Best Mass Building Shoulder Workouts – Big Shoulders Guaranteed!


You see the guys’ right?

The pro bodybuilders, power-lifters, wrestlers, boxers, footballers and what do they all have?  Big Shoulders!  You want that, yes?  Well… this is one of the best mass building shoulder workouts to get the size and shape you desire.

Big, well developed, shoulders help greatly to create the wide appearance that so defines the muscular male physique.

When talking muscle, the upper body looks just so much more amazing when the big arms, wide back and built chest are endorsed by nicely rounded boulder shoulders.

Higher Reps or Heavier Weight? 

You are probably a bit confused over what works best – higher reps or heavier weight?

The answer is – a combination of both.

You see, in order to build mass and strength, you need to use compound lifts, with very heavy weights, for lower reps (5 – 8 reps).  However, to also create the overall shape and definition, you must include auxiliary exercises with a higher rep range (8 – 12 reps).

What is a Compound Lift? 

Basically, a compound lift is a multi-joint lift incorporating several muscle groups.

An example of compound lifts would be:

  • Barbell Squat
  • Dead-lift
  • Barbell Row  


    Standing Military Press

  • Bench Press
  • Military press


The lift we’ll be focusing on for building shoulder mass will be the Military Press/Overhead Barbell Press.  We will also incorporate a variation of this with the Seated Dumbbell Press.

What is an Auxiliary exercise? 

An auxiliary, or supplemental exercise, is usually used as a means of adding shape and definition.  they are also referred to as isolation exercises as they specifically work a targeted muscle.

Some examples, to the above compound lifts, would be:

  • Leg Extensions
  • Pull Downs
  • Cable Rows
  • Flyes
  • Dumbbell Side Lateral Raises


For Big and well defined shoulders, we want to work the three separate heads of the deltoids (shoulders) – anterior, middle and posterior.

Along with these, for a truly impressive look, we must also pay due diligence to the trapezius muscles – you know, the great bulging muscle bodybuilders have that connects from their neck to their shoulders and creates thickness to the upper back.


Read my MI40x product review – if you want to take your shoulders and over-all physique to a whole new level Ben Pakulski’s MI40 program will get you there!




The Exercises: 

  • Overhead Barbell Press/Military Press (standing)
  • Seated Dumbbell Press
  • Dumbbell Side Lateral Raise
  • Incline Dumbbell Lateral Raise
  • Bent-over Dumbbell Lateral Raise/Rear Delt Flyes
  • Front Plate Raise – with rotation
  • Heavy Barbell Shrugs – Front
  • Heavy Barbell Shrugs – Back

Hey, I know what you’re thinking…something like ‘Whoa, that’s a lot of shoulder work for one workout!’

I absolutely agree and that’s why it’s spread over two workouts.

Here’s the deal…you want Big shoulders, right?  Well, as I’ve stated, this is one of the best mass building shoulder workouts, guaranteed.  However, it has to be broken up into two sessions in the one week.

So, you will do one shoulder workout on Monday and a different, supplementary, shoulder workout on Friday.

Best Mass Building Shoulder Workouts Split: 

Monday: Shoulder Workout 1




Clean & Press (warm-up) *



Overhead Barbell Press


5 – 8

Dumbbell Side Lateral Raise


10 – 12

Rear Delt Flyes


10 – 12

Heavy Barbell Shrugs – Front


5 – 8


Friday: Shoulder Workout 2 




Clean & Press (warm-up) *



Seated Dumbbell Press


5 – 8

Incline Dumbbell Lateral Raise


10 – 12

Front Plate Raise – rotation


10 – 12

Heavy Barbell Shrugs – Back


5 – 8


*The Warm-up: 

 The Clean and Press is primarily a power-lifting exercise; however, it is also one of the very best overall lifts utilising virtually every muscle group and a great core stabiliser.

I include it here as a warm-up for that very reason.  It charges your body with ready, set, go action by firing up your neuro-transmitters, raising your metabolism and priming your muscles for action.

This is one of the best warm-up exercises you can do.

Warm-up Weight: 

Remember, this is a warm up not a ‘burn out’.

