The Complete Barbell Shoulder Workout for Mass and Big Traps

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Some days you don’t need much to have a great, effective workout. All you need is a barbell, some plates, and some dreams.

The other day I locked myself in the “powerlifting” portion of my gym and wanted to challenge myself to a new workout that was a bit unconventional and different than previous workouts. I wanted to complete an entire shoulder workout using only the assistance of a barbell and 45 pound plates. No machines, no cables, not even any free weights.

Just me, myself, and I at my favorite bar…

A shoulder workout is not complete unless you hit the deltoids from all angles. This includes the front, the back, and the side (if your mind is in the gutter please remove it now). This workout will provide a great shoulder workout routine with little needed by way of equipment. Your delts will be making the ladies melt in no time.

Barbell Only Shoulder Workout for Mass

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Standing Overhead Press (5 x 5): This will be the main compound movement of the day allowing you to build strength in all three heads of the deltoid along with improving your core strength and stability.

Barbell Front Raises (4 x 10): Choose a moderate weight that is challenging yet doable for approximately 10 repetitions. You don’t want to be swinging the weights around you want to control the weight and bring the barbell to shoulder level.

Upright Rows (4 x 10): Not only will this engage the shoulders but will also work the traps as well. If you seek those powerful looking traps be sure to include upright rows in every back or shoulder routine.

Behind the Neck Press (4 x 12): This movement will target the rear delts and also engage the traps as well. Pick a slightly higher rep scheme to target this smaller muscle group.

Plate Lateral Raises (4 x 15): Plate lateral raises will be a nice change from your standard dumbbell lateral raises. For this exercise use 10 pound plates to start with. Depending upon the type of weights available at your gym, you will not only work the lateral delts but also improve your grip strength.

Barbell Shrugs (4 x 10): Traps are optional with your shoulder but I recommend throwing them in here as they fit in perfectly with this workout. Instead of being one of the guys that throws on 5 plates per side choose a controllable weight and focus on muscle contraction and engagement.

Barbell Only
Shoulder and Trap Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
Standing Overhead Press 5 5
Barbell Front Raises 4 10
Upright Rows 4 10
Behind the Neck Press 4 12
Plate Lateral Raise 4 12
Barbell Shrugs 4 15

Getting a solid workout in does not necessarily need to entail having a ton of equipment available at your disposal. Sometimes a single barbell can provide a ton of gains. All you really need is focus and a solid workout plan.

Be sure to follow me on Instagram @ryanrodal and subscribe to our YouTube Channel TigerFitnessSquad for more workout tips and information!

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Name: Ryan Rodal

Bio: My short term fitness goals include reaching a 300lb bench, 405 lb squat and a 500 lb deadlift. Longterm I want to become more involved in the fitness industry and help others achieve their goals. The bodybuilding lifestyle is not about how much you can lift or even how you look, its simply about being the best version of yourself.