The Ultimate Shoulders And Triceps Workout

When you are strapped for time, you have to get creative and find a way to pack in a shorter session with all of your favorite exercises. With this in mind I have created a workout that will work your shoulders and triceps all in one 40-minute session that is heavy on volume and light on rest.

The Warm-Up

You would be foolish to jump into any workout without a proper warm-up done, the warm-up becomes even more crucial when your workout session consists of multiple presses. This is because the shoulder joints and the numerous muscles surrounding them are delicate and are easily aggravated, jumping right in will increase your risk of injury.

Some kind of warm-up should be done prior to any heavy workout.

The warm-up is important to get the blood flowing and also minimize any injury risks involved. By spending a few minutes increasing your body temperature and driving more blood into your shoulders, you can help coerce the frigid joints into performing well for you. I tend to warm up each head individually.

Crank Up The Intensity

To start off the workout, I prefer starting with a compound movement as this allows me to dedicate 100% of my energy and focus to this movement. To increase intensity I recommend finishing your last set which is taken to failure with half reps as necessary in order to reach your repetition goal. This will allow you to stimulate new growth and break through that plateau.

Bring On The Blood Flow

I pair lateral raises with single-arm front raises for a superset with no rest breaks. This back to back combo will demand more and more blood flow as you progress through the superset.

A New Use For The Hack Squat

Shoulder and tricep development can easily be done in a 40-minute workout if done correctly.

I think it is great to be able to adapt on the fly to maximize my workouts. With my often chaotic schedule, I have learned to get creative no matter where I am. I use a hack squat machine to knock out more shoulder presses, keeping my elbows tucked into my body so the deltoids do most of the work.

Hit Delts From The Front And The Back

To round out the shoulder portion of the workout, I turn my attention to my rear and frontal deltoids. To help keep focus on the rear delts, rather than letting the traps become involved. I recommend not going through a full range of motion on the flyes. Go only until your arms are straight out to the sides rather than pushing back an extra 3-4 inches. This helps to keep the focus just on the deltoids which is what you want.

Three-Headed Giant Set

Just in case presses did not pulverize your deltoids quite enough, I employ this nasty finishing technique. A three-headed giant set with no rest and the last set taken to failure, if you have never experienced a deltoid pump, you definitely will after this.

Commencing Training Triceps

You may think that is the end after that giant set but you still need to train your triceps!. I like to keep riding the pump and momentum I have created and jump right into a superset of skullcrushers and close-grip presses.

Make sure you also have a proper diet in place whilst working out.

Both exercises for this pair require the use of the EZ bar which makes it an even more efficient superset because you will not need to hog any equipment or run back and forth across the gym. By using both skullcrushers and presses you tackle the triceps from different angles back to back, let’s bring on the blood flow.

More Angles=More Gains

To further hit the triceps from different angles, I move onto a push-down/dip combo that is not for the faint hearted. Stability becomes a challenge here when you transition from push-downs to dips so be sure to focus on a controlled rep. Add weights only once you have mastered a bodyweight set first.

The Icing On The Cake

I further work the triceps from different angles and with different grips to make sure I hit each of the three heads. Thanks to the blood-pumping finisher of overhead extensions and reverse-grip push-downs, opening the door to get out of the gym will be a struggle.

Onto The Shoulder And Triceps Workout

Giant set warm-up

1) Single-arm cable lateral raise – 12 war,-up reps.

Single-arm cable front raise – 12 warm-up reps.

Single-arm bent over cable rear-delt raise – 12 warm-up reps.

2) Seated dumbbell shoulder press – 3 sets of 6-8 reps, last set to failure.


3) Seated dumbbell lateral raise – 3 sets of 6-8 reps with the last set to failure.

Single-arm dumbbell front raise – 3 sets of 6-8 reps with the last set to failure.

4) Overhead press on hack squat machine – 3 sets of 6-8 reps with the last set to failure.

You could also consider bodyweight type workouts alongside this training for even greater gains.


5) Reverse machine fly – 3 sets of 8-10 reps.

Front plate raise – 3 sets of 8-10 reps.

Giant set

6) Dumbbell lateral raise – 3 sets of 8-10 reps with the last set to failure.

Single-arm dumbbell front raise – 3 sets of 8-10 reps with the last set to failure.

Seated bent-over rear-delt raise – 3 sets of 8-10 reps with the last set to failure.


7) EZ-Bar skullcrusher – 3 sets of 8-10 reps.

EZ-Bar close-grip bench press – 3 sets of 8-10 reps.


8) Triceps push-down with v-bar attachment – 3 sets of 6-8 reps.

Bench dip – 3 sets of 10-12 reps.


9) Cable overhead triceps extension – 3 sets of 8-10 reps.

Reverse-grip triceps push-down – 3 sets of 8-10 reps.

To me, this is the best shoulders and triceps workout you can do inside of 40 minutes so is perfect when you don’t have much time. There is also a program I have been making very good use of for some time now, take a look at it here for the ultimate muscle gains.

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