Ideally, choose a medium weight.  An unloaded Olympic Bar (20kg) is often enough – after all, you just want to set the fire, not deplete the fuel J

If you find that was just way too light, then by all means add some weight next workout, but don’t over do it.

Basically, for the warm-up, you want to do only 6 reps with a weight you could push for, say, 12 -15 reps.

Suggested Workout Split – 

Since this is a workout focusing on building nice big rounded shoulders, we need to then structure this into our weekly workout.

I will offer you a guideline here for what has worked well for me as well as for those I have trained with.

Everyone is different, of course, and therefore you may need to experiment a bit with what works best for you.  Please contact me, or post in the comments section below, if you have any questions or concerns.

  • Monday – Shoulders/Biceps
  • Tuesday – Legs (quads. hams and calves)
  • Wednesday – Chest
  • Thursday –  Back
  • Friday – Shoulders/Triceps
  • Saturday – Rest
  • Sunday – Rest

Now…I know when you first look at this workout you’ll be thinking ‘what the?’

However, wait just a moment and consider:

You work your biceps on Monday which you will indirectly work again on Thursday with Back.

When working your chest on Wednesday you also indirectly work your triceps, which you will then work directly on Friday.

Therefore, your biceps and triceps also get a double workout with rest in-between.  Lookin’ pretty good now isn’t it?

Video Examples: 

I have included here two mini clips demonstrating the ‘Incline Dumbbell Lateral Raise’ and ‘Front Plate Raise – rotation’ in Shoulder Workout 2 (due to them being exercises you may not have come across as such)…






Want to add incredible Intensity and Focus to your workouts?  Then be sure to read my ‘ASR Invincible pre workout review.’


Follow this workout program for at least six weeks, adding weight to the lifts whenever possible i.e. each workout after which reps were met on each particular exercise on the previous workout.

You will definitely experience strength and mass increases with these best mass building shoulder workouts, when used in combination with a supporting nutrition plan and adequate rest.

If you have any questions or relevant information you would like to share, please leave a comment below.


Train Hard, Train Well, Train Safe.

Blessings Be,






Rich Far

Founder of Bodybuilding for Mass



Thank you for reading:

Best Mass Building Shoulder Workouts – Big Shoulders Guaranteed!



Comments (6)

  1. jolie

    Hi Rich, great site! Loving all the really useful info that you’ve posted. I will definitely be back for sure. I got into weight lifting earlier this year and am hooked. I’m really keen to learn how to build muscle mass as it’s really difficult for me (being a female, ectomorph body type, and a vegetarian to boot!), so looking forward to reading more of your material. Cheers!

    1. Rich Far

      Hi Jolie,

      Thank you for visiting and I appreciate your positive feedback.

      It is great to know you are using weights and I welcome you back anytime :-)

      If you would like any additional help, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Also, it would be great if you feel like posting from time to time on how you are going with your training and your experiences with weight lifting.

      Here’s another post you may be particularly interested in: Click Here to Read

      Best Wishes Jolie,

      – Rich

  2. Christina

    Hi Rich, Wow I am blown away at all the awesome information you have here! My Husband is always working out and he seems to get so far and then the results basically stop. I am sending him here to your site! Great work! Cheers!

    1. admin

      Hi Christina,

      Thank you so much, I appreciate your feedback.

      Your husband is very welcome :-) and let him know I would love to answer any questions he may have.

      It is a very typical issue your husband faces and is called reaching a plateau.
      Basically, the muscles get used to the stimulation of the exercise and stop responding. The answer is to ‘change it up’ at least every 3 – 5 weeks. This may be accomplished in a number of ways, from rep range to time under tension with many variables in between.

      I shall write an article covering this more fully.

      Blessings Be,

      – Rich

  3. June Maxwell

    What a well orginized site! Love the info as my son is trying to get buff. Will revisit to learn more.

    1. admin

      Hi June,

      Thank you for the feedback and welcome to my site.

      It is great your son is wanting to gain muscle – if he has any questions he can post in the comments or email me I would love to hear from him.

      Your son should certainly experience some very evident results by following the information presented on and setting realistic and achievable goals.

      Blessings Be June,

      – Rich


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