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By Dean Brandt

Shoulders are one of the most overlooked muscle groups when it comes to overall aesthetics. Everyone wants big arms, a big chest, and a rippling 6 pack. But what about shoulders? When you walk on stage as a competitor or into the gym your shoulder width and V-taper will attract admiration.

Aesthetic bodybuilders have wide shoulders and small waists: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Frank Zane and current Physique Mr.. Olympia Mark Anthony are known for their V-taper. But what do you do when you’re not blessed with this kind of V-taper like myself? Well, you have to create the Illusion by building up your shoulders.

FITRX-RIPPED-FREAK-SHOULDERS-ins2Focusing on shoulder exercises like Side Laterals and Rear delts will help develop this width. Movements that develop overall mass and strength such as military press, overhead press, seated dumbbell presses should be your foundation, but incorporating Arnold presses, front raises, up-right rows and bent over rear delt raises should be the primary focus, as the front of your shoulders will likely see much of its over development from other pressing movements that are incorporated in your chest exercises.

FITRX-RIPPED-FREAK-SHOULDERS-ins3The often over-looked portion of an effective shoulder workout is the isolation movements that develop the Front, Rear and Side delts. Isolating the side delt will add width to your frame. Working the rear delts will add size to your back and ensure that your shoulder doesn’t drop off at the back.

I have included the following 5 exercises and my current shoulder routine that I have be concentrating on to bring up my shoulders and create a better V-taper for this years Canadian national physique competition.


The compound movement that requires the most energy goes first. Arnold Schwarzenegger found that by turning his hands in and out in the shoulder press motion he was able to hit his front delt more. For more shoulder annihilation don’t lock out at the top. This will keep the shoulder under tension throughout the movement.

I perform 8 sets x 10-12 reps with 60 sec rest between sets and also adding 2 drop-sets on set 7 & 8. I perform 10 reps with 70lbs, and then drop down to 40lbs for another 10 reps.

Seated Side Laterals with Feet on Bench

Too many people do lateral raises with dumbbells and heave them into the air with momentum. The goal is to isolate the side delt not to throw weight around. Lower the weight, take a seat, and put your feet on the bench. Lift from your elbows and make an effort to keep your arms locked in the same position and float your arms horizontal to the ground. Hold, lower, repeat.

I perform 6 sets of 12 reps also pyramid up in weight, again adding drop-sets on set 5 &6

Become a Ripped Freak - With This Shoulder WorkoutSeated Bent Over Rear DB Flyes

Staying seated enables proper form. Bend over from the waist. Keep your core tight and chest out. Lift from your elbows and flare your arms out to the side. Make an effort to bring your shoulder blades closer together in the upward motion of the exercise. This is going to target those often-neglected rear delts. Having rear delts that POP give your back respectable presence.

Here I perform 6 sets x 12 reps and add drop-sets on set 5 & 6 (drop weight used by 50% and rep out another 12 reps)

The finisher! SUPERSET Front Raises + Upright Rows w/ 45lb Plate

The seated Arnold Press gave us the mass, the Side Lateral Raises target the side delts for width, the Seated Rear DB Flyes give us the rounded shoulder at the back and we can’t forget to isolate the front delts with plate raises. Grab the 45lb plate and keep your core tight. Keep your arms locked and float the plate in front of you until it’s horizontal with the ground.

I perform 4 sets x 12 reps of Front plate raise with a pause at top, immediately followed by 12 reps of up-right rows using the same 45lbs plate. Only 30 sec Rest between sets! Burn it out.


Personal Webpage for online Training:
Instagram: MrRipped365
Twitter: @DeanBrandt365
Facebook: MrRippedFreak


Instagram: dave_laus
Twitter: @dave_laus

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The post Best Exercises for a V-Taper appeared first on FitnessRX for Men.

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Title: Best Exercises for a V-Taper
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Published Date: Thu, 13 Aug 2020 20:30:51 +0000

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Mens Health

Failures in Business: The Unseen Stepping Stones to Success

Equally significant is the need for businesses to remain vigilant about broader shifts in both domestic and global markets. Macro factors, whether they’re economic trends, geopolitical events, or emerging global challenges, can have profound ripple effects, impacting even the most niche industries. By staying abreast of these larger market dynamics, businesses can better anticipate risks, adapt to challenges, and capitalize on new opportunities. In an ever-globalizing world, the ability to navigate both the nuances of one’s immediate market and the broader global shifts is what separates thriving enterprises from those that falter.

TACTICAL Takeaway: Stay sharp and monitor your industry’s trends. When things shift, being ahead in understanding consumer habits offers you the flexibility to adjust and succeed. Things can change rapidly and the sooner you have insight into consumer behavior changes, the more opportunities you have to pivot.


Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable

The sports nutrition industry is an interesting, fast-paced vertical where what’s old can quickly become new again but also what worked yesterday likely won’t work tomorrow.

It might seem counterintuitive, but it’s spot-on. Take creatine as an example. It hit the shelves in the early 1990s and quickly became a hit. Yet, a decade later, its demand had waned. Jump another decade to today, and it’s back more popular than ever.

TACTICAL Takeaway: The key for businesses is knowing when to go all-in on a product and when to ease off, as it’s the ever-changing consumer market that truly drives demand.

Never Rest On Your Laurels

Just because something “has always worked” doesn’t mean it’s going to continue to work (or continue to work as efficiently).

In the dynamic world of business, the saying “never rest on your laurels” holds more truth than ever. What propelled a company to success yesterday might not necessarily be the formula for its tomorrow’s success. Market demands, technological innovations, and consumer preferences are in a perpetual state of evolution. While a particular strategy or product might have been a game-changer at one point, there’s no guarantee that it will remain relevant or effective in the future. This inherent unpredictability underscores the need for adaptability and forward-thinking in any business endeavor.

