02 August 2009

*Lateral Raises? Seriously?

The following is the only shoulder exercise you'll ever need for brutal shoulders and traps. Forget what douchey bodybuilders will tell you about needing to isolate the various heads (really? does anyone actually think they can isolate their various muscular heads in their delts? If you believe you can, I've got some Russian Bear weight gain powder to sell you).

It might be a little dusty- I don't think one has sold since 1990.

You need a big-ass, brutal exercise to build big-ass, brutal delts and traps... And have I got the exercise for you.

Behind the Neck Push Press/ Push Jerks

There's no official name for this exercise, insofar as I know, but what I do know is that
  1. given a choice, strongmen will do presses from the back rather than the front
  2. you can push a hell of a lot more weight this way, and your strength is not dependent upon wrist flexibility, like it is in presses from the front
  3. Marius Pudzianowski does them regularly. Nuff said.
So, how do you do them? It's pretty simple. I recommend setting up outside of the rack, so when you have to dump it (and you will, my fuckers, you will), you can ditch it on the floor and refrain from bending the shit out of the bar, which would merely make you the most hated gym member at your local iron emporium.

Set up like you're going to squat. Get under the bar, set your grip evenly with whatever's comfortable, and set your feet shoulder width apart. Then use a considerable amount of leg drive to start the bar's motion, lock out the bar with your head pushed forward, and then return the bar to your your traps. When dropping the bar back to your shoulders, remember this: if you misjudge, you will either drop it on your head, which hurts, your neck, which hurts for weeks, or too low on your shoulders, which can wreck everything from your brachialis to your shoulder girdle and your traps. Thus, start out light, figure out your groove, and don't be a hero your first time out. Once you get the hang of it, you'll start wrecking shop with the big boys.

As for sets and reps, this is my absolute favorite exercise for singles. Thus, start with singles to get the hang of it, and then start hitting up some singles in a 15x1 fashion, with your rests as short as you can manage. This exercise is an absolute man maker, and can change your entire physique if you bust your ass at it.

Just say no to lateral raises.

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  1. RE: your vid - is that reps I see, or a whole bunch of singles with short rest periods?

  2. this is probably the best exercise I have added to my routine after reading this blog.

  3. My dad taught me this exercise a couple years ago. He called it the Atlas Press since he said that when he did it he could visualize a bullshit weary Atlas throwing the world off his shoulders.