I love muscle growth. And I love doing cool, crazy shit in the gym that pushes the mind and the body past previous barriers. This shoulder workout is one of those barrier-breakers. You’ve been warned!

Last week, at House Of Strength, I hit my crew with some throwback sessions from Charles Poliquin – the dreaded 6-12-20 tri-set.

One leg day we did the following:

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  • Squats x 6
  • Lunges x 12/leg
  • KB Swings x 20
  • The only rest between movements is transitioning to the next exercise. Rest 2 minutes between rounds.
  • Do 3-4 rounds, then search for oxygen mask!


On Upper Body Day we started with our main pressing movement, then moved into shoulder shocker territory. Here’s what we did:

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  • Neutral Grip DB Press (constant tension) x 6
  • Heavy DB Lateral “Swings” x 12
  • Band Pull-aparts  x 20
  • The only rest between movements is transitioning to the next exercise. Rest 2 minutes between rounds.
  • Do 3 rounds.


This shoulder session was awesome in it own way. But as I reviewed our week and saw a thought-provoking post from a friend…the wheels started turning. I knew I could make this better!

A little background on my thought process and a nod to those who influenced this…The one and only Mountain Dog, John Meadows has been a HUGE influence on my training knowledge and style. He first introduced me and my training partner Cris to high rep shoulder movements. Specifically partial “swings” for lateral and rear-delt moves. Another influencer, James “Smitty” Smith recently added bands to his Mountain Dog style rear-delt movement…I think you can see where this is going.

Enter the UPGRADED Shoulder Shocker.

First things first. Let’s go over some cues for the lateral raise/Heavy Swing movement pattern. When I was a kid we didn’t have iPhones, X-boxes, or even the internet (I was in middle school when we got dial-up AOL)…we had to MOVE to entertain ourselves! One “game” I recall was standing in the doorway and pressing your arms OUT against the immovable door frame while counting to 20. Then you stepped forward and your arms magically floated up. 

Here’s a pic of Corey standing in the doorway performing this move.

Now I realize I was doing isometric training before I knew what I was doing! Anyway, THAT is the feeling you’re going for here. We’re going to keep the traps DOWN and lift the hands AWAY from the body as hard as possible with a heavy weight. You won’t get a full range of motion, but that’s the point. We’re overloading those muscle fibers and keeping them under high amounts of tension for an extended period of time.

So we start with the isometric, move to the heavy banded swings, then move to constant tension neutral grip presses before finishing with band pull-aparts.

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  • Door Frame Isometric x 10 seconds
  • Banded Heavy DB Swings x 20
  • Neutral Grip DB Press x 6-8 (constant tension = stop 1 inch short of bottom and lockout portion of each rep)
  • Band pull-aparts x 15-20
  • Stretch
  • Rest 2 minutes and repeat for 3 rounds


The Banded Heavy Swings


And here’s a pic of the stretch. Put your palms on your lower back with your fingertips on your spine and then roll your shoulders back pushing your chest out. This will stretch your chest, delts, and upper arms, and flood those areas with blood and nutrients (assuming your nailing that workout nutrition!)