This reality pushes companies to be proactive, always forecasting and adjusting to the next potential shift. Relying solely on past successes can lull businesses into complacency, risking obsolescence in the face of changing tides.

TACTICAL Takeaway: To remain competitive and relevant, businesses need to cultivate a culture of continuous learning, innovation, and agility. In essence, the past can inform and guide, but it’s the vision and readiness for the future that will determine enduring success.

Embracing The Journey

To any entrepreneur reading this: the road to success is rarely a straight one. At times, it may seem like every decision leads to a dead end. But remember, every misstep is an opportunity to learn, grow, and pivot.

The trials you face in business are not meant to discourage you. Instead, they are meant to shape you, refine your vision, and improve your strategy. As the age-old adage goes, “smooth seas do not make skillful sailors.” It’s the challenges that will arm you with the experience and resilience necessary for long-term success.

So, the next time you face a setback, remember that your next big success could be just around the corner. Embrace failure as a part of the process, learn from your mistakes, and continue pushing forward with a renewed sense of purpose and determination.

Lastly, don’t forget to enjoy the journey. With so much time spent working and navigating challenges, it’s essential to find joy and have fun along the way.


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Published Date: Wed, 15 Nov 2023 18:53:06 +0000

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Mens Health

Negativity Is a Losing Mindset

By Marc Lobliner


‘A good coach can change a game. A great coach can change a life.’

I coach my son’s U11 football team. I am just the line coach, but the dudes who coach with me are also in the same mindset as I am.

Positivity wins.

Let’s start off with last weekend’s game.

It’s 0-0, the opening kickoff is a short one and we fall on it.

You can hear our coaches getting our kids fired up and getting the offense ready for play. POSITIVE statements. A lot of “Let’s Go!” and energy.

On the other sideline, you hear the coaches angrily yelling at their players for the execution of the kick.

First play from scrimmage, our line makes every block and opens the outside for our running back to score.

You hear their coaches furiously yelling as we celebrate.

We celebrated and our fullback punched in the extra point.

After the kickoff, our defense held them to four and out. We got the ball again, touchdown. Extra point good.

14-0 in two offensive plays.s

Their coaches were still mad. Angry. Yelling.

We smiled, encouraged our kids, and ended up with a 42-0 mercy-rule win.

Our players are awesome, but not the biggest, not the fastest, not the strongest.

It’s all about culture and what you’re playing for.

We demand a lot of our athletes. Learn your plays, DO YOUR JOB, and we will win.

Every Tuesday after we win, I buy my linemen doughnuts and give them to everyone, telling them that a random lineman (changes weekly) said everyone deserves doughnuts. We don’t punish every mistake with extra running and up-downs. We focus on what we do RIGHT, and not what we do wrong.

The other game one of my linemen got called for a hold. He came off the field expecting to be scolded. I put my arm around him and said, “What happened?” He explained it and then I said, “You’re better than that guy, you don’t need to hold. Show the world how dominant you are!” He didn’t get one call the rest of the game and crushed it.

This is also my management style at work. Managers are usually garbage. You can do 1,000 things right and you mess up once and your manager attacks you.

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Employees typically respond better to positivity, and numerous studies have found that positive reinforcement and a positive work environment can significantly improve employee motivation, performance, and well-being. Here are some reasons why, supported by various studies:

Increased Productivity: According to a study conducted by the University of Warwick, happiness led to a 12% spike in productivity, while unhappy workers were 10% less productive. The research shows that human happiness has large and positive causal effects on productivity.

Better Decision-Making Abilities: Research from the University of Pennsylvania’s Positive Psychology Center found that individuals who were induced to feel positive emotions were better at problem-solving and making decisions than those in a neutral state.

Boosts Creativity: Positive emotions widen attention and allow people to think more broadly and openly. This is discussed in the “broaden-and-build theory” by Barbara Fredrickson, which suggests that positive emotions broaden an individual’s momentary thought-action repertoires.

Enhanced Team Collaboration: A study from MIT’s Human Dynamics Laboratory found that teams that communicate effectively, with members actively reaching out and connecting with all other team members, were more successful. Positive interactions contribute to this dynamic.

Reduced Employee Turnover: According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), a positive work environment and culture encourages employees to stay longer in their jobs, thus reducing turnover rates. This is KEY at where our staff has mostly been there for 5+ years!

Better Health & Well-being: A study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology found that positive work environments and low job stress are linked to better health outcomes for employees, which in turn can lead to reduced absenteeism and increased productivity.

Increased Engagement: According to Gallup, workers who are engaged and have high well-being are more likely to be attached to their organizations and are more productive.

Enhanced Learning & Flexibility: Research in the field of positive psychology has shown that positive emotions can facilitate adaptive thinking and flexibility in cognitive processing. This helps employees adapt to new situations and learn more effectively.

Higher Levels of Satisfaction: A study by BrightHR found that happiness is a key indicator of job satisfaction. Happy employees are more likely to report high levels of satisfaction with their jobs than those who report low levels of happiness.

Creates a Positive Feedback Loop: A study published in The Journal of Positive Psychology found that experiencing positive emotions leads to higher levels of resilience, which in turn leads to increased positive emotions. This positive feedback loop has a myriad of beneficial effects in the workplace.

How about parenting?

Same thing. PRAISE YOUR CHILD! Make sure they know you love them. While bad behavior should be addressed, be sure to also reward good behavior. Kid had a good day at school? Get him ice cream! Tell him you love him. Say you’re proud of him.

As my mother said, “You catch more flies with honey than with crap.”

And one can’t deny the lifelong impact of a good coach. As the sign in the office says, “A good coach can change a game. A great coach can change a life.”

Be positive and be a winner!

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Instagram @marclobliner

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