How Can I Get My Shoulders to Grow?


You know that when you wear a t-shirt, the scrawniness of your bony shoulder joints and meat-free collarbones must really turn heads! Just focus on those curls and you’ll look great at all times, but make sure you pump up the arms 1-2 hours before heading out on a Friday night…..


The reality is: your deltoids are tiny. They look like someone’s wrapped a piece of cling film over a pancake and your traps have gone on holiday (they’ll come back when you get a pair).


So when no one is around and after you’ve had a few beers you silently whisper…‘How can I get my shoulders to grow?!’




How to get disgustingly large shoulders:


Step 1


After you’ve thrown away all your horrible v-neck t-shirts and floppy shoes, start a heavy strength program consisting of deadlifts, squats, bench press, overhead press.


Do one exercise per workout for 3-5 sets of 3-5 reps spread over 4 days a week. Or two exercises per workout twice a week. Jim Wendlers 5/3/1 program is awesome, just do it and stop wasting your time.


Keep doing your basic strength program, or a maintenance version, for the rest of your life. Strength is key to all physical progress. So go get some.


Step 2


Following your strength work on upper body days choose one of the following exercises or something similar:


  1. Clean and press
  2. Handstand holds/press-ups
  3. Push Press


This will get your pressing strength up to par and start building up the deltoids. Train in 3-4 week cycles, focus on strength (3-5 reps) for the first cycle and then hypertrophy (6-8 reps) for the second cycle. Then alternate between the two cycles until big enough to warrant writing your own programs.


Step 3


Now we need to bring your traps back from their extended holiday, so following your strength work on lower body days choose one of the following exercises:


  1. Snatch pulls
  2. Shrugs (any kind, just don’t stick your neck out like a chicken or do ‘circles’. That will make you look stupid and wreck your shoulders)
  3. Clean pulls


Now your traps should be awake! Train using same reps as above (3-4 week cycles alternating between 3-5 reps and 6-8 reps). Some people think that traps should be trained with high volume, rather than doing more reps per set simply increase the weight and get strong first…the size will come.


Step 4


Finally, after your upper body strength + assistance workout has been done, do the farmers walk. This will build some mighty shoulders, a grip of steel and some quality total-body strength too. If you don’t have farmers bars, a couple of dumbbells will do. Just walk up and down for 3-4 sets, I’ll leave the distance up to you.



Try this program for 3 months and eat some quality food and you may be in with a chance of getting some good looking shoulders! Plus you’ll be nice and strong which will help you pursue any goal you like.


Basic strength program + focused assistance work = success


Good luck!


Anthony Shaw