Blast your weak and small shoulders with this fast-paced, high intensity delt workout that features heavy rest-pause sets, and slow isolation movements.
Workout Summary
  • Main Goal
    Build Muscle
  • Workout Type
    Single Muscle Group
  • Training Level
  • Program Duration6 weeks
  • Days Per Week
  • Time Per Workout45-60 minutes
  • Equipment Required
    Barbell, Cables, Dumbbells
  • Target Gender Male & Female
  • Workout PDF Download Workout

Workout Description

The high intensity shoulder blaster workout can be used for a 4 to 6 week cycle, or as a rut buster when you simply want to try something different. This routine is relatively brief (30 minutes), and can also be used on days in which you have a limited amount of time to workout.

In total, you will be performing 16 sets using 4 exercises - 2 compound movements and 2 isolation movements. Compound lifts will utilize strength and rest-pause training, and isolation lifts will focus on slower reps and the "mind-muscle" connection.

Compound Exercises. For the two compound lifts in this workout, pick a weight that allows you to knock out 8 to 12 reps before reaching failure. Start by performing an all-out set, stopping about one rep shy of failure. Rack the weight and rest exactly 45 seconds. Perform another set, again stopping one rep shy of failure.

Continue this pattern until you complete 5 total sets. Focus on brute strength, and getting the weight up with good form at all costs. These sets are all about man vs. mountain! You may be able to complete only a rep or two on the last several sets. Don't worry about this low volume. You are destroying your shoulders with limited rest and heavy weight, and are after cumulative muscle stress and fatigue.

The best shoulder compound movements are the military press, seated dumbbell press, upright rows, and appropriate variations.

Isolation Movements. For the two isolation lifts, concentrate on feeling the shoulder muscles work. Perform each rep with a 4 second concentric motion, and a 4 to 6 second eccentric (negative) motion. Squeeze each contraction and make your delts work! Rest about 2 minutes between each set. Perform about 6 to 8 reps for isolation movements, and no more then 10 reps per set.

The best shoulder isolation movements are lateral raises, front laterals, or cable laterals. It doesn't matter which exercises you use. Pick 2 isolation movements you enjoy, and hammer your shoulders!


High Intensity Shoulder Blaster
Exercise Sets Reps
Military Press 5 Rest-pause 45 Seconds
Front Laterals 2-3 Slow 4-6 Cadence
Seated Dumbbell Press 5 Rest-pause 45 Seconds
Cable Side Laterals 2-3 Slow 4-6 Cadence
Cajun Guy
Posted on: Thu, 09/23/2021 - 08:11

Back in 2010, I had a rotator cuff repair surgery...BIG MISTAKE, I know. Since then, my delt strength has minimized by 40%. While I have no problem doing my seated presses on the Smith machine, dumbbells are nearly impossible.

What would be a better workout for me in order to rebuild the strength back into my shoulders?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 10/07/2021 - 11:34

Hey Cajun Guy, if you can use the Smith instead of dumbbells, do it. We actually recommend you talk to your doctor or therapist to find out what exercises you can do.

Posted on: Sat, 05/03/2014 - 23:17

Hi Steve, I am trying to get that cut between my shoulders to my bicep. How do I get that? And what workouts are best for that?
Thanks Steve!

Arizona Diamond...
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Posted on: Fri, 08/30/2013 - 14:33

Hi steve!!!!! I'm new to bodybuilding! I need someone with real answers and as I've read your comment on every question seems like you really do have savi!!! Witch. Means you now your story! I'm training every day except sundays ! I do my whole body pretty much till I can't lift a feather anymore! Will this way of excersice give me growth and mass or do I overtrain my body ! If I'm overtraining does that mean I won't grow muscle. Or mass. Thanks for your time !

Posted on: Fri, 02/15/2013 - 14:34

Im retired,like to became a personal trainner,need your adviced for a respect school and trustworthy,i lived in LA Calif,thank you

Posted on: Thu, 01/03/2013 - 11:00

Hi steve,
how is the order for performing shoulder exercise i mean that sequence for workout 2 compound before and 2 isolation after or vice-versa.

Posted on: Tue, 08/21/2012 - 10:28

truth or false can and will i put on size with just 3/5 sets per muscle group

Posted on: Thu, 07/05/2012 - 16:54

Steve...why is my right shoulder more raised than my left holder? Does that mean I need to work more on it?

ishan watts
Posted on: Sun, 04/22/2012 - 02:12

Hi steve.....from last 5months m regular doin workout....steve i have prework out, glutamine n hv protien of nitro tech pro - there need of weight is 71kg.what can i add to improve my muscle mass.

