Monday, April 2, 2018

Thickening and Broadening Your Shoulders - Anthony Ditillo (1971)

The Author, Anthony Ditillo

Shoulder development takes time. It also takes a great deal of training dedication. There are no short cuts. There are no secrets. All there is in store for you is plenty of hard work. And more important, there are no special movements which you can be sure will work wonderfully well for you. You must experiment yourself to find out just which ones will work and when finding them, always include them in your shoulder training routine.

As in any other specialization routine, you will not gain without including enough work for the rest of the body. This most importantly includes heavy training on your legs and back. As we have already stated, heavy leg and back training are the keys to training success. And this is also true when specializing on the shoulders. You see, such heavy leg and back training will make your entire body receptive to the demands and desires you instill within you during the rest of your varied workouts so, when specializing on any body part, don’t neglect your legs and back.

Many men fail to work their shoulders properly for best results. They spend far too much time of working the lateral section, or else they spend far too much time using inferior movements. Generally speaking, the average trainee spends too much time concentrating on lateral raises of all types, without enough work being done on the various presses. And the sad thing about this is that the various kinds of presses are just the thing he needs in order for his shoulder development to reach the peak of his capabilities. However, instead of using such basic, heavy movements as the standing military press, the press behind neck, etc., he goes in for more lateral raises and other types of leverage movements which restrict the amount of weight he can handle and the amount of power he can build up while on such specialization. The kind of deltoids such a man will eventually build will be pretty good to the eye but pretty poor in power. And what makes matters worse, many of these fellows will try to under develop the trapezius to make their shoulders appear even broader! And what they develop in the long run is the appearance of a coat hanger. And I don’t think anyone in his right mind would want to look like a coat hanger, do you?

Training style is also very important. Many fellows feel that they should cheat the weights up in their movements. Many others feel that the weight must be kept under control all the time in order for the muscles to reap the full benefit such exercise can bring them. I feel that both these styles are partly right and partly wrong.

When performing these exercise movements which I shall reveal to you later on in this dissertation, you should try to keep a fairly strict method of performance, as much as possible. Now I do not mean that you must overemphasize the situation and try to perform each movement just as you see the models doing such motions in the various training courses and magazines. The reason they can show such fine style is because of the light bars they are working with. There is quite a difference between a twenty-five pound bar and a three hundred and twenty-five pound bar! So I feel that you should try to make each exercise movement as comfortably strict as you can, only loosening up your style a little when such is the only way in which you can finish your set. This way you will reap the benefits of both exercise performances and in this way you will be doubly the winner.

When performing shoulder exercises it is important for you to concentrate upon just which muscles you are working and which muscles you wish to be developed from such work. Too many times fellows get carried away in their zeal for increasing their training poundages, and in the long run they hurt no one but themselves. You see, when you are on a bulking routine, your primary concern is adding useful size to the various muscle groups you wish to specialize on. And although any proper bulk specialization routine is going to also add somewhat to your power, it is important for you not to get too involved with trying to push up the training poundages at any cost. This will hinder your ability to concentrate upon the exercise movements themselves, and since this is necessary in order for you to properly contract your muscles, you can see how such a situation would be most undesirable.  


Monday, Wednesday and Friday:

(A)  Press Behind Neck, seated or standing: 5 sets of 5-7 reps, maximum weight
(B)   Bench Press using wide grip: 5 sets of 5-7 reps, maximum weight
(C)   Bent Over Rowing: wide grip: 5 sets of 5-7 reps, maximum weight
(D)  Full Squat: 3 sets of 10-12 reps, maximum weight
(E)   Barbell Curls: 3 sets of 5-7 reps, maximum weight

Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday – 

          Complete rest.

In this, our first shoulder specialization routine, I have used the three day per week schedule. I have included the Press Behind Neck, the Bench Press, and the Bent Over Row, because each of these three movements works section of the deltoids most strongly, and also, they work the adjacent muscle groups quite well. This way you “kill two birds with one stone” so to speak.

Although this routine might nor appear to you as being strenuous enough, I am sure that if you only give it a fair chance you will be astounded with the results. You should rest for two minutes between each set of repetitions. You should also try to concentrate on exactly what it is you are trying to do.


Monday and Thursday:   

(A)  Press Off The Rack: 5 sets of 5 reps, maximum weight
(B)   Upright Row: 5 sets of 5 reps, maximum weight
(C)   Bent Over Rowing, Palms Up Grip: 5 sets of 5 reps, maximum weight
(D)  Barbell Curl: 3 sets of 10 reps, maximum weight

Tuesday and Friday:

(A)  Bench Press: 3 sets of 5 to 7 reps, maximum weight
(B)   Full Squat: 3 sets of 10-12 reps, maximum weight
(C)   Heavy Deadlift: 3 sets of 5-7 reps, maximum weight
(D)  Shrug: 3 sets of 5-7 reps, maximum weight

Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday:

          Complete rest.


Monday and Thursday:

(A)  Alternate Dumbbell Press: 5 sets of 5-7 reps
(B)   Wide Grip Press Behind Neck, Standing: 5 sets of 5-7 reps
(C)   Incline Dumbbell Press: 5 sets of 5-7 reps
(D)  Alternate Dumbbell Curl: 5 sets of 5-7 reps

Tuesday and Friday:

(A)  Full Squat: 5 sets of 5-7 reps
(B)   Deadlift: 5 sets of 5-7 reps
(C)   Bench Press: 5 sets of 5-7 reps
(D)  Bent Over Rowing: 5 sets of 5-7 reps

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