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Mountain Dog Shoulder Training.docx

Mountain Dog Shoulder Training.docx

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Published by Âdâm Jônês

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Published by: Âdâm Jônês on Dec 21, 2012
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Shoulder Training: The Mountain Dog Way
by John Meadows CSCS, CISSN
"The shoulders make the physique," is a pretty common bodybuilding expression.Given the opportunity to revise it, I would add, "and if your deltoid developmentresembles Larry King's, your shoulder workouts require serious pain tolerance, tenacious grit, and a healthy dose of creativity."Okay, it might not be the most elegant piece of prose ever written, but it does sum upmy approach to stubborn shoulder training. Let me begin by giving you somebackground on my experience with this pesky muscle group.My shoulder genetics are pretty pathetic, and only made worse by the fact that I'mvery genetically gifted through the neck. My neck was 19 inches in high school and21 inches when I got out of college
without ever training it. So in the early days, myphysique had this big, thick neck leading to little, narrow shoulders that slopeddownward; basically, I'm a pair of pronated arms away from the full-fledged Geico caveman look. To top it off, I also have short clavicles, so when you combine all these short-strawswith a wide pelvic girdle, you're talking about someone who had a very hard timelooking wide and tapered.
Like my back, I spent many years trying the standard shoulder training protocolsfeatured in "Muscle and Fiction." You know the drill: lots of overhead presses
that'swhat will make them huge
and then lots of lateral raises
which will make themwide.I did numerous overhead-pressing variations with regularity and included enoughlateral raises to get championship width several times over, but I just didn't seem toget any serious shoulder thickness or size.My lower body was certainly growing, and I was doing well in bodybuildingcompetitions just due to my legs and ability to get in great condition. But when I wentto the Nationals and saw the tremendous roundness and thickness that those guys hadin their delts, it blew me away. I had to figure out how I could achieve that look, too!There was one moment in particular that totally changed my shoulder trainingphilosophies and got me to realize what I was doing didn't work for me and that it wastime to get creative. It wasn't a routine in a magazine, studying anatomy, or readingany Eastern Bloc theories on muscular hypertrophy.  I was training at the old Gold's Gym here in Columbus and Nick, one of my oldfriends, came to do a chest andshoulders workout with me. If you've read any of my previous articles, Nick was the guy that would often do a powerlifting and
bodybuilding show on the same day. Suffice it to say, he was a beast: thick andripped.At the time I was getting ready for Nationals and when he saw me, he said this exactphrase: "Johnny, where are your shoulders, man?"I didn't quite know what to say. Your mind is in a very delicate state before shows, soI felt pretty deflated.Nick then asked me about my rep counts and the weight I was using in my shoulderworkouts. I started bragging about doing sets of 8 with 50 pounders on lateral raisesand dumbbell overhead presses with the 100's, which didn't seem to impress himmuch, considering his next comment was, "That ain't doing shit."
Excruciating Times
My "street" education in delt training was about to begin.

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