Kris Grethin is a competitive bodybuilder who’s well known for his incredible whole body transformation as well as his intensive training strategies. Kris has incredible shoulders like cannonballs, but he describes them as being one of his ‘weaker’ body parts. If that’s Kris’ weak area then it’s no surprise that his strong areas are so incredible…
So the question is, how did Kris Grethin quite literally turn this weakness into a strength? And can you use one of his own shoulder workouts to achieve the same kind of insane shoulder power? The shoulders are all too often an area that gets neglected by many younger bodybuilders but they can make all the difference in your physique. If your shoulders are lagging behind as well, then consider trying this routine to see if it can work for you too.
Kris’ shoulder routine begins with a seated military press. He trains using two warm up sets and then three working sets. He challenges himself by using behind the neck presses and will work on a smith machine. This allows him to really target the shoulders and to really ramp up the weight.
Next are one warm up set and three working sets of one armed presses. These are not lateral raises, but one armed shoulder presses on a resistance machine. The chair is slightly inclined which puts even more focus on the shoulders and engages the upper pecs as well.
Now come the side raises which he trains by standing on the spot and lifting two dumbbells up straight out by the side into a crucifix position. Kris recommends using not just side lateral raises, but also altering the position in order to target all three muscle heads (the front, side and rear deltoids).You can do this mid-way through each set. He recommends touching the dumbbells behind the back and uses drop sets in order to really create those microtears.
Next up come the dumbbell shrugs. Simply hold heavy weights in either hand and then shrug them directly upwards. These work the traps which contribute to powerful looking shoulders and he recommends using fast, explosive movements on the way up and then more controlled and slower movements on the way down. Three sets.
Rear raises are essentially pec flies in reverse: you stand holding cables on the cable cross over machine and then pull them away from each other and out behind your back. This targets the rear deltoids, which along with the variations on the side raises ensure those often neglected muscles get really hit. He uses ‘FST7’ training for this, which means seven sets performed with only 30 seconds in between. 15 reps for each set.
This also works as a fantastic ‘flush set’ right at the end of the workout, perfectly flooding the deltoids into the shoulders and destroying any remaining muscle fibers that you might have missed during the rest of the workout.