Big Delt Program
by Tim Scheett, PhD
Help bring up your overhead press one step at a time.
Big, round, wide cannonball delts are the mark of a hardcore bodybuilder. To make them huge, pressing some serious poundage is essential. Heavy dumbbell presses are one of the best ways to go for full deltoid development, but if you’re stuck on the 50-pounders, you’ll never get those caps.
Sometimes you have to take an alternate route to increase your strength. Here’s a program that’s designed to add a good 20 pounds to your dumbbell press. Any takers?
This program actually is a training secret that many Olympic weightlifting champions have used to increase their pressing strength. All that’s required is a set of dumbbells and an adjustable bench, preferably one that goes from flat to upright in many increments, like the Ironmaster Super Bench.
The trick is that you start by doing flat-bench presses with a certain weight and slowly increase the bench angle over several weeks while using the same weight until you can press it overhead.
The first step involves finding a set of dumbbells with which you can do 8-10 reps of the flat-bench dumbbell press. The second step is to find an adjustable bench that allows you to make about eight increments similar to those found in the Big Delt Program (see photo).
Do three sets of the presses (using the weight you can get for 8-10 reps on the flat bench throughout the entire program) at the appropriate angle first thing on chest days during Phase 1 and first thing on shoulder days during Phase 2. After you complete the cycle, stick with that weight on the seated overhead dumbbell press for several weeks before starting the program again with a new weight.
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