Posted on: Mon, 02/20/2012 - 02:11

Hi Steve,
and repeating the same for remaining three days of the week,is this the right order or do i want to do any changes?am the beginn

Joe Aaron
Posted on: Wed, 02/15/2012 - 18:56

For the compound set when you say start off with an ALL OUT set does that mean keep going until your 1 shy of failure ?

Posted on: Sat, 02/11/2012 - 09:07

Hiii Steve..
Does body massage helps the body in building a good physique...?
If yes then how...?

Posted on: Fri, 01/13/2012 - 08:03

I wish this work out would incorporate one more exercise. Rear shoulders (Rear Deltoids). We often focus on the front of our body because thats what we see when we look in the mirror.

Any suggestions for the rear deltoids that can be incorporated into this routine or do you think that should be saved for another day?

Posted on: Mon, 10/10/2011 - 11:09

hi steve,

is it ok if I do high intensity program once a week?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 10/13/2011 - 13:47

Yes, this workout is meant to be performed once per week.

Posted on: Sun, 09/18/2011 - 06:08

Hi, Steve,

I'm not looking for bigger muscles, I'd only like to broaden my shoulders a bit as they are really narrow.
Should I follow the entire procedure written here or should I take something out or add something?

And what happens after 4-6 week cycle, how long do I have to rest my muscles then before starting another cycle? After how many cycles will results (a bit increased shoulders) appear?


M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Fri, 09/30/2011 - 15:25

Hi Davie,

Could you be more specific with your goals? Broad shoulders would require building muscle.

Keith L
Posted on: Thu, 09/15/2011 - 18:05

Tried the shoulder work out yesterday,I liked it question do you use this only once during the week or more/ also I'm sure you have covered,is it important after workout to have a protein shake within an hour, also necessary an hour prior to weightlifting.Is it a misnomer that you shouldn't have anything after 7-7:30 at night/

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Fri, 09/30/2011 - 15:11

This particular workout should be done only once a week.

As far as diet, the big thing is to eat enough to gain. It's fine to eat more at night as long as your daily calories are in check.

Posted on: Wed, 09/14/2011 - 17:55

Hi Steve,
im about to plan a 12 week 4 split program and thinking of, on Tuesdays of doing this program together with your "High Intensity Chest Blaster". Is that a good idea or is it better to do triceps and chest on the same day instead?

My workout
Monday: Cardio
Tuesday: Chest and Shoulders
Wednesday Legs
Thursday Cardio
Friday: Bicep and Triceps
Saturday: Back
Sunday: Cardio


M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Fri, 09/30/2011 - 15:08

Either way will be ok as long as you separate your pressing days with some rest.

Posted on: Wed, 09/14/2011 - 00:57

Steve I have a question in regards to the Military Press.

Can I substitute using a Smith Machine while doing the military press instead of standing. I tried doing the standing military press as shown in the video and it was the most awkward thing I ever tried.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Fri, 09/30/2011 - 15:06

I would suggest trying a seated military press with a very slight backwards incline.

Posted on: Fri, 09/09/2011 - 07:31

can the compound workout been incorporated into a different excersize i.e. deadlifts, and if so would 5 sets of 8-12 reps be the right way to perform them?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 09/29/2011 - 15:39

Yes, but for deadlifts you might want to use lower reps.

Abraham Sigala
Posted on: Wed, 09/07/2011 - 15:08

Hi Steve,

I just went back to working out after a couple of years of no training. I first wanted to congratulate you, really good descriptions on all your workouts and better than others that I have seen. Question, do you have any workouts for back and lower back.

Posted on: Sat, 08/06/2011 - 17:54

Steve, im new to working out, im tall and thin trying to bulk up. My question is how do I use muscle confusion techniques properly?? and also should I use free weights more or machines?

Thanks alot

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Sat, 08/06/2011 - 19:40

Hi Brian,

There is no need to practice muscle confusion. The best way to gain is to stick with mostly barbell and dumbbell exercises and focus on progression of weight. You want to focus on two things to maximize results:

1) Pushing yourself in the gym. Using good form, always push yourself on every set. When you can perform the recommended number of reps for a set, add weight.

2) Eat to maximize muscle gains. Here is an article that can help:

Posted on: Tue, 07/26/2011 - 22:02

Hey Steve,

So i just graduated from college and began working out alot again. Two years ago i had surgery on both of my shoulders and now that I am working out again I am experiencing a little pain and weakness in my shoulders. I have been working out 4 days a week for the past 2 months and need help setting up a workout routine that isn't going to tear my shoulders up, but still building size at the same time. If you would help me set one up I would greatly appreciate it.


