Tag Archives: bodybuilding
It’s common place to see people doing front raises in the gym, even though for them it’s essentially a pointless exercise.
I’m not saying it’s a bad exercise, far from it, some top lifters need it as an assistance movement for what ever specific reason, however the average gym goer who has a program heavily biased towards pressing and anterior chain movements DOES NOT need to be doing front raises.
Before we go on let us have a look at some of the exercises that recruit the front deltoid.
- Presses (pretty much all of them)
- Bear crawls
- Sled pushing
The main function of the anterior deltoid is shoulder flexion — lifting your arm up and to the front of your body. So any movement that involves this hits it, make a note.
That’s the first reason you don’t need to isolate this muscle.
The second is because daily life is heavily anterior chain dominant, here is a short list of daily living movements that cause a short/tight/over worked front delt and also high pecs too.
- Sitting at a desk
- Playing computer games
- Putting things on shelves
You get the idea. Life is heavily biased towards overworking what are known as ‘tonic muscles’ of the body and rarely have you stimulating the phasic ones (posterior chain).
For the average person Id recommend having some form of reverse fly in every session and perhaps a lateral raise movement in each pressing session, I can’t remember the exact studies, I apologise, however on average the lateral delt has 2/3 the development of the front and the rear was barely scraping 1/3 of the front delts growth.
You’d also do well to chuck in face pulls, bat wings (isometric holds) and resistance band pull apart drills in your daily life (say 50 pull-aparts per hour and 60 seconds bat wing).
This simple information will help you balance the entire shoulder, it will also help improve your posture and look 100% better, no one likes a round shouldered look, its weak and prone to injury.
My last couple of posts have been aimed at giving you some different variations of the classic 5×5 that you can use to continue your progress (each good for at least 3 months training), today I will give you one more so that you will have a whole years worth of potential training methods you can apply to the good old 5×5.
In the past I have written about a great strength training system – 5,4,3,2,1 – this can also be a great progression for those working towards a new 5RM. In the original 5×5 you’re meant to warn up to your 5rm and do 5 sets with it. If you really dig to your 5rm I highly doubt you would manage 5×5 with it as it would be to demanding on your CNS leaving you pretty broken. Especially with the 3x power week nature of the program.
Now assuming you’ve been working on 5×5 for a while and have progressed to a point where you might get 2-3×5 out of your 5 buy you can’t seem to get more at your current weight, making a slight change and adding in 5,4,3,2,1 could be just what you need.
The method is simple, you warm up accordingly to your 5rm and do 1 set of 5 then rest. Your second set will be 4, then 3 and so on until you hit 1, that’s the end of your first session. When you come back for number 2 you work would add a 1 rep so your sets would look as follows: 5,5,4,3,2.
The simplicity of adding reps helps your body become better adapted to handle heavier weights, one you hit the 5×5 it’s time to add weight and start again with 5,4,3,2,1.
Your workouts might look like this:
*Notice the squat has already gone up 1 rep. This is because you do it every time you’re in the gym, if you want to prevent compete burn out on the squat why not have workout B substitute back squat for front squat (FS), that was all your exercises will progress at the same rate.
Boring as this may seem it’s a sure fire way to help you progress and progress.
Use it well.
If you find yourself short on time there are plenty of ways you can get a great workout in a very short space of time, keeping with the principle of 5×5 (as spoken about in the most recent post it has the ability to be adapted very easily) you will only need 2 moves in this workout, 1 Compound 1 Isolation, on up to 2 body parts (chest/back, shoulders/lats, Bi’s/Tri’s etc).
The difference you will find with this method is that you will use your 5×5 as a working warm up, meaning the first 4 sets of 5 are working up towards your absolute 5RM, one you hit your 5RM (make sure you feel every rep and can’t possibly squeeze out anymore) progress straight to the isolation exercise and begin to rep out until failure, then drop the weight 10% and keep pushing out reps with good form until you can’t do anymore before you drop the weight again, keep going until there is nothing left.
It will look something like this if you aim to hit 2 body parts:
W/U – Overhead Press 4×5 @ 60,65,70,75
A1 – Overhead Press 1×5 @ 80kg
A2 – Lateral Raise xFail @ (starting at the heaviest weight you can manage for 8-12 reps, once you hit failure drop the weight and go again. Note the reps you achieved and the weights used)
*Minimal rest through warm up, then take 1-2min before working set, no rest after 5rep working set and 10 seconds between drops.
You will be warm from your last exercise but use the 5×5 principle as above for the opposing muscle group.
W/U 2 – Lat Pull Down 4×5 @ 60,65,70,75
B1 – Lat Pull Down 1×5@ 80kg
B2 – Reverse Fly xFail
*The notes above apply here too.
This workout won’t take long to do but it will save you time in the gym, sometimes the best workouts you do don’t require much time.
There you have it, another way you can use 5×5.