Jeff Anderson

Thick & Meaty Shoulders With This Old School Mass Building Exercise!

Nothing tops off a mean set of abs like wide, thick shoulders, eh?

Need some meat?

This “old school” mass building routine is just what your delts ordered.


Well for one, it uses the the grand-poo bah of all mass builders for your delts as the core exercise.

But unlike the way most people do it, it hits every strand of muscle fiber from the very outer rim of your delts for width to the start of your traps.

Try 3 sets of these bad-boys…

Old School Shoulders Mass Building Routine

  • For this exercise you’re going to be using the Standing Barbell Military Press
  • Grip the bar with your hands ultra-wide (about a foot farther apart than normal).  This is going to really work your outer delts but you CAN’T push a lot of pounds with this spacing or you could injure yourself.
  • Do 5 reps with this weight (you won’t be exhausted yet – that’s ok.  This is similar to a method I use in my “Hardgainer Project Xhardgainer mass-building program.
  • After 5 reps, with the bar in the “down” position at your upper chest area, slide your hands closer together until they are at about armpit distance (normal spacing) and do 5 more reps.
  • When finished, slide  your hands even further together so they’re just about 9-inches apart, and knock out as many reps as possible until you hit exhaustion.
  • Rest 2 full minutes and repeat this cycle 2 more times for a total of 45 reps.

Enjoy the pump! 😉

35 Responses to “Thick & Meaty Shoulders With This Old School Mass Building Exercise!”

  1. Lucky says:

    Gonna try it, doesn’t hurt to try or to have another shoulder exercise in your arsenal, tnx for the info 😉

  2. Derrick says:

    Jeff, I have a really bad shoulder that dislocates quite easily when I have heavy weights and my arm is extended, for exampe, the other day I was doing Y-Presses and boom there goes my shoulder in the middle of the gym floor…not only embarassing, but it REALLY hurts my muscle gains as I have to take atleast a week off due to how sore the shoulder is after it dislocates. Do you have any exercises that could strengthen my shoulder without putting it at risk of dislocating?
    Thanks man, youre the best!

    • Definitely go for much lower weight and higher reps to restrengthen the connective tissue. 20-50 reps will give you an incredible pump and target Type 1 muscle fibers like crazy while taking it easy on your joints.

      Slowly drop the number of reps and increase the weight but don’t move on until you feel 100%…and then wait one more week.

      As you’ve found…it’s much better to fall short of your target reps/weight than to have a bad injury take you out of the game for weeks or longer.

      • Derrick says:

        Thanks Jeff! I will definitely be giving that a try. I really appreciate the advice.
        Take care.

        • Lucas says:

          I assume that you’re already doing this, but warming up and stretching your shoulders gently is critical. Also, do lots of pushups, this is one of the best exercises for strengthening your shoulders

        • IronGuru777 says:

          Also Derrick…perhaps it would be good to go in reverse order…that is, begin with a narrow grip in the front press and slowly go wider per set…and keep weight lighter and reduce momentum by performing reps slower without much momentum. Just my 2 cents.

    • Doc says:

      Derrick seems like you should concentrate on a lot of rotator cuff and lateral exercises,also do dumbell 1/2 presses [ elbows come down as low as you can stretch and press till upper arms are level only ] before coming back to shoulder pressing exercises. Your shoulders will thank you.

  3. Nathan says:

    I would like to know what you mean by you might hurt yourself ? Exactly which area are you talking about ? Delts, neck, back of shoulder or ? The reason for asking is I have had rotator problems over the years and am very careful with all my lifts involing this area. I hope this is not a stupid Q but would be go to know…thank you.

  4. B says:

    Hey Jeff,
    Sounds brutal. I was wondering do you bring the bar behind your head or keep it in front. It seems like you would have to do this one in the front. But I always thought miltary press was behind the neck pushes. Thanks you are a really awesome guy. I appreciate the work you do.

    • mark speed says:


      the military press can be performed both to the front and behind the neck. Jeff states when the bar lowers to the upper chest area implying the exercise is performed with the bar in front. Hope this helps.

      • No…NEVER bring the bar behind the neck with military presses. I know that’s probably going to draw some controversy from the “but if you do it right, you won’t get injured” crowd, but I’ll take my chances.

        There’s no need to go behind the neck and it is HIGHLY likely that you will injure yourself at some point.

        A better alternative (though you can’t use it for this exercise) is to use the dumbbell military press as you can come even with your body and not have to extend your neck forward.

        • Stacey says:

          I know a great orthopedic surgeon for all you meatheads that continue to do lat pulls and military press behind the neck. Keep doing it, b/c it is job security for me!!!

