Tri-set training-shoulder training with intensity

When it comes to training shoulders there is such a wide versatility of shoulder training exercises whether it be incorporating free weights which should be an important part of your training program because free weights allow you to use your stabilizing muscles and if you are interested in building a muscular physique, free weights are an excellent way to go.

Other variations of versatility besides free weights are compound moves, weight machines and cables are all excellent sources for building and sculpting your muscles. When you combine all these sources of training together you can form a real killer workout especially with the wide variety of exercises to choose from in hitting your shoulders from all angles.

I have covered various other forms of training like straight sets and super sets but today I am going to cover another excellent system of training you can add to your arsenal if you aren’t aware of yet is tri-set training and engaging your shoulder training with intensity.

What are tri-sets

Tri-sets are when you do three exercises back to back and rest for 60-90 seconds and repeat. An example of this for a shoulder workout would be a set of shoulder presses for the anterior (front) head of the shoulder, set the bar down and immediately go on to your next exercise without rest.

The next exercise you move onto could be the side lateral’s which work medial (side) head of the shoulder, as soon as you finish that exercise and set the dumbbells down, move on to the next exercise without out rest.

Now you move onto the next exercise which could be rear lateral’s, these work the posterior (rear) head of the shoulders, after you finish rear lateral’s, you have just completed your first tri-set

The advantage of tri-sets

The advantage behind doing tri-sets is they stimulate your muscles in a different way than what they are accustomed to and they add variety to your workout. If you are training for hypertrophy and having a difficult time trying to increase muscle size then you will benefit from doing tri-sets because they will stimulate time under tension and the workout volume that accompanies performing three exercises with little rest.

Tri-sets for multiple muscle groups

Another good way to take advantage of tri-sets is working multiple muscle groups in the same tri-set. While you are working one muscle group, that is giving your other muscle groups a chance to recuperate. This is a good way to build size and increase your work capacity as well as maximizing your training time.

Tri-sets generally involve isolation exercises and it’s a good rule to perform 8-12 reps per exercise depending on your goal.

If it is size that you are planning on adding it is best to stick with 8-12 reps per exercise, if your goals include cardio and losing weight it is a good rule to follow 12-20reps per exercise or if you are training for strength it is a good idea to stick with 1-5 reps per exercise.

Tri-set program for shoulders

When designing a tri-set program for shoulders it is important to remember that there are three head’s that make up the shoulder and with each tri-set that you perform you should include one exercise for each head of the shoulder so that way you are keeping a balance between all three head’s.

For a good tri-set program involving one exercise for each head of the shoulders, incorporating three tri-sets for three sets of exercises, the first tri-set would start with military presses for the front head of the shoulders. It is a good idea to start with compound moves for the first exercise of a tri-set.

Compound moves involve more than one muscle at a time so when performing the military presses they not only work the front head of the shoulders but also the chest and triceps, compound moves are going to take more energy so it only makes sense to perform them at the beginning of a tri-set.

As soon as you finish with your first exercise of the military presses and set the bar down, move right on to side lateral’s for the side deltoid and use a weight that you will stick within your rep range and push to muscle failure.

As soon as you finish with side lateral’s, immediately move right into rear lateral’s for the rear deltoid and go till failure following within your rep range. Once you have finished all three exercises with minimal rest, you have completed your first tri-set, then take a 60-90 second break.

Follow through with the first group of exercises for 2-3 tri-sets depending on your workout level. If you are new to training I would suggest only performing one tri-set until you have been training for six months then you can bump it up to two tri-sets for the first grouping of exercises.

The next group of exercises would include dumbbell presses, wide grip upright rows and cable high pulley lateral extensions.

The third and final group of exercises would include front lateral’s, side cable lateral’s and rear pec-decks.


Tri-sets don’t need to be something you just do now and then, they should be a part of your training program at any time, but if you have been having troubles with putting size on, tri-sets are a perfect way to break free from a training plateau.

Tri-sets are also a good training principal to include in your workout if you are looking to burn some calories because of their training intensity.

The exercises that I have listed above are just a general guide line to follow, you can always switch them around or come up with your own exercises, it’s also a good idea to switch around with different exercises from time to time for muscle confusion.

Try not to stick with one source of training equipment, free weights are great for building size as well as doing compound exercises such as bar dips, but it is always a good idea to include other sources of training equipment like weight machines and cables for versatility.

Weight machines and cables are good for not only adding versatility to your training program but they are also good for shaping and toning your muscles, weight training isn’t only about adding more muscle size but also perfecting your physical form and fitness level.

Keep shooting for the stars and don’t ever let your dreams and goals feel like they have come to a standstill, don’t be afraid to mix things up in your training and if you have the opportunity to have someone to train with take advantage of it because when you have a training partner they can always push you to further levels than you would be able to on your own.

If you are interested in supplementation for increased muscular development, click on this link.

If you have any questions or comments please feel free to leave them in the box. 

Please follow and like us:

Leave a Comment