The Milos Sarcev Shoulder Workout | The Ultimate Guide!


Milos Sarcev is an IFBB professional bodybuilder and one of the greatest bodybuilding coaches of all time. His nickname is “The Mind” because of his intelligent approach to training and nutrition.

Milos believes that the fastest way to build a huge upper back is to use a high-intensity training technique called “giant sets.” Here is Milos talking about this technique:

“What is the most intense training system? What creates maximum muscle fiber stimulation? If you’re truly honest with yourself then the answer is giant sets!”

A giant set is a high-intensity technique where you perform 4 or more exercises in a row for a body part with no rest between sets.

For example here is what a giant set for the chest would look like:

Shoulder Giant Set

  • Step #1: Perform exercise “A”, rest 10 seconds
  • Step #2: Perform exercise “B”, rest 10 seconds
  • Step #3: Perform exercise “C”, rest 10 seconds
  • Step #4: Perform exercise “D”, rest 2-4 minutes, then repeat!

A giant set means you are performing at least 4 exercises in a row for a body part. However, 4 exercises is just the minimum!

Milos likes to perform up to 10 exercises in a row for some body parts! Milos Sarcev says that giant sets are extremely effective for building big shoulders.

The shoulders are a complex muscle group. Most people believe that there are three parts of this muscle: the front delts, the side delts and the rear delts. This is a useful model but researchers have proven that there are at least 7 different muscle heads for the delts!

The bottom line is you have to use a wide variety of exercises if you want to build massive shoulders. Giant sets are so useful because you can use different exercises targeting your front, side and rear delts all in one extended set.

Here is a simple 10-exercise shoulders giant set that Milos likes to use with his advanced bodybuilders. Check it out:

Workout #1

  • Exercise #1: 60 degree prone DB lateral raise, 3 sets of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #2: 45 degree prone DB reverse fly, 3 sets of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #3: 45 degree prone ez-bar row (wide grip / elbows flared), 3 sets of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #4: Seated DB lateral raise, 3 sets of 10 reps**, no rest
  • Exercise #5: Bent over DB reverse fly, 3 sets of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #6: Arcing front DB raise, 3 sets of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #7: Arcing lateral DB raise, 3 sets of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #8: Lateral DB overhead raise, 3 sets of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #9: Arcing DB front raise, 3 sets of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #10: Seated smith machine overhead press, 3 sets of 10 reps, 2-4 minutes rest

**Perform a single drop set on this exercise.

Here is the training video:

For this workout Milos Sarcev uses the pre-exhaustion method.

He focuses on many different isolation exercises for the side and rear delts early on in the workout. Then at the very end he performs a heavy compound pressing movement to finish off his delts.

This is a strategy that many other bodybuilding coaches including John Meadows and Hany Rambod have used with their clients.

Milos uses many novel isolation exercises including arcing dumbbell raises and exercises from 45 and 60 degree angles. You really have to watch the video to understand what this routine looks like in real life.

Here is a more advanced version of a giant sets routine where Milos performs 18 different exercises in a row for his delts! Check it out:

Workout #2

  • Exercise #1: Reverse pec dec, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #2: Machine lateral raise, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #3: Machine overhead press, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #4: Standing front DB raise, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #5: Standing DB lateral raise, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #6: Bent over reverse DB fly, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #7: Standing front DB raise, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #8: Standing DB lateral raise, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #9: Bent over reverse DB fly, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #10: Standing front DB raise, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #11: Standing DB lateral raise, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #12: Bent over reverse DB fly, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #13: Supine reverse cable fly, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #14: Seated arcing DB lateral raise, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #15: 30 degree prone arcing DB front raise, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #16: 30 degree prone plate front raise, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #17: Bent over DB reverse fly, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #18: Ez-bar upright row (close grip), 1 set of 10 reps, 2-4 minutes rest

Talk about an intense shoulder routine! Milos Sarcev uses a total of 18 different exercises to attack his shoulders from all angles.

Once again Milos uses the pre-exhaust method for this workout. This is something that he does in almost all of his routines. He uses one isolation exercise for the side delts, one isolation exercise for the rear delts and then one compound pressing movement.

Then he moves onto several more isolation exercises for his side and rear delts.

The biggest drawback of this kind of giant sets routine is it is hard to perform in a regular commercial gym.

Sometimes Milos will perform 2 or more giant sets in a single shoulder workout. For example:

Workout #3

Giant Set #1

  • Exercise #1: Machine lateral raise, 1 set of 10 reps**, no rest
  • Exercise #2: Bent over rear delt DB fly, 1 set of 10 reps****, no rest
  • Exercise #3: Seated DB lateral raise, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #4: Arnold DB press, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #5: Seated arcing front / lateral DB raise, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #6: Seated arcing lateral / front DB raise, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #7: Seated smith machine overhead press, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #8: Barbell clean and press, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #9: Seated barbell overhead pin press, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #10: 60 degree prone DB lateral raise, 1 set of 10 reps******, no rest
  • Exercise #11: 45 degree prone DB lateral raise, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #12: 30 degree prone DB lateral raise, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #13: Standing DB lateral raise, 1 set of 10 reps, 2-4 minutes rest

Giant Set #2

  • Exercise #14: Seated DB lateral raise, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #15: Reverse pec dec, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #16: Seated DB lateral raise, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #17: Reverse pec dec, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #18: Seated DB lateral raise, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #19: Reverse pec dec, 1 set of 10 reps, 2-4 minutes rest

**Use a 5 second pause in the top position. Perform 10 partial reps in the bottom position after reaching failure.

****For this exercise perform a double drop set

******For this exercise perform a single drop set

Here is the training video:

For this workout Milos performs 2 separate giant sets for his shoulders. Milos does this because he does not want to perform 19 exercises in a row for his shoulders!

