There are two secrets to building cantaloupe-size shoulders like Vin Diesel’s.
First, go slow and don’t hurt yourself. Second, make sure you develop the deltoids evenly, giving the rear head as much love as the front, which you’re no doubt already pounding with pressing exercises.
In eight weeks, you can correct any imbalance to get your shoulders worthy of a close-up.
How it works
Since the joints in the shoulder are very mobile, they’re more susceptible to injury than other body parts, especially when you’re pressing heavy weights.
Warming up properly so that the shoulders are pumped and well-prepared for heavier training to come cuts down your risk of feeling something pop or strain.
That’s why we want you to follow the warmup we’ve included before the real lifting begins.
It’s also why we put traditional meat-and-potatoes muscle-building moves like the military press later in the workoout.
The exercises you do beforehand might fatigue you and limit the weight you can use on these lifts, but you’ll make it up in short order as you adapt.
We’re also focusing on the rear delts, which you’ll hit early on in each session because you can’t see them in the mirror, the rear delts tend to be forgotten, and their lack of development can result in a lopsided, incomplete look.
Prioritizing the delts and pumping them up with plenty of reps will bring them up to Diesel proportions fast.
The program has two parts (Phase I and Phase II), each lasting four weeks. In both phases, you’ll train shoulders only one day per week, so you can complete your other training on separate days (allow a day before and after chest training).
Perform the warmup before each workout.
Sets: 3 Reps: 10
Hold a band with hands outside shoulder width, keeping it taut. Raise the band over your head and behind it, keeping your arms straight. Go as far as your shoulders will comfortably allow, but feel the stretch. Rotate your arms forward and back for reps, choking up on the band more as your shoulders loosen up.
Sets: 3 Reps: 8
Hold a dumbbell with both hands and circle your head with it, rotating the weight around, behind, and in front of you.
Sets: 3 Reps: 8 (each direction)
Set a bench to a 45-degree incline and lie on it facedown with a dumbbell in each hand. With thumbs pointing to the ceiling, raise your arms to make a Y shape. Lower them and raise your arms to form a T. Lower again and raise them with bent elbows to make a W. Finally, make an I shape.
Sets: 3 Reps: 3 (up and down)
Wrap a loop band around your wrists and place your hands against a wall with your arms straight. Move your arms apart so there’s tension on the band and walk your hands up the wall and then back down. Keep pushing your hands away from each other so you feel your shoulders working. Each trip up and down the wall is one rep.
Sets: 3 Reps: 10
Hold a band, hands shoulder width and arms extended in front of you. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and move your arms outward as if you were pulling the band apart. Change your grip on each set. You can grasp the band underhand, with palms facing each other, one hand choked up on the band, etc.