          • tony says:

            Trust Jeff on this. At 25 I did behind neck presses with 245 x 6. I weighed 215 with no juice. At 51 I have limited motion in my shoulders. My orthopod says its the arthritis from heavy Behind neck presses. You don’t need extreme exercises to grow strong with size. The basics work if done properley.

      • Brady says:

        You can’t have your cake and eat it.

    • Rob says:

      what about on the smith machine?, i frequently do shoulder presses on the smith machine behind my head and it is very effective and comfortable, unlike free weights

      • Can’t stress it enough Rob…Smith Machine or no Smith Machine. I never recommend going behind the neck. It puts your joints and spine in an unnatural position and I’ve stopped counting the number of neck cranks and shoulder sprains I’ve seen occur from this.

        Behind the neck was an old school method of experimentation and we all adopted it early on. It should follow the path of the weight belt and go away.

        • Rob says:

          thanks, i tried this technique and it worked great !!

        • Julian says:

          Vince del Monte performs and recommends behind the neck presses, especially in his 21 day mass building program. Thoughts, comments, questions, suggestions, theories, criticisms? Just saying…

          I don’t do them, just doesn’t feel right.

          If Jeff is still about, is this ok to do seated?

          • Scott says:

            There is no such thing as a bad exercise but there is definitely bad exercises for certain people!
            The majority of the population do NOT have the shoulder dexterity to be able to complete a behind the neck press or lat pulldown. Physiotherapists “outlawed” this movement because of the multiple injuries they were seeing which Jeff mentioned. A very minimal portion of the population will receive benefit without great risk when performing this movement.
            For the rest of us the risk and stress it places on the shoulder capsule and cervical spine FAR outweighs any potential gains from the movement.

  5. Bill says:

    Hi Jeff,

    Man….this exercise tip really Rocks!!! Did it during my shoulder workout today and
    have never felt such deep muscle stimulation. Definitely a keeper in my tools of building the
    body and health of my dreams !!!

    By the way, for those who asked, did this exercise in front, NOT behind the neck, and
    noticed greater range of motion without undue stress on the joints.

    Keep those Super Tips Comin’ Jeff, wondering what the next one will be !! 😉


  6. Mike says:

    Can this exercise also be performed with an at-home apparatus (i.e, Bowflex), or can you only accomplish the needed hand spacing with a free weight?

  7. Olly says:

    Hey Jeff, sounds like a great tip but i was wondering whether you add other excersises in with this? or whether this is all you do for your shoulder workout?

    • Tom says:

      As long as you have recovered from the exercise, you can do it again. Full recovery varies depending on the amount of rest you’re getting, and if you’re taking additional supplements. I would think this move is an addition to your regular routine. But if you’re NOT getting enough rest and nutrition, you won’t realize anything from the added stress you’re placing on your body.

  8. NICK says:


  9. aman mehan says:

    this tech sounds good will sure give it a shot in my next work out…….

  10. Mike says:

    Brilliant, as always.

  11. Joey` says:

    Hey Jeff! Since you brought up this topic, I would like to ask you how improve my right shoulder. You see, my right shoulder is lower than my left shoulder. It’s affecting my chest and back muscles. My upper left chest muscle is bigger than my upper right chest muscle. While my right lats is bigger than my left. I do believe that my “imperfect” shoulders are affecting my other muscles. Thanks in advance! :)

  12. H.Ghpills says:

    It is really a nice technique for the good shoulders .According to me every body builder should try this technique at least once.

  13. Mohamed says:

    Excellent tips, but I do have a couple of questions for you Jeff that I don’t know where to publish. you see, my wife is starting her bodybuilding training and the questions are:

    1- What shall she do during the special days each month? (nutrition & training)

    2- She has a chronic problem with her throat that requires she takes strong antibiotechs nearly every month, what shall she do then? (nutrition & training)

    3- You gave us (the guys) many great tips to unleash the testestrone, is that valid for ladies? & if not what is the replacement for the ladies?

    Thanks Jeff

  14. Charles says:

    If you are a bodyweight exercise person, the equivalent is handstand pushups. Use chairs or a dip station to give your head someplace to go at the bottom.

  15. Reaper says:

    Does it realy have to be a standing press? I train at home and dont have a very high celing. Shouldn’t it work as good sitting down?

  16. John says:

    My shoulders have always been the most difficult area to build. I like the sound of this one and will try it.

  17. Wilfred says:

    Yes will be trying this out on my next shoulder routine. Will post you results

  18. denzil says:

    It is a bad exercise my front delts was killing me & i need more thickness around that area would you recommend doing this exercise for hitting that part of my shoulder please get back to me on that.

  19. tony says:

    No behind neck presses if you want full range of motion in your shoulders years later. Trust Jeff on this.

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