Saturday, April 19, 2014

Precision and Pump, Shoulders Workshop

I'll hopefully redo this with my half decent camera soon, and even talk you through it if there's not too many people around. Here's a little bit of terrible quality video from my phone for now though.

Hitting some anterior (front) and medial ( middle) deltoid muscles, Precision & Pump style at the end of today's training session.



First up, Front Raises targeting the (appropriately enough) front deltoid muscle. Usually I use a barbell for this but I went with a plate today for a little variety. A plate is good because if you do not control it properly on the way down, you'll smash yourself in the genitals and learn an important lesson.

What I'm trying to do here is raise it to about a position where my arms are horizontal / parallel to the floor. Now if you can imagine trying to just hold that heavy ass weight out there for any length of time, it would be quite horrible and difficult, right? So... we want to try to put a little pause in at the top of the movement, and then resist the force of gravity by controlling the weight as we come back towards the starting position.

Note I said "towards" and not "to" the starting position. At the starting position, we're just holding the weight with our hands, we haven't actually activated that anterior deltoid muscle. So, when performing the exercise we want to stop just short of that point. We're gradually releasing the muscle contraction as we lower the weight, and then BOOM we contract hard again to raise the weight, hold it for a moment at the top, and repeat.

Much the same for the side lateral raises to target the lateral deltoid. I like to do these seated, as it doesn't allow you to cheat by using momentum to swing the weights up. Also for my money this is a real "precision" exercise and I'm much more concerned with strict form than with trying to throw heavy weights up in the air. For me, this movement is all about abduction and not about rotation at the shoulder. Maybe other people have a reason for doing it that way that I don't know about... but for me, I feel that this abduction movement better targets the lateral deltoid the way I want it to. Again, note I attempting to pause at the top of the movement, control the rate of descent, and change direction just short of that starting position.

This is all about maximising the time under tension and keeping the targeted muscle activated at all times while performing the desired number of reps.

To be honest... all of these reps felt a lot slower while I was doing them, than what they look in the video!