This is DEFINITELY one of the most important workouts of the week, at least in my opinion.


Think about it. Your shoulders and traps are what give width and size to your body from a head-on viewpoint. If you had nicely developed arms and legs, but not much going on in the shoulder department, you’ll still look narrow and perhaps even quite thin.

I’ve always thought of shoulder development as one of my priority body parts, especially since my skinny genetics gifted me with virtually NO shoulder muscle worth talking about!

If you are frustrated in this area, the following Thursday workout in THT will soon take care of it for you!

Let’s check it out…


  1. Standing Overhead Barbell Press
  2. Standing Overhead Barbell Press
  3. Standing Overhead Barbell Press
  4. Seated Dumbbell Overhead Press
  5. Seated Dumbbell Overhead Press
  6. Dumbbell Lateral Raises
  7. Dumbbell Lateral Raises


  1. Trap Bar Shrugs (or use a barbell or smith machine)
  2. Trap Bar Shrugs (or use a barbell or smith machine)
  3. Trap Bar Shrugs (or use a barbell or smith machine)

If I had to pick one exercise to work my shoulders for the rest of my life, it would be Overhead Dumbbell or Barbell Presses. They hit all heads of the shoulder and allow some pretty heavy weights to be used.

Note: lower the bar in front of you, not behind your head. I’m not a fan of ‘Behind-the-head’ barbell presses as they severely limit the amount of overload you can place on the shoulders.

If you ever reach a plateau on this movement, lower the bar to around ear-height for a smaller range of motion. This will allow you to use a heavier weight and BLAST past that sticking point. It’s actually not “against the rules” to always use this range of motion if you feel more comfortable with it.

Nor is it cheating or wrong to use machines or a smith machine. Fact is you’ll recruit the same number of deltoid fibers but place greater overload on them by taking stabilization out of the equation. Remember, it’s a fact of physics that the more stable you are, the greater the FORCE you can generate. Just don’t expect to be too popular down at the gym with all the “hardcore bros” who wouldn’t touch a machine if their life depended on it.

But we don’t omit free weights from this workout.

I like fixed path resistance for overhead barbell presses, but perform the next 2 movements with free weights – seated overhead dumbbell presses and dumbbell lateral raises.

So we start our workouts with the exercise that produces MOST overload and work our way down. 3 sets of overhead presses, followed by 2 sets of dumbbell presses, and 2 sets dumbbell lateral raises (flies). All 7 sets to positive failure.

Our  traps get quite a bit of work during the week, 3 sets to failure today is all you need to do.

You have a few options on equipment here:

All work well. Choose whichever you feel most comfortable with.

TIP! Here’s a tip I give to clients who have trouble with shrugging. Visualize trying to get your shoulders to touch your ears at the top of the movement. You won’t be able to, but that’s not the point. It’ll cause you to really contract your traps to the level needed to stimulate growth. Also, let your traps feel a stretch at the bottom of the movement; treat your arms as dead-weight and let all tension transfer to the traps from the bottom to the top of the rep.

You’ll be well on your way to larger traps and boulders-for-shoulders with this workout! The feedback I’ve received from readers since re-publishing this THT cycle has been phenomenal!

Well done for following through and committing to new gains this year guys!

Train With Intensity!

PART 1 | PART 2 | PART 3 | PART 4PART 5PART 6 | PART 7 | PART 8 | PART 9 | PART 10 | PART 11 | PART 13


You'll love your fast gains on THT!

Cool! Click here to take you to the download page. (or check your email for the download link)

You'll love your fast gains on THT!

Cool! Click here to take you to the download page. (or check your email for the download link)