IFBB Pro Fouad Abiad takes you through a heavy shoulder workout and gives you tips to maximize your training results.


Fouad Abiad’s Heavy Shoulder Workout

Smith Machine Shoulder Press 2 6-10
Hammer Strength Shoulder Press 3-4 8-12
Dumbbell Lateral Raise 3 10-12
Superset With
Machine Shoulder Press 3 20-25
Superset With
Reverse Pec Deck 3 20-25


Build Bigger, Broader Shoulders

Whether you’re on stage or off, broad shoulders create a more commanding presence. And while isolation exercises are great, if you are trying to get big shoulders, heavy compound exercises should make up the bulk of your muscle-building shoulder routine. This workout utilizes mostly heavier compound movements, targeting all three heads of the deltoids—the anterior (front), medial (side), and posterior (rear). Follow this workout to add major size and width to your shoulders.

Smith Machine Shoulder Press

Start with two warm-up sets of 6-10 reps each set. When performing this exercise, stop the bar at chin level, when arms are at a 90-degree angle. This will allow for good delt contraction without putting too much strain on the bicep, chest, and shoulder tendons. Set the seat one peg back from being completely upright, making sure your butt is all the way back in the seat so that it keeps tension on the shoulders and not the upper chest.

Hammer Strength Shoulder Press

Perform 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps each set. Although similar to the first exercise, this exercise allows for each hand to move independently, so each shoulder gets equal focus. You'll want to go heavier on this exercise. Don't worry about going heavier on compound movements—bigger and stronger shoulders come from heavy pressing movements.

Dumbbell Lateral Raises superset with Cable Upright Row

Do three sets of 10-12 reps for each exercise. Perform each exercise back to back before taking a short rest between supersets. When doing lateral raises, turn the wrist up and don't bend too much at the elbows. Fight the urge to twist the dumbbells behind you. It should look like you're lifting up a pitcher of water and pouring it out. For upright rows, use a wider grip (this will activate more lateral delt) and pull the bar to your chin and hold for one second. Be sure to keep the elbows high here. We are trying to pull with the elbows, not with the forearms.

Machine Shoulder Press superset with Reverse Pec Deck

For this superset, you'll perform the machine shoulder press on a standing calf raise machine. Do three sets of 20-25 reps for each exercise. Perform each exercise back to back before taking a short rest between supersets. For the shoulder press, make sure your elbows are tucked in and not flared out. This will help keep the tension on the front head of the shoulder. For the reverse pec deck, get your body as close to the pad as possible. Keep tension on the rear delt by not allowing the weight stack to touch down at the bottom completely and not pulling the weight past inline with your body as it will start to put the focus off of your shoulders and on your back.