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I have a couple of muscle groups that I consider to be 'falling behind', or that I simply want to get bigger as quickly as possible regardless of sacrifices I have to make to training other areas.

The best example of this for me is probably my shoulders, which are what I would consider to be out of proportion to my biceps and especially triceps now.

What is the correct way to hit one or two muscle groups that you want to 'catch up' or simply want to have larger as quickly as possible?

I'm not sure whether the right way to do this is to try and get an extra few hours sleep on shoulders day, try force myself to eat more that day, reduce reps and try up my weights, do more reps, throw in an extra workout on that day, work the group an extra one or two times during the week and remove another muscle group, etc. For all I know it means only working on that group only once per week on its own day at a really high intensity (like 5 workouts, 4 sets to failure).

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Could you add information about your current routine? Without that, I think any answer is going to be "work those muscles, rest, repeat". –  Dave Liepmann Feb 4 '13 at 14:24
    
@DaveLiepmann I guess it was more a generalized question that you could apply to any group that was lagging, looking at the fastest way to gain size in that group even if it means you need to stop working on other groups to make room for additional workouts, or whether more workouts would actually not make a difference and even be counter-productive. –  Marty Feb 4 '13 at 23:32
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2 Answers

If you have muscle groups that are "lagging" then the obvious solution is to target them even harder than before. However I might add that most people have shoulders that are not "up to par" with what what they want. Part of the problem here is that the deltoids are a very small muscle group, and getting "big" shoulders usually takes a long time.

Back to the point at hand, your technique of training to failure isn't far off the mark, however since this isn't working the way you hoped for these different body parts it might be time to try something new. Perhaps switching to a high volume (not to failure!) program or even a strength program will yield results.

The most important lesson I've learned in my training is that if what you're doing doesn't work CHANGE IT. Don't keep banging your head against a wall.

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For me personally I would consider the route of drop setting. this is mainly due to your primary goal (from what I understand) to gain size in your shoulders to be in 'proportion'.

I would consider a routine such as this:

day 1 shoulders:

  • Bent Over Low Pulley Lateral 15 x 5
  • Reverse Flyes 15 x 5
  • Dumbbell Lateral Raise 15 x 5
  • Barbell Up Right Row 15 x 5
  • Standing Military Press 15 x 5
  • Barbell Shrug 14 x 5

Day 2 exercise of your choice:

Day 3 shoulders:

  • Bent Over Low Pulley Lateral 15 x 5
  • Reverse Flyes 15 x 5
  • Dumbbell Lateral Raise 15 x 5
  • Barbell Up Right Row 15 x 5
  • Standing Military Press 15 x 5
  • Barbell Shrug 15 x 5

Day 4 exercise of your choice:

Day 5 shoulders:

  • Bent Over Low Pulley Lateral 15 x 5
  • Reverse Flyes 15 x 5
  • Dumbbell Lateral Raise 15 x 5
  • Barbell Up Right Row 15 x 5
  • Standing Military Press 15 x 5
  • Barbell Shrug 14 x 5

Day 6 and 7: avoid exercising upper body as much as possible and eat.

These exercises and schedule may seem intense but this is a sure way to gain some size.

I would work on a drop set principle in each set in order to try and maximize growth. I would also consider upping your diet to make sure your body can cope with the stress of the exercises. I would also consider drastically upping your protein somewhere into the 300g a day region. I would follow this for more than a few weeks as shoulder injuries can be a nightmare.

Don't lift massively outside your comfort zone and make sure you do each rep with correct form.

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That is a tonne of reps and exercises - are you sure this won't be counter-productive? –  Marty Feb 4 '13 at 23:20
    
its the current shoulder routine that I am doing, although I only do shoulders on a monday. It's working well for me and I have noticed some nice gains. If need be drop the reps to around 8 - 12 if that feels more comfortable. –  Sam Street Feb 5 '13 at 8:16
    
@Kate - because I'm cool as chuff –  Sam Street Feb 25 '13 at 8:27
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