Breaking up your workout into several giant sets is a useful strategy because you can use more weight and train with more intensity on all of your exercises than if you performed them as one long giant set.

The drawback to performing multiple giant sets in one routine is it can be very difficult to recover from. If you are a “hardgainer” then this routine is probably not appropriate for you.

Here is another giant set routine where Milos Sarcev uses 2 separate giant sets to train his shoulders. Check it out:

Workout #4

Giant Set #1

  • Exercise #1: Seated smith machine overhead press, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #2: Ez-bar upright row (wide grip), 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #3: Ez-bar upright row (narrow grip), 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #4: Seated barbell overhead press, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #5: 60 degree prone DB lateral raise, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #6: 30 degree prone DB reverse fly, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #7: 15 degree prone DB reverse fly, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #8: 15 degree prone ez-bar row (wide grip / elbows flared), 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #9: Seated DB overhead press, 1 set of 10 reps**, no rest
  • Exercise #10: Seated arcing DB lateral raise****, 1 set of 10 reps, 2-4 minutes rest

Giant Set #2

  • Exercise #11: Smith machine overhead press, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #12: Standing DB lateral raise, 1 set of 10 reps******, no rest
  • Exercise #13: Seated arcing DB lateral raise, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #14: Seated DB lateral raise, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #15: 75 degree incline smith machine press, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #16: Barbell upright row (wide grip), 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #17: Reverse pec dec, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #18: Bent over DB reverse fly, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #19: Bent over cable reverse fly, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #20: Standing cable lateral raise, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #21: Bent over cable reverse fly, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #22: Standing cable lateral raise, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #23: Standing DB lateral raise, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #24: 45 degree prone DB lateral raise, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #25: 45 degree supine DB “Y” raise, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #26: 60 degree supine DB “Y” raise, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #27: 75 degree supine DB “Y” raise, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #28: Standing DB arcing front raise, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #29: Standing DB arcing lateral raise, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #30: “6-way” DB lateral raise, 1 set of 10 reps, 2-4 minutes rest

**Perform a single drop set

****Perform 1 rep of arcing DB lateral raises, 1 rep of regular DB lateral raises and 1 rep of overhead DB lateral raises in that order. Perform 10 reps of each variation.

******Quadruple drop set

Here is the training video:

30 exercises for shoulders? Are you kidding me Milos Sarcev?

All kidding aside this is an absolutely insane giant sets shoulder workout. For this routine Milos starts the giant sets with a heavy compound pressing exercise instead of the pre-exhaust method.

Milos likes to mix things up in his workouts. He is willing to do whatever it takes to get better results for himself and his clients.

Another one of Milos Sarcev’s favorite shoulder training strategies is to perform 4-6 smaller giant sets in a single workout. The benefit of this approach is you don’t have to question your will to live on the 8th, 9th or 10th exercise in a single giant set 😉 Check it out:

Workout #5

Giant Set #1

  • Exercise #1: Bent over reverse cable fly, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #2: Machine lateral raise, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #3: Machine overhead press, 1 set of 10 reps, 2-4 minutes rest

Giant Set #2

  • Exercise #4: Arcing DB front raise, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #5: Standing DB lateral raise, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #6: Seated DB overhead press, 1 set of 10 reps**, 2-4 minutes rest

Giant Set #3

  • Exercise #7: Seated DB lateral raise, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #8: Seated DB overhead press, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #9: Seated DB lateral raise, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #10: Seated DB overhead press, 1 set of 10 reps, 2-4 minutes rest

Giant Set #4

  • Exercise #11: Seated DB lateral raise, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #12: Seated DB front raise, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #13: Seated DB lateral raise, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #14: Seated DB front raise, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #15: Seated DB lateral raise, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #16: Seated bent over DB reverse fly, 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #17: Standing ez-bar upright row (wide grip), 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #18: Standing ez-bar upright row (close grip), 1 set of 10 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #19: 70 degree incline smith machine press, 1 set of 20 reps, no rest
  • Exercise #20: Standing DB lateral raise, 1 set of 10 reps, 2-4 minutes rest

Giant Set #5

  • Exercise #21: Reverse pec dec, 1 set of 10 reps****, 2-4 minutes rest

**On this exercise perform a single drop set

****On this exercise perform a double drop set

What is there to say? This is another insane 21 exercise giant set shoulder routine that you can try. Milos does a good job of using different exercises to target the front, side and rear delts during each one of these giant sets.

At the end of the workout he throws in a double drop set on the reverse pec dec to finish off whatever muscle fibers are left in the rear delts.

If you are an advanced bodybuilder and you respond well to higher-volume workouts then this kind of workout is definitely worth trying.

Conclusion

Milos “The Mind” Sarcev might be the most successful coach in the history of bodybuilding. He has trained more IFBB professional bodybuilders than anyone in the world today.

If you are an advanced bodybuilder then I highly recommend you give his giant sets training style a shot. He has used it with many of the world’s top bodybuilders including Mr. Olympia finalist Dennis Wolf to build a massive chest.

If you enjoyed this content then make sure you check out my article “The Milos Sarcev Training Program!” It may be just what you need to take your training to the next level.

“What is the most intense training system? What creates maximum muscle fiber stimulation? If you’re truly honest with yourself then the answer is giant sets!”

Thank you for reading and I wish you the best of luck on your strength training journey!

 

Dr. Mike Jansen, PT, DPT

What's going on! My name is Dr. Mike Jansen, I'm the creator of Revolutionary Program Design. If you want to take your training to the next level, then you've come to the right place... My goal is to make RPD the #1 strength training resource available anywhere in the world!

Recent Posts