There are two muscle groups that can be described as being “3D”: the legs and the shoulders. The latter of which just looks awesome in a T-Shirt that might be a little too small, but hey, nobody is complaining.
But because the shoulders are so intricate, training them can be tricky. Abel Albonetti over at Bodybuilding.com says he’s got the science narrowed down in his 30-Day Shoulders Program.
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About the Creator – Abel Albonetti
We’ve all been where Abel once was, doing pushups and situps in a dark room so that mom and dad won’t know what we’re doing. Pfft – they wouldn’t understand. Abel had a desire to be aesthetic, lean, bigger than his friends, and just look vascular.
He soon upgraded from midnight pushups to a basement gym, and the lifting bug bit him. He developed a deep passion for fitness and lifting and soon started looking really good.
Abel then built himself a career in fitness modeling and went on to appear in various fitness magazines. He later went on to become a lead content creator for Bodybuilding.com, with popular programs including 30 Day Chest, 30 Day Back, & 30 Day Arms.
30-Day Shoulders Overview
Shoulder training is actually a lot harder than meets the eye, and that’s because the shoulder is split up into three different areas that work in different planes. Furthermore, they play a role in other movements as well…
Let’s see if Abel can crack the code with the 30-Day Shoulders.
- Fitness level: Advanced
- Duration: 4 weeks
- Workouts per week: 2 workouts per week
- Average workout duration: 60 minutes
- Equipment needed: Full gym
- Goal: Build muscle
Right off the bat, you’re warned, “this program is not for beginners,” and thinking back on the amount of volume that Abel likes to put in his workouts, I believe him.
Included in the program are a workout schedule, nutrition, and supplement guides.
30-Day Shoulders Details
So, you may have noticed only two workouts per week. That’s because the plan is designed to be added to your pre-existing plan. The only difference is you’re just prioritizing shoulders at the moment.
Training All Three Parts of the Delt
Because shoulders are the main focal point for this time period, it’s advised that you don’t train them after training the chest and/or triceps. (Cumulative fatigue will limit how much energy you can put into a workout.)
As expected, the workouts are focused on hitting all three parts of the delt:
- Anterior Deltoid: This is the front delt and will be active in all pressing movements as well as any front raises. It also activates when doing chest pressing movements.
- Medial Deltoid: This is known as the side delt and will be active when doing lateral raises.
- Posterior Deltoid: This is commonly known as the rear delt and will be active when doing rear delt raises or face pulls.
One thing you notice quickly about the plan is a massive focus on the anterior delts – which isn’t going to be the greatest thing. These are already used often when doing pressing movements, in general, and most people have overdeveloped anterior and underdeveloped posterior delts.
Let’s compare sessions 1 and 2 of 30 Day Shoulders, for example:
|Session 1||Session 2|
|Anterior deltoid-focused sets||13 Sets||21 Sets|
|Posterior deltoid-focused sets||4 Sets||8 Sets|
A pretty glaring issue, especially when the pattern tends to repeat itself throughout the whole program. It would’ve been nice to see more balance in the workouts.
How’s the Volume?
Why do you ask – are you worried? No? Well, you should be.
Abel is known for hammering clients with volume, and this isn’t always the best thing.
The only thing that’ll lead to muscle growth is mechanical tension. Now, let me give you an example – which of the following two people will build more muscle:
- Person A: Does 45 sets but at only 50% of the max weight they can
- Person B: Does 18 sets but at 70 – 90% of their weight capacity
Person B is undergoing a ton more mechanical tension, and so the idea that you’ll grow better with a bunch of volumes is wrong. You can, of course, grow with volume if you’re experienced. However, if you’re experienced, you probably don’t need an online workout program…
For reference, Abel’s second workout has 42 working sets, which makes this a relatively extreme 30-day program.
2 30-Day Shoulders Program Pros
- It’s somewhat scientific: While not perfect, there is some science in the plan. You do end up training all the heads, just not equally. That said, most programs don’t have any rear delt-focused movements – so credit where credit is due.
- Extras: Muscle gain relies heavily on recovery and diet. Abel includes semi-decent nutrition and supplement guides to help you.
2 30-Day Shoulders Program Cons
- Volume galore: Most people just won’t recover from this plan. They don’t sit around and recover all day long – they have jobs and families.
- It’s somewhat not scientific: The plan is good, but that’s about it. There isn’t mention of progression with load or prioritizing certain parts of the shoulder that are lacking for you.
Abel Albonetti’s 30 Day Shoulders – Final Thoughts
Another program from Abel that’s on the road to being good and is then destroyed with the needless pursuit of volume. Time and time again, we’ve learned that excess volume simply leads to an increase in Cortisol and … nothing else.
Abel Albonetti’s 30-Day Shoulders may work for beginners (if you ⅓ the volume) and even more experienced lifters if you drop volume by 25%.
That said, there are better programs out there. I’m willing to give the plan some points for focusing on all the parts of the deltoid and the nutrition aspect, though.
Rating: 2.0 out of 5