Bodybuilder Shaun Clarida Prioritizes Rear Delts on His Push Day

The former 212 Olympia champion will not allow his rear delts to lag behind the rest of his shoulders.

2020 212 Olympia champion Shaun Clarida is known as the “Giant Killer” for competing at the height of five-foot, two inches and beating bodybuilders in 212 and Open division competition. Although he finished as the runner-up to Derek Lunsford in the 2021 212 Olympia contest, Clarida surged back with a win in the Open at the 2021 Legions Pro Sports Fest.

Clarida is using that momentum to fuel his workouts in the gym. On March 14, 2022, he shared part two of his upper body workout, focusing on building his delts on his YouTube channel. The opening sequence features Clarida in wrist wraps, a lifting belt, and a baseball cap performing pushdowns, rear-delt cable flyes, lateral raises, shoulder presses with what appears to be 225 pounds in each hand, and triceps extensions. Check out part two of Clarida’s push day below:

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Rear Delts

In part one of Clarida’s push day, he crushed chest. The back half of his push day moves his attention towards building his shoulders and triceps. Since Clarida’s physique is naturally shoulder-dominant, he does not have a dedicated shoulder day in the gym. Instead, he tacks shoulders onto one of his two weekly chest days.

Clarida’s shoulder work opens with single-arm rear-delt flyes. His reasoning is two-fold: firstly, since he performed an entire chest session right beforehand, which involved a lot of pressing movements, his front delts are “smashed.” Secondly, Clarida cautions that since the rear delts don’t receive as much non-targeted ancillary work as the front delts do in many pushing movements, the rear delts can often lag compared to the rest of the shoulder. By starting his shoulder training with rear-delt work and working around, his front delts will get additional time to recover so that he can maintain his intensity throughout.

To load sufficient tension on his rear delts, Clarida does not need much weight. He has the pinned locked into the second plate from the top of the weight rack and keeps his elbow parallel to the line of pull. He even demonstrates how to lighten the load further by eschewing the cable rack and using a resistance band. The body remains stable as it’s an isometric movement.

Side Delts

Clarida hits three to four sets of 10 to 12 reps of lateral raises for side delts, each with relatively heavy dumbbells. On his second set, he moves 50-pound dumbbells in each hand. He transitions from lateral raises to shoulder presses on a press machine that has a slight convergence at the top. He starts with one 45-pound plate on each sleeve and progressively increases the weight with each set. His top set involves 450 pounds with an aim for eight to 10 reps. He managed to lockout 12 reps and almost a 13th.


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A post shared by IFBB Pro Shaun Clarida (@shaunclarida)

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Clarida’s targeted triceps work begins with machine press downs that conclude with him moving the entire 270-pound weight stack. He caps his push day with overhead triceps extensions facing away from the cable rack. Clarida uses this position to train the triceps in their stretched position, balancing out the work from the pressdowns, which hit the triceps in the shortened position. The former 212 Olympia champ positions his butt right against the cable machine to give himself as much stability as possible as he fully contracts the triceps. 

Last set, best set.

Clarida will compete next at the 2022 Olympia weekend on Dec. 16-18, 2022, in Las Vegas, NV. He has not yet decided if he will compete in the 212 division to attempt to regain his title or if he will compete in the Open division at the Olympia for the first time. He will only be allowed to compete in one or the other. If he opts to move into the Open, he will challenge attempt to dethrone the two-time reigning Mr. Olympia Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay.

Featured image: @shaunclarida on Instagram | photo by John Morris (@thicccc_jesus on Instagram)