Coach Joe Bennett and Men’s Open bodybuilder Brett Wilkin got together for a hypertrophic shoulder session. Their goal was to work out imbalances Wilkin may have heading into his next competition — the IFBB Pro Wings of Strength — in Bucharest, Romania, on Nov. 12-13, 2022.
Typically, Wilkin mixes up his training partners to continuously improve his training for optimum physical and mental development. Wilkin posted a video of the workout with Bennett on his YouTube channel on Sept. 16, 2022, to let fans see how the workout went. Check it out below:
The goal of the workout was for Bennett to teach Wilkin various tweaks to movements Wilkin had already implemented in his programming. Those tweaks were primarily adjusted by feel and “experiencing” the movement.
One should work the muscle and not the weight, meaning muscular stimulation should be prioritized over the load. Progressive overload is essential, but it will be devalued if Wilkin doesn’t feel the stimulation throughout the entire movement by getting a full stretch and a good squeeze across his full range of motion.
Upright Flat Bench Flyes & Incline Hammer Press
For the warm-up, Bennett strapped a foam roller to an upright bench so that the shoulder blades could move easier during a cable flye. Bennett finds this addition allows for a stronger contraction and a fuller stretch. Bennett had Wilkin pause in the fully lengthened position so Wilkin could gain a better sense of what the tension in that stretched position should feel like.
The first movement following the warm-up flyes was the incline hammer press. Bennett had Wilkin focus on form and the squeeze at the top of each rep by crossing his arms for a broader range of motion.
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Wilkin worked his way up to three 45-pound weight plates and one 25-pound plate on each side. He then backed off and finished with strip sets of Bennett’s design. The specific apparatus they used could have weight added to different pins so that the weight would put more load on the shortened, midrange, or lengthened position.
Superset: Lying Reverse Lateral Cable Flyes & Seated Reverse Cable Flyes
Lying reverse cable flyes using cuffs to target the rear delts was next. The use of cuffs was to better emphasize the delts by taking grip out of the equation. Bennett rigged the cables so that the balls at the ends wouldn’t contact and disrupt the line of pull.
Bennett said performing exercises that involve cables crossing each other can be frustrating because of those balls that cap the cables, but Bennet demonstrated an adjustment that avoids that issue.
For any exercise but more so with rear delts, 90 percent of the battle is just getting them lined up right.
After several sets, Wilkin moved to a seated variation for a superset, utilizing a slightly different line of pull. Bennett emphasized the importance of figuring out what position works best for the individual athlete to feel it in their rear delts.
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Superset: Incline Face Pulls & Incline Front Barbell Raises
Face pulls on an incline bench with straps instead of rope were next. Bennett programmed this exercise because it hits every head of the delt to some degree and includes external rotation. Wilkin expressed how good the movements felt, considering he had never done them before.
Wilkin superset face pulls with an incline front barbell raise using an E-Z curl bar with a wide grip. This enabled Wilkin to put all his efforts working the front delt.
Walker and Bennett’s Chest & Shoulder Workout
- Upright Flat Cables Flyes
- Incline Hammer Press
- Lying Reverse Lateral Cable Flyes superset Seated Reverse Cable Flyes
- Incline Face Pulls superset Incline Front Barbell Raises
Bennett gave Wilkin a flye variation, then had Wilkin pick a pressing movement of his choosing. Wilkin performed straight sets on them. When focused on delts, Bennett taught Wilkin his favorite side delt exercise: lying cuffed side laterals.
They finished with an incline face pull for some external rotation work to hit all three heads of the delt. Those were superset with incline front barbell raises. Bennett tells people that most workouts should focus on heavy straight sets. He finds that the shoulders respond well to dense work, meaning combining heavy sets and supersets should prove fruitful with the need for a thousand exercises — focus on fundamental movements, and mix it up with variations weekly.
Wilkin suggested the workout with Bennett was his long overdue bucket list item. At the time of the video’s publication, Wilkin was eight weeks out from his next competition. We’ll see if he can covert a pro show win and earn a qualification to the 2022 Olympia, held on Dec. 16-18, 2022, in Las Vegas, NV.
Featured Image: @brett_wilkin on Instagram