Plateau-Busting Shoulder Workout for Mass | Abel Albonetti

Stuck in a rut on the road to bigger and better shoulders? Abel Albonetti offers a hard-hitting, high-volume workout to break the stalemate and pump up your delts!
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MuscleTech-sponsored athlete and Team member Abel Albonetti is a huge fan of high-volume workouts designed to test your limits. He knows they help build muscle for a balanced physique and push your training intensity to new heights.

“This workout is something I do to bust through plateaus,” explains Albonetti. “I don’t like to use this workout every single week, because it is extremely taxing on your muscles. But if you feel like your gains are slowing, or you just want to kill your shoulders, try this workout.”

If you’ve seen his How to Get Six-Pack Abs Using Supersets workout, you know when Albonetti says it’s a killer, he’s not messing around. With 11 exercises—including supersets, dropsets, and giant sets—this workout is guaranteed to destroy your shoulders.

| Dumbbell Shoulder Press |
Starting off with this exercise allows you to lift really heavy weight without using a spotter. For each of the 5 sets, increase the weight, drop the reps, and try to reach failure. Start with 12 reps, then drop to 10 for 2 sets, then 8, then 6 reps on the final set.

Perform a dropset on the final set. Grab heavy enough dumbbells to fail at 6 reps, then drop the weight by 20 percent. Immediately hit the press again until you reach failure, then drop the weight by 20 percent again. Do one last set to failure.

| Standing Barbell Press |
To target the shoulders, Albonetti performs this movement behind the neck, taking care not to go lower than his ears to avoid injury.

“I like to do this exercise standing because it involves the core,” he explains. “You’re working your entire body.”

To add more volume to this exercise without lowering the weight, complete 5 sets of 8-10 reps, keeping your core engaged and your neck neutral.

| Lateral Raise with Upright Row |
It can be tough to isolate the shoulders during lateral raises, so Albonetti offers this tip: Lift your arms straight out, then “pour” the dumbbells out at the top so your pinkies turn upward. This engages your shoulders a little bit more by rotating the shoulder joint.

Use the same dumbbells as you move straight into the upright row. Bring your elbows up as high as you can. Squeeze at the top and pause for a second before going straight back down. With both exercises, keep your chest up and avoid using your traps to lift the weight. Complete 4 supersets of 12 reps of each exercise.

| Cable Side Raise |
For this exercise, perform 2 sets with the cables in front of your body, and 2 sets with the cables behind your body. This ensures you’re hitting your shoulder from all angles.

Albonetti also recommends leaning away from the cable machine to keep tension on your shoulders throughout the whole range of motion. Shoot for 4 sets of 12-15 reps.

| Incline Reverse Fly with Face Pull |
The reverse fly does not allow you to use a lot of weight. That’s OK, says Albonetti.

“You want to establish a mind-muscle connection,” he explains, “which is easier to do with lighter weights and more focused movements.”

Lift the weights at a wide angle.

“Too many people go straight up and involve their back more than they should,” Albonetti says. “That’s not what you want.”

Complete 12 reps before moving on to the face pulls.

The same rules apply for the second half of this superset: Use lower weight and more focused movements to light up the rear delts.

“Make sure with the face pulls that you’re getting your elbows up high, pausing at full contraction and squeezing,” says Albonetti. “The point is to engage the rear delts.”

Rest between each superset before hitting it again.


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