Range-of-Motion Triple Add Sets for Shoulders

By Nick Nilsson
Author of Time-Volume Training


Building bigger shoulders effectively can be tough for many people.

Personally, I find that regular shoulder pressing doesn't really get the job done for me...when I use heavy weight for too many workouts in a row, I get shoulder pain.

Building bigger shoulders

And when I don't use enough weight, I don't get any growth or strength.

It's a balancing act that is made even more challenging by the fact that my shoulder joints aren't put together completely right! I walk a fine line between developing shoulder strength and mass and shoulder injury.

And I know this is a common issue that a lot of people have.



That's where Range-of-Motion Triple Add Sets come in...

This training technique is my solution for really attacking the shoulders throughout their range of motion with moderate weight...you'll get enough tension for growth while still using a light enough weight that it avoids shoulder pain.

In the first part of the set, you'll take your moderate weight barbell and work in just the top few inches of the range of motion, doing very high reps (30 to 50+).

The video makes it even easier to see what's going on with the speed and performance of the movements, so be sure and watch that. The range in this portion is VERY short, and tough to see in still pictures.

Range-of-Motion Triple Add Sets for Shoulders - top range

Range-of-Motion Triple Add Sets for Shoulders - top range

Rest 20 seconds then pick it up again and work in the top HALF of the range of motion, just above the sticking point. Aim for 6 to 8 reps here, and a very controlled movement.

Range-of-Motion Triple Add Sets for Shoulders - half range

Range-of-Motion Triple Add Sets for Shoulders - half range

Rest 20 seconds. This final part is a full-range shoulder press, starting at the bottom and pressing overhead.

Range-of-Motion Triple Add Sets for Shoulders - full range

Range-of-Motion Triple Add Sets for Shoulders - full range

The top is the strongest range of motion...so as you go through these 3 different ranges, that "top" leverage area gets more overload than the weaker ranges (the bottom, for example).

Put these three ranges together (using the same weight barbell for all three parts), and you will develop your delts in a full range, similar to using a cam-based machine that adjusts leverage based on the strength curve of the exercise.


This is one of my favorite training techniques for really ensuring complete workload on the shoulder muscles throughout the full range of motion of the exercise.

It works GREAT for shoulder press, in addition to other compound exercises like bench press, deadlifts, squats, and rows.

Learn how to do "regular" Triple Add Sets for working all your major muscle fiber types here.



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