Episode 1 – Casey Barnette – Building Big Shoulders

Well-trained shoulders improve posture and strengthen the muscles surrounding the shoulder joints, which enhances body stability. Furthermore, building broad shoulders is attractive and makes your figure more athletic.

While shoulders might be a challenging muscle group to grow, there are some tricks and tips that could really make a difference. In this episode of Unleashed Podcast, coach Casey Barnette shares his experience with building massive shoulders and talks about the importance of consistency and healthy habits.

Casey’s body type does not have broad shoulders but he believes that genetics is not an excuse not to go after what you want. Even though the bone structure is determined mostly by genetics, shoulder’s width can be changed to a certain degree.

Here are top 5  tips to help you build big shoulders from the interview of Casey with host Yuri Diogenes.


1 – Increase the frequency of your workouts.

Casey says that training frequency is crucial for building massive shoulders. He suggests starting out with one shoulder workout per week and then building your way up to a few shoulder training sessions each week.

Furthermore, he shares that he used to do 100 reps lateral rises, every night for six months, on top of his shoulders workouts. This extra load approach was called “feeders” and was introduced by the famous bodybuilder Rich Piana.

2 – Make sure you are always in progressive overload. 

Increasing your working weights and training volume is essential for muscle hypertrophy. Casey believes that even though shoulders are a small muscle group, they still need a significant amount of weight and overload to grow.

He used pyramid weight training, where you increase the weight on each set and decrease the number of reps. This style of training allows you to have both light and heavy sets in a single workout.

3 – Train smart to prevent injuries. 

Avoiding injuries is important for staying on track with your goals, so spend enough time on warming up before hitting the heavy weights. Listen to your body’s signals and understand that you cannot train super heavy all the time.

Sometimes, your body might be too exhausted for the big weights and you should be able to spot that signal and let go of your ego. Perform a training session with more reps and lighter weights instead, in order to prevent a potential injury. It’s always better to slow down than to stop completely.

4 – Food and supplements matter. 

Focus on whole, minimally processed foods and track your calorie intake. It is important to establish your maintenance calories as precisely as possible, and then consume slightly more energy than you expand. Increase your calories slowly, week to week, based on how you are progressing.

You can also add some supplements to your nutrition plan, such as creatine and glutamine, if you feel like you need a boost in your recovery and muscle growth.

5 – Trust the process. 

It does not matter whether  you are trying to build solid shoulders, lose weight, or improve athletic performance.  Every change needs time and effort to adopt new habits and patterns that get you closer to your goal.

Focus on the big picture in the long-term and understand that big changes don’t happen overnight.

Casey shares these and many other tricks in the episode of Unleashed Podcast. Casey and host Yuri discuss other topics as well, such as the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on his coaching business and Casey’s new supplementation brand, so make sure you listen to the whole episode!

Reaching your fitness and life goals requires evolving, making progress and not giving up. The Unleashed Podcast, brought to you by Hidden Gym, aims to motivate their audience and help people unleash their hidden strength and potential. Subscribe to the Youtube channel of Hidden Gym and keep an eye on the blog, so you never miss an episode of inspiration and motivation!