Tip: Shoulder Triples for Strength and Size

Build muscle and keep your shoulders healthy with this time-efficient strategy.

Three things that most people agree on:

  • They want to get stronger.
  • They want to build muscle.
  • They don't want to get injured.

Ideally, they want to accomplish all three in the most time-efficient way possible. Many people complain about not having enough time to go to the gym, but when they actually do go they spend 30 minutes standing around doing absolutely nothing.

Take those 30 minutes of chatting, standing, and "resting" and do something useful. Supersets are nothing new, but if you apply the principles of strength, muscle endurance/growth, and mobility together you can create damn good workouts that are extremely productive.

In a "triple set" you combine a heavy weight for low reps, a moderate weight for medium reps, and then a banded, full range of motion exercise for high reps to hit all three areas of strength, endurance, and mobility.

Here's an effective shoulder triple set:

  • 5 close-grip dumbbell presses (heavy)
  • 10 wide-grip dumbbell presses (moderate)
  • 20 banded dislocates

For the close-grip dumbbell press, use a weight you can do for around 8 reps with good form. For the wide-grip dumbbell press, use what you can do for around 15 reps with good form. If you can't do banded dislocates... you shouldn't be lifting dumbbells.

Hit this for 5 sets and take note of the weights you use. Each time you do it aim to go slightly heavier. If you're limited with your dumbbell selection just add extra reps.

If you're more advanced, you could hit 7 sets or you could aim to go to failure for the presses during your last set.

Tom Morrison is a British weightlifting coach, martial artist, and CrossFit trainer and competitor. Tom works with athletes on prerequisite movement capabilities for optimal strength, performance, and reduced risk of injury.  Follow Tom Morrison on Facebook