Heavy-Duty Bodybuilding Workout for Classic Shoulder Mass

March 16, 2017

As lifters, we’ve all dreamt of that top-shelf physique that casts a shadow across the gym floor. You know the look; shoulders as wide as a 747, a picture perfect V-taper and a menacing X-frame that gets looks from every corner of the gym.

A few weeks back, we met up with bodybuilding competitor and coach Dred Barr for an off-season shoulder workout.  We knew if anyone could hook us up with the delt training session of our lives, Dred would be the guy. It is no secret that he has built his physique with hours upon hours of heavy-duty, old-school iron therapy (like the workout below). If you can get through one of his sessions and still raise your shaker to your mouth, we applaud you.


Bodybuilder and Coach Dred Barr
Bodybuilder and Coach Dred Barr

His routine is simple and it doesn’t use fluffy techniques or mail-order accessories.    According to Dred, “whatever your goal may be, simplicity should be at the heart of your training.”  Do you remember the first exercise that made you fall in love with bodybuilding?  More than likely it was a classic compound movement.  Maybe it was the military press; an exercise that sounds badass in and of itself, but that is essentially just lifting something over your head.  It is simple, and it works.  If it seems like you’ve tried everything and you’re still struggling to see results, maybe it’s time you went back to the basics.  Try this classic routine for your next shoulder workout and good luck combing your hair for the next few days…

Supplement Plan:

Pre-WorkoutJack3d and Yok3d // Flavor recommendation: Dragonberry

Intra-WorkoutModernBCAA+ // Flavor recommendation: Mango Orange

Post-WorkoutModernPROTEIN // Flavor recommendation: Vanilla Ice Cream

For help laying out your custom stack or with directions for the use of these products, please feel free to shoot us a message on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter! We’re here to help.


Seated Barbell Military Press – 5×5 (5 sets of 5 reps)

Giant Set #1 (Complete 1 set of A1, then 1 set of A2, then 1 set of A3 in succession for 4 complete rounds.)

  • A1) Rear Delt Cable Row – 4×8
  • A2) Cable Upright Row – 4×8
  • A3) Dumbbell Shrugs – 4×12


Giant Set #2

  • B1) Dumbbell Lateral Raise – 3×12
  • B2) Dumbbell Front Raise – 3×12
  • B3) Machine Shoulder Press – 3×15


Rear Delt Cable Fly – 2×25


Instant Training Tips and Workout Notes:

1) Feel free to adapt the sets and reps of the workout to your personal goals.  For example, consider the military press for 5 sets of 5 reps. You could use the first 2 sets as a warm-up, using a lighter weight to prepare you for your final 3 working sets.  Although this is still 5 quality sets, you’re able to focus more on form and technique using lighter weight for the first few sets. We do recommend that the last set of this exercise be very close to failure. Hit it hard and heavy.

2) Rest time can also be modified depending on your goals.  If maximum strength is your primary goal, you may rest up to 2 minutes after each set. If hypertrophy (muscle building) is your primary goal, push yourself to limit rest times to 30-45 seconds.

3) The dumbbell shrug in Giant Set #1 should be performed slow and controlled, with a 3-second pause at the top (Count “one, one thousand, two, one thousand, three, one thousand). A great Instant Training Tip is to attempt to touch your ears with your shoulders at the peak of the contraction.

4) Additionally, modifications may be made to accommodate your personal goals, and alternative movements can be substituted for many of these exercises. For example, an effective alternative to seated barbell military press could be any of the following; Arnold press, barbell push press, or even a simple swap to dumbbell military press.


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of USPlabs or any employee thereof. Examples used within this article are only examples. USPlabs is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the authors of this article. Authors may have been remunerated by USPlabs.

The information provided in this article, as well as this web-site blog is intended for informational and educational purposes only and should not be interpreted as medical advice for any condition. Always consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. By reading this disclaimer, you hereby agree and understand that the information provided in this column is not medical advice and relying upon it shall be done at your sole risk.


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