Jay Cutler’s “Fit for 50” Shoulder Workout to Explode Your Delts at Any Age

jay cutler chest workout

Cutler focuses on high-volume training to grow his delts as he turns 50. 

Jay Cutler, the legendary bodybuilder, has taken us on his amazing “Fit for 50” challenge. Throughout this journey, we have witnessed a plethora of diets, workouts, and his unwavering passion for fitness. Even after retiring, the jacked bodybuilder continues to stay in shape. He has set his sights on enhancing his already impressive physique with his 50 birthday on August 3. This article will dive into bodybuilder Jay Cutler’s shoulder workout, which includes dumbbell shoulder press. 

After being highly successful in the Men’s Open division, Jay Cutler hung up his trunks with three Arnold Classics and four Mr. Olympia wins. Things that marked his career include a fierce rivalry with fellow Legend Ronnie Coleman, whom he finally dethroned, and his work ethic. Jay Cutler also has impressive conditioning, muscle mass, and size.

Full Name: Jay Cutler
Weight Height Date of Birth
265 – 275 lbs 5’9” 08/03/1973
Division Era Nationality
Men’s Open 1990s- 2010s American



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Jay Cutler’s goal in this “Fit for 50” challenge has been to build more muscle while retaining leanness. But he admits that getting his shoulders to corporate with the program has been hard. 

“That’s been the weakest part for me coming back is the shoulders. I’m actually starting to get some good cap on it now. Hopefully, I can get a little more fullness, and as I get more detailed, the definition is going to show that better cut in the shoulder, between the shoulder, bicep, tricep.”

Don’t you hate it when muscles refuse to do as they are told? Thankfully this Jay Cutler shoulder workout shares some of the exercises he’s using to break out of that plateau. So if you’re looking to build up your shoulders, keep reading. 

Jay Cutler uploaded this training video on his YouTube channel and discussed his diet and taking pre-workout supplements. He shared that his blood panels and markers show he’s in good shape and gives other good training tips for growing muscles. Let’s take a look at them below.

Jay Cutler’s Shoulder Workout 

Jay Cutler believes that high-volume training is great for growing your muscles. In this video, he revealed that he does about 20 sets of six exercises for each muscle group at the very least. This recent study states that if you want to bulk up muscle, you should opt for more reps (1)

Cutler also talks about doing 60 mins of cardio daily to keep in shape and continue going at it even after the challenge. He does a mix of machine and free-weight exercises for this shoulder workout. Below are the exercises and how to use them to build your shoulder muscles. (Cutler did three sets per exercise.)

Machine Lateral Raise
Dumbbell Shoulder Press
Barbell Front Raise
Cable Rear Delt Fly
Reverse Pec Deck Fly
Single Arm Lateral Raise

Machine Lateral Raise

Machine lateral raises are excellent for building 3D shoulder delts. This version is a machine variation of the dumbbell lateral raise and isolates the delts better. With the machine, you can eliminate cheating by using your momentum with dumbbells

Machine lateral raises work on your lateral delts, which broadens your frame. It adds to the illusion of broader shoulders by accentuating the V-taper and making your waist look smaller. 

Dumbbell Shoulder Press

The dumbbell shoulder press is another exercise primarily focusing on your lateral and anterior delts. However, this exercise works on all three deltoid heads and recruits your chest muscles, triceps, traps, and abs (2). This simple exercise is great for lifters of all fitness levels and improves shoulder stability.

The dumbbell shoulder press also helps to prevent muscle imbalances. Using a dumbbell in each hand gives equal weight distribution and prevents using your stronger arm to compensate. 

Barbell Front Raise

The barbell front raise is an isolation exercise that mainly focuses on the front of your shoulders but also builds your anterior delts. It also targets your abs, triceps, pecs, and lower back muscles to an extent. 

Using barbells for front raises is a great way to overload your muscles. It also helps you resist using too much momentum and keeps the focus on your muscles. 

Rear Delt Cable Fly

As the name says, the rear delt cable flye builds your posterior delts. This exercise is also great for your traps, abs, obliques, rhomboids, triceps, and rotator cuff. Using a cable machine reduces the stress on your lower back, making this posterior delt exercise great for those with lower back pain.

For many bodybuilders, the rear delts are underdeveloped compared to the anterior delts. However, when you properly build yours with these exercises, they link with your rhomboids, traps, and lats to give you an impressive looking back. The cable machine also keeps constant tension on your muscles. 

Reverse Pec Deck Fly

Jay Cutler targeted his posterior delts again with the reverse pec deck flye exercise. This exercise builds your teres major, rhomboids, middle traps, and infraspinatus. When doing this routine, this study shows that using a neutral grip is a better way to build your rear delts (3).

Using a machine for this exercise helps with stability and focus due to the fixed motion. This helps you hone in on and isolate your rear delts. 

Single Arm Lateral Raise

Jay Cutler did single-arm lateral raises to round off this routine, which targets your medial delts. While you can do this exercise with just one arm, using two arms increases the difficulty for more gains. Single-arm lateral raises also build your traps, posterior delts, anterior delts, rotator cuff, obliques, and abs.

Doing one-arm lateral raises is also great for your mind-muscle connection to stimulate more growth in your shoulder muscles. For this exercise, you can use either dumbbells or kettlebells. Jay Cutler did three single-arm lateral raises to finish this shoulder routine. 

You can watch Cutler’s full shoulder workout below:

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  1. Currier, B., Mcleod, J. C., Banfield, L., Beyene, J., Welton, N. J., D’Souza, A. C., Keogh, J. A., Lin, L., Coletta, G., Yang, A., Colenso-Semple, L., Lau, K. J., Verboom, A., & Phillips, S. M. (2023). Resistance training prescription for muscle strength and hypertrophy in healthy adults: a systematic review and Bayesian network meta-analysis. British Journal of Sports Medicine, bjsports-106807. https://doi.org/10.1136/bjsports-2023-106807 
  2. Błażkiewicz, M., & Hadamus, A. (2022). The Effect of the Weight and Type of Equipment on Shoulder and Back Muscle Activity in Surface Electromyography during the Overhead Press-Preliminary Report. Sensors (Basel, Switzerland), 22(24), 9762. https://doi.org/10.3390/s22249762 
  3. Schoenfeld, B., Sonmez, R. G., Kolber, M. J., Contreras, B., Harris, R., & Ozen, S. (2013). Effect of hand position on EMG activity of the posterior shoulder musculature during a horizontal abduction exercise. Journal of strength and conditioning research, 27(10), 2644–2649. https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0b013e318281e1e9
As a personal trainer and writer, Terry loves changing lives through coaching and the written word. Terry has a B.S. in Kinesiology and is an American College of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer. He enjoys playing music, reading, and watching films when he's not writing or training.