Ladies Who Lift … SHOULDERS
MN Ambassador Leanne Caunce talks about her shoulder routine.
Ok girls, lets not get hung up on building too much muscle by lifting weights. We have heard it too many times.. WEIGHTS WON’T MAKE YOU BULKY. Its pretty much impossible for ladies to achieve a masculine look ‘naturally’. Don’t be scared… you may see some ladies out there who are very bulky on their shoulders and some of the time they will have enhanced their results by taking a variety of body building supplements (not to be confused with health supplements).
Let me run through some really good exercises I use to shape and tone my shoulders.
Your workout will be determined by your goal- for me, I do not need to lift heavy ( strength train) on my shoulders. I am strong, however I do not want to be upping my weight constantly as I have a good amount of muscle already. I wish to tone and stimulate the muscle I have built during my cutting phase to reveal shapely shoulders.
For years I have partaken in ‘Pole Fitness’ which did give me a good grounding and upper body strength. I have also dabbled in Cross Fit again which has strengthened my shoulders, and so for any ladies looking to develop more shoulder strength these two forms of fitness are great for that.
LJ’s Shoulder Routine This Week
I keep my workouts constantly varied and switch up the exercises, to avoid my body adapting to them. I keep the intensity high and I tend not to count sets.
Once it gets hard… then I am pushing through 2-3 more sets.
This makes all the difference. I do have the luxury of training with my prep coach, who will push me further through negative reps and to failure but it is not always necessary.
Here is the routine I followed this week, and how I felt 😐
A- Seated Shoulder Dumbell Press- warm up was around 15-20 reps at (10kg) just to warm up the body and ensuring good form.
My first set I will select a weight that I can manage for 12-15 reps easily (12.5kg), I will concentrate on form- and the time under tension ensuring the set is not rushed. Once I hit around 15 reps and I can feel a burn in my shoulders … it’s time to go for 5 more reps. (awch!!!) I used to like training shoulders, until I trained at a higher intensity …. now I don’t.
The second set, I will jump up a weight (If i can) remembering that it isn’t about the weight, it is all about how the weight works for you. So this time I upped to (15kg) and it now feels heavy as I am pushing my reps towards failure (keeping good form).
This time I manage 12 reps, it is getting hard so we are going to push for another 5 if we can. After the second set It can feel as if its become a cardio workout, training at such an intensity was such a shock from the traditional 4 sets of 10 reps that wasn’t making much of an impact if any to my body.
The third set, Oh no! It is now hard. I won’t jump up the weight any higher as I know reaching 12 reps is going to be tough. Once I hit 12 reps, again try to push a few more reps out keeping good form- if you have a training partner or coach, you now may need a little assistance with the last few reps. Shoulders on fire, heart pumping… now is what they call ‘next level’ training.
Fourth set, this may or may not be your last set. For me it was today. Tough slog to get to 12 reps then 3 negative reps with my coach.
At this point I am ready to go home :-/ but this is only the first exercise.
B- Side Raises super set with Front Raises (12-15 + 3-4 sets)
C- Seated Shoulder Press Machine (REVERSE SEATING POSITION) (12-15+ 3-4 sets)
D- Standing Shoulder Press – dumbells palms facing ( lighter set- to failure 2-3 sets)
You can get a brief idea here of how the intensity of the workout should be, each set involves 12-15 reps and more if possible. Volume training for me, makes the most difference. I don’t follow a set routine as mentioned earlier, as the most important part is the intensity, time under tension and essential good form.
My coach tells me, that you should feel as though you have completely trained that body part walking out of the gym, in the past I have been guilty of ‘going through the motions’ and sticking to a set plan with no real purpose. I have trained with numerous personal trainers who have prescribed a body part split training plan. I have spent £1000’s on personal training sessions which again I can say …. not always money well spent.
A little piece of advice would be, If you PT is standing at the side of you with a clipboard in hand counting out reps to 10 for 4 sets then moving onto the next exercise when you feel you have a lot more to give; are you getting a service worth paying for?
I have seen all to often PT’s checking their mobile phones during a session, having a chat to other gym members and aimlessly handing out training programs in bulk.
If you are new to training, a PT is by far a great way to go! Just make sure they know their stuff and have credibility in the industry.
If you are looking for ‘Next Level’ results, for me your PT should be with you- pushing you beyond the limit you would go alone, working with you and know what you are capable of. They should be experienced, credible and know how to adapt exercises when needs be above all they are not always the most expensive out there.
Undoubtably the best coach I have found, isn’t the most expensive, but is 100% dedicated, they practice what they preach, push me beyond my limit I knew I was capable of and have THE BEST RESULTS in the shortest space of time. I couldn’t ask for more, and the training style couldn’t be any further from what I was used to for all those years at the gym.
If you have any questions or would like any more information – feel free to leave a comment below and we will try to answer questions in our upcoming blogs.