If you follow me on instagram you‘ll have spotted a recent poll I submitted in my story.
I asked everyone what they‘d prefer a blog post on a Weightlifting topic or a post on a Physique related subject.
Physique won. It was 60:40!
Given that I’m a little biased toward the sport of Olympic Weightlifting I thought I’d try and please everyone by writing about a subject everyone can benefit from.
I don’t think I’ve ever worked with an individual who began their journey with me who already had great posture. Whether you are interested in training for strength development or you enjoy nothing but improving your physique, we can all learn from this.
It’s simple... we do not train the posterior delts correctly, nor frequently enough.
By cannon-ball delts, I mean perfectly round ball-like deltoids. If you take a look at yours in the mirror you'll no doubt agree with me that it's common for peoples deltoids to resemble a tear-drop shape, that is, were the anterior/front delts are typically well developed in comparison to the side and rear delts.
For Weightlifters, strong shoulders, or more specifically strong posterior delts are very important for both postural positioning during the pull and for overhead stability in both the Snatch and the Jerk.
For those of you looking to improve your physique... well... nothing looks better than good posture and a good set of rounded delts.
The key to good arms?...
So how do we achieve them?
Like with most muscle groups, the deltoids are made up of a combination of type 1 and type 2 muscle fibres. This means that they must be trained using a variety of intensities and rep ranges.
If you are a frequent reader of our blog then I'd like to think you are performing large compound movements with heavy loads in every weight-training session you do. If this is the case then your Snatch Pulls, Bent Over Rows, Snatch Push Presses, Pull Ups etc are already helping you target the type 2 muscle fibres of your deltoids.
There appears to be a majority of type 1 or slow twitch muscle fibres that make up the deltoids, however.
This means that your direct posterior deltoid training should be based around light to moderate load exercises using higher rep ranges.
I'm talking the likes of:
Barbell Face Pulls
DB Face Pulls
Cable / Band Face Pulls
Bent Over DB Lateral Raises
Thumbs-Down Lateral Raises
For around 12-20 repetitions.
Because the posterior deltoids are such a small muscle group and are fairly difficult induce great mechanical loads, then tend to recover very very quickly.
This means that they can be trained almost every day.
Typically, as many as 30 sets per week can be performed before you'll begin to experience recovery issues.
That doesn't mean you should be doing 30 per week. Rather, you should begin by performing around 15 sets per week and gradually increase this to 30 over time as a way of progressively overloading the muscle and stimulating it to grow. Once you've reached 30 sets per week, schedule a short deload/back-off period before hitting them again with heavier loads.
As an example, you could perform 3 x 15-20 reps of one of the exercises listed above. There are 5 exercises you can complete across 5 days of the week. 5 days doing 5 exercises at 3 sets = 15 sets per week. Gradually increase the number of sets to 6 per exercise and you'll soon be doing 30 per week.
Provided your nutrition and recovery strategies are supporting your goals, you'll notice significant improvements in your physique, postural appearance, postural strength and overhead stability in no time!