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Hellcentrics Training – Shoulders and Traps

I am now in my fifth week of Hellcentrics training. If you read my last blog, you’ll know that Hellcentrics training is the advanced version of HRT (Hell Raiser Training). Basically, I do two working sets for each exercise. For each set, I will do 8 normal repetitions followed by four forced negatives (where my training partner applies pressure for a 4 second count during the eccentric portion of the rep). The Hellcentric training adds a new twist to the HRT program. Before each forced negative, I perform a partial rep in which my partner also applies both positive and negative pressure. So, to sum it up, I perform 8 regular repetitions followed by a partial rep followed by a forced negative rep.

For my shoulder workout, I do one basic exercise (a compound pressing movement), one exercise for the medial (side) delts and one exercise for the rear delts. I also do traps on shoulder day and I threw in one extra exercise for the side delts (cable upright rows).

For my compound pressing exercise, I choose Seated Dumbbell Press. After two warm-up sets with the 45 and 65 pound dumbbells, I was ready for my working sets. For the first set, I used the 85 pound dumbbells for an easy 8 reps followed by 4 partial/forced negative reps. I used this weight for my second set too but I only got through 3 partial/forced negative reps before I hit failure. On the Seated Dumbbell Press, my partial rep is from the lockout position to about 1/4 of the way down.

The side delts were next. My partner Maks and I did Seated Side Lateral Raises. Already being warmed up from the Dumbbell Presses, I went immediately into my first set. I used the 35 pound dumbbells and did 8 good reps followed by 4 partial/forced negative reps. On this exercise, I did the partial rep from the beginning to about a quarter of the way up with my partner applying both positive and negative pressure. From this point, my partner helps me lift my arms to the parallel position and then pushes on my arms down for the forced negative rep. I did 4 partial/forced negative reps on the first set and only 3 partial/forced negative reps on the second set.

To hit the side delts even harder, Maks and I went to the Cable Upright Rows next. I started with the full stack (95 pounds) and did 8 full reps followed by four forced negative reps with Maks pushing on the weight stack and me resisting for a four second count. This weight felt pretty heavy so I dropped it a little for the second set to 87.5 pounds. I was able to feel the side delts a little more on this set for another 8 full reps and four forced negatives.

For the rear delts, I did the Lying Side Lateral Raises on a decline bench. I used the 30 pound dumbbell and did a good slow 8 reps followed by a partial rep from the bottom to a quarter of the way up. After the partial rep, Maks helped lift my arm to the top and applied pressure for a 4 second forced negative rep. I did two sets just like this. The reason this training system was developed was to allow for a better pump in the muscles. After only set of Lying Side Lateral Raises, I had a great pump in the rear delts.

We finished the shoulder workout off with Dumbbell Shrugs. Because it would be too hard to do a forced negative on this exercise, we just did a very slow 4-5 second negative after completing the normal 8 reps. I used the 110 pound dumbbells for the first set for 8 reps and 4 slow negatives and then went up to the 120 pound dumbbells for the second set.

Although it’s still early in the year, my countdown has already begun for the Natural Mr. Universe contest in Chicago on September 1st. I am using a new Diet Coach this year, Cliff Wilson from Chicago (, and we are getting ready right now. I officially started my diet on March 13th, which is over 24 weeks until show time. This will give me plenty of time to get leaner and lose all my bodyfat and then fill out again in time for the competition. The big mistake I made last year was staying lean all year and then flattening out as the contest got closer. That won’t happen this year!

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