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Create Big-Ass Shoulders With Mike Rashid

His motto “Train Your Mind as Hard as You Train Your Body,” may test your muscles and your mind.


Muscle sensation Mike Rashid, whose motto is “Train Your Mind as Hard as You Train Your Body,” explains his shoulder massifier step by step. His plan may test your muscles and your mind.

In this day and age, more people are picking up a barbell and getting their bodies tight, toned and muscular. But having brolic shoulders will get you more you-know-what than you can handle. There is nothing more physically impressive than entering a room full of people, even when you’re wearing dress clothes, and having a V-taper that makes everyone stop and stare. Visually that taper starts with the shoulders, the first thing to be noticed when you walk into a crowd.

The benefits of training shoulders properly are endless. They will increase strength in other lifts, such as your bench press. They will definitely come in handy when 400-plus pounds are straddling the upper part of your back while squatting. This is a bodypart, that if properly trained, will benefit so many other muscle groups that you may not realize how much it’s doing for you.

WHY HEAVY PRESS UP FRONT

If any of you have watched any of my many shoulder-training videos, you will see that I typically start off with a shoulder press using either a barbell or dumbbells. The reason for using either of these is simple: I like to start a bodypart off with what I feel is the most important exercise for that muscle group. I do the overhead press standing for a couple of reasons. Number one, because it’s more difficult that way, and I always choose the more difficult route when training and in life. Conquering more difficult tasks makes you stronger physically and mentally. Also, when doing standing overhead presses, you activate stabilizers in the core--lower back, obliques and abdominals—strengthening that important area for much of resistance training and performance. It also looks a lot more badass when you are strict pressing 225-pounds plus for reps.

VOLUME IS KEY

In my opinion, when doing the primary movement for a bodypart, in this case the shoulder press, if done properly (i.e., with the right intensity, proper rep ranges and proper weight)—that’s all you really need to do for that bodypart. However, I still do more, but I spend a lot of time on that primary movement. With the shoulder press, I won’t move onto the next movement until my shoulders feel extremely taxed. Done correctly, and with enough intensity, a shoulder press will work every head of the deltoids, your traps, your rhomboids, triceps, etc. That’s why the press requires so many sets, in my book.

Mike Rashid

Age: 34

Lives: Chandler, AZ &
San Pedro, CA

Profession: Owner of IMSOALPHA.com supplements. Co-owner of Metroflex, LBC.  Author of Overtraining e-book series. Owner of

SoAlphaApparel.com (The Alpha Academy Clothing). Owner of MikeRashid.com. Owns and operates one of the top fitness channels on YouTube: YouTube.com/MikeRashid. Better Bodies-sponsored athlete.

Likes: Pure friendships. Innocent expressions of the human spirit. Seeing smiles on my loved ones’ faces.

Dislikes: Clever people.

Drives: Toyota Tundra (The Kraken)  Sierra Unlimited Jeep, CLS 500 Mercedes-Benz.

Wants to drive: Rolls Royce Phantom.

Listens to: Classical. Instrumentation (piano). Rap. Old-school R&B.

Favorite diet food: Scallops.

Favorite cheat food:
Pizza and Snickers ice cream bars.

Favorite vacation spot: So far Germany.

Instagram: @mikerashid

Facebook: facebook.com/strongfitshredded

Website: MikeRashid.com

I am a huge advocate of high reps, but let’s not be confused here. When I say “high reps,” I mean as many reps as possible for said weight. Each set should be a progression, up to a one- to three-rep max. Get it? For each set, I’m performing max reps. Once I’ve reached that one- to three-rep max, I have several options on how to complete the sets.

HIGH-REP PROGRESSION PROGRAM

Option 1

Barbell Overhead Strict Press

Pyramid sets
(sample weight)

Set 1
135lbs X 20 reps

Set 2
185lbs X 15 reps

Set 3
225lbs X 8 reps

Set 4
245lbs X 3 reps

Set 5
225lbs X 8 reps (or max reps)

Set 6
185lbs X 15 reps (or max reps)

Set 7
135lbs X 20 reps (or max reps)

Option 2

Barbell Overhead Strict Press

Progress to a max, then come
down to “working sets”

Set 1
135lbs X 20 reps

Set 2
185lbs X 15 reps

Set 3
225lbs X 8 reps

Set 4
245lbs X 3 reps

Set 5
185lbs X max reps (working set)

Set 6
185lbs X max reps (working set)

Any of these options represent a typical Mike Rashid progression on presses. If done properly, your shoulders should feel fried. Now is the time when the BCA’s come in handy, because we aren’t done. On the following pages, I provide an entire shoulder session. Try this and your shoulder sessions will never be the same.

Option 3

Barbell Overhead
Strict Press

Progress to a max,
then Fatality set

Set 1
135lbs X 20 reps

Set 2
185lbs X 15 reps

Set 3
225lbs X 8 reps

Set 4
245lbs X 3 reps

Fatality Set
2 45lb plates on barbell and 4 25lb plates, which will constitute a “strip or drop”
portion of the set

4 25lb plates per side for 3 reps,
strip a plate off each side

3 25lb plates per side for 8 reps,
strip a plate off each side

2 25lb plates per side for 16 reps,
strip a plate off each side

1 25lb plate per side for max reps
(must be over 20)

Do not take a break in between these drop sets, only enough time it takes you or your lifting partner to remove the plates.

Mike Rashid’s Overtraining Shoulders (Boulders) program

Movement 1

Warm Up

Handstand push-up
(lean against wall)

4 sets of 10

Movement 2

Standing Barbell Military
(or strict press)

Lower the barbell as low as possible, press the bar to a lockout position. Keep the movement as strict as possible (no momentum by bouncing from the knees).

Set 1
135lbs X 20 reps

Set 2
155lbs X 20 reps

Set 3
185lbs X 15 reps

Set 4
225lbs X 6 reps

Set 5
245lbs X 2 reps

Working Sets

Set 6
185lbs X 15 reps (or max reps,
as many as possible)

Set 7
185lbs X 15 reps (max reps)

Movement 3

Barbell Upright Row / Supersetted with Resistance Band Row

Barbell Rows / Band Rows

Set 1
135lbs X 15/20 reps

Set 2
155lbs X 12/20 reps

Set 3
175lbs X 10/20 reps

Set 4
195lbs X 7/20 reps

Set 5
135lbs X max reps, no bands

Movement 4

Medial Delt Raises (Side Delt Raises)

Start with the dumbbells at your sides. Do not raise from the front of your thighs. Because there is no leverage advantage when you raise the dumbbells from your sides, the movement is more difficult, which recruits more muscle fibers and improves strength.

Set 1
35lbs X 30 reps

Set 2
45lbs X 30 reps

Set 3
55lbs X 30 reps

Set 4
35lbs X 30 reps

Movement 5/6

Shoulder Shrug (traps) / Supersetted with Reverse Flye (rear delts)

Shrugs / Reverse Flyes

Set 1
100lb dumbells X 20 / 35lb dumbells X 20

Set 2
110lb dumbells X 20/  35lb dumbells X 20

Set 3
120lb dumbells X 20 / 35lb dumbells X 20

Set 4
130lb dumbells X 20 / 35lb dumbells X 20

Reverse Flyes
Grab two dumbbells, bend at the waist until your torso is parallel to the floor and perform your flyes in that position. No ego lifting with this movement! Use light weight and perform them properly, and gradually increase the weight. IM

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