Build bigger shoulders with IFBB Pro Nathan Epler’s off-season shoulder workout to build muscle.

Nathan Epler’s Pre- and Intra-Workout Supplement Regimen

Nathan takes 1 scoop of HOSSTILITY stim pre workout 20 minutes before training shoulders.

Before his workout, Nathan mixes INTRA[R3] intra-workout for essential amino acids, Cluster Dextrin highly branched cyclic dextrin, PeakO2 adaptogen mushroom complex, and electrolytes. He also adds 5 grams of creatine monohydrate to support strength and power, and 5 grams of fermented glutamine powder. He sips on this intra-workout drink throughout his workout. 

Nathan Epler’s 6 Exercises for Bigger Shoulders

Reverse Pec Deck:
Nathan begins with reverse pec deck in order to warm up his shoulders to support the heavier movements to come later in the workout. Begin by positioning yourself in the pec deck with your chest facing the pad. Set the handles so that your arms are parallel with the floor. PRO TIP: make sure that you are pushing your hands out in front of you so that you eliminate your traps from taking the resistance. Next, begin to pull the handles apart, imagine as if you are trying to scrape the walls out to the side of you. Make sure you stop once you’re the handles are in line with your body, pulling the handles further than this will take the focus off of the rear delts and put it onto your traps. Next, slowly return the handles back to the start position. Do 12-15 reps per set, working your way up in weight until you do 2 working sets to failure.

Dumbbell Shoulder Press:
Set up a 90-degree bench in front of the dumbbell rack. Next, grab a dumbbell in each hand and sit on the bench, positioning each dumbbell on your knees. Kick the dumbbells up with your knees and bring the dumbbells up about 2-3 inches above your shoulders. Begin the movement by driving the dumbbells up explosively towards the ceiling and then in a controlled manner bring them back down to the starting position, 2-3 inches above your shoulders. Do 12-15 reps per set, working your way up in weight each set. Take your last two sets to failure.

Seated Cable Lateral Raise:
For this next movement, set up an incline bench in front of a dual cable pulley machine. Set both pulleys to the lowest setting. Attach an ankle cuff attachment to each of your wrists and clip them onto the cable machine with the opposite side attached to the opposite hand so that the cables cross in front of you. Next, lay back on the bench, this will eliminate any momentum and allow all of the focus to be on the medial delt. Bring your hands out and up so that you are making a “t”, control the weight back down and perform 12-15 reps per set. Do 2 working sets to failure. On the last set, do a cluster set. This means break the 15 reps into 5 repetition sets separated by 5 second breaks between each 5 rep intervals. Once you hit failure, perform an ISO hold, holding the weight up as long as possible until failure.

Lying Cable Upright Row Superset with Cable Rear Delt Fly:
Set up a EZ bar handle on a seated cable row machine. Grab the handle with an overhand grip and lay back so that your back is flat on the pad. Keeping the elbows up high, pull the bar up until it is about 2-3 inches below your chin, do 12-15 reps before immediately performing the next movement. Next, go over to a cable pulley set with no handle to the lowest setting. Nathan performs a variation of a rear delt fly, he stands on a 45 degree angle to the cable and instead of pulling the cable straight out, he pulls the handle down and out as if he is skiing. Perform 12-15 reps and then take a 30-60 second break between sets. Move up in weight each set until you perform 2 working sets to failure.

Barbell Shrugs:
Nathan finishes off this shoulder workout with barbell shrugs. Set up a barbell with the desired weight. Grab the barbell with both hands about shoulder distance apart. Lift the bar off of the rack and move back so that the bar doesn’t hit the rack. Next, lift your shoulders up in a shrugging motion while keeping your chest up and shoulder blades back. Hold the weight at the top of the movement for a second before controlling the weight down. Do not bounce your knees or rock your body to use momentum to get the weight up. Keep the emphasis on the traps. Perform 2-3 working sets of 12-15 reps to failure.