Lean Muscle Trainer Hero

Day 4:Shoulders And Calves

Today we’ll hit shoulders for the first time this week, and we’ll work calves for the second time. For shoulders, we’ll use a variety of angles, techniques and strategies throughout this 12-Week Lean Muscle Program.

Your shoulders are comprised of three basic heads of the deltoids (delts): The front, lateral (middle), and the rear. While we’ll perform an exercise to target each of these heads, we’ll also include moves that work all three at the same time.

On Day 1 we performed standing calves raises, which works the gastrocnemius—the diamond-shaped muscle at the back of the calves. Today we’ll perform a seated move—seated calves raises—that works the soleus. The soleus is the muscle underneath the gastrocnemius, and it’s visible on both the inside and outside of your lower legs, creating the details just behind the tibia (the lower leg bone). It’s important to target each of these muscles to develop full, detailed calves.

Note that you’ll also perform steady-state cardio upon waking today—only 15 minutes during the first week of this program. We’ll eventually increase the duration and intensity of your cardio on this 12-Week Lean Muscle Program. Finally, you’ll take a break from abs today. With that background in mind, let’s get started:

The first exercise today is seated lateral raises, which targets the middle head of your delts. I like to perform the seated version because this helps you better isolate these muscles. Notice how I have Kai and Danielle turn their hands so the back part of the dumbbell is higher than the front.

Next we’ll target the full shoulders with seated dumbbell shoulder presses. We’ll particularly work the front or anterior heads of the delts with this compound movement by performing the seated version. Then we’ll burn out the last reps with a few standing reps with a lighter weight, which allows you to recruit other muscles to reach another level of failure.

Then we’ll perform incline rear-delt dumbbell raises to hit this small muscle again. Check out the video to see my tips on this move. Then you’ll follow that with machine shoulder presses, which is a great finishing move for shoulders.

Finally, you’ll perform seated calves raises—you’ll perform a much higher volume of this move than you have for other exercises. That’s because 1) calves grow with higher volume, and 2) we’re only going to perform one move. You’ll get in 4 sets of 30 reps per set.


15 minutes

Steady-state upon waking


Seated lateral raises

3 Sets/15 Reps

Rest 90 seconds and stretch between sets

Rear-delt Pec-deck flyes

3 Sets/15 Reps

Rest 90 seconds and stretch between sets

Dumbbell shoulder presses

3 Sets/15 Reps

Rest 90 seconds and stretch between sets

Incline rear-delt dumbbell raises

3 Sets/15 Reps

Rest 90 seconds and stretch between sets

Machine shoulder presses

3 Sets/15 Reps

Rest 90 seconds and stretch between each set

Seated calves raises

4 Sets/30 Reps

Rest 1 minute and stretch between sets


In this workout, I provide a lot of specific guidance about how to target each of your specific muscles. That’s an important thinking point for every set and rep on this program—I want you to always be thinking about how each rep works your target muscle. Really emphasize that mind-muscle connection rather than focusing on distractions such as how many reps you’re completing. Of course, the reps are important but your mind should be focused on working your target muscle during each rep. Then notice how I use other strategies (such as standing dumbbell presses) to take the muscle past failure performed in a strict fashion.


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