How to get lean and stronger

How to build natural shoulder pads with Hiit weight training

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How to use Hiit weight training to develop your shoulders

To really develop your shoulders muscles takes dedication and targeting with the right exercises over a longer period of time than most other muscle groups. Some people are able to get good results fast while others like myself really have to work hard to at it.

The shoulders or delts as they are referred to, are unique in that they are made up of three individual muscle groups – the anterior or front, medial, and posterior or rear delts. Shoulder exercises also works the triceps and traps muscles indirectly.

Delt exercises involves multi-joint movements – elbows and shoulders – and are consistent with the natural movement of our bodies. Training them with hiit weight training will give your upper body strength and symmetry and will help with heavy lifting and pushing activities.

Because they impact other muscles besides the shoulders – and to really develop them – I will dedicate a day just for delt exercises and hit the other groups another time. For example, I’ll exercise my triceps on Wednesday, shoulders on Friday and back on Mondays.

Although the objective is to increase strength and size – which comes from lifting heavy weights and hiit training – it’s important to start slowly with lights weights. The shoulder muscles are smaller than other muscle groups and lifting heavy too soon can lead to unnecessary injuries. Believe me – it can be uncomfortable sleeping at nights when you have any kind of shoulder injury.

How to pump up your shoulder

Let’s get to work on your new shoulder pads. There are several types of exercises that will target each portion of the delts but let’s focus on the ones that will give you the best results.

Remember that in any exercise movement . . .  form and range of motion is very important. This is especially true when doing shoulders because injuring them will completely disrupt movement in other exercises such as chest and arms.

And remember – start with minimal or no weights and build up slowly from there.


Dumbbell Press

The first shoulder exercise is the dumbbell shoulder press. (See video above) 

Doing these will give the shoulder an all around workout but will target the medial or top portion of the deltoids. Use weights that will allow you to do ten repetitions. When doing hiit weight training for shoulders, slow the movement down and do each repetition at a count of six seconds per rep – three up and three down. They can be done either standing or sitting. I prefer to do mine sitting since I get more isolation. Sit on an exercise bench that will support you back at slightly more than 90 – degree angle. 

Grasp weights with both hands and bring them to a resting position on either side of your face. This will be your starting position. Your palms should be facing forward. Push weights up overhead making sure not to lock your arms at the elbows. Then lower weights to starting position. This is one repetition. Do three sets of ten reps and rest. Proper form is important here. Keep your eyes straight ahead and don’t arch your back.

Military Press

Shoulder presses can also be done using a straight bar and is called a military press. Most gyms have specific machines for doing military presses. The principle is the same as doing dumbbell press. The bar can be lowered either behind or in-front of your head. I don’t recommend lowering them behind your head because of potential injuries.

Front raises

The next exercise will pump up your front delts. These are called front raises.

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You will need a set of dumbbells for these. They can be done from a sitting or standing position. Use light enough weights to allow you to do ten repetitions. Grasp weights in each hand and raise them straight up from your side to directly in front of you. You can do them with your palms facing you or facing downward and they can be raised one at a time or together.

Return weights to your side for one rep. Do eight to ten repetitions per set and complete three sets.

Lateral Raises

We will do lateral raises next.

For this exercise we will use dumbbells again. Do them from a sitting or a standing position. Use  weights light enough to allow you to do ten to twelve repetitions. Grasp weights with palms facing you. Raise weights away from your sides until your arms are parallel to the floor and return to starting position for one repetition.

This is an excellent exercise for the middle delts and is one of my favorites. I know this will help to prevent ‘frozen shoulder’ which affects diabetics and the graying community. 

Standing upright rows  

To really add some strength and muscularity to the entire deltoid area you must do the close grip, standing upright rows.


I prefer to use a straight bar for this exercise but it can also be done using dumbbells. While standing and maintaining a straight back, bend down and grasp the bar with your hands as close as possible. Bring to a resting position at the thigh area. Lift bar or dumbbells to just below your chin and lower for one repetition.


Keep your back straight and look straight ahead. Do three sets of ten repetitions. In a short period of time you will notice your delts and the upper portion of your traps getting some serious definition.

Bent over laterals

To pump up the rear delts I do bent over laterals. 

To do these you will need a set of dumbbells and an exercise bench or a sturdy chair. They can also be done from a standing position but I prefer sitting on the edge of the exercise bench. While in this position bend forward until your upper body is almost parallel to the floor. Grasp weights in both hands and lift up and away from your body. Weights should be light enough for you to do ten repetitions. Three sets are more than enough.

There . . . that’s all you need to strengthen and transform your shoulders. Use hiit weight training for a more  effective workout.  Do these once per week and after four weeks you won’t believe the results. Start slowly and as you get stronger increase the weights.

As noted – there are many variations to the exercises listed above. Substitute others for them so as not get bored and also to confuse the muscles.

Remember to be consistent and use proper form to avoid injuries. Make stretching a part of your daily routine.