Terrence Ruffin & Brandon Curry Team Up for an Explosive Shoulder Pump

Terrence Ruffin & Brandon Curry shoulder pump workout
Image via Instagram @ruff_diesel

Brandon Curry admits he’s not good at balancing life with bodybuilding aspirations. 

Having well-developed deltoids enhances your appearance and is crucial to your fitness journey. As you achieve that satisfying muscle pump on push day, remember that these muscles are equally involved in other workout sessions and contribute to your overall posture, aesthetics, and bodybuilding pursuits. This article will review and break down professional bodybuilders Terrence Ruffin and Brandon Curry‘s shoulder pump collab. 

For this shoulder pump workout, we’ll follow two talented bodybuilding professionals, Terrence Ruffin and Brandon Curry. Ruffin competes in the Classic Physique division and won the Arnold Classic in 2021 and 2022. He also won first place at the 2023 Dubai Pro last weekend, which took place after this workout.

Full Name: Terrence Ruffin (Ruff Diesel)
Weight Height Date of Birth
155 – 180 lbs 5’5” 10/22/1993
Division Era Nationality
Classic Physique 2010s -Till Date American

On the other hand, Brandon Curry competes in the Men’s Open division and won Mr. Olympia in 2019. He also won the Arnold Classic that year, winning it a second time in 2022. Curry, however, came fourth place in Mr. Olympia last year and plans to win back his 2019 status.

Full Name: Brandon Curry (The Prodigy, Beefcake)
Weight Height Date of Birth
255 – 265 lbs 5’8” 10/19/1982
Division Era Nationality
Men’s Open 2000s – Till Date American

In this workout, both men train their delts and discuss their performances on the Olympia stage last year. So, we’ll look at their training routines and essential tips that could help you maximize your gains. Read on for details in Terrence Ruffin’s and Brandon Curry’s shoulder pump workout shared on Ruffin’s YouTube channel, which you can watch below:

Terrence Ruffin’s & Brandon Curry’s Shoulder Pump Workout

Terrence Ruffin and Brandon Curry did six different exercises for this delt workout. Five of these were machine-based, and then they did one free-weight movement using dumbbells. Bodybuilding trainer Amer Kamra also joined them. Below are the exercises and how to use them to target and build your delts.

Bent-over Single Arm Cable Laterals
Machine Single Arm Rear Delt Flyes
Machine Lateral Raises
Seated Shoulder Presses
Rope Cable Front Raises
Dumbbell Lateral Raises

Bent-over Single Arm Cable Laterals

Ruffin and Curry started with warmup sets before doing working sets of 15 reps per set. Amer Kamra guided them to do the full range of motion to stretch the muscles. Brandon Curry also points out that many delt exercises don’t stretch the muscle fully, limiting growth.

The bent-over single-arm cable lateral uses the uniform resistance of the cable machine to target your shoulders and back. It places consistent tension on your rear delts throughout the motion. This exercise also recruits your traps to a lesser degree.  

Machine Single Arm Rear Delt Flyes

Terrence Ruffin and Brandon Curry used the rear delt machine next to train their shoulders. They sat sideways while using it to maximize the recruitment of their delts in each arm. Ruffin did 12-15 sets to push his muscles to near failure.

The machine single-arm rear delt fly is another exercise that works on your rear delts to build strength in your shoulders and help to improve your posture. This exercise also works on the muscles of your back.

Machine Lateral Raises

Machine lateral raises also work on your shoulders, but this time, the lateral delts. However, your front delts also receive some work due to the rotation during this movement. This exercise also recruits some muscles in your back for stabilization. 

Terrence Ruffin and Brandon Curry used the machine lateral raise to target their side delts. To start the movement, Amer Kamra gets on the machine to demonstrate for a bit, and then both athletes use the same form. Ruffin rounds up with a grueling final set before moving to the next exercise.  

Seated Shoulder Presses

Ruffin and Curry started this exercise with three regular sets on a plate-loaded machine. They then followed this with a drop set, starting with lighter loads. While Terrence Ruffin had a challenging drop set after a 12-rep set with moderate weights, Brandon Curry used heavier weights for a 15-rep set before doing a 12-rep drop set. 

The seated shoulder press primarily works on the front delts while engaging the pectoral muscles, triceps, abs, and obliques (1). This machine’s stability allows you to activate your delts more effectively than the free weight movement. You must also go through the whole movement and can’t cheat with the machine as many experienced lifters do with free weights.

Rope Cable Front Raises

The rope cable front raise targets the anterior delt head and is done using the lowest setting on the cable machine. Terrence Ruffin and Brandon Curry discussed preparing for the Olympia during the exercise. Ruffin says,

“I got a show in two weeks [The Dubai Pro, which he won]. And then, what… then after that show Olympia is in what, three or four weeks, I think. October 7, yeah, it’s a month away after that. It’s prep mode for a minute now.”

Dumbbell Lateral Raises

The dumbbell lateral raise is an isolation exercise focusing on your lateral delts. It also recruits your anterior delts, posterior delts, triceps, and traps muscles (2). As a result, this exercise effectively strengthens your entire shoulders. 


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Brandon Curry (@brandon__curry)

Terrence Ruffin and Brandon Curry rounded up their delt workout with this free weight exercise. They started with smaller weights and then did three sets of 12 reps while increasing the weights. Curry then talks about needing to isolate for personal growth sometimes.

“For me, getting away allows me to prioritize my craft and not have to try to balance everything because, I’ll be honest, I’m not good at balancing everything. You know, family… life can take priority over a meal here, this, and that. So, in order for me to be true to what I’m doing and not have to worry about trying to balance things because I’m not good at it, I step away.”

Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for more bodybuilding workouts! 


  1. Campos, Y. A. C., Vianna, J. M., Guimarães, M. P., Oliveira, J. L. D., Hernández-Mosqueira, C., da Silva, S. F., & Marchetti, P. H. (2020). Different Shoulder Exercises Affect the Activation of Deltoid Portions in Resistance-Trained Individuals. Journal of human kinetics, 75, 5–14. https://doi.org/10.2478/hukin-2020-0033 
  2. Coratella, G., Tornatore, G., Longo, S., Esposito, F., & Cè, E. (2020). An Electromyographic Analysis of Lateral Raise Variations and Frontal Raise in Competitive Bodybuilders. International journal of environmental research and public health, 17(17), 6015. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17176015
Terry Ramos
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 ACSM Certified Personal Trainer and ISSA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. He enjoys playing music, reading, and watching films when he's not writing or training.