Strongman Eddie Hall and powerlifter Larry Wheels team up for an epic shoulder workout to prepare for bodybuilding.
Broad and robust shoulders improve your aesthetics and are essential for upper body strength, especially for strongmen and powerlifters. Strongman and powerlifters are both incredibly strong. Strongmen have absolute (total) strength, while powerlifters are strong for their size (relative strength). The 2017 World’s Strongest Man, Eddie Hall, and powerlifter Larry Wheels joined up to complete an epic shoulder workout.
Besides winning the World’s Strongest Man, Eddie Hall was the first person to break the deadlift record after pulling 500kg (1102.3 lbs) from the ground — Hafthor Bjornsson broke it in 2020 — and he also beat Hall in a boxing bout.
Many athletes in strongmen, powerlifting, and bodybuilding will transfer from one sport to another. And Eddie Hall is one of those athletes. He plans to compete in bodybuilding in 2024. He recently did a back workout with 4x Mr. Olympia Jay Culter to help prepare for his bodybuilding journey. Hall recently hinted at his first show in the latest U-Natty States Of America podcast episode.
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Larry Wheels has also hinted at attempting bodybuilding and locking his eyes on the Classic Physique division — last month, he crushed a 100-pound hammer curl! If you’ve been following the news on Wheels, he got off steroids and transitioned to testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) last year after a decade of using gear.
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To crush a shoulder workout, these future and potential bodybuilder contenders linked up in Columbus, Ohio, at the Pro’s Gym — Wheels was attending the 2023 Arnold Sports Festival.
Eddie Hall and Larry Wheels Shoulder Workout
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Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press
The first exercise in their shoulder workout was the seated dumbbell shoulder press. This compound unilateral exercise helps strengthen the weaker shoulder muscle more since you can focus more on each side. It also challenges your stability and core more than the barbell but won’t allow you to use as much weight.
Incline Machine Overhead Press
Next, the duo moved to a machine compound exercise, the incline machine overhead press. This exercise will let you use more weight than the dumbbell shoulder press, but it won’t challenge your core or stabilizer as much. In addition, this exercise is safer since it’s performed on a machine. Hall and Wheels moved to an isolation movement next.
Dumbbell Lateral Raise
The dumbbell lateral raise will engage your lateral deltoid muscles. It’s excellent for broadening your V-taper — shoulder-to-waist ratio — since it widens your shoulders. The V-taper is imperative in bodybuilding, so the dumbbell lateral raise is a must-do movement if you’re training for bodybuilding.
Reverse Pec Deck Fly
The strongman and powerlifter-turned-bodybuilders hit the rear deltoid muscles through the reverse pec deck fly next. Of course, doing it the traditional way will engage your chest muscles. The posterior deltoid muscles are a challenging muscle group to hit and are often neglected, so this movement is a good one to target them.
Machine Lateral Raise
After the reverse pec deck fly, the athletes moved to the last exercise of their shoulder workout, the machine lateral raise. This is another medial delt exercise except a machine version. The machine isolated more of the medial deltoids versus free weights.
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|Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press|
|Incline Machine Overhead Press|
|Dumbbell Lateral Raise|
|Reverse Peck Deck Fly|
|Machine Lateral Raise|
Eddie Hall and Larry Wheels completed 5 exercises to engage their shoulders. They did a mix of unilateral movements, compound exercises, and machine exercises to engage their deltoids and isolate their medial and posterior delts. Afterward, Wheels discussed how he planned to prepare his physique for the NPC stage. Wheels proclaimed:
“I want to give it at least a good six months to have a small bulk and then cut down to where my NPC Amateur Classic weight cut-off is 220 pounds or 100 kilograms. I have to drop 15 kilograms where I am at.”
Eddie Hall also examined his strategy and stated:
“I’m weighing this all up because I am going to cut 45 kilograms in six months. So more than double the weight and double the time. We’ve got a long road ahead.”
You can watch the full Eddie Hall and Larry Wheels shoulder workout below, courtesy of Eddie Hall’s YouTube channel:
Shoulder Muscles Importance in Bodybuilding
The shoulders are often a key focus for bodybuilders, as they help create the broad, muscular shape that bodybuilders strive for — the V-taper, which is your shoulder-to-waist ratio. The more enhanced your shoulder-to-waist ratio is, the more aesthetically built you are, and the wider your frame will look.
Aside from aesthetics, your shoulder muscles also play an essential role in stabilizing the shoulder joint to help overall shoulder health and muscular balance while doing exercises such as a shoulder press or pull-up.
But strong and healthy shoulders aren’t just for bodybuilders, and looking good — properly developed shoulder muscles can be beneficial regardless of your fitness goals! Your shoulders are a key muscle component to upper body strength. The stronger your shoulders are, the more weight you can press on significant compound movements such as bench presses.
This carries over into strongman and powerlifting since powerlifters have many different exercises, such as the bench press to determine their placement. And strongman is involved in many events during their competition that requires strong shoulder strength, such as The Austrian Oak Log Press.
You should be wary of keeping your shoulder’s healthy, though. Because the shoulder joint is so mobile and many movements require the use of your shoulders, they’re easily injured. So ensure you do a proper shoulder warm-up before attempting shoulder workouts like Eddie Hall’s and Larry Wheels’.
More Bodybuilding Workouts
If you enjoyed Eddie Hall and Larry Wheels shoulder workout collaboration, check out some of our other athlete workouts:
- Jay Cutler’s 7 Exercises for Sleeve-Ripping Forearms and Biceps
- Jeff Nippard Shares a Leg Workout and Gives Crucial Tips for Massive Leg Growth