Shoulder Workout with World Champion AJ Ellison

SHOULDERS OF THE GODS - Shoulder Workout with World Champion AJ Ellison

AJ Ellison’s god-like shoulders helped him become the greatest ever competitive Muscle Model

But shoulders like that don’t come easy…

Take a look at any statue of a Greek or Roman God and you’ll probably notice that they have a pretty awesome physique.

This only stands to reason – we’d expect Gods to have some power behind their presses!

 In this video, we look at a shoulder workout from the insanely jacked AJ Ellison and it’s one that is fit for any of those Gods. 

The question is, can you keep up?

The Routine

Seated Shoulder Presses (Ascending Set)

The workout starts with seated shoulder presses. Ellison prefers seated because it isolates the shoulders more and prevents your abs from being the weak link.

This move will start as something of a warm-up set, so you’ll be starting with a light weight and then gradually increasing the weight.

This is also a great move to start with as you’ll be hitting all of the muscle heads of the deltoids. Here we go…


Lateral Raises 5 x 10

Next up you’re going to start hitting each deltoid head more directly. To being with you’ll be working the lateral or medial deltoids and you’ll do this with lateral raises. Just stand up straight and raise the arms out to your sides.

To be more specific, lateral raise is a popular exercise which builds larger deltoids forming rounder muscles on top of your arms at your shoulders. Being a simple exercise, it is often performed incorrectly causing shoulder pain. This exercise is perfect for those who are looking to build shoulders like boulders. Benefits of doing this exercise is that your shoulder mobility is increased.

Follow the steps for lateral raise:

Step 1 : Stand straight with your feet width-apart and slightly bend your hips and knees. Hold dumbbells in your both hands then slowly bend your elbows.

Step 2 : Now tighten your core and start raising the dumbbell’s to the side to a level where your arms are no higher than shoulder height.

Step 3 : Lower down the dumbbells with full control back to starting position. Do this exercise for at least 10-12 reps.


Rear Flyes 5 x 10

This weight training exercises are performed to increase upper body strength. This flyes primarily engages your chest and shoulder muscles. Moreover, this exercise works on your arm and chest as well. It also helps you improve your ability to lift heavy objects.

Rear flyes are an alternative to your usual rear raises. You’re bent over holding light dumbbells and now you’ll be performing more of a flye like movement. This can also be done with a cable machine, in which case you stand facing backwards and pull your arms apart.

In a bent over fashion like this the difference is subtle but you’ll feel it in the muscles.

Steps to do rear flyes:

  • Set up the cable pulleys at chest height.
  • Now stand between the both cables facing backward with back straight and shoulders width-apart.
  • Grab right cable with right hand and left cable with left hand.
  • Begin the exercise by pulling both the cables simultaneously towards your chest at a distance.
  • Then go back to your original position by bringing the cables backward.
  • Follow this back and forth movement for at least 10-12 reps.


Cable Upright Rows 5 x 10

Cable upright rows is a great exercise for developing muscle mass, sport specific movement and enhancing upper body pulling strength. It helps in increasing the shoulder strength and muscles size. You will get bigger traps as well. Additionally, it boosts your ability to clean and snatch.

Here your palms are facing towards your body and your elbows will be coming up and down. This is not a front raise that you might often expect to see here but rather hits the rear deltoids again.

What’s also great about this move is that it works the traps also to create an even bigger looking area surrounding the shoulders.

How to do it –

  • Set up a straight bar to the low pulley on the cable station.
  • Stand straight facing the pulley with your back straight and feet shoulder width apart on either side of the pulley.
  • Grip the bar with both hands keeping your hands shoulder width apart and arms fully extended.
  • While keeping the shoulders back, uplift the bars straight in one smooth movement until it is just below your chin.
  • Squeeze your forearms and biceps for a count of one.
  • Now, gently go back to the initial position and repeat.


Crazy 8

Crazy 8 is basically a series of workouts that targets biceps and triceps and a combination of 8 different exercises for each muscle group and sculpts them into mounds of bulging muscle. This exercise will completely tone your upper body and arms.

This is a crazy finishing move that involves lateral raises, front raises, upright rows, shoulder presses and rear flyes. It’s called crazy eight, because you’re performing eight reps of each and you’re going through 5 sets of each with no pause in between.

This is brutal and great for getting a pump on the shoulders and of course it should mean you’re doing a total of 40 moves.

If you want to make your shoulders stronger and biceps fuller then you need to take your workout to a new level.

Try the Crazy 8 exercise for your biceps –

  • Start your exercise with a 20-pound barbell or weight which works for you.
  • Start to perform 8 strict reps of standing barbell curls. Strict implies no leaning back or forth, not moving your elbows and not even swinging the weight up. Use your bicep only to do the exercise.
  • Once you are done with 20 pounds barbell, put that 20 pound barbell and quickly pick up 30 pound barbell.
  • Perform 8 strict reps again.
  • Just keep going up in weight until you reach 8 strict reps with certain weight. For instance, suppose you can only get 6 reps with 50 pound barbell then stop and put it down.
  • Rest for 2 minutes.
  • Now after 2 mins of rest, pick up the 50 pound barbell and perform 8 strict reps and then drop down to 40 pound barbell and start doing 8 and so on. You need to perform 8 reps with each weight on this set.

AJ Ellison crazy 8 shoulder workout

Closing Notes

The thing about shoulder workouts is that they often use the exact same formula. They start with a compound move (like shoulder presses) and then use raises to hit each deltoid head individually.

This uses that same basic formula but it mixes things up a little bit.

One interesting difference is the inclusion of rows to double down on the rear deltoids. And those crazy eights are great for really nuking everything right at the end – make sure you choose dumbbells that are light enough.

If you want to round out the workout even more, my only comment would be to add in some front raises.
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