Shoulder Workout Routine for the Golden Ratio

A shoulder workout routine focused on building shoulder size is all but critical when you want to build the sought after v-shape that makes you look like a super hero. There's probably nothing that makes a man look more powerful than big think square shoulders.

In mathematics and arts there is an equation referred to as the "Golden Ratio" that has been around since the Renaissance that many famous artist and architects have used to proportion their work to achieve maximum visual appeal. You see examples of this in everyday things such as a deck of playing cards, a light switch cover, and most book designs.

For you mathematicians out there this is the math.

The Golden Ratio Equation

For the rest of us we will just stick with 1.618 for our calculations.

The Golden Ratio Equation

Early in the 16th century a philosopher by the name of Heinrich Agrippa drew an image of a man portrayed inside a circle over top of a pentagram (right) which was thought to imply that humans are an example of the Golden Ratio. More recently John Barban wrote in Men's Health an article entitled "The Perfect Body Formula" which suggest that Michelangelo's David had the golden ratio applied to waist to shoulder ratio. In the article John states that a study (Archives of Sexual Behavior) revealed that women were most attracted to muscular men whose shoulders measured 1.6 times the size of their waists.

So take your shoulder measurement and divide it by your waist measurement and if it is 1.6 you are good. Anything less and we got to pack some size on those shoulders.


56 inch shoulders / 36 inch waist = 1.55 = Good

58 inch shoulders / 36 inch waist = 1.61 = Perfect

Now if you visual that for a second it all goes right back to having a shoulder workout routine that produces the ever sought after v-shape torso.

So you have two ways to go about increases your appearance from here.

  1. Increase your shoulder size through a well designed shoulder workout routine
  2. Decrease your waist size through a well design fat loss program

I much prefer the first option as I like to eat and cutting calories tends to lower the amount of weight I can use. So in keeping with the theme of the site guess what I'm going to recommend.

That's right, lifting heavy weights to pack size on your shoulders using compound movements.

It's not really rocket science, all we need to do in order to add some shoulder size is ensure we are hitting the big presses and that we keep upping the weight to challenge the muscles to grow. If you are doing one of the strength programs I recommend on this site you are already on the right path and will get a good shoulder workout routine as part of your lifts. For those of you have not gotten on board and started a strength training program yet, shame on you, but as long as you're here to pack on size I won't be mad at you.

Your shoulders get worked hard with the follow compound movements: Bent over Rows, Bench press, Overhead Press. I've never really had to do much more than that to build big shoulders but some might want to also include upright rows or if you have lacking rear delts perhaps some reverse flys.


Shoulder Workout Routine

Overhead Press 5 sets of 5 - If you complete of 5 sets then add 2.5 pounds to each side of the barbell for next week's workout. If you don't complete all 5 sets of all 5 reps then stay with the same weight for the next week

Bent Over Rear Flys 3 sets of 8 - Bend your knees slightly and bend over at the waist so that your upper body is parallel with the floor. With a dumbbell in each hand raise your elbows keeping them in-line with your shoulders. You should feel the pump in the backs of your shoulders. Same concept as above (add weight if you complete) but you will probably stick with the same weight much longer on this exercise and rep range

Side Lateral Raises 3 sets of 10 - Grab a light set of dumbbells and bend your knees slightly. Raise your arms to the side until they are level with your shoulders (can go slightly higher but not much). You should feel the burn on the outside of your shoulders. Same progressive load concept as above.

Repeat this shoulder workout routine once a week in conjunction with your other training and you should see some significant improvement in shoulder size. Just be patience adding an inch to your shoulders could take a few months.

gain 41 lbs of muscle in 24 weeks