Tom Venuto's

New Shoulder Workout!

Tom Venuto

Wednesday, August 24th, 2005. Time for a completely new shoulder routine, and it was a good one today. Read on to learn two new training systems for sure-fire muscle gains… the Multi-Rep Method & Bilateral to Unilateral Method.


A1 Smith Machine Military Press
3 sets X 185 lbs, 175 lbs, 175 lbs X 6, 6, 6 reps
A2 Standing Bent Arm Dumbbell Lateral raises
3 sets X 30 lbs X 12 reps
A3 Straight arm lateral raises (start position behind body)
3 sets X 15 lbs X 25 reps
B1 Bent Over Dumbbell Lateral raises
3 sets using “bilateral to unilateral” technique as follows: 40 lbs X 12 reps Rest 5-10 seconds, then begin same exercise, one arm at a time… 40 lbs X 8 reps right arm Rest 5 seconds 40 lbs X 8 reps left arm Rest 5 seconds 40 lbs X 8 reps right arm Rest 5 seconds 40 lbs X 8 reps left arm
C1 Dumbbell Shrugs
3 sets X 100 lbs X 12, 12, 11 reps
C2 Rear Delt dumbbell upright rows
3 sets X 40 lbs X 12, 11, 20 reps


A1 V-Bar Elbows Out Tricep Pushdowns
2 warm up sets
Set 1: 90 lbs X 15 reps
Set 2: 100 lbs X 12 reps
Set 3: 110 lbs X 9 reps
Set 4: 120 lbs X 6 reps, drop to 80 lbs X 10 more reps
B1 High Dumbbell Kickback (one arm at a time)
3 sets X 15 lbs X 10-12 reps X 2022 tempo
B2 Reverse Tricep Dips on Cybex assisted dip-chin machine
3 sets X full stack X 12 reps
C1 Lying one arm cross body dumbbell extension
3 sets X 25 lbs X 8-12 reps

Workout Commentary

I started a new shoulder program today, based on the 6-12-25 multi rep system. This is an extremely challenging and result producing program for just about any body part.

You select three different exercises, all for the same muscle group, but each working a different aspect of the muscle. For example, I selected the military smith machine press (mostly front delt), the bent arm lateral raise (side delt and some front delt), and the straight arm lateral raise touching the bells behind the body in the start position (side delt and some rear delt).

The first exercise is done heavy, for a 6 rep max with heavy weight, the second for 12 reps with a moderate weight and the third exercise for 25 reps with a very light weight. Believe it or not, the light weight for 25 reps is usually the hardest part.

You perform all three exercises non stop as as tri set (tri set is noted A1, A2, A3) and you repeat the tri set a total of three times. The pump from this workout is beyond belief.

Once I finished the multi-rep triset, I moved on to rear delts and used a technique called “bilateral to unilateral.” Bilateral simply means using both sides. Unilateral means using one side. The exercise I chose was bent over dumbbell laterals for rear deltoids. I did a regular straight set of 12 reps with 40 lbs, then set down the dumbbells for only about 5-10 seconds. Then I picked up one of the 40 pounders and continued for 8 more reps with my right arm only. I immediately switched to my left arm for 8 more, then repeated 8 more reps with my right arm and 8 more left arm.

This is a great set extension technique, and I don’t think I’ve gotten as good a rear delt workout in a long time.

For the last couple of months, I’ve been doing traps on back day, but decided to switch them back to shoulder day. My trap workout was dumbbell shrugs with the 100 pounders supersetted to rear delt upright rows, which is a partial rowing movement, like a half an upright row with the dumbbells at your sides, facing your thighs. Its like a cross between a shrug and upright row.

The tricep workout started with V bar pushdowns with the elbows flared out to emphasize the lateral head of the triceps. I added weight and decreased reps with each set.

Next was a superset of strict high kickbacks (as discussed in previous blogs) with reverse dips on the cybex assisted dip/chin machine. If you have one of these gizmos in your gym, you gotta try these reverse dips. All you do is sit on the steps facing away from the machine and push down on the foot pedal. I take a very narrow grip and use full range of motion emphasizing stretch and contraction.

The workout concluded with lying (supine) one dumbbell cross body tricep extensions. Very strict, with slow negative, 8-12 reps per set with a forced rep or two using opposite hand on a couple sets.

That was a wrap! All pumped up and no place to go!

Published on 24 August, 2005

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