First things first — Joe’s current training split. As you can see, he means business, managing to cram in three shoulder sessions every week.

Monday: upper body

Tuesday: lower body

Wednesday: rest

Thursday: upper body

Friday: lower body

Saturday: push

Sunday: rest

There’s one concern when looking at Joe’s training split — is that enough rest? Well, according to Joe, if you’re getting enough sleep, protein, and calories (and we know that he is), then you shouldn’t be over training. But as always, listen to your body and take a rest day when you think you need one.

Now, let’s talk anatomy for a minute. The shoulder is made up of three main muscles — the front delt, the side delt, and the rear delt. It’s important, to avoid any muscle imbalances, to train all parts of the shoulder. But for broad shoulders, the side delt is the most important muscle group to prioritise, so that’s exactly what he did.

 

Joe’s best exercises for broader shoulders…

Front delts

Overhead dumbbell press

  1. Take a seat on a bench — the back of the bench should be almost vertical, but not quite at 90 degrees.
  2. Grab a dumbbell in each hand.
  3. Lift the dumbbells — your elbows should be pointing out to the sides of your body, with your palms facing forwards, and your biceps should be in line with your shoulders.
  4. Push the dumbbells up until your arms are straight above your head, but don’t lock them.
  5. Then return the dumbbells to the starting position.

In terms of sets and reps, Joe completes this exercise every Monday and focuses on completing a heavy set of between 5-9 reps, followed by a lighter set of 10-15 reps. The main focus of this exercise is progressive overload, so he gradually increases the weight as the weeks go on.

 

Cable front raises

  1. Stand in front of a cable machine with your back to it.
  2. Grab the handle attached to the cable.
  3. While keeping your arm straight, drive the cable upwards until your arm is straight.
  4. Your palm should be facing the ground as you finish the movement.
  5. Then return your hand to the starting position.

Joe completes his session with this exercise three times a week. He’ll go for one set until failure.

 

Rear delts

Rear delt pullbacks

  1. Stand facing a cable machine.
  2. Grab the rope attachment with both hands.
  3. Slightly bend your legs while allowing yourself to lean back slightly.
  4. Pull the ropes in towards your face, allowing your elbows to flare outwards.
  5. Complete this exercise at the end of all upper-body sessions for two sets until failure.

 

Side delts

Joe incorporates the following exercises into his upper-body and push sessions three times a week.

Cable lateral raises

  1. Stand side-on to a cable machine.
  2. Rest your hand close to the cable.
  3. With your other hand (the hand furthest away from the machine) grab the handle.
  4. Bring the cable up until it’s roughly in line with your shoulders (your palm should be facing down).
  5. Return your hand to your side.
  6. After your set, complete for the other arm.

At the start of the session, complete three sets of 10-15 reps on each arm.

 

Dumbbell lateral raises

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Grab a dumbbell in each hand.
  3. Begin with your hands by your sides, your palms facing your legs.
  4. Drive your arms out to your sides, with your palms facing the floor.
  5. Continue until your arms from a straight line with your shoulders.
  6. Then return to the starting position.

At the end of the session, complete three sets until failure.

 

Take home message

It doesn’t seem as though Joe has done that much to his workout routine — but his shoulders speak for themselves. Increasing the volume of training while also progressively overloading on weight is the way forwards for building muscle, and Joe knows it.

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Emily Wilcock

Emily Wilcock

Writer and expert

Emily is studying Business Management & Marketing at the University of Birmingham and is currently on her intern year. She has a keen interest in both writing and fitness, so is happy she can now combine the two. She likes to spend time with her friends, both in & out of the gym.


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