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A shoulder workout for hardgainers must do more than just advise you to train heavy. Heavy lifting is important for hardgainers to begin to build muscle mass and size, however it isn’t the only key element of shoulder training. In this video, I’m going to show you how important it is to learn how to lift lighter on certain exercises and how to lift heavier on the right exercises, if you want to start adding serious size fast to your shoulders.
Before even getting started however, one of the most effective shoulder workout tips I could give anyone (not just a skinny guy looking to add muscle) is to train shirtless. Now of course, this advise is best followed if you are training in the comfort of your own home gym! That said, many hardgainers find themselves in this exact situation because they feel self conscious about going to the gym and training in front of the much larger and more muscular guys.
When you train without a shirt, you not only face your insecurities but you allow yourself a chance to watch your muscles as they work and use the visual feedback to more accurately focus your effort on the muscles you are actually trying to build. Let’s face it, if you are a beginner lifter or are not carrying large amounts of muscle you are likely not mastering the mind muscle connection with the muscles you are trying to develop. You don’t have the “feel” of what the muscle is supposed to feel like that you are training.
Training shirtless allows you to watch the muscle contract and therefore tweak your form to enable a stronger contraction in the target muscles. When you do this, you will be surprised just how much quicker you can get that muscle to respond.
Next, you will want to change the smaller, more targeted exercises (like the shoulder dumbbell side lateral raise) to lighten the weights that you are using in an attempt to feel more tension on the shoulders when performing them. This may mean that you need to put the ego lifting aside and stop being tempted to lift more weight than your muscles can handle simply because the guys around you are lifting bigger. Drop down and make the shoulder muscles do all of the work (using the one and a half rep style shown here) and you will feel an immediate difference.
That said, heavy weight lifting is important for overloading the muscles of a hardgainer to build more muscle size and strength. Just be smart about the exercises you choose when doing so. To me, the standing military press is not the smartest or easiest way to get a hardgainer lacking the appropriate strength to get stronger. Likely, they are going to alter their form too much to accommodate a bar that has a fixed path rather than using a push press with dumbbells that allows for more natural biomechanics and freedom.
The tips shown here are just a few of the best ways to build big shoulders with your shoulder workouts. The complete ATHLEAN-X Training System available at is a step by step 90 day program that will transform your entire body by training you like an athlete.
For more shoulder workout videos and tips on how to get bigger shoulders and size, be sure to subscribe to our channel here on youtube at