Posted on: Thu, 07/14/2011 - 22:08

how many sets should i complete?
im sorry i didn't get that part.
and i am 15 years old

Posted on: Thu, 07/07/2011 - 12:10

I have a quick question. Is it a good idea to incorporate the High Intensity Blaster workouts with other workouts? For example, could I do the Coconut Shoulders Workout Week 1 during my first week of lifting; then during my second week of lifting, do the High Intensity Shoulder Blaster; Then during my third week of lifting, go back to do Week 2 of the Coconut Shoulders workout and keep going with that pattern every other week. I've tried it for several weeks now with the Plateau Busting Chest Workout and the High Intensity Chest Blaster, but I just wanted to make sure it was the right thing to do before I continued with other muscle groups, so I'm not hurting instead of helping my muscle growth. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.


Nestor n.
Posted on: Sun, 07/03/2011 - 10:50

But what about the traps??

Posted on: Tue, 06/21/2011 - 11:20

hey steve,

i have glutamine powder and i usually take a rounded teaspoon of it right after my workout and thats it, ive been reading that some body builders take glutamine before there workout to help them with endurance, is this true? could you give me a schedule of when i should take my glutamine including spoon sizes and such thanks so much!


M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 07/14/2011 - 15:02

Hi Jack,

Common Glutamine dosages range from 10-20g per day.

It is best take first thing in the morning, right before bed and post-workout. I recommend 3-5 grams at these times.

Rahul arora
Posted on: Wed, 06/15/2011 - 03:57

Hey Steve,

Just wanted to know that the High Intensity Shoulder Program can be done twice in a week and I also want to do Legs with shoulder. Will that be fine.

John Clemente
Posted on: Sat, 06/04/2011 - 02:50

Did this workout today per the instructions. 12 hours later and I actually feel a little sore so I know I got a good workout change. Overall a good review I will stick to this for about 8 more shoulder workouts.

Posted on: Wed, 04/13/2011 - 01:36

hi Steve..
bodybuilding is indeed all about dedication, concentration and testing and surpassing your limits. I'm 28 5ft 8in 90kgs from India..i can run 5km in 30 minutes and had been in the gym for about 1yr(7yrs ago!!). got lots of belly fat(handles and not tummy) due to weight lost strength in arms for pull ups. I desperately need to get in shape.

I would sincerely acknowledge if you could drop in with a little recommendations of a workout routine.

wishing you best of health and luck..

happy bodybuilding


Posted on: Mon, 04/11/2011 - 14:37

Does anyone know any good exercises for a recently dislocated shoulder?

r kalra
Posted on: Sun, 04/10/2011 - 11:07

in case of blast and pump arm schedule u said to perform 6set nd 10 reps in same weight here u mentioned in case of compound exercise 8 to 10 reps do we ve to perform it all wid same weight...nd in case of compound exercise u said u may b able to complete only one to two reps in last several sets in dat case will we ve to increase the weight.....

r kalra
Posted on: Sun, 04/10/2011 - 10:48

pl clear 4-6 cadence .

Posted on: Wed, 03/09/2011 - 21:58

Hi Steve,

I have been following the workouts prescribed here regularly. Now a slight problem is that my trap muscle for left shoulder is slightly more developed than the right one.
How can i overcome this irregularity.

Posted on: Mon, 03/07/2011 - 09:36

got a question...
for compound excersices, should i increase the weight or stay the same for all 5 sets?

Posted on: Mon, 02/21/2011 - 10:45

Is there an alternative for the military press? Or maybe a machine that is similar?

Posted on: Tue, 02/01/2011 - 16:34

Uhm....why do you not stress the posterior delts in this routine?

Posted on: Mon, 01/31/2011 - 21:38

Thnks this is very helpful

Posted on: Tue, 01/25/2011 - 18:00

hey steve, this forum looks great! would like to ask how many different shoulder excercises would you recomend in one gym session? i usually work on at least 5 different excercises, 3 sets each, increasing weights and decrease in reps on each set...would this over-train my shoulder muscles?

Posted on: Wed, 01/12/2011 - 03:04

Hi Steve! brah i m having a problem of loose chest....Can u please give a chest workout get rid of this problem ....

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 01/26/2011 - 15:37

Hi John,

It doesn't really matter which specific workout your use. Pick a work you most enjoy performing. You want to focus on two things to maximize results:

1) Pushing yourself in the gym. Using good form, always push yourself on every set. When you can perform the recommended number of reps for a set, add weight.

2) Eating to maximize muscle retention while cutting fat. Here are two articles that can help:

Luanna Holloway
Posted on: Thu, 10/21/2010 - 17:34

Hello ~

I am going to begin working out and I want to know if I am working out at 5:00am do I eat before I work out or wait until after my workout? what do you recommend? I have Whey protien powder and I thought that I would use that as a meal before and/or after?? Any help would greatly be appreciated.