In this second phase of the shoulders & arms program, cables are the heavily utilized instruments for applying progressive overload. There are two distinct advantages for using cables instead of free weights (particularly when it comes to isolated shoulder exercises):
1. Cables provide a differing line of pull than that of free weights and can work muscle fibers from a greater variety of angles
2. There is a different resistance curve experienced when using cables as opposed to free weights with more effort required to reduce the ‘pull’ of the cable (particularly whilst lowering the weight).
To best way of understanding the principles above and there benefits is to get into the workout and DO it! So give it a go. Just remember to select the correct loads before you begin. To do this, let the reps dictate the weight used for each exercise – i.e. if 12 reps are prescribed for a particular exercise then choose a weight that you will get close to 12 reps on each set. If you can only complete 8 reps when 12 reps are prescribed, the weight is too heavy. If you can complete 16 reps and 12 reps are prescribed, the weight is too light. To accommodate fatigue, my suggestion is to decrease the loads on each subsequent set of an exercise by 10%. Full range of motion and without any exercise technique breakdown is mandatory. The aim of the program is to increase your total workload for a given exercise each session. Even if this is only equates to 1-2 reps more for an exercise each session, this will add up to significant gains over time. If you do not reach (or even exceed) a target rep prescription, make sure you write this on your program sheet and aim to beat this total number of reps for the given exercise in the subsequent session.
For your convenience, a PDF copy has been provided via link below. If you are unfamiliar with the program format or would like to complete the first phase, then click HERE
A:1 – Standing Dumbbell Shoulder Press
Stand as tall as possible with dumbbells above the shoulders and in alignment with the ears. Whilst keeping elbows under wrists, drive the weight vertically overhead until the elbows are fully extended. Under control, lower the weights down to the starting position to complete the movement.
A:2 – Cable Single Arm Bent-Over Reverse Flies
Grasp a single cable attachment with one hand. Slightly bend the elbow & arc the arm towards the ceiling until it’s just passed a parallel position to floor. Lower the weight back to the starting position under control. The torso should remain fixed & horizontal throughout the whole movement.
A:3 – Cable Single Arm Lateral Raise – to front
Standing perpendicular to a cable stack, grasp a low-pulley cable with one hand. Keeping the arm stiff (with a slight bend in the elbow), proceed to raise the working arm from in front of the body up until the wrist and upper arm is parallel to the floor. Lower the weight back to the starting position under control.
A:4 – Pull-Through Cable Front Raises – straight bar
Grasp a low-cable bar attachment with an overhand grip (the cable should be behind you and coming in between your legs). Stand tall and with straight arms, raise the bar until both arms are level with the shoulders. Lower the bar back to starting position with control.
B:1 – Standing Rear Cable Curls – dual handle
Grasp two low-pulley cables with a palm-up grip. Move in front of the cable attachments so that these are behind you and your arms are angles back. Using only movement at the elbow, proceed to curl the weight up evenly on both sides and then lower them both back under control to the starting position.
B:2 – Standing Cable High-pulley Single Arm Tricep Pushdowns – neutral grip
Grasp a high-cable hand attachment with a thumb up grip. Keeping the elbow locked into your side, extend the forearm down until the arm is straight using only movement at the elbow joint. Reverse the movement under control back to the starting position
C:1 – Alternating Incline Dumbbell Hammer Curls
Lay back on an incline bench set 30-45 degrees. With a hammer grip, start with the dumbbells & arms hanging straight down. Bend at the elbows (not shoulders), and curl the weight up one arm at a time until the biceps touch the forearms. Lower the weights back to the starting position under control.
C:2 – Standing Mid-pulley Tricep Pushdowns – straight bar, overhand grip
Maintaining an erect posture the entire exercise, grasp the bar with and overhand grip. Keeping the elbows tucked into your sides, push the arms down straight without moving the torso or upper arms. Return to start position under control.
D – Barbell Cuban Press
Hold a barbell with a palms down grip in front of the body, upper arms parallel to the floor. There should be right angles in the elbows & shoulders. Rotating just the upper arms, proceed to arc the barbell until it has moved 180’ and is in front of the forehead. Press the bar overhead and then reverse the whole movement back to the starting position.
Where to next?
We would love to hear your feedback on the program. Once you have completed Phase 2 of the Shoulders & Arms Program, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org titled ‘Shoulders & Arms Phase 2’ with your feedback and request the next phase of this program.