DELTOID BLAST! WOMEN’S ATHLETIC PRO STEPHANIE SPIRIDAKIS CRUSHES SHOULDERS WITH BUFF BIKINI PRO BETH COTE
Intro by Ben Yosef // Photos by Michael Brooks // FulFit Training Studio
I am SUPER excited about this cover feature! Why??? Well, first of all these athletes are in INCREDIBLE shape and look amazing! Second, this type of feature (as mentioned in my opening letter) is the direction we are now heading in with GAINZMAG and really what I had envisioned for this publication when I launched it almost 2 years ago.
Also, because these two young ladies are new IPL Pros who both snagged victories and accompanying Pro Cards (Stephanie in Athletic, and Beth in Bikini) at the 2015 IPL North Atlantic Championship, one of the contests my new league hosted this year.
So, sit back and check out this awesome feature narrated by Stephanie “Crazy Delts” Spiridakis, enjoy the photos, and pic up some tips that will surely help with your shoulder GAINZ!
“My shoulders were lacking the nice pumpkin shape for years so I decided to train shoulders twice a week…”
Dumbbell Side Lateral raises
I like to preform my lateral raises a couple different ways. Seated is one of my most favorite because I take it slow and I control the movement from bottom to top! The less swing the better, and the slower the harder it is to perform the exercise. This keeps the focus on the side delts getting in some work along with the posterior part of the shoulders! This is key for well-rounded shoulders in my book!
Too many people stop during each rep, making the exercise much easier. I like to engage the fibers throughout the entire set by continuing the lateral movement until all reps are completed! AKA lower your weight, guys and gals!
With this being said, I mostly follow a 12-15 rep range for these, followed by a superset of plate raises to the front to really exhaust my shoulders for 10 reps! My shoulders were lacking the nice pumpkin shape for years so I decided to train shoulders twice a week, but following a lighter weight load and slower and controlled movement.
Day 2 I use as heavy weight as I can once I warmed the shoulders up (as they should be each and every time before really starting your first working set)! I do 4-6 reps on these to really challenge myself and saw some major development start to happen. As I mentioned above, too many people are jerking during these exercises and trying to lift too heavy when it’s unnecessary! They could be making much better GAINZ with correct form, less weight, and less rotator cuff injuries.
SETS & REPS [Side Laterals]
- 2 Warm-up sets x 15 to 20 reps x “light ass weight!”
- 5 to 6 Working sets x 12 to 15 reps x Increased weight
- 7 to 8 Working sets (after warm-up) x 4-6 reps
“I’m glad I listened to my body!”
How useful is it to have a spotter on this movement? And how often do you have one?
Having a spotter can really help but I rely on no one and normally “do my own thing.” I add cables, so that acts as a spotter for me and limits my swinging motion. That’s also why I started to perform laterals seated, because it was harder to perform with heavier weights and avoids injury. I’m glad I listened to my body!
“Compound moves like this can knock those shoulders to the next level!”
Standing Arnold Press
I like Arnold presses because it’s not a traditional move you see at the gym. It’s more challenging with less weight and can be done seated or standing. You start this move with your palms facing inwards. You then press up and mid-way through the movement you rotate your hands until your palms are facing outwards at the top of the movement.
I really feel these hit my front delts hard but the best part is on the negative. As I bring the weights down slow I can feel the side of my delts along with my triceps working at their maximum potential! I combine Arnold’s with seated dumbbell presses, and whoa! Makes it more challenging for sure! Compound moves like this can knock those shoulders to the next level!
SETS & REPS [Arnold Presses]
- 2 to 3 Warm-up sets x 15 to 20 reps
- 5 Working sets x 10 to 12 reps
“…slow things down and use correct form and do not rush the move!”
What is it like teaching this movement to someone you are training?
Teaching this move to someone else is really fun. Most haven’t done this move and if they have, they never do it correctly. I give them lighter dumbbells and explain where they should feel it and focus on form. Once I tell them to concentrate on the front and side part of their shoulders, they really understand how challenging it is. Especially when they slow things down and use correct form and do not rush the move!
“…bent over slightly, while keeping your chest up and back flat.”
Bent-over Lateral Raises
This exercise is helpful when you are facedown on an incline bench or seated on a flat bench, bent over slightly, while keeping your chest up and back flat. Then bring your arms away from the body, keeping them parallel to the floor and palms facing the ground.
SETS & REPS [Bent-over Lateral Raises]
- 6 to 8 Working sets x 10 to 12 reps
“Compound moves require movement around more than one joint.”
Kettlebell Upright Row- to-Shoulder Press [combo]
I was always told by judges to keep compound moves in, which I do. But it was good to have a constant reminder. Compound moves require movement around more than one joint.
I do these at the end of my workouts sometimes to throw in a tiring combo to finish off my exhausted shoulders. This compound move allows me to use multiple parts of my body including: trapezius, triceps brachii, supraspinatus, and serratus anterior-which are the smaller muscles that add balance to the physique’s overall look.
“…a tiring combo to finish off my exhausted shoulders.”
SETS & REPS [Kettlebell Upright Row-to- Shoulder Press Combo]
- 3 Working sets to failure
“…a good exercise to warm up or cool down with.”
The kettlebell swing works the hips, glutes, hamstrings, lats, abs, shoulders, pecs and also grip. It’s a basic, fast, and easy way to incorporate a very athletic movement into any routine safely.
Adding these is just a good way to burn some calories and keep you moving. Not typically in my shoulder routine but can be a good exercise to warm up or cool down with.
SETS & REPS [Kettlebell Swing]
- 3 Working sets x 20 to 30 swings
ALL THE MOVES THAT HELPED PUT STEPH’S DELT GAINZ ON:
Front Raises with a twist at the top, using dumbbells, superset with Cable Lateral Raises (singles). Cable Front Raises, superset with Seated Rear Delts. I don’t always superset but it definitely makes for a much more challenging workout and keeps you moving!
I also throw in Bent-over Rear Cables instead of dumbbells sometimes for variety. Another alternative to this is Rear Fly Machine.
Kettle Swings Above the Head singles (for posterior work) x10, switching arms x4 sets, no rest. Upright Rows into Presses (these are good during prep, using lighter weights and moving quickly throughout your workout).
Superset Seated Dumbbell Presses with Arnold Presses, Whoa! Makes it more challenging for sure and without having to add too much weight.
[*Extras: if I have time: Pull-ups x 6 sets. Hanging Ab/Leg Lifts between sets. I write notes to myself as I lift! it helps motivate me!
All reps are10 to12 and 5 sets, mostly. But I love the days when I hit 4-5 exercises and do 7-8 sets with less reps and heavier weights! I always warm up whether it’s lighter weights for 2-3 sets or some kind of full-body warmup like jumping rope for 5-10 minutes!
What is next for you?
What’s next for me is to focus on my off-season Gainz and to stay on track for what the future will bring for me!
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