WWE’s Damian Priest Coaches Sheamus Through His “All-Rise For Boulders” Shoulder Workout

This low weight, high volume training session is great for those who want to increase their training frequently.

Suppose you are one of the close to 800,000 subscribers that follow WWE Superstar Sheamus’ “Celtic Warrior Workouts” on YouTube. In that case, you’ll know the man from Dublin, Ireland, is eager to learn new routines from his professional wrestling buddies. In episode 112, Sheamus was impressed by guest Damian Priest’s “All-Rise Boulders Day” shoulder workout.

Filmed on location at Ford’s Gym in Madison, WI, Damian Priest, who can currently be seen in WWE as a member of the “Judgement Day” faction, takes Sheamus through a grueling upper body and shoulder workout. Priest is a former Ring of Honor (RoH) world television champion and had his first taste of WWE success in the promotion NXT, where he won the North American Championship in 2020. Below is a breakdown of Priest and Sheamus’ workout, but first, check out the video below:

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Damian Priest’s “All-Rise for Boulders Day” Workout

Here is the workout summary, followed by exercise breakdowns:

Warm-Up

Workout

The Finisher

Priest appears on WWE Monday Night Raw. “The punisher” causes havoc alongside his stable mates; Finn Bálor, Rhea Ripley, and Dominik Mysterio. Oh, and then there was the small detail of his blockbuster WrestleMania 37 tag match, where he teamed with rapper, singer, and fellow Puerto Rican; Bad Bunny.

Of course, Priest still trains hard away from the spotlight, as evidenced by this sweat session. To get the toned physique he wanted as a pro wrestler; the grappler came down from around 356 pounds to his current fighting weight of 225 pounds. Priest admittedly spent no time in the gym previously and transformed by falling in love with the process. As a reward for his efforts, things turned around for the 6-foot-6-inch superstar when he held himself accountable.

Nobody lives for somebody else, you live for yourself.

“I was just complacent. Surrounding myself with the wrong people” shares Priest. “Just negative people who didn’t strive for anything more.” Once Priest took control of his destiny and stepped up his training and conditioning, he found his dream of becoming a revered pro wrestler fell into place.

[Related: Pro Wrestler Matt Cardona Talks Gym Bag Essentials, Chest Workouts, and Staying in Shape on the Road]

Warm-Up: Shoulder Dumbbell Windmills

  • Two to three sets — 10 reps forward and 10 reps backward with each shoulder.

“I like to warm up the muscles and get the blood flowing,” says Priest. To avoid injury after 20 years in the ring, the 40-year-old prefers to lift lighter and maintain muscle rather than go too heavy, considering he wrestles most nights of the week. Warm-ups with a faster pace are Priest’s preference.

Priest starts with his heaviest weight and lowers it as he goes. He finds this further protects him from straining his deltoids. Even a man mountain like Sheamus appreciates not needing to overload the shoulders to work the muscles effectively.

Standing Barbell Shoulder Press

  • Three to four sets of 20 reps.

Priest starts with 20 reps but increases or decreases each set’s volume depending on how he feels. Low-volume training can better allow for higher training frequency as they don’t typically require as much time to recover from compared to sessions involving heavier lifts.

To round out, Priest and Sheamus take off the weight plates and attempt as many reps as possible for the final set. Priest hit eight reps while Sheamus nailed five. “They’re burning, they’re burning,” says the Irishman of his shoulders.

Machine Shoulder Press

  • Two to three sets of 20 reps.

The ring warriors use a machine to aid their stability. As Sheamus observed, the grip is narrower on the machine than with the barbell, allowing them to hit the shoulders from different angles. Priest succinctly explains: “do stuff that works all the parts of your stuff!” The wrestlers, again, start heavy drop the weight as they progress through each set.

Dumbbell Raises

  • Two to three sets:

“Everything is controlled,” demonstrates Priest. He lifted both arms to the sides, then brought them together before moving them out again and lowering them. He stopped between each move to keep his muscles under tension. Each full round of raises counts as one rep.

Plate Truck Drivers & Dumbbell Overhead Raises

  • Two to three sets each.

They lift the plate in front of them as though it were a front raise. Then they “steer it” like a wheel to the left and right. One rep is seven to eight turns in each direction before lowering the plate. Sheamus felt the difficulty of adding dynamics to a static hold.

For the overhead raises, Priest raises dumbbells to his sides, moves them together in front of his chest, above his head, and back to the sides. This is one rep. “Look how graceful he is,” jokes Sheamus.

Plate Figure Eights

  • Five reps

The athletes make as many figure eights as possible with the wheel out in front of them as they can. This counts as one rep. “How’s that?” asks Priest. “Horrible,” returns Sheamus, feeling the pump.

Cable Side Shrugs

  • Two to three sets of 20 reps.

“I like to do the traps with the wider grip instead of [lifting up] straight,” says Priest, who feels this eases the strain on his neck and allows him to focus better on the traps. “You just need the muscle to flex while lifting the weight.”

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The Finisher: Heavy Bag Work

Gloved up, the wrestlers work 360 degrees around a punching bag, jabbing it as they go. Once a full lap is complete, they progress to a jab-cross. For the third rotation, a jab-cross-left hook. The fourth lap: jab-cross-left hook-right hook. After that, they execute 25 consecutive body hooks with each arm. 

As seen in the workout, Priest is a proponent of listening to his body to determine how many sets to perform and at what weight. He will mix things up depending on how he’s feeling. Sheamus trained outside of his comfort zone yet again via high-volume training requiring breath control and stamina.

Although Sheamus threw everything he had at the punching bag before collapsing into a heap on the floor, his recovery should be a bit easier than he’s used to, so he can benefit from increasing his training frequency. “That was awesome, man,” admits the Celtic Warrior… once he gets his breath back.

Featured image: @wwesheamus on Instagram