Below, you’ll see a video of one of Mike Chang’s shoulder workouts using barbells and dumbbells. My thoughts are appended below.
Video Title: Shocking Shoulder Super-Set Workout
Video Description: In this episode, I’m going to show you an INSANE workout that builds your shoulder muscles and burns fat through the Afterburn Effect. In this workout I’m going to be showing you one of my FAVORITE Afterburn Training techniques…. SUPER-SETS! This is when you do 3 or more sets back to back, with no rest. It’s a killer technique for getting a lot of sets in quickly in the gym, so you can build muscle without a ton of gym time. And, it’s also great to create a need for your body to recover, so you burn more calories through Afterburn (EPOC.)
Repeat the following Giant set 5-6x without stopping (no rest):
Barbell military presses – 8-10 reps
Front raises with a straight bar – 8-10 reps
Upright rows with barbell – 8-10 reps
Dumbbell side laterals – 8-10 reps
This may be one of Mike Chang’s most popular videos, but in my opinion, it’s far from one of his best. In fact, I’d even go as far to say that you probably should not try this workout at all. I’ve got a lot of thoughts on this one. So, I’ll do my best to stay concise.
For starters, for a nonstop high intensity shoulder workout, of all things, this is a ton of volume for just one workout. If Mike really expects you to do this 4-exercise “giant set” for five or six rounds without stopping, then I’d guess he really didn’t think this through. I mean, who does he think his viewers are – Ronnie Coleman lookalikes? Unless you’re an advanced level trainee (ie you’ve been training successfully and consistently for years, and/or you compete in a strength/physique sport), I’d say you should avoid this one entirely. It’s just too much.
Not to mention that upright rows are notorious for creating shoulder and spinal injuries and are typically shunned in the S&C community. I don’t know why he included that one!
On top of that, if you’re training with a traditional bodybuilding split, then you shoulders will probably get hit quite a bit when you’re training your chest, triceps, biceps, and back, too. So, this shoulder workout has “bad idea” written all over it.
And even if you could do it, you’d need access to a couple of pre-loaded barbells and dumbbells just waiting for you, which just isn’t practical for a lot of people unless you’ve got a well-equipped home gym w/ at least two barbells.
Of course, Mike says “If you wanna do something else after this…kindof like a bonus, you can also go with…”
- Dumbbell military presses (aka overhead presses)
- Bent-over rear-delt lateral dumbbell raises (Mike didn’t provide a name for this, but this is essentially it)
And I’ll tell ya, if you really truly want to do more shoulder work after 5-6 rounds of this giant set, then you’re either not working hard enough or you’re asking for trouble.
So, I’ll tell you what. If you forced me to provide a modified version as an alternative, here’s what I’d do differently. I’d drop the upright rows completely – vamoose! Then I’d swap in the bent-over rear-delt lateral dumbbell raises instead of one of the other shoulder raises for a total of 3 exercises to work through. I’d have you rest for a minute or two between sets. And I’d only recommend doing 2-5 sets depending on your conditioning level (2 for beginners, 5 for advanced trainees). Even still, this looks nothing like a “shoulder workout” I’d put together from scratch, but what can I say? I’m doing the best I can with what I’ve got.
If you’d like to check out some of Mike Chang’s best workouts (this not being one of them), then you can read up on my Six Pack Shortcuts Review.